When it comes to social media marketing, the first thing you have to worry about is how to reach your target market. The second thing is how to exponentially increase those numbers and take your business to the next level. So the question is: how do you devise a social media marketing strategy that helps you achieve both efficiently? Big businesses usually have the budget to make use of paid advertisements, but start-up or local companies have to get more creative. That being said, here are some tips on how you can make this happen.
1. Converse with Your Followers
Ask questions that encourage your followers to answer and take the time to actually respond to their comments. This makes you seem more approachable and therefore easier to remember. Being able to effortlessly respond through social media is often seen as a reflection of your customer service. You do this often enough and you will certainly impress your current followers and ultimately gain new ones.
2. Spotlight on the Customer
Put the spotlight on your followers by compiling interesting questions/comments and posting them for all to see. Your goal is to share valuable information – something that your followers would either find useful or funny. Throw in a complimentary observation and watch your shares go through the roof.
3. Sales are Big
There’s nothing like 50% Off Sales to boost your following and keep your followers loyal. Offer them excellent rates instead of 5% discounts which usually aren’t attractive enough. Instead, bring out the big guns and be generous (without losing money, of course!). You don’t have to do it often – just time them during rush-buying seasons like Christmas or Black Friday. Providing loyalty points or engaging your customers in a game that wins them excellent prizes is also an exceptional social media marketing strategy. Make sure to crunch the numbers when using this approach though!
4. Stop Self-Advertising
Stop posting about yourself all the time! Instead, start sharing things that others will find useful or entertaining – without straying too far from your niche, of course. If you’re selling fashion accessories, provide links to fashion advice. Post images with fashion ideas and offers tips that your followers can actually use. The general rule is to post just 1 “me-centric” update for every 9 informative updates in your thread.
5. Boost Your Reliability
Posting generic information online wouldn’t really make you memorable to your followers. Remember, you’re catering to a specific market so you want to give them something that will be useful to them and not the general public. What’s the point of following your social media account if you’re posting stuff they already know? Don’t forget to back up each post with relevant data to verify the statements you make. There’s nothing worse than unverified information which could completely ruin your reputation as the resident “guru” of your niche. You have to own that market by being the best and most updated when it comes to information!
6. Control Your Updates
Ever notice what happens when a friend updates practically every hour on Facebook? She gets “unfriended” quickly! The last thing you want to do is blast numerous updates throughout the day, literally flooding the news feed. This is the quickest way to get people to STOP following you.
Instead, you can make use of different programs that will help schedule your update blasts. HootSuite has a free version and Facebook also has basic scheduling options. This lets you program when updates will be posted within the following days.
Note though that the frequency of your updates shouldn’t be limited to one every day. The numbers usually vary depending on your market, but updates can be posted 3 to 5 times each day during “high traffic” hours. Find out the optimum time where most of your target market is online and schedule your information blasts during those times!
7. Keep it Light and Fun!
Lastly, always put a positive spin on your posts. Aim to entertain and inform by using friendly wordings and even funny images. Give your brand a FUN personality and run with it, making each post pleasing to the eye. Friendly conversations with related but non-competing brands are encouraged and actually help you gain access to each others follower list. Forging a connection with other trusted brands actually helps transfer their follower’s trust to you, therefore boosting your friend requests list. You can also try joining in fun and trending hashtags in Twitter to boost your ranking – but never participate in brand wars or criticize celebrity tweets. Try checking out the “#HasJustineLandedYet” fiasco and you’ll know exactly what you’re NOT supposed to do.
Got anything else to add? Tell us how you boost your social media presence