Astonishingly, people spend an average of 147 minutes daily on social media. To reach more potential customers, it’s crucial to incorporate social media into your marketing strategy, regardless of whether your business is just starting out or has been established.
Here are 15 Effective Strategies to Boost Your Social Media Following and Increase Sales for Your Small Business:
1. Start with a plan
Having a social media marketing plan helps bring cohesion and direction to an organization’s marketing and communication teams. It ensures everyone is working towards the same objectives and resources are utilized effectively.
Begin by establishing clear goals for your campaign. Common business goals to set include:
– Increase brand awareness
– Drive traffic to your website
– Generate leads
– Grow revenue
– Improve customer service
Determine which social media platform your target audience frequents the most. Tailor your content accordingly for each platform. For example, if your audience is on TikTok, focus on creating short-form videos.
Research your competitors to identify the channels they excel on. Analyze the formats that perform well for them and identify any gaps in their strategy that you can fill.
2. Get to know your target audience
Creating content that connects with your audience is made easier through understanding who they are. The better you know their needs and desires, the greater the chances of converting them into customers or clients.
To locate your audience on social media, examine your current customer base and gain insight into their demographic. Consider answering questions such as:
– Who is your current audience?
– What kind of information are they looking for? And why?
– Where do they go for information?
– What conversations are they having?
– Who do they trust?
Ways to Gain Understanding of Your Social Media Audience:
Ask them Collecting information through surveys, polls or asking questions on social media posts.
Look at demographic data Gather data from your social media accounts to learn about the demographics such as age, gender, location, and interests of your audience.
Use social media analytics to track engagement and discover what content resonates the most with your audience.
3. Select the appropriate social media platforms
Having gained a deeper understanding of your audience, it’s time to pick your channels. Popular ones for ecommerce merchants include:
Monthly active users: 2 billion.
Audience profile: Millennial and Gen Z.
Instagram is ideal for product promotion due to its visual emphasis. 25% of Instagram users are active daily, making it a valuable platform for any brand to showcase their products.
There are several strategies to utilize Instagram to market your store, such as showcasing eye-catching product images, creating a stop-motion video to highlight one of your offerings, hosting a competition, or reaching out to impactful Instagram accounts and requesting them to share your product.
Monthly active users: 2.93 billion.
Audience profile: Men and women aged 35–44.
Facebook is a social media platform where users can share updates, photos, and messages. A Facebook page can be created to share visuals and video content with fans. Additionally, Facebook provides the option to run advertisements, conduct live streams, and create short-form videos to enhance the promotion of your business to followers.
Monthly active users: 1 billion.
Audience profile: Ages 18–24.
TikTok has gained massive worldwide popularity since its launch in 2016.
Users spend an average of 52 minutes daily on the app and have a high receptiveness to marketing messages, with roughly half of users reporting making a purchase after viewing a product on TikTok. This makes it a prime platform for businesses seeking to boost sales and drive conversions.
However, TikTok requires creative and captivating content, so it may not be suitable if you lack the resources or time to produce it.
When planning your TikTok strategy, it’s important to have a long-term view. Simply posting a few videos and hoping for the best won’t suffice. You need to consistently create content and engage with your audience.
Monthly active users: 431 million.
Audience profile: Largely female audience; median age is 40.
Pinterest is a hub for online shopping and product discovery, with 83% of its weekly users making purchases based on brand content. It’s a prime platform for promoting eye-catching, well-designed products and building wish lists. Pins tend to have a long lifespan, with the potential to be viewed for months after being posted. Enhance your presence by posting during peak times, utilizing keywords, and incorporating captivating images. Running contests can also help expand your reach.
Monthly active users: 310 million.
Audience profile: Business professionals.
LinkedIn is an effective platform to network with professionals and target customers. By establishing a business profile and sharing content that matters to your audience, you have the opportunity to reach a broad group of individuals who could be interested in your offerings. It also provides a chance to connect with key players in your field.
Monthly active users: 2.1 billion.
Audience profile: 18–25 years old.
YouTube is a massive platform for finding new content and a valuable source of traffic. Videos on YouTube can even rank on other search engines like Google. To make the most of this opportunity, create videos that are interesting or useful and promote your products through them. Many social media users might already be searching for your brand or products on YouTube, so having a branded channel to control the narrative is essential.
Monthly active users: 347 million.
Audience profile: Ages 15–35.
Snapchat is a messaging app where users can send and receive photos and videos, known as “snaps.” Users can also add text and drawings to snaps. As a marketing tool, businesses can create snaps promoting their products and offering customers a glimpse of the brand, such as the process of making their products.
4. Include your company’s specific hashtags
A branded hashtag is a unique tag created by a company or organization to promote their brand or product. It is a useful tool for increasing visibility, generating interest, and fostering engagement with customers. Branded hashtags can be used on social media platforms such as TikTok, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
Branded hashtags help foster a sense of community among customers and followers. They can easily connect and share their experiences with others through the branded hashtag’s thread.
As an example, retail company Fashion Nova uses the hashtag #NovaBabe to build a community around its brand. Women frequently share their content on Instagram with the branded hashtags, contributing to a feed with over 1.7 million posts. This user-generated content effectively advertises Fashion Nova for free.
Customers can view various styles and observe individuals sporting the brand’s attire, then proceed to Fashion Nova’s store to buy the items.
5. Promote on other social media platforms simultaneously
Cross-promoting involves advertising your brand across various social media platforms with minimal effort. For instance, you can create a video on TikTok, share it there, then repost the same video on Instagram and Twitter, thereby expanding your reach.
6. Advertise on Reddit
Utilizing Reddit ads can be a profitable marketing strategy, as the cost is low and the opportunity to stand out is high, unlike in popular advertising networks. To advertise on Reddit, create a sponsored post in subreddits related to your business, discuss your product, and offer a discount. Ensure the post blends in with the subreddit’s other posts.
7. Run Facebook ads
Facebook and Instagram advertising through Facebook ads lets you reach a particular audience by targeting them based on interests, demographics, and behaviors.
– The ads can appear in:
– Facebook and Instagram feeds
– Facebook and Instagram Reels
– Facebook and Instagram Stories
– Facebook search results
Running ads has various purposes, such as expanding your email subscriber list, increasing brand recognition, or generating excitement for a new product launch.
Ensure authenticity in your ad creation by featuring actual users of your products, experimenting with different ad formats, and determining key performance metrics relevant to your business goals. All ad components should align with your primary advertising objectives.
8. Set up a Facebook and Instagram shop
Enhance your social media marketing by incorporating a Facebook and Instagram shop into your profile. This feature allows for a seamless shopping experience for users who come across your products on the platforms.
9. Tag products in your posts
On Instagram, shoppable posts allow retailers to display their products with a product catalog and “Shop Now” button. By tagging products in a post, like a photo of a model wearing a piece of clothing, shoppers can directly access the product page for details and purchasing.
10. Go live
Utilizing livestreaming for marketing is a common practice among businesses. Despite the growing trend, not many companies have mastered the art of short live videos, unlike traditional social media posts on Twitter and Facebook.
Livestreaming can be a great tool for promoting products. You can take advantage of platforms like Facebook Live, Instagram Live, and TikTok LIVE to demonstrate your product, answer customer questions through a Q&A session, and give them a behind-the-scenes look at your business processes.
11. Run a contest
Running contests to promote your brand is an effective and low-cost method to reach a large audience. By offering your product as a prize, you attract potential customers.
To ensure success, it’s crucial to avoid common pitfalls while planning your contest. Ensure the hosting platform, timing, messaging, and entry requirements are carefully considered.
12. Work with influencers
A recent study by Glossy and Launchmetrics shows that micro-influencers (accounts with under 100k followers) offer the most benefit for social media promotion. As people search for genuine connections with brands and products post-pandemic, working with influencers helps you reach their followers, no matter their following size. When a trusted account endorses your products, it increases the likelihood of sales and creates a favorable impression of your brand.
13. Use the right tools
Social media management tools are essential for effective social media strategy. These tools allow you to schedule posts, monitor engagement, and gather insights to optimize your approach and reach your target audience.
Some top tools we recommend are:
– Canva for creating social media content
– Shopify Inbox for improving engagement
– Sprout Social for measurement and analytics
– Instagram Shopby SNPT for social commerce
– Buffer or Hootsuite for all-around social media management and content calendar
– Brandwatch for social listening
As a small business owner with limited time, these social media tools can assist you in reaching, interacting with, and converting your target audience across multiple social platforms. For a professional touch, consider hiring a social media specialist. 961Digital, a certified Google Ads member, offers comprehensive social media management services.
14. Get press coverage
To increase your chances of attracting new customers and gaining more visibility for your brand, consider targeting bloggers instead of mainstream journalists for your public relations efforts. Approach them with a personalized email or direct message, offering a sample of your product, and reaching out to bloggers in your industry, product-focused websites, and social media influencers.
15. Track and refine performance
Stay ahead of the ever-changing social media landscape by monitoring the performance of your campaigns regularly. Analytics give valuable insights into your customer demographics, allowing you to adjust your strategy and target future campaigns effectively. For instance, if a campaign resonates well with a particular age group, focus future campaigns on that group.
To maximize ROI for social media marketing, it’s important to keep track of which campaigns are most effective in reaching, engaging, and converting potential customers. Social media offers a cost-effective way to reach a large audience.
Maximizing online sales through effective social media marketing is crucial for businesses in today’s digital age. With a large number of potential customers using social media platforms, having a strong presence on these platforms can help you reach, engage, and convert more customers. To achieve this, you can use a combination of strategies such as creating high-quality content, tracking your performance, targeting the right audience, and collaborating with influencers. By staying up-to-date with the latest social media trends and using analytics to track your results, you can continuously improve your social media marketing efforts and reach your sales goals.
Article By: Elio Antoine
Photo by: Alexander Shatov on Unsplash