Social media is for more than sharing pictures of your new puppy with your great-aunt Edna two states away.
Smart business owners know how to use these platforms to drive traffic to their websites and select highly qualified leads.
Researchers at Statista predict 257.4 million Americans will use social networks by 2023. If your business has any type of online presence, social media marketing is a must. It's one of the most effective and targeted ways to reach your audience.
How to Grow Your Online Business with Social Media
Growing your online business via social media channels isn't tricky. It takes organization, understanding and consistency. Use these platforms to increase brand awareness, convert browsers into customers and stand out from the competition.
1. Incentivize Action
Are you looking for ways to improve your conversion rates? You can place beautiful ads on social media and refine your audience until it's perfect and still not get many click-throughs. One way to encourage users to click on your ads and visit your site is by starting a ticking clock. Give them a discount or special offer but only for a limited time.
Since Facebook and other social media sites don't serve the same advertisements every time a person logs in, site visitors may realize they need to click on your offer right then or risk losing a fantastic deal.
2. Retarget Leads
Retargeting allows you to reach out to people who've already shown an interest in your product or service but haven’t made the purchase as yet. For example, you can put an ad in front of people who've liked a past advertisement. If you can get them to sign up for a mailing list, you have a more significant advantage as you can further personalize your offers.
3. Use Bottom Navigation
When you're creating your ads, keep in mind that many people access the internet solely via their smartphones. The way they hold the phone means the way they interact with your ads and website will be different than how someone on a laptop might. Think about where to place buttons so they are easy to tap.
If you have a “Shop Now” call-to-action (CTA) on your ad, for example, locate it where it can easily be tapped on the bottom side of the screen.
4. Know Your Audience
You don't have to be everything to every person in the world. You only need to focus on your ideal customer. Pull together information from demographics, complaints and questions you've received and polls conducted with current customers.
You can then use the details to create a buyer persona that your content and products serve. Aim everything you post on social media at your persona.
5. Create Amazing Content
If you want people to move from social media to your website, you must give them a reason to click. Offer content they can't find anywhere else. Include relevant images, make your content readable with bullet points and subheadings and polish it to perfection.
The best content considers what is already out there and goes a step further. It covers topics your competitors don't. Study what other businesses in your industry offer and figure out where the gaps are. The fillers are your unique content that will drive users to your site.
6. Engage With Users
When it comes to social marketing, engagement is huge.
Spend time every day on your social presence. Respond to any comments or questions. When someone shares a post, go to their page and thank them for sharing. The more human you seem the better people will respond. Gone are the days of impersonal corporations having the edge over small businesses.
With online stores, you have the advantage of reaching the same audience that larger companies do. Plus, you can do it in a way that is much more personalized and unique.
7. Manage Content across Channels
You're likely to have more than one social media page. Look for tools that can help you manage posting to multiple networks each day. Social media management tools such as Publer, Later, Buffer and Hootsuite help you plan and schedule your social posts and stick to a regular editorial plan.
At the same time, think about what people on each type of social media site appreciate the most. Instagram is about the images, so you might focus more on sharing information via pictures. However, LinkedIn might be a better place for an in-depth study of your industry. Pay attention to what people engage with on each site and gear your content accordingly.
8. Find Brand Ambassadors
Social media offers many influencers and micro-influencers. When these individuals suggest a product to their audience, people pay attention. Seek out influencers in your industry and enlist them to become brand ambassadors. In exchange for trying your products, they'll talk to their audience about what they love about your brand.
Your top customers who already love your product are excellent choices for a street team as well. Send them the latest version of their favorite product and ask them to talk about it on their wall.
Why Social Media Marketing?
Social Media Marketing Is Cost-Effective and Successful
Social media expands your reach exponentially. Your followers see your posts, and if someone shares them, all their friends see your content, too. You don't have to spend a fortune to get started with online marketing on social networks.
The benefits are apparent, and if you target your audience and plan your offers correctly, you'll gain leads that turn into customers down the road. Social media marketing is one of the cheapest forms of advertising, but it can also result in success for your business.