In today’s competitive business environment, social media can make a huge difference in promoting a company’s products and services. Over 3.8 billion people around the world use social media, meaning that it is a source of audience and customer base for all businesses, big and small.
Jesse Willms, a successful online entrepreneur, explores the reasons why social media can make a difference in your business and offers some suggestions for its use that will expand your business’s possibilities.
How social media can benefit a business’s marketing plan via word of mouth, niche ads, broad ads, sponsored content
Word of Mouth Advertising
Social media can provide a reason for your customers to talk about your business. Word of mouth advertising on social media can be expanded when your customers share your content with each other.
You can also achieve word of mouth advertising by joining local groups and posting about your services. Make sure that these posts are allowed by the group’s administrators and avoid being overly promotional and “spamming” the group. Posting in a local group can help a business cement itself as a part of the community.
Social media can be a key component of your company’s branding. Branding involves creating a personal relationship between the customer and the company. All of the customer’s thoughts and opinions about the company go into its branding, and it can be positive or negative depending on the company’s actions.
Your social media presence should be tailored to allow your branding to shine through. Don’t post anything that could interfere with your branding, including slamming other businesses or spamming with too many ads. These activities will cause public opinion of your company to dip and will make your branding less powerful.
One of the best features of Facebook, in particular, is its ability to target ads to a highly specific customer. Ads can be targeted based on age, gender, income, interests, and a wide variety of other criteria. Facebook makes it easy for entrepreneurs to choose “buyer personas” and decide how to target them with specific advertisements. In this case, spending a relatively small amount on ads can lead to major gains in sales and online exposure.
Social media sites can also provide broad-based advertising. Perhaps you want to advertise to residents in a certain zip code but aren’t particular about their demographics. This can be especially helpful for restaurants and retail companies. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat all offer this type of advertising.
Sponsored content is a value-added way to make your business stand out. Creating sponsored content can often mean that your company’s content goes viral.
In order for sponsored content to be relevant, it is important to make sure that it is not overly promotional in nature. For example, if you want to create a useful post that educates people about one of your products or services, take care to keep it from becoming excessively “salesy.”
When customers feel that they are being pandered to, their interest and engagement with your brand will plummet. It is better to take a more circumspect approach to advertising for your business.
Targeting Your Ads
Specific social media sites can be targeted if you are looking for exposure in certain demographics. Different social media sites cater to different parts of the market. Twitter is focused on tech-savvy Gen X consumers and younger. Facebook is focused on Gen X and older, though people of all ages do use it. Teens are most often on Snapchat, and millennials and Gen X as well as teens use Instagram.
Having a balanced ad strategy can mean using all of these platforms in different ways. Be careful not to repeat too much between these sites, as you may find that some of your customers use more than one if not all of them. Be creative with your advertisements and position them as fun and friendly.
Becoming an Authority
Social media can help you build your reputation as a brand. It can help you position yourself as an authority in your field. When you are an authority, people will turn to your social media presence when they want to answer a question.
Branding also means that you are creating a persona for your business. People will relate to your brand as they would to a friend or acquaintance.
Connecting with Customers
The key to building a social media audience is connecting with your customers. When customers feel as if they know and trust your brand, they are more likely to be loyal shoppers. Brands can promote emotional connections between the customer and the business.
Using Social Media in the Right Way
Social media advertisers need to know how to optimize the medium to make money and attract customers. With time, thought, and study, businesses should be able to research and analyze their customer base to decide how to spend their advertising dollars.
Jesse Willms has a successful online business, and he understands how to leverage social media to his advantage. When businesses follow his example, they will be more likely to succeed in a competitive marketplace.
Interesting related article: “What is Digital Marketing?“