Social media is one of the most misunderstood aspects of the digital world.
Social media is so often associated with connotations of propaganda, privacy infringements, bullying and the demise of youth.
Though, one can easily align social media with these issues, it is just so much bigger and better than this.
We must not overlook the benefits social media allows us. Connection, engagement, news in real time, entertainment, platforms for advocacy and the focus of this piece; the ability to grow a business.
As News Xtend’s Social and Content Lead, it is my job to not only understand the powers social media platforms have for prospering businesses, but to harness these.
I have accumulated my top 5 tips for using Social Media to grow your business.
#1 Pick the Right Platforms
According to Social Media News, an article published in January 2019 claims that the following social media heavy weights are at large.
- Facebook, with 15 million monthly active users
- Youtube, with 15 million visitors per month
- Instagram with 9 million monthly active users
- Whatsapp with 7 million monthly active users
- Snapchat with over 6 million active users
- Twitter with close to 5 million active users
- LinkedIn with 4.5 million active users
Firstly, fish where the fish are; and the fish are on Facebook, Youtube and Instagram.
As an SMB, every penny and dollar counts. We understand this; you are in a growth stage.
You can not afford to be spending money, time or energy on platforms which are not going to give you a return. Always consider: where are the majority of my audience?
Don’t assume you know where they are, do the research and find out.
Secondly, consider not only the nature of your business but which platform will be best to deliver specific messages.
If you are want to use video to nurture customers and inspire considerable actions, ensure Youtube is in your strategy.
If your audience is predominantly businesses and you consider yourself a B2B, consider LinkedIn.
It is not really a science, its understanding the platforms (the best way to understand them is to use them) then, doing some research to confirm your rationale.
Facebook and Instagram are the biggest players in the game and these should definitely be part of any social media marketing strategy.
#2 Segment your Audiences
It is all about placing the right content in front of the right people and at the right time.
Another superpower of social media is its ability to allow businesses to target not only an extensive amount of people, but the most relevant ones.
As mentioned before, if you are going to be spending money and using energy, make sure it is effective, the best way to do this is by targeting the right people.
Facebook, for example, allows a business to target not based on cookies, but on actual human behaviours.
Behavioural content includes how audiences engage with content, what type of content, what they buy, and what they click. Essentially, data that tells us how your audience engages and behaves with content and businesses.
This is imperative, as when you peel back the jargon and think about what it takes to get someone to convert, it all comes down to innate human behaviour and social media platforms are the perfect hosts for all of this delicious data.
All you have to do is tap into it and leverage it.
Facebook not only targets audiences utilising behavioural and interest-based data, it also allows a business to use their own data to nurture audiences.
You are able to create ‘custom’ audiences on Facebook. This involves uploading a data set to Facebook and targeting these people.
For example, it’s possible to upload data about anyone who has ‘added to cart’, on your website. Using this data, Facebook can retarget these people with the product they just engaged with.
Website traffic data can also be useful.Those who have already considered your brand by browsing your website are more likely ready to convert, so create a custom audience and target them specifically.
For an easy upsell, target anyone who has just purchased by creating a custom audience of these people and advertise accessories or similar product.
It is all about creating a segmented audience who have just completed an action and leveraging this to nurture them to complete the next step in the consumer funnel or to purchase again.
Lookalike Audiences is another targeting option of Facebook’s, which, like a custom audience, allows a business to upload data. Take your CRM data of every person who has purchased with your business, upload this, and essentially Facebook will find everyone who looks most like them and serve them your message.
Prospecting, but relevant.
It is relevant. It is placing the right message in front of the right segmented audience.
#3 Create Compelling Creative
Social media is the perfect space to showcase who you are as a brand.
It allows your business to have a face and a voice. This allows audiences to relate and trust you which is crucial if we are going to ask them to convert later down the consumer journey.
Social media is a seduction game.
Nobody jumps onto Facebook with the intention of purchasing or completing an action, they jump on Facebook to view their newsfeed.
This is where businesses have to seduce and this is done with creative.
Showcase your business’ unique selling points with video, slideshows and carousels. Play with tone and language.
Social media is the perfect environment to engage and create a discourse.
#4 Give it a Crack and Learn From It
It is all about putting something out in market and learning from it. This is the true secret to the game. This, is the guarantee of success.
Marketing campaigns on social media platforms have so many variables that dictate whether they will work or not. It is dangerous to assume.
You want every single optimisation or tweak to your strategy or campaign to be data-led.
Social media platforms allow you access to an extensive range of data. Broad campaign data and miniscule data. Data, data and more detectable data.
Put things out in market, test and learn.
This is the only way you will know with certainty, what to tweak, eradicate and improve on.
These optimisations, are how you guarantee success on the platforms.
#5 Ensure EVERYTHING Has a Purpose
From content, to Facebook ads, to organic posts, to strategy, ensure everything has a purpose.
Don’t waste time, energy and most importantly, media spend on something that does not have a purpose or a strategic goal.
Don’t post for the sake of posting. Only post if you are giving something to your audience. If you are informing them, inspiring them, answering questions or entertaining them.
Don’t run an ad campaign unless there is a clear and concentrated goal.
The moment there is no purpose you are wasting time and money and you are not leveraging the power of social media effectively.
There you have it. My 5 tips, when used, will ensure you have a successful social media marketing campaign, one geared towards growing your business.
If I could sum this whole article up within one point, it would be: don’t do things half-arsed. Go forth and use your full arses.
Article by Dionne Alaveras