You should have a social media promotion strategy in place for many reasons. But the tl;dr of all of them is: people are on social media. The rumors are true.
And research shows 26% of people use social media to find products to buy. So not only are they there, but a quarter of them are looking to spend some money.
So how do you cash in? You think I’m going to say you need to learn TikTok dances to sell your engine oil, right? Wrong. Really, all you have to do is follow this guide, and we promise no TikTok dance lessons are included.
Okay, but first, why even bother promoting on social media?
For starters, there are now 4.62 billion people using social media globally. That’s a 10% rise from last year and a lot of potential eyes on your promotional materials. Even that alone is a big business benefit of social media.
Having a huge audience of carbon-based life forms is one thing, but here are the real benefits of social media.
Attract new customers
Guess what? Customers are already looking for you on social media. 49% of all internet users regularly look up brands on social media networks.
All you gotta do is be where they are (social media), deliver the quality content they want, and have a half-decent (okay, fully-decent) product or service. That’s only three things!
Build brand loyalty
Consumers vote with their wallets. A whopping 82% of shoppers reported wanting a consumer brand’s values to align with their own. Inclusiveness, for example, is integral to 73% of Gen Z and 72% of Millennials when it comes to buying decisions. So, as a brand, you can promote content that aligns with your corporate values.
People aren’t looking for 500 posts about your latest sale. They want to know what your environmental and charitable commitments are. They want to see what you stand for and how you treat your employees. So don’t be shy; one of the best ways to promote on social media is to shout your values from the rooftops.
Social media is the perfect way to communicate your values and build brand equity with customers across your marketing funnel.
Drive leads and sales
Many companies use social media to promote business goals, including increasing their revenue. It delivers a big ROI, and I cannot lie, friends. What’s the point of building an audience and showing off your wares unless it results in money, anyway?
With an integrated marketing strategy, you can use social media to help influence purchasing decisions. So much of our daily attention and spending has shifted online during the COVID-19 pandemic, and that’s expected to continue. In 2022, 58% of all internet users purchased a product or service online weekly.
How can you best take advantage of the massive pool of potential online customers? With a social media marketing strategy, that’s how.
Here’s your roadmap to social success (for your business, anyway).
Create a social media marketing strategy
You need a plan, man.
Crafting a social media marketing plan doesn’t need to be complicated. At a minimum, your plan should include:
- A list of measurable goals
- Customer personas (who are you trying to reach? What do they like or dislike? Who are they? You will probably have several personas)
- A competitive analysis
- A content strategy for the topics and types of content formats you’ll share
- An editorial calendar, listing posting frequency, as well as who’s responsible for content production
If you’ve got 9 minutes, you can learn everything you need to know about creating a social media marketing plan in the video below:
Use a social media management tool
Automating social media marketing with tools means you can accomplish more with a smaller social marketing team. This saves time and money, but also, let’s face it, your sanity.
Hootsuite lets you plan, schedule, and track the results of all your content across all social media channels. It also has other nifty features, such as social listening, to find out what people are really saying about you online. You can even reply to comments and messages on all your accounts from one central inbox.
Identify the best social media platforms for your business
There’s a place for every business on social media, but it’s not everywhere. It’s in your best interest to know the select few platforms that will bring you the results you want and focus on those.
“So, what are the best social media sites to promote your business?” Is what you’re dying to ask me, right?
That ain’t something you can Google, my dude. But the answer is simple: where do your ideal customers hang out online? Likely, only 1 or 2 key platforms will drive 90%+ of your social media ROI.
If you’re not sure where your ideal user base hangs out, dig into some market research first. We recommend using Hootsuite’s handy (and free!) Getting to Know Your Audience download.
Social media should be social. People are looking for a conversation, a chat, a way to disassociate from the day-to-day grind with some online interaction.
Don’t hide behind boring promotional content. Get out there and talk to your customers. Ask for opinions on new product launches or fresh new ideas. Then, acknowledge the feedback you’ve received, and show how you’re implementing it.
Taco Bell kills it with social media promotions examples. Their Twitter feed is full of engaging content. For example, they heard the many cries for the loved and lost menu item Mexican Pizza. Then, Taco Bell re-implemented the dish due to popular demand.
You and the Mexican Pizza are about to be back together. Get ready for its return tomorrow. pic.twitter.com/yce574sIu0
— Taco Bell (@tacobell) September 14, 2022
There’s no better recipe for brand loyalty than making your audience feel heard.
You can’t know what you don’t measure. You need to take your own subjectivity out of the equation, and to do that, you need to only look at the numbers. Monitor your progress using data and analytics.
By keeping a close eye on your analytics, you find out what your audience responds to best. And identify areas to tweak your strategy.
At a minimum, check in monthly on:
- The basics: follower counts, gains or losses, engagement rates, reposts and shares, comments, and likes.
- The advanced stuff: omnichannel campaign performance, sales attributed to social media marketing, and brand equity development.
It’s okay to change your goals over time or switch strategies when your original plan isn’t working out as you hoped. Just be sure to back up your decisions with data.
Social media promotion ideas
Think only the “cool brands” are killin’ it on social? You don’t need to have a fancy tech product or make the world’s best Mexican Pizza to attract a valuable audience. You just need to consistently and cohesively promote your brand.
If you’re stuck for social media post ideas, we’ve got plenty you can straight up steal. In the meantime, take a look at these social media promotion ideas to incorporate into your strategy.
Plan a giveaway
There are many types of social media contests you can run, from the simple “like and comment to enter” to asking people to share your post, tag a friend, or fill out a form on a landing page. The sky’s the limit. You can even ask people to hop up and down while rapping Doja Cat songs. You can’t be sure they will, but you can ask.
You’ll want to be sure the contest aligns with your goals, whether that’s getting your brand name out there, amassing information about your target audience, or getting feedback on your product offerings.
Before running a contest, make sure you read the platform’s rules for doing so and abide by them.
If you’re stuck for ideas, steal one of these brilliant Instagram giveaways.
Steal this strategy
- Decide on a goal. Do you want to get more followers? Get email addresses? Go viral? Gather user-generated content?
- Format your contest to meet that goal. Getting more followers could be a simple “like and share” photo on your feed. Other contests may require more planning.
- Analyze the results after it’s over. Did you meet your goal? Why/why not? What could you improve next time?
Work with influencers
Influencer marketing is here to stay. As of 2022, the global market value for influencer content is currently 16.4 billion, which doubled from 2019.
Some say influencer marketing comes across as insincere, and in some cases, it can. You definitely want to steer clear of the “product placement” look. Yikes. But when done well, influencer marketing is a genuine and effective type of digital marketing.
Take Mac, for example. They’ve chosen to partner with trans-activist, fashion model, and makeup aficionado Lauren Sundstrom. At 30k followers, Sundstrom might not have the biggest following Mac could have indulged, but choosing an influencer who aligns with your brand is much more important than one with massive reach who may not.
Notice how Sundstrom doesn’t try to hide the fact that this is an ad? Her followers appreciate the transparency and know that they can trust her.
Steal this strategy
- Start small: Reach out to micro-influencers (10,000 followers and under) and offer free products in exchange for a post. This strategy can work well for smaller businesses looking to build a cohort of brand ambassadors.
- For bigger results, set aside a marketing budget for influencers and develop a unified campaign to launch simultaneously with multiple influencers.
- Choose influencers that align with your brand values for authentic partnerships.
- This works for all companies, not only fashion. Get creative!
Leverage user-generated content
What’s the toughest part about managing social media for business? Keeping up with social media’s insatiable demand for new content.
So why not let your customers make it for you?
Not only does this save you time (and brainpower), it helps build a community around your brand. If you have an authentic connection with your customers, they’ll enjoy seeing their photos featured on your page.
This is how you promote your services without shouting to everyone, “Hey! This is what I do!”
Article, an ecommerce furniture supply company, does this well. Without a physical display store for people to peruse Article’s wares, they rely solely on digital marketing. To get people really picturing Article pieces within their homes, the brand encourages UGC in a big way.
They’ve created a branded hashtag, #OurArticle, which has over 27k tags on Instagram. Article is constantly reposting content from this hashtag, asking for permission to do so, and crediting the original accounts.
Steal this strategy
- Ask for permission before sharing customer photos.
- Focus the caption on your customer, not promoting yourself.
- Tag your customer to credit them for the photo.
Nail your brand
Okay, so this one is the long game. And it’s not only a social media tip for small business owners and big companies alike, but it’s a strategy that’ll pay off in all aspects of your marketing.
One of the best things you can do for your business is to get your brand nailed down. You’ll want to have a brand book or a set of brand guidelines that you and anyone you hire can easily refer to make sure your content is consistent with the story you’re telling.
When everything points in the same direction, visually and narratively, consumers will be able to recognize you and understand what you’re about with minimal effort. Eventually, your brand will be imprinted in their minds as the product or service that solves a specific need.
You just have to look at big juggernauts like Coca-Cola, Mcdonald’s, or Nike to see this in action. What does a white silhouette of a bottle on a red background remind you of? What do red and yellow make you think of? And have you ever seen a swooshing checkmark and not thought, just do it?
These brands are nothing if not consistent, and it pays off.
Pair your organic with paid advertising
Your organic content strategy is only going to get you so far. In order to really capitalize on the reach social media is capable of, you’re going to want to introduce a paid advertising component to your social strategy.
Ad spending on social media reached over $173 billion in 2022! The market for it is bonkers for a good reason; with a solid advertising strategy, you typically get more out than you put in. Plus, there are plenty of stats to back it up.
Social media ads can be inexpensive if you have a smaller budget. But if you have money to spend, you can do that too. Social advertising has pretty flexible rates; it’s really up to you to decide how much you’re going to put behind it. And they offer powerful targeting options, so you can reach your target audience without wasting valuable dollars.
Source: Coco and Eve
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