Social media has opened up a wide range of new opportunities in marketing, allowing businesses to reach consumers directly at a wider and cheaper rate than ever before. The vast majority of people, including your potential consumers, engage in at least some form of social media, be it Facebook with 1.7 billion monthly active users, Snapchat with 150 million daily users or Twitter with just under 140 million daily users.
Here are a few handy tips for how to manage your social media presence effectively and get your message across:
Unique selling point
The advent of social media has provided great opportunities not just for businesses, but for consumers as well. The vast platforms which engage you with millions of potential clients also place these same clients in contact with your competitors. In order to have effective social media marketing you must be clear about what makes you different. What gives your company an edge? Why should the consumer choose you?
By identifying and highlighting your USP, you should also get a clearer idea of who your ideal customer base is, as one of the challenges which comes with the overwhelming scale of social media is finding the small minority of users who would benefit and be interested in your product. As Peter Drucker says: “The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well that the product or service fits him and sells itself”.
Once you know what your USP is, we must make sure the consumer does too. Therefore focus on clear, sharp messages which quickly educate and engage people with what your company is offering. Your advert will be one link in an ever-scrolling feed, so you must work rapidly to get your message across. This is particularly important on Twitter, with its restrictive character count, allowing you only to describe a bitesize version of what you do and offer.
Your business will probably engage in a range of social media activities, and it’s essential that across different platforms you remain consistent, both in the content of your message and in how you put this message across. Not only will this make your business look more sleek and professional, but it will allow users from one platform to find you more quickly, promoting loyalty, and also increase more general brand awareness in the wider community.
When it comes to getting across your message, also decide what kind of account you want to be. You might want to be simply descriptive in how you advertise your business, or you might decide to use GIFs or images and create a more relaxed or humorous page intended to appeal to your consumer base. These different approaches are all equally valid, but once you have decided how you wish your business to come across, consistency is key. A consumer who joins because of informational posts about your latest products will quickly disengage if you change tactics and Tweet jokes instead.
An effective way of promoting consistency is by utilising a hashtag across all platforms, which has the additional benefit of allowing you to search all posts about your business, giving you immediate feedback from your customers on how they feel about your business and your product. Positive feedback will allow you to see where you should be focusing advertising in the future, whilst negative feedback could be addressed directly by messaging or Tweeting the user themselves to address their grievances. This will help save a customer that could have otherwise been lost, but also puts out some publicity for your business to attract new customers.
Just as you will be active across different social media outlets, so too will your consumers. An easy way of increasing traffic and engagement with your pages is to put clear links to your other accounts across all of your profiles. This can be done simply by placing hyperlinks in the description of your business, or more actively by Tweeting links to a Facebook video or posting Instagram photos on your Facebook page, for example.
The fantastic thing about social media advertising is that it turns what was originally a one-way dialogue into a conversation, and one of the most effective ways of engaging consumers with your social media is by bringing them into the process. This could be done through a Facebook giveaway where all users who share a post are entered into a draw, or by asking happy customers to tweet photos of themselves using your product or to describe, using a unique hashtag, why they choose you.