The use of social media as a marketing strategy is not new to many businesses. In fact, it has become more of a necessity than an option. Staying competitive in current market conditions now requires you to have a well-thought-out social media strategy.
However, many startups still haven’t given it ample consideration and fail to harness the power of social media to propel their growth. Leveraging social media to achieve a competitive advantage makes sense, but it takes substantial effort that can involve making costly mistakes.
Why Social Media?
Businesses of every size recognize social media as an inexpensive tool for marketing that builds brand authority and trust. Exposure from the top social media networks can provide you with exponential growth without a significant financial investment. Implementing a successful social media strategy will require long-term commitment and continuous work, but it will supply impressive returns on investment.
Connecting with your audience through social media can help you promote your products and services while acquiring new customers and establishing yourself as a leader in your niche. Social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter can help you build brand loyalty and distribute content.
Marketing strategies that include the top social media sites can help your startup orchestrate grassroots campaigns and achieve impressive results in a short period of time. Take a look at the following tips to find out how you can use social media to your advantage.
Establish a Social Media Strategy
Having a smart social media strategy will give your company a way to differentiate itself from thousands of competitors who want to reach your audience. Businesses that make the mistake of ignoring such opportunities risk losing their market share and restricting their growth.
Sometimes companies lack the knowledge and expertise to understand how social media marketing works for businesses and regard it as a fun distraction rather than a tool for growth. Meanwhile, some companies realize the importance of social media but do not understand how to create an effective strategy.
First, decide how you want your audience to perceive your brand in the marketplace. Then spend time planning every part of your strategy, so you can stay focused on your objectives and communicate a consistent message for your brand that accurately affects the culture and values of your company.
Determine Your Goals
A significant portion of your success will depend on your goals and the social platforms you use as vehicles to achieve them. Find out which platforms your target audience prefers and then emphasize them as you execute your social media marketing strategy.
Whether your goals are building brand awareness, generating leads or driving website traffic, you will most likely have to turn to content distribution to capture your audience’s attention. Publishing interesting and valuable content will lead to sharing which will, in turn, lead to a broad awareness of your brand and your company.
Once you are clear about the goals you want to achieve and have the right strategy to execute them, you can position your brand on the right path to success. Recognition of your brand as an authority in your industry will result in a steady stream of visitors to your social profiles and then on to your business website where you convert them into leads and customers.
Use Your Employees’ Brainpower
Social media success increases with the participation of your team members. Collaborate and brainstorm with your staff to get the best ideas for your marketing efforts. Include your team members with the execution of your strategy by letting them contribute content for your tweets and blogs.
Engaged employees will advocate on behalf of their employer and show increased loyalty that will drive long-term growth. As your company engages the public, they will build a positive reputation for your firm that will give you a competitive edge in your market.
Listen to your sales people and let them provide insights and suggestions that can propel your social media efforts to new levels. Find out what objections to your products customers most frequently have and preempt those concerns by responding to them on social media.
Small startups often lack the labor necessary to support a social media marketing strategy. Hiring virtual assistants can be a smart decision if you don’t have anyone to maintain your social media presence. Employing remote workers means lower overhead and increased productivity, which can make them an indispensable asset to your company.
Build a Community
People who follow and like your social media posts can become your marketing agents. Don’t take those people for granted as mere statistics. Instead, form a community that will continually promote your brand with enthusiasm. You want individuals who follow you to have a genuine interest in and excitement about the products and services you offer.
To make this happen, you need to engage your followers. But first, you need to define and understand your target audience. One of the worst marketing mistakes you can make is not to know who your audience is or what social media channels they use. By focusing on market research, you can gather all the relevant information.
Once you identify your target audience, interact with every social media user and prospect, so they know that you value and appreciate them. Show people that you care about them and want them to have better lives as a result of their relationship with you, even if they never buy anything from you.
Customers who criticize you or complain can actually become irreplaceable promotional vehicles. Publicly engage such people and show them and the entire world that your company provides excellent customer service and satisfaction. Respond to everyone to demonstrate that you care more about people than profits.
Track and Measure
As your social media campaign progresses, you will need to continually analyze your results. Important metrics that reveal the success of your marketing strategy include the number of new leads or closed sales in a given period. Compare those statistics to your historical data to help gauge the growth of your company.
You should also identify and analyze your competitors to discover their strategies and their success rate. Then focus on supplying the market with the value your competitors cannot provide.
Tools like Goole Analytics and Salesforce can provide data on the performance of your social media campaigns. Other apps such as Hootsuite Analytics and Moz can also help.
Affordable software programs including TweetDeck and HootSuite monitor social media mentions and tell you what people say about your company online. You can also pay attention to public opinions of your industry and issues related to your business. Choose the best tool to measure each important metric.
It’s not difficult to get unprecedented exposure for your brand and build a reputation as an industry leader. Your company simply needs to have a successful social media strategy to grow and profit. Involve your entire team in the social media effort and put tools in place that will measure your results. Think outside the box and establish yourself as an innovator that always puts people first, and watch your success skyrocket.
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