Since 2004, social media has been booming! It’s growing exponentially. And, there are no signs that it will slow down anytime soon. Both individuals and businesses all around the world are using it daily. So, those who have not taken full advantage of online social platforms are missing out.
Communicate beyond social and local boundaries.
Social media platforms are a huge source of news and information. But, more importantly, the platforms provide an invaluable way for businesses to interact with their potential and current customers. Through photos, blogs, videos and other user-generated content, you can:
- Start conversations
- Promote products
- Find out more about your audience
- Show your business to your ideal customers
But, to market effectively, you need to understand how social media marketing works and how to use it to grow your business online. Before we dig into the juicy bits of social media, we’ll take you through all the basics.
5. Why is social media marketing so important for businesses?
Simple: your customers are using social media!
Social media is growing. Its reach and impact are becoming so powerful that it’s crazy not to be advertising on social platforms. Did you know? 54% of social browsers use social media platforms to research products. Social media has formed an integral part of the buyer’s journey. Users use social media to look for reviews, recommendations, images and any other information they can get to help them make a purchase decision. This is why most businesses must have a fantastic social media presence on appropriate platforms.
Social media’s role across the customer journey
There are 5 stages of a typical customer journey. This involves the different stages a customer will go through during their journey of purchasing your product or service. The 5 stages are:
- Awareness: learning about your brand.
- Consideration: considers purchasing from you or a competitor, but is not ready to buy.
- Loyalty: do they favour your brand? – will they use you again?
- Advocacy: when they refer you to others for good services.
Social media is an invaluable tool to increase brand awareness. It gives you the power to reach your ideal target audience, whether you use influencers, unique content or referrals.
Each of your social media platforms has the potential to grow your brand awareness. You just need to have a fantastic social media marketing strategy to increase your brand’s reach and success. Here are a few tips to help improve your social media brand awareness campaigns:
- Specify your target audience and send them a clear and concise message.
- Provide visual content, such as images and videos.
- Only provide relevant, quality content to your audience.
- Make use of influencers to promote your business/products to their loyal followers. We’ll discuss this in a bit more detail.
- Test, analyse and optimise your content and campaigns to increase effectiveness.
During this phase of the buyer’s journey, they’re gathering information to help them make a purchase decision. You can use social media to provide them with information to:
- Answer questions
- Help them understand your product better
- Convince them that they need your product
You need to ensure your customers post great feedback on social platforms. 92% of online customers trust content written by other users above all other forms of marketing. So, it’s important to include user-generated content into your social strategy.
Sometimes potential customers are on the fence about whether to buy your product. Social media can nudge them just enough to make a purchase. How can you do this? There’re so many ways. Offer prizes and discounts and announce promotions.
Make sure you have user-generated content on your website and social media pages. Social proof can go a long way in building trust and convincing prospects to buy your product. According to Pixlee, showing user-generated content on your website can increase your average order value by 6%.
The biggest mistake many brands make is not paying enough attention to the last two stages of the customer journey. These stages bring the highest valued customers. After service is crucial for brand loyalty! Focusing on keeping customers engaged with your brand is just as important as the first three phases of the journey.
71% of customers who have a positive experience with a brand on social media are likely to refer you to their friends and family.
Social media makes it easier for you to keep in touch with your customers. You can do this by responding to messages, mentions and comments. According to LYFE Marketing, 71% of customers who have a positive experience with a brand on social media are likely to refer you to their friends and family. Interacting with your customers online shows that you care. You can also reach out to your customers to ask them if they’re satisfied with your product or service and create value-adding content or a loyalty programme just for them.
Advocacy is also a crucial stage in the funnel. Your fans can help you generate more business by raving about your brand and growing your online community. Social media allows you to maintain closeness with your customers. Your customers can also share your content with their followers and leave online reviews for others to see.
6. Do I need online tools for social media marketing?
If you want your marketing to be effective, you need to invest in the right tools for the job. There are tools that can optimise your posts and campaigns, help you with scheduling and content creation and enable you to measure your success effectively.
Here’s a list of some helpful tools you can check out.
Tools for content creations:
Tools for measurement:
Tools for scheduling posts:
These are just a few of the many tools available to help you with social media marketing.
7. How do I get people to love my brand?
The most important thing for you to remember is that:
IT’S NOT ALL ABOUT YOU!
It’s all about your customers and what is important to them. Your goal should be to provide content that your audience love and can engage with. The best campaigns are those where the brand involves their audience in their dialogue and asks them for their opinions.
Example: Manchester City FC
It’s all about the fans.
A great example of this is Manchester City FC gathering fan feedback to launch new branding. The loved-by-many football club wanted to make improvements on the look and feel of their mobile and web experience. Using focus groups, surveys, prototype designs and tests, they allowed their supporters to co-create their new website.
People spend a lot of money trying to grow their business through social platforms. However, some campaigns get little return on investment. It can be tough to reach your goals without experience and a foolproof plan. This is why IEDM offers full house social media marketing, from content calendars, reputation management and ad creation to influencer marketing.