It’s no secret that social media is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to small business marketing. Yet, that’s only the case if you use it wisely — taking into consideration your audience, your goals, and current social media trends. To get the full benefit of social media marketing, you need a solid social media marketing strategy.
Let’s cover 10 things you can do to kick your social media marketing strategy up a notch and get better results.
10 Smart Social Media Marketing Strategies
If you do any or all of the following, it will be nearly impossible for you to miss the mark on social media. Here are 10 strategies that will help you grow your following, drum up engagement, and rake in more sales.
1. Educate Your Audience
Regardless of what your goals are, educating your audience is always a smart route to take. If you provide valuable information and/or practical advice, people will look to you as an authority and, in time, may become loyal customers.
You can either educate your followers directly on social media or by using your accounts to direct them to educational resources such as blog posts, white papers, and webinars.
2. Choose Stories > Promotion
Taking the educational approach means doing more teaching than selling. Storytelling isn’t much different and, often, it can double as an educational tool.
However, the power of storytelling doesn’t always lie in teaching people things they didn’t know. Instead, it’s often about bringing to life relatable characters and situations (or at least characters and situations that evoke emotional responses).
Since much of our decision-making is feeling-based, stories that push emotional triggers tend to do a better job of promoting action than constant self-promotion.
3. Produce Diversified Content Types
It can be easy to find yourself only posting pictures on Instagram, only posting short tweets to Twitter, and so on. Yet, on most popular social media platforms, you can post other forms of content including blog posts, infographics, threads, and videos. Why diversify the kinds of content you share, though?
For one thing, producing the same content type endlessly can bore your audience. For another, your target audience (or subsets of it) may not respond as enthusiastically to one type of content as they do to another.
So break up the monotony by creating and sharing various kinds of content. You’ll learn a ton about what your audience wants from you and be able to keep them engaged long-term.
4. Try Micro-Influencer Marketing
Partnering with respected and well-connected influencers is a wise idea for several reasons. In addition to a credibility boost, it can boost your marketing reach significantly.
With this in mind, many businesses set out to partner with influencers who have hundreds of thousands or even millions of followers. While this might seem like a quick way to get your business in front of a lot of eyes, teaming up with micro-influencers is a better option in many cases. Why?
Although they have smaller followings — 1K to 100K — the audiences of micro-influencers are more engaged and dialed-in. So the people you connect with as a result of your partnerships are more likely to be your ideal customers and more willing to engage with you. (Plus, micro-influencers are often easier to get in touch with and persuade than social media superstars.)
5. Capitalize on Customer Loyalty
Loyal customers are only one step away from being brand advocates, also known as people who spread the word far and wide about your company. Besides boosting awareness of your business, they provide valuable social proof, helping you build trust with potential customers faster than you otherwise could.
Social media is an excellent tool when in the hands of motivated brand advocates. But, of course, it’s up to you to do the motivating. You might try:
- Asking for reviews on social networks such as Facebook.
- Encouraging people to share user-generated content based on their positive experience with your business, which you can then use in your social media campaigns.
- Interviewing satisfied customers and sharing their stories on social media.
- Holding contests, doing giveaways, and offering incentives, which would motivate people to spread the word about your business on social networks of your choice.
In a sense, your most loyal customers will be creating effective content and doing your social media marketing for you.
6. Use Virtual & Augmented Reality
Immersive experiences are becoming more and more appealing to consumers. As a result, both virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are increasingly being explored as marketing tools on Instagram, TikTok, and other platforms.
Either through complete immersive experiences that shut out the physical world (VR) or through digital elements added to a live view (AR), several brands are increasing audience engagement.
For example, notice how L’Oréal enabled users to “try on” its various lipstick shades.
Leveraging mobile cameras in this way can allow your potential customers to understand your products, services, and customer experience as they would in reality. As a result, you could directly influence their buying decisions, which would have obvious benefits to your business.
If you haven’t already, it’s time to seriously consider how you could incorporate augmented or virtual reality into your social media marketing strategy.
7. Embrace Video & Live Streaming
Admittedly, video marketing and live streaming aren’t new. The many studies done on it over the last few years have proven its effectiveness and appeal. And it’s clearly been rising in popularity.
But including video in your social media marketing strategy has never been more important than it is now. Why? Out of the 68% of people who claimed their viewing habits were affected by the pandemic, 96% said they watch more videos now.
It would be a shame not to take advantage of this knowledge! Especially with the option for live streaming, which can do wonders in the way of boosting engagement, getting real-time feedback from your audience, and so on.
8. Leverage Privacy & Exclusivity
With concerns about data privacy on people’s minds more than ever, the social media climate is shifting more toward private interaction. You can use this change in behavior to your advantage by creating more intimate settings in which to engage with your audience.
This could mean creating a ‘Close Friends’ list for your top Instagram followers, starting up private Facebook or LinkedIn groups, or even using direct messages to build relationships. This may make your current followers feel more comfortable engaging with you, as well as encourage others to do the same so that they don’t miss out.
9. Be More Human
People have always hated marketing that’s impersonal and insincere. But it was even more of a turnoff in 2020 given the challenges the world faced. From here on out, human, empathetic marketing will be more important than ever.
So, respond to comments, personalize the experiences you deliver to your audience, and encourage user-generated content.
Even better, put faces, voices, and names to your team members and tie your overall social media marketing strategy back to your brand story, mission, and vision.
10. Use Chatbots
As a follow-up to our last point, chatbots are an excellent tool for humanization. These bots can be used to start conversations, encourage unlikely sales, answer questions, and provide individualized customer service and support. For all these reasons and more, chatbots are becoming a staple of social media marketing (and online marketing in general).
By using them as you promote your business on social media you can both increase the appeal of your business and improve your results.
Dominating Social in 2021 & Beyond
Could you do better in one or more of the 10 areas mentioned? Trick question! There’s always room for improvement. And now’s as good a time as any to evaluate where you stand, what your social media marketing goals are, how they fit into the bigger picture for your business, and what you can do to improve your results. So do your homework on which of these strategies may work for you and start testing!