The competition between companies has now been taken online, translated to competitive SEO and social media rivalries. This presents a challenge for those businesses with fewer resources and less know-how in the online world. Regardless, social media marketing is an absolute necessity if a company is to capitalize on all the marketing and revenue opportunities the internet enables.
Here are some of the best tips and tricks for getting your business established online through a social media account that people actually want to follow.
Strong brand tone
First of all, your business will need an identifiable image and consistent (preferably unique) brand tone across all social media platforms. While marketing approaches can differ depending on the social media platform in question, (an Instagram audience is going to be demographically a little different from a Facebook audience) there needs to be a cohesive and recognizable persona to your brand to maximise social media success. Think of it as giving your brand a personality which audiences find appealing, thereby increasing your number of followers.
Excellent customer support
Fewer people are picking up the phone to voice their complaints, questions or praise for businesses. Instead, customers are turning to the business’ Facebook page. Prompt responses on Facebook are appreciated by customers – it shows the page is active, that there are experts wanting to respond in a helpful and convenient manner, and that the business is adapted for the age of internet. Similarly, many customers now grab a company’s attention by reaching out to them on Twitter. Responding to these public queries or concerns greatly helps strengthen your Twitter presence, while encouraging other customers to reach out and engage.
The best way to get clicks, links, shares and comments? Produce content that’s worth sharing or commenting on! Strong content sells itself – whether it be videos, articles or infographic. If you’re trying to figure out the recipe for viral content, or just wondering how to make it relevant to your business, then check out Moz’s thorough guide on what people like to share. Bottom line: shocking, fascinating, humorous or emotion-stirring content fares best. Keep in mind that this content doesn’t always have to be produced specifically to promote your business. Simply drawing people to your company’s blog or social media page is a benefit in itself.
Competitions and giveaways
People love the opportunity to win prizes and free samples – so much so, that they are willing to share or comment on social media posts just for the chance to enter a draw. The British budget homeware store B&M regularly promote their flashy competition advertisements on Facebook, with big prizes to be won for partakers. This prompts thousands of Facebook users to share and comment on the post, thus resulting in greater brand exposure and product advertisement for B&M.
If there’s one thing media outlets like Buzzfeed have established, it’s that the average internet user loves polls. It’s understandable. Entering an internet poll lets you voice your opinion while having an influence over the outcome of something – and it only takes a few seconds! Polls also initiate debate, which on the internet means comments and shares. Post a Twitter poll on a divisive topic related to your business and see how quickly people start to engage. This is also a good opportunity to do some market research – why not find out which product or service customers prefer?
Influencer promotion is one of the hottest trends in marketing right now. One obvious example is the way in which beauty and health brands pay popular Instagram models to promote their products in glamorous photos. For example, Naked Juice send free drinks to prominent Instagrammers which are then featured in images of them lounging at a beach or taking a lunch break. This is also referred to as a form of ‘native advertising’ because the promotion comes across as natural and fits the particular platform on which it featured. It is also common for marketers to make deals with Twitter influencers that have a large follower base (providing the influencer’s follower base is likely to be interested in the business’ product or services). Overall, influencer marketing has proven to be a very effective means through which to reach target audiences in a natural way.
Sharing and liking posts by normal social media users is a good way to get their attention. If you’re a business that sells pet toys, like pictures of cats! This is easy to do on Twitter where searching for specific hashtags will take you to relevant tweets. If you’re a fashion retailer and someone posts an image of themselves wearing a top from your store, then retweet it! This shows you are a brand that is accessible to, and engages with, your customers. It makes them feel special and helps build loyalty. Retweeting articles or images also shows that you post about a variety of matters – not just ones related to your business. This gives more people a reason to follow.
Trends and hashtags
Making sure your business is relevant to recent pop culture, news, trends and memes is not easy. In fact, it can be a full-time job just staying up-to-date on which memes are currently trending. Putting time into producing content that reflects current trends while making your brand relevant to them is nonetheless worth the effort if it produces likes, shares and comments. It can strengthen your exposure while showing the world that you are a modern business. Don’t know where to start? One simple way of reaching a wider audience is by looking at trending hashtags on Twitter or Instagram. PokerStars have used hashtags very effectively in the past (indeed, their strong marketing team have helped make them the world’s biggest online poker site). By combining influences marketing with hashtagging, they were able to create a viral marketing campaign that truly took on a whole life of its own. Football stars Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar Jr were paid to promote a fun video challenge under the #RaiseIt hashtag on their personal social media pages, prompting their fans to take part in the video challenge (and subsequently using the hashtag) too.
This is a relatively new means of catching people’s attentions, but has proven effective for the brands that do it well. There are many ways you can use Facebook livestreaming to boost interest and engagement from followers. Why not conduct an interview with your staff or show the inner workings behind your business? Viewers will also like the fact that they’ll be able to ask questions that can be answered live.
As we can see from the above, there are numerous ways to increase your online exposure, capture your consumer base’s attention and increase engagement with your brand. To do this effectively, you will need someone focused on your business’ online presence full-time. This is the age of inbound marketing, after all. While online inbound marketing may be more complex and time-consuming than traditional advertising, there is an upside – this type of marketing is much more effective!