Small can be big
In our new digital world, tech-savvy consumers are transforming the manner in which they discover and take to new brands. Many of us have resolved tricky buying decisions by quickly searching the Internet for unfamiliar companies or products. A lack of web presence or a desultory one, on the other hand, often make us opt out of a potential purchase. Even in the B2B segment, Business Network International reports that 75 per cent of business owners are put off engaging with a small business because of its lack of social media presence. Social media is not just a necessity; it is also a great tool for start-ups and SMEs that helps grow their business and engage with customers. It is thus incredibly important for you to use social media effectively by pursuing a comprehensive strategy for the channel.
Here are some tips to get you started and help you design your social media strategy.
The right network
There is no shortage of different social networks, each with their own USPs, tone, and audience. If you are likely to generate and share a lot of images or videos, use Instagram, Snapchat, and YouTube. They are the perfect media to share pictures of happy customers or videos of your products in action. Facebook and Twitter are incredibly powerful platforms for engaging with prospects online and are also useful channels to get feedback and answer queries. LinkedIn is a great networking tool for finding partners and finding new employees. Find the right tone and purpose for each social network, and use the relevant ones to make your presence known. Sharing useful links in the right communities on these platforms can drive massive traffic to your blog and website, or to your product page.
Build a community
Users of social media would find their eyes predictably glazing over when faced with promotional posts made by companies. No one goes to social media to buy products or read marketing material — they are there to interact with friends and peers, to engage in interesting content, and have entertaining experiences. The beauty of social media is the feeling of belonging and community that it can engender in people. For example, Kelly Lester — a stay-at-home mother turned into a million-dollar business owner — transformed her life by sharing easy and quick lunch ideas for mothers on social media. Her reader community grew, turned into customers, and the sales she received catapulted her business — Easylunchboxes — into the big league.
Be consistent & patient
In the initial flurry of social media-induced excitement, companies often share multiple times in a day, looking to engage more customers through the sheer volume of content. However, active daily engagement is difficult to sustain over long periods of time, and customers are quick to be turned off when they don’t get fresh content. It is imperative for you and your company to be engaged in a long-term game on social media. Whether you are posting twice in a day or twice in a week, ensure that the volume of content shared is sustainable, and also ensure that it is regular and unfailingly interesting.
Create a calendar
Being consistent and reliable on social media is, as previously indicated, essential. But we all know that there are moments of lackluster creativity — so how do companies ordinarily do it? The secret is planning in advance; the best social media teams meticulously plan ahead for weeks and months. They create comprehensive calendars and post accordingly.
They develop relevant hashtags for each day of the week and use them consistently to gain traction through repetition. Depending on your business, create weekly content buckets and set up clear rules and prompts. Decide how many times a day and at what time to post based on prior engagement numbers, and leave prompts or fully formed posts for easy usage in the future.
Amplify via paid Marketing
For substantially lower costs than other conventional marketing channels (like print and TV), social media networks allow you incredible flexibility and reach. Users can be targeted based on their demography, online behaviour, stated interests, device, and any number of other factors.
You can create multiple ads for different groups, adjusting how you state your value proposition to make it more compelling for the specific audience you are reaching out to. The tools provided for paid marketers on social media platforms are comprehensive and powerful, and can help you understand how to improve your outreach over time.
The biggest challenge for SMEs and start-ups competing with larger players in the market is dealing with the relative lack of reach. Having a strong social media presence serves the purpose of letting customers know that you care deeply about how you are perceived and therefore will go a long way to earn their trust. So get out onto social media, build a quirky but dependable profile, and invest into the future of your business by becoming an engaging and interesting part of your potential customer’s social media experience.
The writer is Co-founder, Digiperform
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