Many businesses make the mistake of thinking the key to social media success is to create a viral post. They think this will catapult their brand into the limelight, everyone will buy their product, and the future of their business will be secure. Happy days!
Not true. Businesses spend millions trying to orchestrate viral moments and they rarely lead to a significant increase in sales. Another viral post comes along, theirs is forgotten, and nothing has happened in the meantime.
Used strategically, Social Media can be an incredible tool that attracts potential customers and prompts them to start a conversation with you. And if you have a cast iron strategy, you can use these conversations to develop trust in your brand, so they come to you when they are ready to buy.
So, how can you use Social Media strategically to market your business? We’ve pulled together 6 top tips we use every day to help our clients generate interest in their brand and drive sales. Read on to find out more.
- Social Media = The first step in your customer’s journey to a sale
The biggest mistake brands make with social media is going all in from the start to make a sale. People don’t scroll social media platforms because they want to buy something, they are looking for entertainment and distraction. If you bombard people with the hard sell, you’ll make a bad impression and they’ll just scroll on by.
Think of social media as a party. If you went to a party in real life, you wouldn’t barge into a group of people who are having a nice time and start yelling about your product. That’s the way to get thrown out! You’d look for mutual connections, listen as well as talk, and offer help if you can. Strangers might overhear what you’re talking about and join in. If you make a connection, you’d exchange contact details and grow your friendship from there. At some stage, your product or service would naturally come up in conversation and may pique your new friend’s interest. When they are ready to buy, chances are they’ll come to you because they trust you.
Social media is the first step on this journey. By sharing relevant content, you can attract the interest of potential customers and start engaging with them. This is the start of the journey that leads to them becoming interested in your brand, clicking to visit your website, signing up for your opt-in (another piece of content that speaks to them) and developing a relationship with you through your email marketing. By the time they’re ready to buy, they know and trust you already so are more likely to purchase from you.
See related: How to Attract the Right Customers to Your Website
- Share content that is about your customer NOT about you
The key ingredient of good content marketing is a story (post, image, video, testimonial) that answers a question your customer has or solves a problem that’s plaguing them. When dreaming up your content, ask yourself, what does your customer want? What problems do they have? What would their life look like if they solved that problem?
Put another way – share the story you have in common with your customer. Sharing information your customers identify with shows you empathise with them – and empathy leads to connection. If you make your customers feel heard and understood, they are more likely to engage with you.
The best way to do this strategically is to create an editorial calendar. By planning 3-6 months ahead you can ensure you deposit more than you withdraw. That means 80% of the time you should share valuable, interesting, free content – some created by you, some created by other people – and limit your sales posts to the other 20%.
- Post consistently
Your Editorial Calendar will also tick another box – it will ensure you post consistently. If your potential customers get used to seeing regular, quality content from you, they are more likely to develop trust in your brand. Again, think of your followers as friends you met at a party. If you engage well for a while and then disappear, your friendship won’t last long! Once you get into a rhythm it’s much easier to be consistent using a calendar than if you’re creating and posting content randomly.
Having said this, it’s also good to post spontaneously from time to time. In this way, you can capitalise on events happening in your business or the world, and make sure you don’t post inappropriate content during times of stress – for example posting something insensitive during a catastrophic event such as a pandemic or economic crash.
- Review your posts to see what works best
Posting consistently according to an editorial calendar will also enable you to work out which posts work best for your audience and when you should post to reach the most people. It’s important to understand what your customers respond to well so you can create more content along the same lines.
- Post to the social media platforms your customers already use
One mistake people make with social media marketing is they try to use all the platforms and end up overwhelmed. Clients often ask us which social media platforms they should use. The simple answer is – the ones your customers already engage with. For most people, this will be Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and/or LinkedIn. If you’re doing your own social media and just starting out, we recommend using one or two platforms and adding others once you feel confident.
- Serve the followers you have rather than obsessing about getting more
Social media algorithms favour accounts that get engagement – which means the best way to get more followers is to encourage your current audience to engage more. In other words, rather than trying to attract new people, you’ll be seen more and better able to grow if you care about the people already in the room. Think about the party analogy – if you ignore your friends and only engage with strangers, you soon end up with no friends!
Top Social Media Takeaways
- Choose the platforms your potential customers already use
- Post content that answers their questions and solves their problems
- Deposit more than you withdraw – follow the 80/20 rule
- Post consistently and regularly
- Review which posts get the most engagement and create more content like this
- Serve the customers you have first, before chasing more
Social Media is an incredible tool for attracting new customers and nurturing relationships with them. If you need some help devising your social media strategy, contact us. We’d love to help!