Within our 5 years, we have used social media for business growth and to raise brand awareness, and we have been pushing our clients to dedicate their budgets and efforts more and more toward social media.
How We Use Social Media:
We use social media to grow our own business and strengthen relationships with current clients. We have a strong presence on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and many of our leads come from these channels. Social media (when used properly) can finally humanize, provide insight into, showcase a company’s personality, and provide transparency in an age where technology has decreased the “personal touch” or masked companies behind screens. Social media provides our company with an outlet to showcase our company culture (great for recruiting purposes) and build relationships with people miles away.
We use social media to help our clients with business growth and building brand awareness. We also use these platforms to help clients listen to their customers’ needs, create relationships, and build loyal communities. Besides being able to use social media to facilitate all of the above, the key value to many businesses using social media is the ability to effectively target in-market users and measure the effectiveness of their messaging, marketing strategy, and overall business strategy (see below for details).
1. Targeting– Facebook and Twitter offer a plethora of targeting parameters. TAKE FULL ADVANTAGE OF THESE. Target people who fall specifically within your target market based on their interests, industries, employers, demographics (age, location, income, household composition, net worth), and behaviors. You can even import a list of email contacts you have (without them having to opt-in) and target them. The list of available targeting opportunities is almost endless, and you’re guaranteeing that your marketing dollars are going toward the exact people you want seeing your message. Also, don’t forget to target people who like your competitors. Target them and then show them why you’re the better choice. Here’s where you can highlight your Unique Selling Points and take some market share with you.
2. Content– We hear it all the time, “Content is King.” And there’s a reason for that. Create compelling content that makes your audience want to react and engage with your business. Pay attention to trends. Pay attention to concerns people are having with companies within your industry. Learn what your audience values and connects with. Then use social media to solve people’s problems, to answer their questions, and to add value to their life. People are bombarded with marketing messages all day long. Make sure you’re not adding to the noise, but that you’re helping them ignore the noise because you understand them. Note: You might not know what your customers value right away, or what causes them to engage, but don’t forget that this is one of the beautiful things about social media. Unlike traditional marketing, you can test out different messages, different strategies and shift your strategy as you see it in action (and in real time).
3. Measure & Analyze– Facebook and Twitter offer analytics dashboards within their platforms. Although you can use hundreds of different third party applications that can provide countless data for you to digest (Radian6, BrandWatch, SproutSocial, 33Across, etc.), Facebook and Twitter provide plenty of data to start with. For many companies, the Facebook and Twitter dashboards provide more than enough data. Pay attention to engagement levels, number of shares, comments, sentiment, and clicks. Also pay attention to what kind of content your followers react to best and what times and days their engagement increases. Use this data to learn about your audience and then use it to optimize your content.
4. Hashtags– Twitter and Instagram thrive on hashtags. People turn to Twitter for news or to view discussions on relevant topics. Do a bit of research into the hashtags that people are using to discuss what you’re posting about, and then include them in your posts (useful sites include hashtags.org, tagdef.com, ritetag.com, and hashtagify.me). We’ve conducted hundreds of tests where we post the same tweet without a hashtag and then with a hashtag. The results are always astounding- tweets with hashtags typically get more than double the engagement than those that don’t. And since Twitter’s newsfeed (or home feed) is chronological- it’s very easy for your tweet to be missed. But when you use hashtags, the lifetime of your tweet increases dramatically because people can (and will) perform a search at their own convenience, and your hashtag-including update will be right there waiting for them. Same goes for Instagram- use hashtags that are popular and relevant. Use around 1-5 hashtags that describe your image, your business, and are relevant to the audience you’re trying to attract.
Social media is changing the way we communicate and market business. We would like to hear how you and or your business is utilizing social media for business growth & marketing, and to get in closer touch with your clients.