Social media is a major marketing tool, no matter which demographic you’re targeting as your market.
People use social media to keep in touch with friends and family, share opinions/photos/stories, stay up-to-date on news/current events and for general networking.
If people aren’t working, they are pretty likely to be on some type of social media (Facebook, with its 1.7 billion active users, reigns supreme).
So you can’t ignore social media platforms when it comes to making your company relevant and visible.
So where do you start?
Do your homework – Research, research, research
To effectively reach your target audience, you have to intimately understand your current and potential customers.
Who are they? How old? What do they like? What moves them? What do they dislike? Where and how do they spend their free time? The questions are endless. Think hard and write down all their characteristics.
Social media is about engagement. And you can’t engage effectively if you don’t have this information.
Start small – Choose one or two to begin with
Social media takes a lot of time and energy. Don’t get too excited and set up a dozen social media accounts – you simply won’t be able to manage them all on your own.
If you’ve defined your audience, you’ll know which are the essential social media that you need to be visible on. Concentrate on being active on those before you branch out to others.
Remember, your social media platforms all need to work together in unison.
Your website is your home base so you need to make sure that your social media efforts are focused on driving traffic there.
Create a daily social media plan
The best way to keep track of your social media posts is to schedule your activities on a daily basis.
If you plan to put one Facebook post, one Instagram photo and 3 tweets on a daily basis, put it on your calendar and check them off as you go.
Regularity in posting is crucial in social media. If you upload a few posts on Facebook at the launch of your business/website and then go into radio silence, interest will fizzle and the account will be useless.
Recycle, repurpose and respond
Your social media content doesn’t have to be 100% fresh all the time nor does it have to always be originated by you.
Social media is about sharing so engage your audience by recycling useful information from third parties that may peak their interest.
It will spark interesting conversations and this will help your ultimate goal of driving traffic to your website.
Repurposing old content in different formats also helps a lot.
If you sent out a rather detailed post about a topic and you’re not sure how many of your followers bothered to read the whole thing, repurpose it and send the message out in bullet points.
Also, don’t forget the power of responding to your audience’s comments.
Listen and observe the individuals in your target market. If something is trending and it has relevance to your business, comment and try to nudge them to your website’s direction.
Track, measure and analyse
Most social media networks have tools you can use to track and measure your performance.
Google Analytics is an easy-to-use option for monitoring traffic and interactions on your website or blog.
Tracking and measuring your social media activities can reveal which are driving the most traffic to your site – essential information to formulate and optimise your brand and marketing strategy.
Through a solution like Hootsuite, you can set up a stream dedicated to social listening and easily monitor what people are saying to, and about, your brand.
Tips to attract followers on social media
Showcasing the “behind the scene”
Social media is a great way to interact with your followers as, unlike your corporate website, you can be much more personable and open.
Offer peeks into what may seem like “behind-the-scene” snapshots of your business and brand.
You may feel a bit vulnerable opening yourself up but it is a very effective way of humanising your business and gain trust.
Now, be warned that this may invite some harsh comments or negative feedback.
Just keep calm, cool and collected. The more you seem egoless and “real,” the more it will help make you and your company genuine and relatable.
Utilising video and Youtube
Social media video is becoming a big part of marketing strategies for firms big and small.
Pushing your product ads via social media will just be ignored or become a source of annoyance for your followers.
Think about a topic that is trending now – a social issue that is trending or a current event that has impacted your target audience.
Produce insightful videos or thought pieces that will invoke conversations. Your brand may not be immediately visible but sparking interest and engaging your followers will boost your brand indirectly.
Recently, NTUC Income released a video showcasing the best of Singaporeans over the course of the year.
The NTUC social enterprise’s intent was to communicate their “People First” message, which may not be easily understood by the average netizen.
Even though it’s no secret that Income reinvests its profits in its business to expand services to its customers, using social media to capture the spirit of its pro-Singaporean philosophy speaks louder than any newspaper ad could.
Encourage user-generated content
Launch a campaign to encourage your customers to display your product with reviews.
It’s one of the most cost-effective ways to create content, especially for a small business with budget constraints.
An awesome way to do this is to organise a contest with a small reward.
This will serve as an incentive for your loyal customers to say something great about your products on social media.
By doing this, your product reach gets a massive boost and you’ll have lots of great content to repost on your social media platforms and website as well!
Getting influencers to endorse you
Influencers are individuals who can reach consumers via their blogs and social networks that your brand may not be able to.
We’re not talking exorbitant celebrity endorsement on social media, but rather people who just simply have the power to influence others.
Their popularity enables them to reach your core demographic more efficiently and effectively.
How do you find them? You can use tools like Klout.com but it is easy enough to find them by doing a little research yourself.
The thing to remember when you approach influencers is to take it slow and think about a way to create a meaningful and lasting relationship.
In an ideal world, you’d simply like influencers to say something wonderful about your product, but remember that they must derive value from partnering with your brand.
This is part of my 10-part series that I originally published on The New Savvy
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