Businesses that aren't using social media to connect with customers are missing out on huge growth potential.
- Social media is one of the most effective ways to nurture your business.
- Learning about your target audience can help you make informed marketing and analytic decisions.
- Proper social media marketing tactics result in increased engagement, higher SEO rank and social proof for your website.
- Personalized ads can improve your sales and website traffic.
Business owners have a wide range of marketing tools at their disposal. After examining numerous studies and data from real companies, it's evident that social media marketing is one of the most effective ways to grow your small business.
According to HootSuite, there are currently 4.39 billion people online, and 3.48 billion people using social media. Both figures increased by 9% from the prior year. This shows that there is an excellent chance you can find and market to your target audience on various social media platforms.
Every niche can benefit from the additional exposure, marketing opportunities and the chance to connect with potential customers. Depending on your industry, your social media experience may differ from others, but these are general benefits that apply to a majority of industries.
Learn about your target audience
The first and most obvious benefit of using social media as a growth tool is that it allows you to learn more about your target audience. Think about it; social media is where people go when they want to express their thoughts, opinions, or experiences. In other words, people online are more receptive to brands and products and happy to talk about their experiences.
You can use this data by checking out your competitors' social media profiles, and groups where people talk about your niche. For example, if you wanted to create content for your gardening website, you would go to the Gardening 101 Facebook group and see what people are discussing. If you notice that a majority of members have similar pain points or questions about growing climate-specific flowers, you can add that information to your customer persona sheet and start thinking about how to use this information in your content marketing strategy.
Take the time to learn where your audience likes to hang out online. Your target audience may spend their time on YouTube, which means influencer marketing will help you reach these consumers. If you discover that a large percentage of potential customers like Twitter, take the time to make a fully fleshed out Twitter account where you interact and respond to consumers.
The more you know about your target audience, the more personalized you can make the marketing experience for them.
Create personalized advertising
As you learn more about potential customers, you can create personalized ad campaigns on platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Research shows that a majority of consumers are willing to exchange their information for relevant ads. People want to see products and offers that are relevant to their lives and experiences.
There are several ways you can create personalized ads on social media. The first tactic requires retargeting pixels on your website. When consumers come to your site but leave without making a purchase, your website drops a browser cookie on the IP address of the user. When that person is browsing social media at a later date, they will get personalized ads based on the items they had in their cart, as well as a discount to sweeten the deal.
Alternatively, you could use the data you obtained from the previously mentioned tactic to make ads that are personalized for your target audience. For example, if you learned that a majority of your customers want tips for repurposing garden tools, you could create an ebook on the topic and offer it as a lead magnet.
Create a landing page on your website where social media followers will land when they click your advertisement. Before you start looking for the best landing page creation tool, think about the scale and frequency of your ads so you can make an educated decision when setting up your campaign.
Boost your SEO ranking and improve site engagement
Boosting your SEO ranking and improving engagement are closely connected. Contrary to popular belief, the number of likes and comments doesn't directly correlate to your SEO ranking. If that were the case, it would be easy for anyone to game the system and get an undeserved ranking.
Instead, you can use your engaging social media posts to encourage consumers to go to your website, which can have a positive impact on your SEO ranking. Google needs to know that your site is relevant and that people look and interact with the various pages on your website. For example, promoting a giveaway on social media will improve audience engagement, but will also lead to consumers landing on your homepage and potentially browsing your content.
Consumer engagement is one of the core pillars of your brand's personality. The way you talk and interact with your followers will dictate how they engage with your business. Brands with personalities are appealing to consumers, think no further than the Wendy’s fast-food Twitter account and their "sassy" mascot.
Build social proof
Social proof is a psychological phenomenon where people are likely to buy a product if they see other people using and enjoying the same item. Many businesses add testimonial pages to their websites as a way to build social proof. This tactic is excellent for enticing curious consumers on your site, but you can create social proof online through your various social media profiles.
For example, if one of your customers writes a glowing review of your business and tags you, make sure you share it on your profile and thank them for their feedback. When people find your profile, they will see your retweets and shares showing what others are saying about your business.
If your content marketing strategy involves you writing guest posts for other publications, you can share their posts for additional social proof. Let's say someone finds your guest post on a site they already follow and trust, they will automatically have some level of confidence in your brand due to the connection.
There’s no question that every small business should embrace social media as a marketing tactic. Countless people use social media as a way to check out new products, research brands and eventually make purchases.
It's your job to pinpoint your target audience and learn about their pain points and goals. Once you understand who you're targeting, start creating personalized ad campaigns for potential customers. Nurture your relationship with consumers by sharing comments, replying and interacting with other businesses. Finally, research your analytic data and determine whether your social media marketing data for new ways to grow your audience and improve sales.