How often do you engage with customers on social media? When you do spend time and money on social media marketing, are you getting the ROI you want?
When used correctly, social media is a powerful channel to supplement branding and advertising efforts, both online and off. However, its power lies in knowing what to do. So, here are three simple tips to help you connect with customers and boost brand engagement on social media:
It’s not business; it’s personal.
It’s okay to use social media to advertise your business; most entrepreneurs are already doing that. What’s not okay is exclusively sharing sales-related content. Think about it like this: you know that couple that constantly posts about their relationship on social media? It’s irritating, right? And more likely than not, you find yourself scrolling right past it. Well, a business only posting updates about itself is like that couple.
Stop the updates on how awesome your business is and focus on sharing something personable and valuable to customers. Share a story about your brand, highlight the awesome things customers are doing with your product, highlight employees hard at work.
Showing fans that you’re not just on social media to sell a product, but also to connect with them, will go a long way in gaining their trust, and eventually, their business.
Understand audience needs on each social platform.
Though there are a lot of social media platforms to choose from, not all are created equal. People look for different things on each social network, and you should align your social media strategy with this fact.
Here are some guidelines: If you want to showcase brand and company culture, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram are perfect for brand building. Think about who you follow on these platforms – probably people and brands whose lifestyle you’re interested in, right? People want to be inspired. They want to see cool things people are doing with their lives. On these networks post visual content with compelling captions (e.g., photos of office life, inspiring quotes, current projects, etc.) These platforms also allow you to tag locations, which is great if you want to boost local SEO.
If you want to develop relationships, Twitter, Reddit, LinkedIn groups, and other forums are great places to meet like-minded professionals and build your network. People are here to learn the latest and greatest news and discover new ideas. On these platforms, post links to useful content (e.g., company blogs, white papers, or case studies). You can also track specific conversations or topics, which is great if you want to chime in on an event or trending topic.
To drive online and offsite traffic, a LinkedIn business page, Google My Business, and Foursquare connect companies with their target audience. People visit these sites to find a business that will not only solve their needs, but also one that comes highly recommended by users. To succeed on these types of social platforms, post updates that describe your business and how its products or services have helped others. Then ask satisfied customers to leave testimonials, while addressing the concerns of unhappy customers to inspire trust.
Personalize social content.
We’ve definitely reached a point where personalization is a selling point. Get this: Personalized ads result in 59% more conversions; 78% of CMOs think custom content is the future of marketing; and 45% of online shoppers are more likely to shop on a site that offers personalized recommendations. This is particularly true for social since the algorithms have a better understanding of what people want to see, they serve content that matches an individual user’s particular interests.
Your advertising success hinges on personalized social media ads that are customized to a specific market segment, and there are many ways to promote your business. Paid social advertisements on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest let you reach a specific target audience for typically a lower CPC than AdWords. The key to creating a high-converting ad is innovation and customization. People engage more with visual content, especially the ones they can relate to, so create a visual-heavy campaign to capture attention.
The more interactive, the better. Social rich media is a good example of interactive advertising, as they can display videos or in-ad games, thus creating deeper brand engagement on social media, without requiring the user to ever leave the page.
Your social media presence will amount to nothing if you don’t know who your audience is, what their needs, questions, and concerns are, and how to talk to them. Therefore, get to know your customers and match your creative and messages to fit their varying personalities. Spending some time understanding your customers will yield a far better ROI than simply marketing to them blindly.
This article has been edited and condensed.
Samantha Pena is a Content Strategist for a digital marketing agency in NJ. She is a business blogger who enjoys writing about how content and social media can work together to improve a business’s online presence. Her main focus and passion is creating amazing content that is accurate, up-to-date, and (most importantly) interesting. Her main obsessions are social media, trending topics, and anything Web-related. Connect with @hudsonhorizons on Twitter.
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