To stay ahead of the curve in today’s fast-paced, growing digital world, businesses need to understand the changing consumer mindset first. Nowadays, consumers are more tech-savvy and have the Internet at their disposal. Therefore, relying solely on traditional marketing strategies or lacking web presence altogether can only hurt your business prospects. According to a report published by the Business Network International, more than 75 percent of business owners in the B2B segment, avoid any tie-ups with smaller companies because they don’t have a credible presence over social media. Social media is a great tool for SMEs and startups that want to grow their business and engage new customers, and larger businesses to strengthen their brand. So, how to leverage the social media effectively? Here are some tips to get you started. Take a look.
Choose the Right Social Media Platform
A number of social media networks and platforms have risen to the surface in the past few years. Each one has its own tone, USP, and audience. Therefore it is impertinent to choose the right social media platform to showcase your content and brand image. If your content is all about generating and sharing images or videos, you can use Snapchat, Instagram, and YouTube. Similarly, Facebook and Twitter are perfect mediums for engaging with online prospects, get feedback and answer customer queries. Many businesses also prefer LinkedIn to find like-minded business partners and employees. Overall, you must identify the right tone and purpose of each platform first, and then implement the most relevant ones into your marketing strategies. Remember, connecting with the right communities on social media platforms provides a massive impetus to your business.
Have a Social Media Calendar in Place
Being consistent and reliable on social media is the inherent trait of successful businesses. That said, there are instances when companies experience moments of lackluster creativity and fail to update their content. How to avoid this slump? Well, the key here is to plan in advance. Most top-ranking organizations have dedicated social media teams to meticulously plan their social media calendars in advance. These teams develop relevant hashtags for each weekday and utilize them to gain consistent traction through repetition. Therefore, businesses can create weekly content buckets (or as per their business requirements) and put clear rules and prompts in place. You can also use based on prior engagement numbers to figure out the frequency and time frame of the posts and leave prompts or complete posts according to the calendar.
Build a Community First
Social media users usually don’t have a liking towards promotional posts from companies. They are there to connect with friends and peers, share interesting content and have a wholesome social experience. No one really goes on to social media sites to or read about marketing or make purchases, there are e-commerce websites for that. Therefore, you must foster a feeling of belonging in the minds of your audience. How to go about that? Simple, build a community to influence people. For example, you can share lifestyle tips, daily hacks, or easy-to-grasp concepts on social media. With time, your reader community will grow into a loyal audience, and then you can leverage their presence to catapult your business and brand image to newer heights.
Leverage Paid Marketing
Social media platforms are considerably more affordable than other conventional marketing channels such as print media or TV. These platforms allow businesses to be incredibly flexible and comprehensive. Through social media, you can target users according to their online behavior, demography, interests, devices, and many other factors. Subsequently, you can turn-in your audience through unique paid ads targeting different groups. You can also adjust and project your value proposition through these ads and make it more compelling for your audience. There are a number of comprehensive and potent tools available for paid marketers on social media platforms that can help businesses improve their outreach over time.
While competing with larger players, the biggest concern for SMEs and startups is how to deal with the relative lack of reach. Thankfully, having a credible social media presence helps businesses to know more about their customers and earn their trust. Therefore, the time is perfect, if you are a marketer, to get on to social media, create a credible social profile, and invest into creating engaging content to elevate your potential customer’s experience over social media. If you have some other more social media strategies to share, feel free to connect.
(All photographs are courtesy of the original owners unless otherwise indicated)