Respected marketing expert, Erik Qualman, author of Socialnomics, recently gave a warning to all online business owners. He said, “We don’t have a choice on whether we do social media, the choice is, how well we do it.”
As a business owner, you are probably well aware of the important role social media has in the golden age of online shopping. It has changed everything about the way businesses market online.
According to statistics released by Qualman, 93 per cent of consumers are turning to social media to help make buying decisions, and a massive 90 per cent of them say that they trust product recommendations from their peers posted on social media platforms.
So, avoiding social media simply isn’t an option if you want to compete online and run a profitable business.
Why You Need To Care About Social Media Marketing
Thanks to the Internet, we are now the most educated consumers that ever lived. We have access to businesses, products and services from all over the world.
What that means for businesses is that we are no longer just competing with businesses down the street. Today, depending on your product or service, you need to beat the world. Social media is one of the tools that help us to do just that.
Even if you are a business that just markets and provides services in your local area, you should still use social media marketing, but you don’t need to beat the world, just the marketing efforts of your local competition.
Social media is now part of everyday life. Just think about the amount of time you spend on your favourite social media site or the blog posts you read and comment on. You are probably doing it from a personal perspective every day. Now all you have to do is think about it and take action from a business perspective.
From a business perspective, social media marketing will allow you to become a social business. This means being in communication throughout the whole buying process with all your prospective customers. Social media gives you’re the personal touch and helps to converse and interact directly with your customers and clients. You don’t have to bring them into your store. You can provide excellent customer care online at their convenience and on the social media platforms that they like to visit.
12 Social Media Tactics You Can Use Today
Now that you understand how crucial social media marketing is you can put into practice these 12 social media marketing tactics to boost traffic and grow your online business:
- Get Your Social Media Posts Found In The Search Engines: Using high-conversion keywords relating to your business in your posts can significantly increase their visibility in search engines. This will help you to reach an even larger audience than just your direct followers. If you are not sure what words to use, simply do keyword research to discover the terms consumers are putting into the search engines to find content related to your industry, business, and products/services. Then when you have your list, strategically incorporate them into your posts. Another good tip is to add a visual element to your posts. Using graphics in your social media posts is a great way to help grab the eye of your busy, followers who might just be scanning the posts in their feeds.
- Share Content that Engages Your Followers: People don’t go on social media sites to be sold to. Sales pitches are a surefire way to turn away customers and stop them from reading your posts. Instead of trying to ‘sell’ to them, provide useful, share-worthy content that adds value to your prospects and customers. You want the experience on your social media site to be social, interactive, and entertaining. Use your posts to tell customer stories, share news, and provide helpful tips. Balance promotional posts with ones that educate, inform, entertain, and put customer needs above your own. Show your customers that you care about them.
- Encourage Your Customers To Leave Reviews: We mentioned earlier how important reviews and recommendations are, so let your satisfied customers do your social media marketing for you by sharing their reviews of your products. Reviews really are powerful tools because prospects are more likely to be open to a product assessment when it comes from an objective third party—such as a loyal and satisfied customer. Statistics repeatedly show that potential customers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. This further will favour your SEO by having updated content added to one of your business’s platforms.
- Be Strategic With Your Social Sharing Buttons: A really clever trick is to add sharing widgets like Facebook’s “Like” button to all of your product pages. This can be very useful for attracting customers who are further along in the buying funnel. In addition, consider placing sharing buttons in prominent areas in your site’s design. For example, enable customers to share their review of a product with their Twitter followers or Facebook friends, or allow them to share a sales offer or even a sales confirmation email. All of this maximizes your potential for more traffic and more sales and helps make the most of your online followers.
- Use Visual Content: the Internet is very visual and picture content is naturally more engaging than text-based posts, we read visuals 8x faster than words which means that you are more likely to get traffic as a graphic than a bunch of text. This is a perfect way to market your business on social media. Ensure that pictures showing off your products and services are shareable on sites that favour image-driven marketing, such as Instagram and Pinterest (i.e., including Pinterest’s “Pin It” button on all images). Why not get creative and feature ‘selfies’ of happy customers using your product or service? As well as posting on social media, you could also put them on your product pages and it will convert browsing visitors into buyers.
- Always Interact with Your Followers: Social media is the perfect platform for interacting directly with your prospects and customers. Monitor posts and engage with them on a daily basis. You can ask and answer questions, respond to their comments, thank them for sharing your content, and participate in discussions. It’s an excellent way to show you truly care about them and are interested in serving their needs, which can go a long way towards building trust and helping them to decide to buy from you.
- Be consistent: Social media takes commitment and time; so don’t give up after a week or two thinking that your efforts are not working. Posting content on a regular basis is critical to improving customer engagement and for driving more traffic to your website. How often you post can vary based on your market. However, consistency is key to showing your audience that you’re genuinely interested in them by constantly sharing valuable content. To make this process easier and save time, use a marketing automation tool so you can schedule posts in advance.
- Start a Blog for Your Business: Blogs are an excellent way to get traffic to your website and communicate with potential customers. They are very powerful online marketing business tools. In addition to showcasing your company’s unique perspective or expertise, a single blog post can produce dozens of social media posts that engage followers and compel them to click through to your website. A blog will build trust, reputation and lots of website traffic.
- Make a Good Use of Hashtags: Hashtags are important because they help your content get discovered more frequently on social media platforms. They organize content, expand the reach of your posts, and promote interaction. A word of warning though: avoid using too many hashtags in one social media update, limiting them to one to two per post. No more, or it becomes confusing and very annoying for your followers.
- Be short and sweet: short, concise and compelling updates attract much more engagement on social media than longer posts. Your followers are very busy and are much more likely to share your short, visual posts than long rambling ones because they can quickly be digested and passed along
- Add Tweetable Quotes to Blog Posts: If you have gone to the trouble to write a long and informative blog post you will naturally want people to share the information so that more people will read it. In addition to enabling readers to tweet an entire blog post, try adding “tweet this” functionality throughout your post to make quotes and phrases tweetable. It is such a clever way to get more people to visit your site, read your post and hopefully buy your product or service as a result.
- Use paid advertising: If you are lucky enough to have a marketing budget, take your social media marketing to the next level with Facebook ads, LinkedIn ads, or Promoted Tweets that you link back to a product page for conversion. As long as they’re highly targeted, these paid options can help you dramatically boost website traffic. Like all online marketing, there is a knack for getting this just right if you want to see a return on your marketing budget. If you have never done this before, please contact us first for some marketing advice and tips. We will be happy to help you.
So there you have it. As you can see, integrating social media into your marketing mix is critical to be competitive in online. If you put the right strategy and social media marketing tactics in place, you can improve brand awareness, drive more traffic and conversions, increase customer engagement and loyalty, and ultimately grow your business.