Social Media Marketing Strategies To Increase Customer Reach
Social media presence is of utmost importance for any kind of business today. Using the various social media platforms, one can reach their target audience and drive traffic to their websites or stores. The key to marketing one’s business using social media is having the right strategies in place.
Without effective social media marketing strategies, posting something on social media could be like shooting darts in the dark as you cannot hit the target. Your posts might go unnoticed and your efforts might be in vain. And since everyone is on social media these days, it is not impossible to increase your reach amongst customers and grow your brand.
You simply need a good strategy to:
- Drive traffic to your website
- Build brand awareness
- Connect with customers and prospects
- Provide support
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Social Media Marketing Strategies For Business Growth
The use of social media for business is not just about increasing the number of ‘subscribers’ or ‘likes’ or ‘followers’. It is about knowing your target demographic and understanding their needs, likes, and dislikes. As business owners, we need to create credibility for our brand by making use of the right social media marketing strategies which may be different for different kinds of businesses. So whether you are a fresh entrepreneur who is just starting or an established business looking to increase your customer base, here are a few social media marketing strategies that might work for you:
1. Using the right social media platform
Different social media channels will require different marketing strategies. We need to plan our product profiles on various channels. Product profiling and spreading the good word on different media channels are important. It is necessary to reach the product details to our target audience to impress them with the positives of our product to convert our target audience to our prospective customers.
LinkedIn is a more professional platform whereas Facebook and Instagram are not so. It is equally important to put in place marketing strategies for each of these social media platforms. Versatility and adaptability are both very important for marketing strategy.
2. Creating quality content and marketing strategy
Content marketing using good quality content is a prominent form of marketing. Although the medium has evolved, the crux remains the same. A key factor in this is to link high-quality, SEO-friendly content with the right schedule of posting updates on social media channels, which many brands are making the mistake of not following. Taking care of this is sure to bring in the right customer base and increase our brand value.
It is a known fact that repetition is very impactful. Remember as a student repeatedly reading the same answers over and over till it got registered in your mind? Also, have you ever noticed, if you do not like a song but listen to it over and over, you eventually start liking it? That’s the power of repetition and this needs to be used to our benefit in our marketing strategy. As a brand, we need to make our presence felt constantly to create a positive impact on the customers.
3. Marketing through word of mouth
This entails deciding on brand ambassadors, mascots, or brand advocates to promote our brand. Whether our product will become more noticeable by using an important Celebrity as our brand ambassador or we want to use nice kid/s, some attractive dog, cat or any other interesting angle to hold the attention of our target audience is also very important. One of the best ways to gain brand loyalty and attract more customers is by creating brand advocates. You can get a few of your loyal customers to review your product. You can get them to upload videos of them using your products or stating the benefits of being associated with your brand. It can also be done through professionals who do it for a fee.
However, sticking to good business ethics will pay off in the long run. When genuine customers review and advocate the benefits and good quality of your products or services, it will automatically draw in more customers. And these loyal customers will recommend your product or service to their friends and family. Even back in the day, word of mouth was the best marketing strategy. And today with the development of internet-based applications and the availability of various social media channels at our disposal, it is easier to spread the word.
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4. Customer Engagement
It is not enough to simply drive traffic and increase footfalls on our website. It is important to make customers feel like they matter to our business and that they are essential stakeholders of our company. This is where it is important to create various platforms for our customers to give feedback. Customer service should be the most important part of any marketing strategy and reaching this message to our customers through different platforms and interacting with them regularly is necessary while using Facebook, Twitter, Telegram, etc. effectively is an important part of social media marketing strategy.
5. Plan on using chat rooms and chatbots for customer service
Chat rooms and automated chatbots are the in thing. That way, the customers’ FAQs and customers’ grievances would be addressed 24 X 7 and excellent customer service can be provided. It is prudent to automate activities that can be automated and focus on activities that require personal attention. Chatbots are a great way to automate certain everyday tasks, and also if they are implemented properly, a chatbot can allow us to create more personalized experiences for our customers.
6. Plan to tell the story of your Product
Showcase how the product came into existence, how it evolved, how it has grown, how you are planning the future growth and diversification if any etc. Instead of telling this in a bland tasteless fashion, if we can weave a story around the product and make it fascinating for our customers, they too will feel like they need it and they are a part of it. Customers will feel a personal connection with the product as well as your brand and the business at large. They will perceive the product as their own and not something alien. Having a catchy phrase or a tagline etc. could also be an important part of our marketing strategy.
7. Networking to increase reach
This is a very popular way to market your brand on social media platforms these days. You can broaden your horizon and reach out to influencers and other people who are into a similar line of business and collaborate with them. These professional affiliations will help in developing a synergistic effect, which could be beneficial for all involved. Getting in touch with a social media influencer will broaden your customer base as it will add on their followers too. And their goodwill can help build brand awareness and loyalty for your business as well.
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How to create effective social media marketing strategies that work for you
Let’s look at it this way. You may have all the tools you need to fix a car. But, unless you know how to use them, you cannot fix your car now, can you? That’s how it is with social media marketing. It’s all around us. So we need to strategize the best way to monetize it to grow our business and our brand. The easiest way to do it is to ask these 5 basic questions:
What does your brand stand for?
This is the first question to ask, which will then bring clarity to the other aspects as well. Your brand is the impression you create in the mind of your customers. Based on the type of your business, decide on your logo and your tagline. Once this has been established, you can move on to promoting your brand to reach a large set of audiences.
What is your target audience?
It is crucial to reach out to the right set of customers that are the target demographic for your brand. If the target audience is misplaced, then all your marketing efforts could go in vain, like trying to sell a comb to a bald man. For instance, a company selling accounting software needs to target small businesses or companies for whom the software could be beneficial and a freelance writer specializing in health and fitness needs to target dietitians and health food companies with their blogs and social media posts. Once we have identified our target audience, the next step is how to approach them and convince them that our product is tailor-made for them. In this direction for the last decade or so, social media has played a pivotal role.
Why does your business need social media?
These days everyone has a mobile phone and with an affordable internet connection, people can easily access social media platforms. It is also an easy way to connect, which is why most people choose to be on social media. Be it Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter, it has become somewhat of an addiction amongst people to check out the latest posts on these platforms. This is the reason that makes social media marketing so important as businesses can grab the attention of their target audience and grow their customer base. Companies need to use social media marketing strategies to promote their brand and gain popularity among the masses as well as to increase brand credibility through customer engagement.
What kinds of social media platforms can you use?
Based on your brand and the set of the target demographic, we need to develop social media marketing strategies using various social media platforms. But posting on all the platforms all the time may not be too fruitful or could be counter-productive. It is prudent to have a different marketing strategy for different social media channels, based on their nature and the user demographic.
When can you make the best use of social media?
As important as it is to appeal to the right kind of audience for your brand, it is also just as important to make your presence felt at the right place, at the right time, and using the right means. For instance, trying to sell organic colors during the new year’s would not fetch effective results as customer responses will be negligible or even nil. So in such a scenario, boosting your marketing campaign as per seasonal trends would prove to be more beneficial. Example: Selling stylish sports jerseys during IPL season or colorful kites during Makar Sankranti.
Execution Of Social Media Marketing Strategies:
a) Deciding on the Budget– We need to have a rough idea and a ballpark figure of our social media budget because everything costs money and we can plan our social media marketing strategies around it. We need to manage everything as per our capabilities and our financial capabilities especially matter. We need to keep in mind the following pointers:
- How much would we like to spend on research and development?
- How much would we like to earmark for paid advertisement sites?
- What would we like to pay for the creation, service, and maintenance of various sites?
Quite a lot of these are available free of cost or at low cost but many may not be very good and it is necessary to find the cost-benefit ratio and weigh the cost-effectiveness.
b) Deciding on and choosing between various channels– It is beneficial to use digital media advertising with paid adverts and airing them at a prime time to reach the maximum of our target audience to get the optimum benefit. Choosing the RIGHT proportion of right airtime is one of the most important parts of the strategy
- c) Website maintenance- Internet connection designing and owning, registering, and protecting the RIGHTS of our websites. Web designing, site administration, and maintenance to make it user-friendly and attractive to customers are very important.
- e) Plan Blog posts and content strategy- Blog posts on various digital platforms should be made attractive and informative to explain the advantages and usefulness of our products. Demonstrating the usefulness, benefits, and features of our products and services is Content Marketing with proper knowledge sharing is necessary.
- f) Plan a discussion Forum revolving around our Product– Provide a discussion Forum for our target audience and prospective customers where they can interact with each other and with the company to keep them involved in the ongoing business activities that may impact them.
We can also make use of appropriate analytics tools to evaluate the effectiveness of our social media campaigns. This does not mean that we have to make use of very advanced digital or social analytics tools. There are quite a few free built-in tools such as LinkedIn Analytics, Facebook Audience Insights, Twitter Analytics, and Instagram Insights.
We need to monitor the statistics and numbers obtained from these tools and we can analyze the demographics of our audience, their likes, and dislikes the popularity of the content, and our sites as well as what works and what doesn’t. This also involves quite a lot of trial and error but over time, it will prove to be quite fruitful as it gives us an insight into the psyche of our customers.
In addition to these, one can use some other free or inexpensive social/digital analytics tools such as Google Analytics, Hootsuite, and Sprout Social which can be used to keep a track of our progress. We can use Google Analytics to track web traffic, evaluate our site’s performance, know the conversion rates, and evaluate whether we have reached our goals.
In addition to Google Analytics, we can use other social media monitoring or social listening tools to evaluate and gauge the overall sentiment of our brand (positive, negative, or neutral) and identify the keywords that our audiences frequently used on our social media sites.
It’s very imperative to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness and impact of our social media strategies continuously. We must attempt to understand what works and what does not work for the customers in general. We can then adjust our social media marketing strategies based on our site’s performance and keeping a track of what our audiences say on our website.
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The following are the most common metrics to monitor and track:
- The number of clicks- We need to keep a close track of the number of clicks. Make sure to pay attention to the clicks received for our posts on the website. It is also important to note the referral traffic received on the site if our goal is to get visitors and increase footfalls on our website. This will give us a better understanding of where our target audience is active and how they move through our sales funnel.
- The number of posts- This metric is often overlooked, but it directly correlates to the overall success of the website. It is important to note that regular posts need to be scheduled and updated from time to time to keep the audience engaged and interested. A dormant site may not gain as many footfalls as required.
- Reach and impressions- Often confused with each other, impressions are the total number of times your posts have been seen. Reach is the total number of times your posts have been seen by a unique account. We need to measure both to get feedback on things like the use of hashtag use, frequency of posting, and scheduling of posts.
- Engagement- This is the number of social interactions one has received divided by the number of impressions. This metric helps us determine if our social media efforts are reaching the right target audience and also conveying the right message or using the appropriate hashtags.
Social media can become an effective marketing tool for growing our brand and the business in today’s day and age. Social media can be used for:
- Generating leads and turning them into prospective customers
- For branding and creating brand awareness
- Networking with like-minded business owners
- And for customer engagement purposes.
And since business goals, target audiences, company profiles, and product characteristics might differ in nature for different businesses, social media marketing strategies cannot be identical for every company. It needs to be tailored to meet the business requirements of each company.
Hence, our social media marketing strategies need to be customized to meet our goals. It is imperative to choose appropriate social media platforms. And it is just as important to make optimum use of the various channels at our disposal. Content management as well as engaging with the customers regularly is key to the success of our marketing strategy.
Also, it is just as important to adapt, learn, and grow by analyzing the various metrics. Social media is a very dynamic and ever-changing platform, which is always evolving with the evolution of new trends. Just as in life, change is the only constant when it comes to social media as well. And for the business to grow our brand needs to learn the new trends and adapt to the changes.
In today’s digital age, social media is the way forward. So we should ensure that we have optimum, adaptable marketing strategies in place for our business. Doing this using varied social media channels will be a key factor in the success of any business.