Social media isn’t all fun and frolic. Or a place to kill time. It’s a legitimate avenue to grow your business.
3.8 billion people use the internet. Of this, over 2.89 billion have social media accounts.
That’s why social media should be part of your growth strategy.
What to do? Where to begin? When?—you may have all these questions. I have all the answers.
Don’t worry. It only takes a little effort.
1. Be consistent
The 2017 State of Inbound report states that 63% of companies call generating traffic and leads their biggest challenge.
Source: State of Inbound
With social media, generating traffic is easy.
Consistency is key to success for any social media campaign. To that end, you need a strategy on how frequently you are going to post as well as the type of content you are going to post. Stick with it. You have that account for a reason – make it active!
If your most recent post was weeks ago, don’t expect people to visit your page at all. On the flip side, sticking to a routine say —posting every Monday at 2 pm, lets you embed this “posting calendar” in your readers’ minds.
Your customers would visit your page every Monday to check on new content.
Boufe Boutique Cafe is a splendid example.
They post on social media channels almost every day, sometimes multiple times a day.
Knowing that to stay relevant in the food biz, lip-smacking photos are a must-have, every picture and video is on point. They also go to great lengths to encourage user-generated content.
2. Social media encourages two-way communication and customer service
Being on social media opens a window to the world your customers inhabit. This is not a one-way street. And that’s not a bad thing. Take advantage of what social media gives you.
Be curious. Ask questions. Try to find what your audience is interested in. Most importantly – listen.
The audience, in general, is brutally honest. You just have to bite your tongue when someone gives your business a critique. Use such feedback to improve things with your posts.
If you get in your audience’s head, you will get valuable information for your business. Listen to their thoughts, suggestions, answer their questions, and accept they won’t like certain things about your website. The great news is – you can improve it all through interaction with your audience.
Understanding what your customers expect of you will help you make needed improvements. Once you get a clear idea of what your audience needs and wants, you will find a way to grab their interest and keep them coming back for more.
Social media channels can also double up as the place you announce product updates, own up to mistakes and warn of service outages.
Odds are, customers are already reaching out to you to with complaints and queries. Due to the nature of social media, even a day’s delay can feel like forever. 42% of consumers expect a response on social media within the hour.
Strive to answer quickly.
But customer support doesn’t begin or end with chat.
There’s more to it.
One notable example comes from Best Buy. What makes the example remarkable is Best Buy didn’t get any @brandname mentions in the tweet below.
Within the hour of Jessica posting this— a customer support agent responded with a helpful message and links to purchase the item.
The suggestion was a well-informed choice that resulted in an immediate purchase.
3. Form relationships with influencers
Influencer marketing is the fastest customer acquisition method online. It beats even organic search.
You don’t have to create any new content. You still get sales, leads, and revenue.
When someone says influencers you immediately think of movie stars, celebrities or athletes.
As small businesses, you don’t have thousands to shell on a single post by an influencer. How do you bridge the gap? The answer imposes itself. Not all influencers are athletes and celebrities.
There are micro-influencers who can help. Plus, engagement metrics are better. Regular people trust regular people more. And the best thing—it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.
Micro-influencers are called so since they don’t have millions of followers. They do have hundreds of thousands of followers, which is more than enough to build brand recognition.
A micro-influencer would post content about your brand/service for a couple of hundred dollars. Some of the influencers would like to receive free products in lieu of cash and have no frills promoting the product for a free sample.
If you are running a small business, look for influencers who live nearby, or at least in the same region as you. The reason is obvious. As a small business, you sell products and services to people who are residing in the same area or region.
Ultimately, it boils down to the number of conversions you end up generating and a local influencer campaign can be much more effective. Still unsure? Why not test and see if the influencer is worth the hype?
Examples like this prove my point. In a recent example of influencer fail, an Instagrammer with 2 million followers couldn’t manage to sell as little as 36 shirts.
However, this doesn’t mean you always have to play locally. With the help of social media influencers, you can take your business worldwide.
When testing strategies, make gradual changes. Don’t rush things. You can try posting a few times a day or a few times a week—depending on how receptive your audience is. Make a plan, but keep in mind you want to change the course as naturally as possible.