No longer do small businesses and start-ups have to rely on pricey advertising campaigns to effectively market their products. These days, building an online community of loyal customers is easier than ever.
Social media allows entrepreneurs and business owners to promote a brand, interact with customers, and improve the business model to appease the consumer in real time. The trick is knowing which networks are best for your industry, building a community of potential customers, and using connectivity and communication to boost sales.
Read on for 5 ways to leverage social media for business.
Photos increase engagement more than any type of media on the web. Users are more likely to comment on, like, and share images across social networks than plain text or video. Photos are eye-catching and rank highly on the Facebook algorithm, meaning they tend to end up in friends’ newsfeeds more than a basic status update. Use pictures to boost engagement and keep fans interacting with your brand.
Update your Facebook cover photo
Changing the company cover photo on Facebook from time to time is an easy way to gain exposure and appeal to a broader audience. The Facebook algorithm views editing profile pictures and big announcements as important activities worthy of attention. So, updating the cover photo is likely to show up in friends’ homefeeds. This draws attention to the brand and increases familiarity. Additionally, updating the photo to an attractive, attention-grabbing design can help get you more followers who in turn could become paying customers.
Grow the Twitter community
Twitter isn’t always a good fit for a business, but when used properly, it can be an enormously positive experience for the customer. Companies should use twitter to share industry news and company information, but also, it can be used as an extension of your customer service. If customers know they can reach a company representative instantly via 140 character tweets, they will interact with the organization’s twitter handle regularly. Like with Facebook, Twitter can provide a business with the chance to hear what customers want and placate dissatisfied customers before they take their anger public.
Posing questions to followers on social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn is a great way to boost engagement and gain valuable feedback about your business. Online Trading Academy, a financial education company that offers investing advice and day trading classes, originally found it quite difficult to create a community around their brand. To boost interaction, they started asking Facebook followers about their trading approach and found that everyone wanted to share their techniques. Not only did this get people talking and engaged with the company on a social media network, it also gave company administrators an inside glimpse of customers’ investing strategies. This was useful information for tailoring classes according to the customer’s needs and offering more customized programs.
If you have some funds in your budget for social media marketing, try promoting statuses and tweets. For a nominal fee, you can increase exposure for your brand without paying for a pricey billboard ad or television commercial. Facebook and Twitter have figured out targeted marketing tactics to help expose your promoted posts to those most likely to appreciate it.
Take advantage of these tips to grow your fan following and you can eventually convert social media connections into paying customers. Remember, sales won’t increase overnight. Be patient, try various techniques, and create a fun, engaging community before going in for the hard sell.
This is a guest post from Brent Peterson, a social media enthusiast who helps companies build strong online, social, and web presences. You may also find out more about the Online Trading Academy here.