Any business, new or established, that wants to reach an audience or establish a brand these days will be hard-pressed to do so effectively without using social media. According to Pew Research, 72% of the public uses some manner of social media.
“To grow a business, you have to go to where the audience is, and it’s evident that everyone is on social media,” says Natalie Graham from OtterPR.
Finding a New Audience
In order to grow, organizations should be consistent in reaching new people.
“Social media marketing allows companies to tap audiences they may never have been able to reach in a pre-social media world,” says Graham.
Studies show 55% of consumers learn about new businesses through social media, a number that only stands to grow as people become more social media reliant.
Once you find that new audience, keeping them engaged on social media is almost an art form. You have to build credibility, trust, and awareness for your brand, and knowing how to pull off this herculean task effectively is a “secret sauce” to social media marketing success.
“Consumers want a personal connection with brands and companies,” explains Graham, “They are getting “sold to” from every angle, and the company that can break through the noise of “sell, sell, sell” and connects to an audience authentically will see positive gains.”
Some ways of pulling this off include:
– Giving a behind-the-scenes or “insiders” look at your business/company
– Telling stories that consumers can relate to
– Having real people connected to your brand that consumers can “get to know.”
– Utilizing email marketing to reach your audience off of social media for a more intimate connection
Enhanced Customer Experience
One of the positives of social media use for marketing is the ability to enhance the customer experience. Consumers can connect with businesses immediately with direct messaging (DM-ing). You can tag clients directly on Facebook and Instagram, and they, in turn, can tag your business in posts, furthering brand recognition.
The seemingly ever-growing list of social media platforms always comes with their own tricks and features that brands and businesses can leverage. Learning which features can best benefit your brand and applying those appropriately will help you expand your reach.
Businesses can even use social media to get feedback and metrics directly from consumers. Consumers feel like their opinions matter, and businesses get the feedback they can use to enhance the customer experience.
Having access to the social media community allows businesses and brands to find people to partner with. These influencers and other entrepreneurs can help bolster your brand and cast a wider net for an audience.
Brands who find the most success with partnerships are intentional about their choices of who to partner with. Find influencers who fit under your company’s mission and brand voice. Make choices consistent and authentic.
Businesses may also choose to partner with other brands, a kind of “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” arrangement. The benefit of partnerships can be seen across social media platforms where brands do giveaways or sponsored posts involving other brands, elevating all businesses involved in one marketing push.
Low Cost and Ease of Use
“Likely the the best aspects of social media marketing are the low cost and ease of use,” says Graham.
For smaller brands, startups, and solo-prenuers, you can effectively build a brand and market on social media without spending a dime. If one is crafty enough with their engagement, social media marketing can be done entirely free of charge.
If a business wants to invest in paid social media ads, the cost is far lower than traditional marketing approaches such as TV or print ads.
Social media marketing is also easy. Most people know how to make their way around social media, and many platforms have standard operations that are familiar to users, such as the use of hashtags.
The user-friendly nature of social media and the low cost of entry into social media marketing means almost anyone can take advantage of everything social media has to offer their business.
These days, social media is essential for building a business. Knowing the do’s and don’t of social media marketing will help elevate your business and spread brand recognition efficiently and effectively.