Your customers are out there, ready for the taking. Not only that, they may well be crying out for your products and services at this very moment. And yet, if you’re not promoting yourself in the right places, they’re unlikely to know what you can offer. The internet is a daunting place, and it’s very difficult to position your brand at the top of all the main search results. So how do you find your target audience, and show them what you have to offer?
Social media is one of the most effective ways to boost business by attracting new customers to your brand. Rather than waiting for people to find you, social takes the message to them. Unlike conventional advertising campaigns, which are both expensive and limited in scope and scale, social media is mostly free and universal. It knows no geographic barriers, and a viral campaign will be carried far beyond its original target audience.
A good social campaign will involve various elements, which we’ve summarized below:
Pick the appropriate channels for your industry
Social media platforms come in many flavors, from the text-driven (Reddit, LinkedIn), to the visual (Instagram, YouTube), and the viral (Twitter, Facebook). The optimal choice for your firm depends on your industry and where your customers are already hanging out. For instance, it’s inadvisable to promote an accountancy firm on Instagram unless you have a photogenic workforce or loads of ideas to make your timeline sizzle. On the other hand, you can boost business on Twitter by responding to tax news or passing on bite-sized advice, for example.
Follow key influencers and engage with other users
You won’t boost business by passively uploading the occasional status update because building a loyal following requires far more activity. Firstly, follow people with influence in your industry (and anyone else you know). Respond to comments or interactions to build relationships and demonstrate your expertise. Join in debates where appropriate, and start conversations by asking open-ended questions or publishing simple polls.
Become a prolific poster
There’s a cumulative effect on social, where regular activity builds a groundswell of followers. Try to post every day for the first few months, and then gradually taper down to a few posts per week. It’s advisable to have content stockpiled in advance which can be published on busy days and replenished during quieter ones. Make sure that everything you post is either entertaining, informative, helpful or designed to provoke debate. A blend of image-driven and text-based posts of varying lengths adds a welcome diversity to your timeline. Hashtags are great for raising post visibility on the likes of Instagram and Twitter.
Supplement social accounts with advertising
It’s easy to boost business inquiries by publishing strategic adverts on social platforms. This sponsored timeline content can be eye-catching when structured properly, using detailed audience data to position ads in front of favored demographics. Be concise and positive without being overly promotional or hyperbolic; incentives and time-limited deals are great for ad campaigns. Advertising quickly swallows your entire marketing budget, so use platforms like Facebook Ads Manager to set daily expenditure limits and per-word caps.
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