Have you yet to jump on board with social media in your business? Have you dabbled in it but have not really got anywhere? Maybe you have had some success, but don’t know how to take that to the next stage. Here is our guide to using social media as an effective marketing tool in your business.
Should You Use Social Media?
This is the first question that you should ask – should you use social media at all? When considering the question there are two things to think about:
- Do your potential customers use social media and will they read content related to your products or services on that social media?
- Are you willing to invest resources into making social media work?
Marketing is an expense to your business that has to generate results so if you answered no to either of these questions you should consider focusing your marketing efforts elsewhere.
If you answered yes to both questions the next step is to choose the right social media platform. The most commonly used, particularly for B2C marketing purposes, is Facebook, but there are other platforms available too. Also, creating and writing a blog on your website is also a social media platform, so that should be one of your options when making your decision.
Understand How Social Media Works
Social media is not a direct sales tool. It is not a place where you can post up your special offers or details of sales events on a periodic basis, and expect the phone to start ringing or customers to start coming through your door. In fact if this is the way that you use social media, hardly anyone will read your posts. This is particularly true of Facebook, but it is starting to be the case with other platforms too.
You have to think about social media as a long term marketing tool. It is about building up relationships with potential customers, increasing brand recognition, and enhancing your reputation. These are all objectives that yield results but take time to achieve. As you can potentially reach large audiences, social media is one of the best tools you have to achieve them.
Make The Content Brilliant
The key to success with social media is making the content brilliant. Every post must do at least one of the following:
The vast majority of your content should also have no sales angle or marketing message.
Build And Engage
There are three key elements to this step in the process:
- Increase your following – in most cases, particularly on Facebook, that means buying ads. Make sure the following you build is relevant, though. After all, a small following of highly targeted potential customers is much better than a large following made up of people who will probably never buy from you.
- Reach out – the relationships that you build on social media should not just be with potential customers. Reaching out to other businesses and organisations in your industry, or businesses that complement your offering, can help increase the size of your following.
- Engage – social media is about conversations so when someone interacts with your page or account by sending a message, asking a question, or making a comment, you should respond.
Understand The Customer Journey
The final stage of making social media marketing work is to understand how the audience that enjoys your posts eventually turns into paying customers – and repeat customers. This will be different depending on your industry and the products you are selling, but some things you should consider include:
- Are the contact details on your social media accounts complete and accurate?
- What actions will a person who is looking at your social media page and wants to make a purchase take? Will they phone your business, go to your website, or visit you? Can they buy directly from the social media platform?
- Do you have call to action buttons enabled, where applicable?
- Is your website connected to your social media profiles?
- How much traffic arrives at your website from social media?
- What percentage of that traffic converts into sales?
With this knowledge you will be able to tailor your strategy to get better results.
For more help or advice with your business please contact a member of the Gilroy Gannon team today.