Written by Lucy Wilson, Business Development and Social Media Executive for Kariba Digital Agency
As times change, businesses are less keen to advertise on TV or billboards, instead opting to reach customers in a more cost effective way via social media. In this guide, Kariba’s social media executive Lucy Wilson explains how to grow and enhance your business by engaging with customers and prospects on the multitude of platforms and channels available to us today.
Step 1: Aims and goals
Firstly, think about your goals. What do you want to achieve? Is the primary purpose to generate leads or traffic to your website or store? If so, how many? Maybe you simply want to increase brand recognition for your business or enhance relationships with existing customers.
Whatever the reasons behind your social media activity, or any marketing activity for that matter, defining what you hope to achieve is important at the outset.
Step 2: Defining your target audience
Targeting the right market and demographic is very important. The only way you will gain leads is if you focus on appealing to a specific audience and their needs.
Consider the types of users of each network. LinkedIn is primarily for business professionals to share business tips; Instagram attracts young users who share photos for fun. However, Instagram also has a business audience that share photos of anything relating to their business, whether it be new products, new branding, or a photo of the business team at their Christmas lunch. Social media is incredibly useful in representing your businesses’ daily news and achievements.
You can research recent social media demographics to have a look at what each social media site is good at or used for. For example, on Facebook there are very diverse demographics including age, gender, race and income. This is an excellent networking site in terms of considering equality, but also provides you with more of a chance to find your customer target market.
Keep an eye on the competition. How do they present themselves and what markets are they targeting? You want to differentiate your business by adopting unique marketing strategies that will stand out to customers. Incorporate a competitive approach into your own business, as you are a competitor to other businesses.
Step 3: Tone and Content
What does your business represent? How will your customers know what your business represents? Well, increasing your social media outreach and polishing your online image will certainly give your brand a specific look and reputation that should consistently appeal to customers. Starting with your look: Create a business theme that includes your logo, a profile picture and colours and fonts that make your brand unique and recognizable to customers. Your content should illustrate your work such as products, new branding, or perhaps a team photo at a business event.
Remember at the start I mentioned trust? Well, customers don’t care much for hype; they want the honest catch straight away. Customers will perceive your business as truthful and trustworthy this way. Suggest the pros and cons from the start so that the customer has enough information to consider purchasing.
And there’s the key – Gaining customer trust. In order to achieve this, you must present yourself in an attractive and engaging way. For example, you can be friendly and casual, but also use ‘professional terminology’ and offer reliable feedback. This is without a doubt useful as clients purchase based on emotion, so friendliness and empathy are key qualities to keep in mind.
A MUST is to use 2nd person pronouns such as ‘you’ and ‘your’ ensuring you place focus on the customer. Don’t talk about yourself or the business; it’s all about the customer. As well as this, it’s ideal to talk to the customer as an individual rather than an audience, because this will show your personal side, touching emotional base, and making the client feel valuable. Focus on one to one conversations instead of large presentation pieces.
At the same time, use a hands-off approach. Engage your customer instead of selling directly to them. Engage them with pictures, interesting articles, and monitor your customer activity on Google Analytics. Your rates will rise as you are producing creative content. Everyone would rather see that than a boring plain article. Now that i mention content, I’ll use the cliché: Quality over quantity. Even when using a hands-off approach can you still hint at why the customer should choose your business to purchase from, and your business qualities.
Lastly, create an FAQ system. Place yourself in the customer’s shoes. Asking and answering one question each week for ten weeks keeps it consistent.
Step 4: Platforms to increase brand awareness
These real social media tips will generate you leads in no time. Of course it makes sense that the more social media platforms you have, the more opportunity you have to achieve more. However, if you are wanting to focus on a specific audience, be it professionals in the business or young people, you should probably invest most time and effort into one or two sites more than others. Consider how you are going to organize your brand’s look.
Understand the different purposes of each social networking site. LinkedIn generates leads using sales navigator; Facebook allows you to display your work; you can present and share ideas or articles on Twitter that target a certain type of follower. All these social media sites attract viewers which suggests an opportunity to generate leads at any stage. Unlike other social networks that often appeal to a particular audience, Facebook is the most used networking site, with 2.23 billion monthly users halfway through 2018.