Social media marketing is one of the most important marketing strategies you can use for your business. It’s a very powerful tool that can help you build brand awareness, grow your business, and make more sales.
But it’s of no use if you don’t know how to utilize the various social media platforms and their features. That’s why, in this article, I am going to share with you six different ways to grow your business using social media. Read on to find out more.
Choose your platforms carefully
When starting out, you want to make sure you choose the right social media platforms to promote your business. It’s much better to do an excellent job of managing a handful of social media accounts than trying to be on all of the platforms available.
Before choosing the right social media platforms for your business, you want to consider your target audience and the places where you’ll most likely find them. To do this, you can create buyer personas that are fictional representations of the people you want to sell to.
Doing this will give you an idea of their gender, age, income level, and other interests, which will help you in knowing the best social media platforms to find them on. For instance, data from Statista shows that up to 17.2% of the world’s Instagram users are between the ages of 25-34 so, if your brand has a product or service that caters to that age group, it would make a lot of sense to have a presence on Instagram.
Now, let’s take a look at an example of a business that has done a great job of choosing the right social media platforms to reach its ideal audience.
Here, American International University shows us how it’s done by choosing to have a presence on an appropriate range of social platforms. On their homepage, you’ll see that they include links to their social accounts on three major platforms: Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat. They ask website visitors to come and join them there. These are platforms that have a good percentage of existing and prospective university students, so you can see that creating accounts on them is a great way for the institution to engage with a relevant audience.
To do something similar for your brand, you can start by researching the social media platforms where most of your customers hang out. When you’ve done this, you can then create your accounts on ideal platforms and include links to the social accounts on your website. You could have these links in your footer, header, or also in a section on your homepage as the American International University has done.
One of the most common social media marketing mistakes that some people make is to create accounts on a particular platform simply because of its popularity, so make sure you don’t fall into that trap. Stick to the sites you’re going to get the best results from.
Share your helpful blog content
Social media is a great tool that many people use to promote their business, but you have to be smart about it. As a business owner, you should make sure you’re following the 80/20 rule when it comes to running your social media accounts — 80% of your content should be informative and helpful, while just 20% should be promotional.
And, one of the easiest ways to provide information is by sharing any helpful blog content you’ve already published for your audience, as this can also drive high-quality traffic to your website.
For your blog posts to be helpful, you have to come up with relevant topics that will resonate with your target audience. To do that, you could perform keyword research using specialist tools such as the ones offered by Ahrefs or Moz. Start by inputting words or phrases that are relevant to your niche and they will generate a list of search terms that your audience is already typing into search engines. With this list, you can start to craft useful content that will rank for your audience’s queries.
You could also uncover relevant topics by looking through the common questions you get asked in comment sections or even by conducting polls on social media for your audience to choose the topics they’d like you to cover.
To effectively share links to your blog content on social media, make sure you always include a caption or summary of what the post is about so people know exactly what they’re about to click on. You could also write a short suspenseful introduction and then include the link to the blog post so people will be intrigued and motivated to go read the post. This will go a long way in increasing traffic for your blog and give you the best chance of increasing click-throughs.
If you have no idea where to start with creating helpful blog content that you can then share on your social media channels, let’s take a look at a very effective example that already exists.
FreshBooks is a company that provides an accounting solution for small and medium-sized businesses and, on their blog, they have a guide to writing a winning invoice letter.
This is an example of content that is very relevant to their niche and can be of great value to their readers. It’s also very informative and useful to people in their target audience who would appreciate knowing how to send out invoice letters with the free invoice tool that FreshBooks offers. And, if you scroll down the page, you’ll see that they’ve also included links to their various social media channels where they share snippets of information about their blog posts and link to them so people can come read the posts on their website.
You not only need to think about sharing your posts on social media, but you also have to focus on ensuring your blog posts are actually relevant and useful. Plus, if you want to increase the chances of people clicking on your blog post when you share it on social media, try to use intriguing and high-quality images that will get people interested enough to click.
Give people a reason to shout about your business on social media
If you give people a reason to shout about your business, this will raise more awareness of your brand, attract more followers, and drive more traffic to your website.
There are several strategies you can use if you want people to draw attention to your brand on social media. For instance, you could host giveaways or contests where the participants have to tag other friends, thus increasing the number of people who know about your business.
You could also give out awards with badges that can be shared by the winners on their social media pages. Other techniques include rewarding loyal customers with free gifts or encouraging your customers to share their experiences with your brand to open your business up to new audiences.
To drive these tips home, let’s look at some examples of companies that do a great job of giving people a reason to shout about their brands.
First up is Best Value Schools, an online resource that provides information about the best colleges and universities for their audience. One of the things they do is give badges out to the schools that have been added to their lists of high-ranking educational institutions. Some of those schools then go on to share these badges on social media while mentioning or tagging Best Value Schools.
In this particular example, you can see Westcliff University has shared a post of the badge given to them by Best Value Schools for being ranked as one of the schools with the Top 5 MBA and DBA programs. By doing this, the school has been able to show that they’re highly ranked while also promoting Best Value Schools in the process.
And next up is The Beauty Spy, an e-commerce brand that sells make-up, beauty, and hair products. They use the giveaway and competition strategy to encourage people to talk about their brand.
They regularly hold giveaways for their audience, and part of the requirements for these giveaways includes getting the participants to tag other friends or followers. It’s a genius way to get other people talking about their brand and it does wonders for increasing the business’s reach on social media.
Just remember that, if you also want to host a giveaway or do something similar for your business, you should ensure that you can keep true to your promises before making the announcement on social media. Failing to deliver on a prize you’ve promised your audience is something that can hurt your brand reputation, which you want to avoid.
Create free tools your audience will love, then share them
If you can create and share free tools that provide value for your target audience, then you’ll be able to attract a lot of shares and drive more traffic to your website.
Creating free tools is one of the tried and tested techniques for getting more clients and it also improves your brand awareness. To come up with free tools that would be relevant and helpful, you need to consider your target audience.
You could decide to go through the questions that people leave for your customer service team and see if you can create a free tool that would solve the problems you can identify. You could also sign up to social media forums like Quora or Reddit and join conversations about issues that are affecting people in your target audience. Doing this will give you more insight into the types of free tools they will find useful.
There are many free tools you could provide and share on your socials that would benefit your audience. You could create free templates or checklists that your audience can use to perform specific tasks, or make calculators that allow people to enter unique information or figures so they can get final results based on their entries. Some companies also provide free tools in the form of virtual try-on features to engage their audience and help them make a buying decision.
When you’ve created these tools, you’ll want to share them on social media to get more eyes on them. You can do this by sharing high-quality videos that show your free tool in action so people can get an idea of what they can use your tools to accomplish. All you need to do is make a teaser video that highlights the benefits of your free tool so people are encouraged to go check it out.
Grab people’s attention with visual content
Visual content tends to perform particularly well on social media. According to Finances Online, an analysis done in 2020 found that social media posts like tweets that contained visual images delivered a click-through rate of 18% more than the ones which were purely text-based. So, if you want to raise awareness of your brand, publishing plenty of visual content can help.
Some types of visual content that tend to work best are infographics and eye-catching graphics. You could also include high-quality product photography of the items you sell and photos of your staff that will help humanize your business.
To create great visual content for social media, you need to invest in quality photography tools or use design applications that can give you access to pre-made templates and designs. Some of these tools are Canva, Adobe Spark, or even Easel.ly and they are quite popular for helping people with limited design skills create stunningly beautiful graphics and images that can be shared on social media.
To get the most out of your visual content, make sure you incorporate your logo into the designs. This can go a long way should any of your visual content go viral, as people will be able to trace it back to you. You should also try to stay up to date with any new creative tricks and hacks that you can use to improve on the visuals you create for social media.
Engage directly with your audience
When it comes to social media strategies for building your brand, encouraging good engagement comes at the top of the list. It’s not enough to just hop on social media, publish a post, and hop off — your audience will want more engagement from you. The more you engage, the more people will hear about and feel a connection with your business. And this will help it to grow and make you more sales.
To engage with your audience through social media, you could simply try responding to your comments or liking the posts of people in your audience. You can also comment on your audience’s posts or post polls and surveys to get their feedback on your products or on relevant topics in your niche.
To give you some inspiration, here’s an example of a company that does a good job of engaging with its customers on social media.
Dell is a household name that many people know for its computers and other devices but, what you might not know about them is that they’re very committed to engaging with their audience on social media. In this particular example, you can see Dell using the LinkedIn polling feature to engage its audience by asking about the shifts they’ve made in life, and also asking about their ideal work location.
As of its expiration, the poll had already accumulated over 14,000 votes, 640 likes, and 40 comments. These are very impressive numbers that were made possible by the power of engagement, so you can see just how important it is to keep communicating directly with your audience.
Asides from polls, there are so many other features that have been created by various social media platforms that can help you keep your audience engaged and entertained. All you need to do is dedicate some time to learning more about these features on the social media platforms where you have a presence, and then proceed to wow your audience with engagement techniques that will have them looking forward to your posts.
One of the many untold secrets about business success is the importance of being willing to learn. Right now, you may be doubting your ability to use social media to grow your business but, I can assure you, there’s no need to doubt yourself.
All you need to do is follow the tips that many others before you have successfully used. You can start by choosing your platforms carefully, sharing helpful blog posts, creating free tools, and focusing on engaging your audience. In time, you’ll be able to implement all these tips and see how your business improves with the help of social media.