Marketing is everything. Whether you’re selling the world’s best product or providing an incredible service that everyone needs — if no one hears about it, you won’t make a penny.
So how do you get your product out there? As a small business, advertising is expensive and if you’re just starting to get your business off the ground, you probably don’t have a huge budget. Even if you’re managing a successful corporation, cutting costs is always a priority. This is why more and more companies are turning to social media sites.
The social media platform has become one of the greatest marketing tools we have today, used by large and small businesses alike. With almost 2.5 billion social media users worldwide, social networking is a great way to gain exposure for your business while also connecting to your clientele. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the best ways you can create an effective social media presence with user-generated content to connect with your clients and promote your company. It’s time to maximise business potential.
Getting Your Name Out There (Exposure is Everything)
One of the greatest benefits of promoting your business on with a social media site is its cost-effectiveness. Some of the most successful social media sites and marketing campaigns have been executed without spending a penny and reach millions of social media users. As an example, let’s take a look at Salt Bae.
In an inspiring display of ingenuity, Nusret Gökçe posted a short clip of his unique steak preparation on his Instagram page. The clip went viral (currently having over 15 million views) and the flourish with which he salts his meat quickly became iconic. The significant amount of interest garnered from his video has led to plans of opening a restaurant in New York. All thanks to a post on Instagram.
The first step in planning a social media strategy is picking a platform. With over 2 billion active users a month, Facebook is a great place to start.
Facebook pages are a great way to give would-be-customers an overview of what you’re all about. While creating the page, you’re required to provide a few details about your company: like background information, mission statements and a description of the products or services you offer.
Unlike corporate websites, which are usually more professional and business-oriented, corporate social media accounts feel a little more personal. Let’s use luxury vehicles as an example. If you’re just looking to appreciate pictures of their cars, you probably won’t visit Audi’s website very often. However, you probably will follow their Instagram and like all their photos on Facebook.
Post more than just product-related content. People like to be entertained. Stay up-to-date with current trends, post funny memes. Give people a reason to follow your page.
The platform and marketing strategy you decide to use should be based on what your company offers. If you provide a service, Facebook may be ideal because clients would be able to leave positive reviews on your wall. If you’re planning on posting a video or other visual ad, Instagram may be more suitable.
Using Social Media to Connect With Your Clients
The concept of brand loyalty refers to a customer’s decision to keep buying a product from the same company. Not only are loyal clients consistent sources of revenue, they’re likely to recommend your brand to others.
So how do you keep your clients loyal? The first step is forming a real connection with them.
Using social media to interact with your clients can provide a more personal touch that’s difficult to emulate with other mediums. Phone calls and business emails, while courteous, are usually formal and scripted. By interacting with them over social media, you’re taking that extra step in forming a real connection.
If you want your clients to be loyal to your company, you have to keep them happy. How do you keep them happy? By listening to their needs and making sure that they’re met.
Everyone wants to feel that their opinions matter. Use social media to find out exactly what your clients want. If your company shows that it truly cares about customer satisfaction, your clients will be more likely to continue doing business with you. Make a Facebook post, publish a Tweet: “What can we do for you?”
On a related note, use social media to find out what you can do better. If my experience with a company’s website leaves me dissatisfied, I’m probably not going to send them an email explaining what went wrong or what they could do better. I’m just going to go to a different website Depending on their level of dissatisfaction, some people may take it a step further and post negative reviews on websites like Sitejabber.
By connecting with your clients and asking them “what can we do better?” you’re showing that you care about their experience. However, this only works if you actually listen to their feedback. If you ignore it, you’re basically telling them you don’t care about losing their business.
Stay Informed: Keep an Eye on Your Competition
At the end of the day, money is what matters. No matter how much you try to connect with your customers and make them feel heard, you won’t get far if you’re constantly being undercut by your competitors.
Use social media to see what promotions and strategies are being employed by your rivals and adjust your own accordingly. Draw inspiration from successful campaigns. Take note, this doesn’t mean copy other businesses. There’s a big difference between plagiarism and influence.
Think of keeping an eye on your competitors’ strategies as doing field research of your own. Pay attention to the responses of your shared demographic. What do people respond positively to? What infuriates them? Incorporate your findings into your own strategy in order to appeal to the largest audience.
Staying connected to your clients is the key to brand loyalty and social media is the best way to stay connected. Offering greater connectivity, personalised interactions and the ability to keep an eye on your competitors’ actions, it’s easy to see why developing a presence on social media is essential for any business.