Over 3.5 billion people around the world are daily, active users of social media; and considering that posting on social media costs only time, you can reach hundreds of millions of people with any budget.
If you have been posting on social media regularly, but don’t feel you’re getting a strong return on your investment (be it time or money) – keep reading! We have insights into the many ways social media can help grow your business.
Improve brand equity
It’s hard to make a sale if nobody knows who you are or what you sell! Social media is one of the fastest, most affordable and effective ways to improve your brand awareness and equity. It is also the equivalent of a digital business card. When someone learns about a new product, service or business, the first thing they do is check out the website and social media channels. If you do not have a social presence, you are missing opportunities daily.
Don’t forget – it’s not just called media. It’s social media. There’s an expectation from users to experience social interaction with the brands they follow. Let your personality shine through! It doesn’t matter if your product is something exciting, like motorcycles, or something boring like water, a little personality goes a long way.
Don’t believe us? Here are a few of our all-time favourite social media posts that demonstrate great social interaction and personality:
Notice how Skittles refers to themselves in the first person? When you are representing your company online, it’s best to think about your brand as an individual persona. Social media users view brands as individuals, so playing up this fact can work in your favour.
Most importantly, social media gives you a chance to deepen relationships with existing customers through daily interactions.
- Did someone leave a comment? Make sure you reply to each one – even if it’s a simple emoji.
- Did someone leave a review? Thank them! Add some flair with a gif that shows your personality.
Improve search rankings
Social media can – and will – improve your search rankings. Domain authority is one of the key factors Google looks at when determining rankings. Developing content like blogs or videos that are highly shareable will increase shares, which increases domain authority, which in turn increases your ranking.
It’s also important to note that many potential buyers will visit your social media profiles before making a final purchase decision, in order to get a better understanding of your brand and products or services.
Build a community of brand ambassadors
When a business tells someone something – that’s marketing. When a person tells someone something – that’s social proof. Think back to the last time a friend mentioned their favourite new restaurant, clothing line, fragrance or subscription box. You probably checked out their recommendation right away, and maybe even purchased your own based on your friend’s recommendation.
These are your brand ambassadors. As your community grows, pay close attention to the names and handles of your most engaged audience members. These are the people who will share your content with their friends, engage on your posts and help drive brand awareness – all for no cost!
If you have highly engaged brand ambassadors, you can consider reaching out to them as a micro- or nano-influencer. They may be willing to pen a guest blog post to share on your website, create content such as photos or videos for you to use on your social media channels, or even do a guest Live stream answering questions or giving their unique perspective on your brand’s products or services.
One of the biggest errors we see brands committing online is they don’t follow the social media selling cycle. Post after post features a call to action to buy! Subscribe! Sign up! Give us your contact information!
Could you imagine if you walked into a grocery store and the owners just yelled all of their different specials and products at you? You’d probably run for the hills and never return.
Social media is not much different. If all you do is share things about yourself, you’re missing 75% of the social selling cycle.
The social selling cycle starts with social listening and moves clockwise around the wheel.
One of the biggest misconceptions about social media we see is “I’m not on social media, so people aren’t talking about my company.”
Whether you’re there, or not, people are sharing their opinions and thoughts about your products and services online – whether on their own social media profiles, Google reviews, Better Business Bureau, Yelp or other platforms like those.
Before you do anything on social media, listen. Find out what customers are saying about you and respond to them. Managing your reputation is essential – and if you’re not online, you have no recourse against what is said about you. Good or bad.
Creating a generous mix of the four stages will help leads to move down the funnel and improve your overall conversions.
Keep Tabs on the Competition
It may seem counter-intuitive, but using social media as a way to see what your competition is up to is a great way to stay informed. Not only can you draw inspiration from what they are doing – contests, post types, and how they interact with their followers.
If your competition is miles ahead of you, looking at what you’re doing in comparison to them can help you refine your strategy. Just make sure to be inspired – not a plagiarist!
While social media is not the silver bullet everyone thinks it is, when done strategically and with your annual business goals tied in, you can certainly drive an increase in brand awareness, leads, conversions and website traffic.
If you’re not sure what you’ve been doing is working, drop us a line to request your social media audit. Follow Ptak + Co on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn for more tips and tricks to help you succeed at social media marketing.