According to Forbes, 74% of consumers rely on social media to make a decision on a purchase. Considering that as of February 2021, there is 4.2 billion active users of social media worldwide, it makes it imperative that a business has a strong presence on social media to avoid missing out on a large amount of potential customers.
There are many different ways that social media can benefit your business, so here are just a few reasons why investing your time into it can pay off.
Standing out from the crowd is one of the most important aspects to creating a strong identity on social media. Looking at the likes of Starbucks, Vogue, and Calvin Klein, who are instantly recognisable on social media, it may seem out of reach for a small business. But using social media and utilising the tools that it offers makes this an easier task than you may think.
So how do they do it? Starbucks for example, uses a mix of their iconic green colour scheme, the classic Starbucks cup, and their recognisable typeface (Freight Sans) in every post. Social media gives the opportunity for a brand to share their brand identity and ensure that it becomes memorable.
The rule of 7 tells us that it takes an average of 7 interactions with a business before deciding to make a purchase. With this in mind, it makes social media the perfect place to ensure that those 7 interactions are positive and memorable. But how can you utilise the rule of 7 to ensure that your business has the opportunity of enough interactions with your audience that you can make the conversion?
Know your audience
Targeting the right audience is possibly the most important step in ensuring that your business has opportunity to grow on social media. For example, Daniel owns a bike rental company and only offers their services to a regional audience. By using social media targeted ads, he will then be able to ensure that his company is only being seen by the appropriate audience, giving him a better opportunity to convert his bike hires.
Do you ever see your insights showing people are going to your website but you are not receiving any purchases? Retargeting will let you pull back the audience to finish the conversion. Retargeting is a very precise way of marketing to your audience that have already clicked away from your website before making a purchase. 94% of people who visit your website are not ready to purchase your product yet, so retargeting them through ads will bring them back in to see what you have to offer.
A successful email campaign can be a great way to nurture your audience. Rather than using it as an opportunity to make sales, you can use an opt-in email campaign to create a positive relationship with your customers. Including helpful free content in the emails, such as free guides to your niche, or information on your business, can be a great way to make a conversion, as people will be more willing to purchase from a business that is generous in sharing information as opposed to pushing for a sale.
Consistent posting schedule
Taking the rule of 7 into consideration, you need to ensure that your posts are consistent. You want your business to remain in the minds of your audience, and without a regular posting schedule, your posts won't reach them as often as they need to. Using something such as Facebook Business Suite to schedule your posts will save you time, and ensure that you can remain consistent.
Connect with your audience
Communicating with your audience can make sure that your brand gets remembered. It also humanises your business, which makes you more trustworthy. Looking at a company such as Aldi, they consistently respond and interact with their audience on Twitter, which makes them seem more human and therefore people are more comfortable with them. Being active on your social media accounts and interacting with your audience increases your presence across your social media, and in turn helps to keep your business in the forefront of your customers minds.
Social media can help your business to become more than just a face in the crowd. 89% of B2B marketers use social media platforms to increase their brand awareness organically through digital content, beating email marketing and blogging, while 47% of marketers say that the biggest challenge they face is creating a social media strategy that supports their organisations goals. Utilising social media in the right way can increase your brand awareness, and the benefits of this are impossible to ignore.
With 4.2 billion people worldwide using social media, having a strong presence is inevitably going to project your business out to the masses, and help you to grow. Making people aware of your business, and telling them why you're the better option over any other business, is the goal of any company. Each social media platform can help to grow your business, and having a strategy for each platform is the best way to optimise your profiles to ensure that they help to increase your following.
Using platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest are great ways of giving your business a visual representation. Images are much easier to digest than a bulk of text, and having really eye-catching, thought provoking content can both help to want to stay, as well as make your audience want to share it with their friends and family. YouTube and TikTok are the best place to share videos of your products, promotional videos, as well as behind the scenes videos, to humanise your company and help people to relate to you. Having a visual and creative place for your company to be shown is a great way to showcase your products, and show them being used. These can serve as alternative ways to present reviews on your business, and people are more likely to trust this over a review in text format.
But the biggest advantage to using social media isn't just the leads. It's that you can specifically target the perfect leads for your business through advanced targeting. By knowing your audience, understanding their interests and their needs, you can create posts catered to them. This will then help you to organically grow the specific type of audience that you need, increasing the quality of the leads that are coming through to your business.
Sites like Facebook and Twitter are places to share information on your business in a way that isn't overbearing or salesy. You can list your products, links, photos and information in a way that your audience can digest easily and have a space to comment and respond to what you've shared. It's the perfect place to receive feedback on your services, which is the first thing a new potential customer may want to see. People want to read reviews and see what other people feel about the products before they invest any time or money into a service. This makes Facebook and Twitter the perfect place for opinions, and a potential to increase trust.
With that feedback, you are also given the opportunity to respond and communicate with your audience, which increases trust. Whether the feedback is positive or negative, responding to it is a great way to ensure that the correct information is being shared. If a customer has a concern, you can respond quickly to ease their worry or solve their issue, which shows that you care about your customers. According to Lyfe Marketing, 71% of consumers who have had a positive experience with a brand on social media are likely to recommend the brand to their friends and family. Even a negative comment, if dealt in the right way, may have a positive impact.
Writing and sharing blogs and informational content is great on LinkedIn, which is perfect for networking and connecting to other businesses and professionals. Sharing information about your business, and networking with other professionals, has the potential to increase leads for your business without the need for sales posts. It also gives you the opportunity to interact with other businesses and build meaningful connections, which may turn into leads in the future.
How can you use social media to benefit your business?
So now you know what social media can bring to your business; it can give you a strong presence, it can help you to grow organically, and it can help potential customers to trust you enough to make the conversion. But what can you do on your next social media post to make sure that it is benefitting your business?
Making sure that your content is right for both your target audience, and the platform that you are sharing it on, is the first vital step to having a social media presence to be proud of. Some things to consider when creating content are;
What platform are you posting it on?
An informational post, full of facts, statistics, and lots of description wouldn't be right on Pinterest, for example. Posting the same content across all platforms should be avoided where possible. Things such as caption length, image formatting, and style differ depending on the platform, and cross-posting runs the risk of cutting off half of your image or caption or tagging someone on one platform that has a different URL on the other. You also could be targeting an audience that doesn't exist. For example, your Instagram following may be completely different to your LinkedIn connections. Always ensure that your posts are optimised for each platform, in the right style and using the right vocabulary depending on the audience.
Is it original content?
Ensuring that your content is original is really important, not only in terms of Intellectual Property Law, but also because it helps to establish you as an expert in your field, and increases your credibility. It also has a great effect on SEO, as search engines favour original content over copy and paste text or a stolen image. If you are going to use someone else's content, always make sure to credit them and link them where possible.
Who do you want to see it?
Your target audience has a huge effect on the type of post that you are going to create. If your audience are professionals on LinkedIn for example, you wouldn't want to use abbreviations and emojis. Always ensure that you have your target audience in mind when creating posts, and have a separate audience strategy for each social media platform to ensure that you are consistently posting for the right people.
When writing captions for your posts, the first thing that you need to consider is what the intention behind the post is. Is it advertising a product? Is it giving information that requires more explanation? Or are you simply sharing something to connect with your audience? Putting thought behind what you are posting is the first step in making sure that your caption is engaging for your audience.
Asking questions is also a great way to encourage interactions from your audience. It's a really simple way to get a conversation going with your audience, which is how to build trust and credibility. Surprisingly, posts with emoticons and emojis receive 33% more engagement than those without! Using emojis and emoticons can be a good way to stay true to your own voice, but use them sparingly and on the right platform.
Including a 'call to action' (such as a link to your website, blog or shop) is another way to increase conversions. This doesn't mean to say you should ask your followers to do something for you with nothing in return. Always remind them what they can get out of doing something, such as 'Head to our blog for more information!' or 'Use this link for 10% off'.
Certain times in the day are better to post, and posting at these times will usually mean that you have more interaction. This may seem very specific, but due to algorithms on each platform, your post may not get shown to the bulk of people heading to social media at lunchtime, as it was posted too late. So always make sure to do your research into each platform, and use a post scheduler like Facebook Business Suite to ensure that your post is right on time. Some of the best times to post (in the UK) are;
Between 8am and 11am
Monday and Thursday - 5am,
Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday - 6am
Between 6am and 9am
These are just a few examples, as each social media platform is different, and can differ based on where you're from.
This is just a guideline based on the average for all the suggested information that has had a positive result on other businesses. We hope you can use this as a guideline for you social media journey, whether you are just starting or improving your current strategy.
Social media can be difficult and confusing, but by ensuring that you follow some of the steps here, you can make sure that social media is benefitting your business. For more information on social media marketing, contact us at Responsive Web Design!