Companies that understand the best ways to use social media networks have a distinct advantage over the competition.
This is due to the fact that having a strong social media presence can help you:
- Increase brand awareness
- Boost customer loyalty
- Collect customer feedback
- Increase the number of visitors to your website.
- Find qualified candidates.
However, in order to reap all of these benefits, you must first understand how to use social media effectively. Here are some pointers on how to make the most of these effective marketing channels.
Know your target audience
Nothing is more infuriating than squandering time and resources on the wrong audience. As a result, it’s worthwhile to invest time in determining who your target demographic is and where they spend the majority of their online time.
If your customers are mostly single people under 30, for example, you’ll get a better return on investment if you focus your social campaigns on TikTok, Instagram, and SnapChat. If you are a B2B company, however, you should target business leaders on LinkedIn.
When it comes to earned media, it’s also worth considering which social platform will provide the best return on investment. For example, most journalists use Twitter to promote their articles.
Take a look at what your competitors are doing
One often-overlooked advantage of social media is that it shows you what your competitors are doing and how their customers feel about them. For example, by following competitor profiles as well as popular hashtags related to your industry—particularly those involving reviews or consumer complaints—you can discover unmet customer needs or pain points that you could satisfy instead, thereby drawing customers away from your competitors and growing your client base.
Make a strategy
You have no stated goals for what you’re trying to achieve if you don’t have a clear plan. This makes tracking your progress and determining whether your efforts are effective impossible.
A good plan will include your desired goals broken down into smaller steps, a timeline for completing each step, and ways to measure success at each milestone. The SMART strategy is an excellent tool for developing measurable objectives.
Post content your audience wants
People flock to social media platforms in search of a specific type of content. As a result, you should create content that will perform best on the channels that your customers prefer.
People prefer to buy from well-known brands. Consistency in the look and feel, schedule, and subject matter of your posts across multiple social platforms will make it more difficult for consumers to recognize your content. This means you won’t be able to use your relationship with them to gain their trust and business.
A brand style guide that lists acceptable colours, logos, font(s), and icons, as well as any design and formatting rules, is a good way to achieve consistency. This guide should also instruct social media creators to limit their posts to topics that reflect your company’s mission and values.
Engage in order to develop relationships
Customers dislike being sold to. Furthermore, no matter how hard you try to disguise a marketing pitch, they can easily detect it.
They prefer brands that speak “to” them rather than “at” them. As a result, it is critical to make an effort to engage your audience in human conversations.
Don’t just send out company-related messages. Show people you care by “liking” and commenting on other people’s and brands’ posts to start conversations. You can also ask your employees to share their personal stories on social media in order to humanize your brand.
Pay attention to what your customers are saying.
Staying on top of consumer complaints and trending topics involving your brand allows you to respond to customer pain points quickly. This not only increases customer loyalty but also demonstrates to potential customers your dedication to customer satisfaction.
Social listening has the added benefit of highlighting broken business processes that you can fix to prevent future customers from disparaging your brand online. It also allows you to respond to growing negative sentiments about your brand in advance, giving you time to post your own content and steer the online conversation in a more positive direction.
Make use of the appropriate hashtags.
Users of social media use hashtags to find content on a specific topic. So, if you’re not using hashtags in your content, you’re passing up an opportunity to reach a wider audience.
However, don’t overdo it, as using too many hashtags can appear spammy. It’s best to limit yourself to one or two hashtags per post.
Another way to use hashtags is to search for them to find conversations that you can join to increase brand awareness and credibility.
Don’t forget about SEO
The higher your content ranks in search engine results, the more likely it will be found. More visitors to your website and social profiles means more sales.
Include relevant keywords in your profiles to get search engines to rank your content higher in search results for specific topics. The same is true for adding alt text to your images.
Distribute user-generated content
UGC is 8.7 times more effective than influencer content and 6.6 times more effective than branded content. This is primarily because consumers regard UGC as more authentic.
UGC also allows consumers to become active participants in your brand’s success rather than passive observers. Furthermore, because UGC sparks conversations between your brand and its customers, it can help you build an engaged community and increase customer loyalty.
To capitalize on this increase in authenticity and trust, seek out and share consumer-generated reviews, testimonials, images, podcasts, and videos on your social channels. Just make sure you get permission from the creator first. Contests, challenges, and giveaways are all good ways to solicit content.
Complaints should be prioritized
76% of consumers expect businesses to respond to social media complaints within 24 hours, according to the 2022 Sprout Social Index study. Failure to meet this standard not only ruins your credibility with existing customers, but it also harms your reputation with potential customers, who interpret any missing or delayed responses as neglect.
To avoid tarnishing your online reputation, allocate resources to monitor all social channels for mentions of your brand, whether positive or negative, and respond appropriately and promptly.
Your efforts to reach out to customers may even result in recognition from the social platform you use. For example, Facebook awards a “Very responsive to messages” badge to brand pages that have:
- A response rate of at least 90%
- A response time of under 15 minutes
Make contact with industry social media influencers.
Reach out to individuals and organizations in your industry with large followings and comment on and share their posts. This will encourage consumers to associate your name with the authority and expertise of these influencers, increasing the credibility of your brand.
It will also engage you in conversations that generate interest in your company and allow you to explain your unique value proposition directly to a highly targeted audience.
Maintain your online reputation
Now that you understand how to grow your business through an impressive social media presence, it’s critical to protect it from damaging negative press or other unflattering online content that could undo all of your hard work.
Reputation Defender offers a number of reputation management solutions to assist businesses in looking their best online. Simply give us a call to learn more. We are happy to provide a free consultation about your specific situation.