Social media is now one of the most powerful marketing tools out there. Social media strategy can be make-or-break for your company as majority of the population uses social media to evaluate your business, form their initial opinions about you and/or show their support via likes and shares. From the business perspective, social media is a great method of collecting data about your customers for a more targeted marketing strategy, receiving feedback from customers and establishing relationships.
What Does Social Media Marketing Mean?
Social media marketing encompasses a lot of things. To successfully market your business on social media, you need to work on creating and growing your online presence. That means lining up your social media accounts, creating pages for your business on all relevant sites, and having a usable website that is mobile friendly.
With those key aspects covered, social media marketing has already begun. Even without an intentional campaign started or a plan of action in place, a business’ social media accounts can sometimes (with a loyal customer base and the right SEO) start marketing themselves through word-of-mouth between current customers.
Word-of-mouth promotions are your friend, and even more so when they’re online. If you can get just a few of your customers a month to post about your business—whether it’s a sale or simply encouraging their friends to like your page or check out your shop—you’ll begin to see a snowball effect in your page’s growth.
But, social media marketing should have one goal in mind: making more sales. That goal cannot be reached without intentional and well-planned effort.
How Do You Do It?
So, how do you go about starting a social media marketing campaign for your business? The first thing you have to do is figure out who you’re marketing to.
It seems like such a simple question, and many businesses want to give a simple answer. People often have the misconception that the broader their potential audience is, the better results they’ll get. After all, if you’re a coffee shop, you can market to everyone who likes coffee, right? Won’t that broaden up your customer base and give you more chances for sales? Not necessarily.
If you’re trying to market your business, and we’ll use a coffee shop for an example, you need to narrow down your customer base and focus on one segment of the population at a time. You can run multiple campaigns targeted at different age groups, different interests, etc., but each campaign needs to be focused on just one group at a time so you can get the best results.
Finding and segmenting those groups is an article within itself, and so is setting up your campaign and figuring out all of the aspects associated with social media marketing. But, the first step is setting up your social media pages and getting to work growing your brand’s online presence.
Here are some actionable steps you can start taking now:
- Encourage your current customers to find and follow you on social media.
- Run promotions and sales that entice your current customers (and share them on your social pages)
- Post regularly on your social media pages about business accomplishments, new staff, new products, etc. People love getting “behind the scenes” even if you’re just sharing a short snippet about why they should come check out something new.
- Start fun and interesting promotions that encourage people to come in and bring people along with them. Loyalty cards/programs and “bring a friend” sales give incentives to customers and are excellent things to share on social media (before and after the fact!)
- Interactions with customers, when appropriate, are also great ways to build your online presence. Respond to comments, ask regular questions relevant to your business (“what’s your opinion on…” or “what’s your suggestion for….”). Customers love being talked to and listened to!