By guest blogger Monica Wilson
Creating a business and getting it off the ground is itself a huge achievement for a budding entrepreneur. Yet, soon the entrepreneur learns that starting the business is only the beginning. Some business people lose their strength to keep going when they discover that they must invest as much effort in promoting their business as they did launching it. No wonder so many businesses do not make it to their first anniversary.
All the same, unlike in the past when marketing required big budgets, today many marketers leverage the power of social media to help even the smallest of enterprises make considerable headway in the marketplace. Experian reports that 80% of today’s marketers have already embraced social media marketing. In a few years, this percentage will be very close to 100%. Given how significant social media has become to the well-being of today’s businesses, marketers must know how to do it effectively. The following are ten ways you can boost the performance of your business by leveraging the power of social media.
The excitement of starting a new company often drives many businesses to post generic content that no one wants to engage with on social media. Social media is not just about uploading videos and images and adding captions to them. It is about creating a platform that connects you to your audience, starts a conversation and leads to conversions. None of these things can happen if you fail to clearly define your target audience.
Take time to learn more about the habits of your target audience, the type of content they would want to see and how you can make your products better for their consumption in future. Without a clearly defined target audience, the information you would obtain about people’s response to your business will be false. Use the data-rich features available on Twitter and Facebook to narrow down your target market so that you can put all your energy towards getting this target market to know your brand and its products and services.
The more posts you publish on social media is not equivalent to increased engagement. To attain any noteworthy success, you must be patient through the process of growing an audience that is willing and excited at the through of engaging and connecting with your brand. Take time creating unique content that speaks to your audience. The idea is to, without necessarily saying it, create an assurance to your audience that someone is listening to their complaints, queries and comments and will respond with answers.
Businesses with big ad budgets sometimes jump fast to ad campaigns and neglect their social media profiles. They spend little time creating social profiles that will get the attention of anyone who happens to visit them. Consequently, they find themselves hardly growing an audience without spending money when the opportunity to grow organically keeps evading them just because they have lackluster profiles.
Don’t make this mistake. Make sure your profile clearly reflects the image of your business you wish to see on display. Remember to optimize the bio so that everyone who comes across the profile is left with little doubt that you have what it takes to deliver excellent products and services.
Social media users in different social networking sites have certain hours of the day that they are most active. Understanding this will help you craft a social media posting schedule that has the best chance to succeed. CoSchedule reports that social media posts published on Saturdays and Sundays have 32% more engagement than those published in other days of the week. The same also said the best times of day for social posting is 9AM, 1PM and 3PM.
Social media marketers know many tools they can use to grow on social media. For instance, HootSuite is excellent for scheduling; Growr is perfect for growing an Instagram following; Buffer is ideal for managing Twitter. However, before you consider third party tools, you should exhaust the functionality of those tools that the social networks have made available. Facebook has scheduling and analytics tools and Twitter has Tweetdeck and its own analytics tools. Use these tools and measure the changes you will see in your efforts in social media marketing.
Asking people to follow you on social media can seem odd yet it works. All the same, you should provide value if you want people to follow and engage with your brand. That is why you should think about the promise you can make to those who follow you on social media. This is especially necessary when you are just getting started building a social media following. Talk to your marketing team about creating value that you can leverage on social networking sites to make your audience feel special and part of something great and beautiful.
For a few years now, marketers have been talking about the power of video in marketing on social media. Yet, few business executives have decide to invest considerable resources towards creating video content. Those who have embraced video have clear results to show. Perhaps this is why YouTube remains one of the most visited website in the world and the second largest search engine platform the world over.
Practically everyone wants to watch videos. Indeed, available statistics show that 82% of Twitter users regularly watch video content on the platform. On Facebook, users watch around 100 million hours of video every day. So, why not create videos for them to watch as part of your social marketing initiatives?
Consider using employee advocacy programs to leverage communities. This way you can take advantage of the numbers and use your content to reach more people on social networking sites. You can find social media communities on Facebook, Pinterest as well as on LinkedIn. Look for a group in your niche and join. Through this community, you can advertise a product or service to people you are certain that they have some interest in your products or services.
Sometimes you may find yourself with no viable ideas for creating content to publish on your social media channels. This is why content creator communities come in. Some of the most popular communities include Viral Content Buzz,Social Buzz Club and Triberr.
The reason these communities exist is to help content creators find creative ways to present content, brainstorm on new and unique content and improve social media promotion initiatives. Furthermore, participating in these communities will give you the perfect opportunity to learn from other content creators regarding what works and what doesn’t.
Any marketer will tell you that each social media platform has its own unique culture. For this reason, a good plan in social media marketing should include creating customized content plan for each social network. For example, Instagram is big on hashtags, Twitter is perfect for real time conversations and Facebook is ideal when have a lot to say.
Take time to understand the culture that exists in each social platform and how it can help you advance your business. Additionally, familiarize yourself with new and emerging networking sites and see if they offer new opportunities that the existing platforms struggle to offer. Whatever you do, resist the temptation of copying and pasting everything you post in one platform into another. This “dumping” approach will result to low engagements and uninspiring social media marketing results.
Social media industry watches believe that it is still at its infancy and that many things will change as it matures. Businesses that will invest in learning the most effective ways of marketing on social networking sites will continue to record impressive results that will bring conversions and increase sales.