Anyone who owns a business should be associated with Social Media. However, sometimes trying to build a brand can feel like talking to a brick wall. You’re posting images, graphics, and writing posts but nothing happens – how frustrating.
It is an art to growing an audience on social media. But even the experts say, this process takes time, it will not happen overnight. Nonetheless, you do not have to reinvent the wheel. Some of the most influential marketing companies across the internet have paved the way and shown how to create a marketing campaign that will grow your social media presence.
If you are still wondering about the necessity of social media marketing to grow your audience, think again after reading a recent statistic.
In fact, 63% of customers actually expect companies to offer customer service via their social media channels, and 90% of social media users have already used social media as a way to communicate with a brand or business.
This fact alone should be enough to get you started on building a great campaign. The effort will be worth your time when you have an audience that actually clicks on your links and cares about your products. Below are some suggestions to help grow a social media audience.
What is my right audience?
One of the most crucial steps in growing an audience is understanding who are your best customers. For example, are pictures with links better? Do they respond more to frequent posting? Or should you wait a day or two between? Are they active on LinkedIn or Twitter? What is the age group of my best customers? Every business if different, making their audience unique as well.
The best option is to learn about your audience. (what networks they’re on, what websites they visit, what they do on their free time, etc.) Only, then can you create content that will appeal to their interest. Implementing a well-thought-out social media strategy to grow your audience can help businesses in many ways, especially facilitating improved customer engagement.
The next step is understanding that as a business grows and changes, so do the algorithms in Facebook and Instagram, plus with the emergence of Snapchat, and the preference for LinkedIn by professional communities, social media is not static, and you cannot rely on just emojis and hashtags to propel social media engagement.
Social Media is the new marketplace for all business
If your company has a website or call center for client concerns, social media is the place that everyone goes to when they want to connect. Yes, a website is still imperative for your online presence, however, customers are on social media, and they expect you to be there, as well.
“In comparison to the channels that already exist to handle customer concerns, 34.5% of customers prefer social media; 24.7% prefer live chat, 19.4% prefer email, and 16.1% prefer toll-free phone service.
“But the demand for social media customer care doesn’t end there. 1 in 3 social media users prefers using social media when reaching out to a brand or business for customer service. 31% of customers use social media to make pre-sale inquiries before a purchase or commitment. Of the customers who use social media to reach out to a brand or business, 42% expect a response within an hour of their post or message, while 32% expect a response within 30 minutes, and 11% expect a response immediately.”
Customer service is a timeless necessity for any business success. Since the advent of social media, it has opened the doors for additional ways to promote your business and wow customers with great service.
Choose the right social platform
The type of business operation will depict which social media platforms are chosen. By studying each of them you can determine what type of individuals use the outlet. Your brand should be present on each social media source. Nonetheless, just because you are active on Facebook, does not mean it is connecting with the right buyer persona. Businesses that thrive in the market place go where the customers can find them. In the digital age that is social media.
One great example, when it comes to customer complaints; 80% of people refer to Twitter, which happens to be the go-to platform for information. Yet, over 80% of purchasing adults are on Facebook. The best way to utilize the figures is by using a social media management platform like Hootsuite or Buffer. Anyone can view customer interactions from a single app. Using the app doesn’t take a lot of planning or marketing strategy to maintain customers’ concerns or engagement on social media. But the constant interactions will help grow you’re your social media following. Thereby, the statistics allow you to analyze changes in audience genre, usage times, and posting engagement.
If you want to be recognized for your outstanding content? Then it’s crucial to continually monitor the competition. It not only grants knowledge on opportunities but it highlights failures. The analysis shows insight on content that was appealing, along with campaigns that didn’t work. It then enables you to track performance against others in the industry. Below are several tips to keep an eye on the competition.
- Keyword targeting
- Analyze keyword ranking
- Research Most shared content
By analyzing competitors, the results uncover opportunities to differentiate business branding. It sets you apart from competitors, in the eyes of the target consumers. The ability to learn about competitor’s social media strategies will help establish a roadmap of future enhanced engagement, resulting in growing your social media presence.
Complete profiles accurately
Of all the opportunities to improve online presence, completing your profile is the most important. If you search online for a person or business usually the first results are the social media sites pertaining to the search request. In many cases, the landing page is possibly the first encounter, someone will have of your business. It is important to make a good impression, even leading to the visitor interested in learning more about your brand. Profile elements:
- Display Name
- Username and Url
- Profile Pic
- Your contact links, website, social media, etc.
- Your bio
- Your Interests
- Background and cover image
- Your activity
- Your business
If you are just getting started on social media marketing, it’s imperative to set up your profile correctly. In the case, you have been in the game for some time, it’s best to review the content and make some updates. Like giving yourself a make-over. It’s worth spending some time to improve your social media presence and make it compelling and interesting.
A helpful trick would be writing a mission statement about your business. About two to three paragraphs; explaining what is the business about, what is your mission, and plans for the future. The task may seem tedious, but it will help you establish consistency with the overall tone of your social media presence. It must match the business personality, values, and voice.
Tip: Profile photos, banners, images must always be highly professional and good resolution.
Consumers look to build a meaningful connection with the brand, so they can feel comfortable enough to share and engage with postings. Your brand should not share contrasting messages that will only confuse followers and likely deter them from interacting. Think about that for a moment, if you are a doctor, the information on the site should pertain to the medical industry, not deep-sea fishing in the Mediterranean.
This subject should be a no-brainier but highly important. Any content created or shared should always pertain to the business industry and in a positive nature. Quality of the content establishes – branding presence – as a leader in your industry.
Tip: If you want people to engage then you must engage with them. Everyone wants to feel important and worthy, so share someone else’s content you find valuable. Become the go-to person everyone comes to for information.
Use industry influencers content
By connecting with industry influencers, it will develop content based on vetted sources that work for highly successful professionals. These companies or individuals are considered leaders and target audiences that share the same interests. Use the resource wisely!
The next step always is to verify a source before posting anything and be honest. Be a person. 70% of the time, the content shared should be adding value and building your brand, 20% of the time should be sharing others’ posts and ideas, and 10% of the time should only promote yourself or your business. No one likes a pushy salesperson. Below are some content suggestions:
- Get visual with images, gifs, and videos
- Use live real-time apps
- Sharing content
Paid advertising vs sponsored posts
Once your social media sites are fully functional, it’s time to take things to the next step. Since organic impressions are increasingly difficult, social media advertising is an extremely useful marketing tactic. The main goal is to engage with new, targeted audiences.
On average display, click-through rates are dramatically ineffective. In fact, the average rate for ad formats is 0.05 percent. Plus, as ad-blocking software continues to grow in popularity, viewability is affected. Google reported that 56.1 percent of all impressions aren’t seen by users due to ad-blocking solutions.
Sponsored content is considered a type of native advertising. The difference is that it’s not an ad. It’s a longer-form piece of brand-sponsored content such as an article or video that lives on a media publisher’s site. It tells a full story and is written and produced to be as engaging as possible, encouraging an audience to spend a long time with the content.
Typically, sponsored content is less restrictive than paid advertising and publishers give brands leeway to be creative and engaging—as long as the post is clearly marked as “sponsored” or “promoted.” It means that brands can mention a product or service and include a call to action.
Now that you are prepared with great tools to grow your social media following, get to work creating a great marketing campaign, but most of all have fun. Become the next social giant in your industry.