Embrace Social Media for a More Profitable Future

Andrea Palmer

Published Thu 23 Jun by Andrea Palmer in Creating Better Content and Marketing More Effectively

Practical guidance for your online business - How to use social media marketing to get to the heart of your customers' needs, helping you to generate brand awareness and secure more sales.

The Benefits of Social Media Marketing

We all know that generating leads is the ultimate benefit of using social media but often businesses shy away from it because:

  • They're not sure which platforms to use
  • They're not sure how to get started
  • They feel they haven’t got the time to invest in it

So if you're feeling a bit unsure about social media marketing and wondering whether or not it's worth your time and effort,  here are a few ways in which your business can benefit.

  • Grows exposure for any business
  • Helps businesses overcome any trust issues about a product or service
  • Grows loyalty from customers
  • Helps companies to keep abreast of what customers want
  • Can increase website traffic 
  • Grows brand recognition
  • Improves sales
  • In time can reduce marketing costs

We all recognise it takes time to see the benefits of social media marketing but done well your business can reap the rewards. 

Follow our tips to get started:

Research & Generating Leads

To generate leads you first have to understand your customers' needs.

Practical Guidance

  • Ask your existing customers face to face where they hang out online
  • Listen and learn before you start to engage – This essential research helps you later down the line to tailor products and services to serve customers' demands
  • Join specific groups who are associated with your industry – Check out their posts, take note of what are people talking about and look at how your business can service their needs
  • Run a short survey – Encourage participation by offering something in return, free samples, % off
  • Have a blog on your website – Gives you insight into where your followers share your info, take it a step further and see if others have engaged with shared content
  • Keeping an eye on your competitors - This can be valuable by providing you with:
  1. Information on what they are doing well through social media campaigns
  2.  Content they are sharing and which is the most successful, eg images, infographics, videos or articles
  3. Keyword data
  4. Info on industry related links
  • Build up a picture from your research by developing a solid plan of action in which you are:
    1. Customer focused
    2. Driving visitors to your website
    3. Getting a great end result, e.g, sign-up or buy

Engage & Grow Your Audience

Now you have a clearer understand of your customers e.g. where they hang out, what they talk about, their gripes, needs and desires and what makes them tick emotionally, it's time to start engaging.

Practical Guidance

  • Use your brand but don’t be bland – Your brand is crucial to your business but don’t hide behind it:  show you're human by using images of you and your team, not just your logo
  • Talk their language - Be human and engage with people on their level 
  • Connect with your potential customers through their business and personal pages and engage with their posts
  • Be friendly, ask questions, get and give feedback
  • Run freebies – Offer small tasters of what you offer and tailor the post to include feedback from customers
  • Only post info that will benefit your audience - Use copy, images and infographics which highlight the benefits of your services and that resonate with your audience
  • Always thank people who share your content
  • Always follow up customer questions or complains – remember consistency = trust
  • Continue to listen - your audience / customer needs will evolve over time: by listening, you’ll be keeping your customers happy and gain important information about their changing needs
  • Encourage Indirect exposure – Word of mouth is the best form of promotion: even if some of your followers don’t ever buy, they can certainly be your champions so don’t ignore them
  • Be consistent in your engagement efforts – Helps followers to gain trust in you and your brand
  • Avoid running too many social media platforms – We recommend choosing 3 of the most popular platforms where your customers are likely to hang out and focus your time on these consistently
  • Do run regular customer feedback surveys – Gaining feedback on new products / services, improves your reputation, helps you find out what you're doing well and what can be done better
  • Give incentives – If you're running surveys make it worth their while by giving something for free or % off 

Growing Sales

Once a following is established it's time to make your offer. We’re not talking about blatant selling, be creative and think outside the box.

Practical Guidance

  • Tailor your products /services to meet the needs of your customers – Use emotions which replicate your customers' needs and desires to help banish any fears
  • Focus what you have to offer through benefits for the customer – Use compelling short sentences with images to make your offer irresistible
  • Run limited offers – The knowledge that supplies are limited motivates people to buy quickly before they lose out
  • Avoid misleading customers - Make offers real without any catches
  • Take advantage of your exsising customers – Create exclusive deals just for them, it helps them feel special
  • Use cross-promotion – Offer to promote a non-competing business who services customers in your market in exchange for them publicising your services. It's low cost and can generate a large number of sales
  • Use your website as a hub to direct people from your social media platforms by providing a reason to link to your website. 

Cadbury invites Twitter followers to engage with them on their website, by taking them on a journey.

This fun and creative marketing strategy invites visitors to make their own music inspired by their favourite chocolate bars. The end result:

  • Jogs visitors' memories by showing their variety of confectionery
  • Encourages visits to their website 

Measuring Success

Tracking and measuring social media marketing will help to determine the success of your efforts.

Practical Guidance

Assess Engagement 

It's great to be liked, followed and added but have your audience interacted with your posts?

When people engage you know you’ve provided valuable content. If you're not getting much engagement it’s time to take a look at how you can improve your content. 

Here are a few signs you're doing well with engagement:

  1. Comments on your blog posts
  2. Direct messages, Retweets and mentions on Twitter
  3. Shares on LinkedIn and facebook
  4. Comments on facebook and LinkedIn

Measure Conversions

Measuring conversions provides invaluable information on what's working well and how and why visitors take the next step to becoming customers.

  • Start by measuring your Social media reach - platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook all have analytic reports that track engagement. This infomation is valuable and gives a clear picture of how appealing your content is to your target audience

Utilise Free Resources to Track Conversions 

  • Install Google analytics on your website
  • Use campaign tracking in Google analytics and build traceable links for all of your social media platforms. To keep links short use online link shorteners like https://goo.glv or http://ow.ly/url/shorten-url
  • Google analytics allows you to track all your online conversion activities, including downloads and registration etc. This will allow you to track fully your ROI from your social media marketing efforts.

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