Social media is a necessary leg of nearly every successful business in some form or another. It provides businesses with a platform to engage with their target audience, advertise their products and services, and even sell their products. Social media also requires very little investment compared to other ways of interacting with customers. Simply set up an account for your business and you can start engaging with your audience. However, if you really want to get the most out of social media there are steps you can take to improve your online presence. Here are some tips to help you use social media to effectively grow your audience.
Set SMART Goals
Every good social media campaign begins with a solid plan. Start building your engagement strategy by settling on a list of SMART goals. SMART is an acronym for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. A SMART goal is one that has a clear definition for each of these parameters. For example, let’s say your business is running a social media campaign that includes coupons for discounts on your products. An example of a SMART goal for this campaign would be for 40% of the coupons your company sent out to be used by a customer within the next two weeks. This example meets each of the criteria of a SMART goal. It is specific and can be easily measured. It is ambitious, yet achievable. And most importantly, it is relevant to the campaign and sets a timeline for when the goal should be achieved.
Identify Your Audience
Social media may be a unique platform, but it is still a form of digital marketing. And just like with every other method of digital marketing, it’s best to identify your target audience. This is because knowing who your business appeals to most will help you more effectively market to them. For example, it is easier to gain traction on Twitter without an eye-catching image than it is on Instagram. So, if your target audience predominantly uses Instagram, you may want to invest more resources in the visual elements of your social media campaigns.
Understanding your audience will also make providing them with a satisfying user experience easier. For example, different consumer demographics may prefer other shipping methods. Some customers may be willing to pay for expedited shipping, while others prefer to find the cheapest shipping services available. Take a moment to identify your audience and understand what they look for in a business. It will help you more effectively serve your customers and engage with them on social media.
A significant marketing factor that many businesses overlook is the company’s personality. Giving your brand a personality makes it relatable, which is important when growing an audience. This is a fact that marketing professionals have known for years. But the introduction of social media has made it easier than ever before to build a personality for your brand. Social media is the perfect place for your business to take a more casual and relatable approach to marketing. It is one of the few marketing platforms where slang, emojis, and humor are common. Consumers expect to interact with other people on social media, so it only makes sense for your brand to act like one.
A unique challenge that comes with social media is the consistency required to stay in the public eye. The internet has a very short attention span and things that are popular today might be forgotten tomorrow. Many of the most successful corporate social media accounts post to social media at least three times a week, if not more. To keep up with this sort of pace, you’ll need to plan ahead. Fortunately, there are applications that help you do just that. Services like Hootsuite allow you to plan social media posts in the software and even automate when those posts go live. This will help keep your social media campaigns organized and consistent.
Interact With Your Audience
One of social media’s greatest strengths is that it allows two-way communication. This means that businesses can speak to the public and individuals can publicly respond directly to the business. This is a deep level of engagement that very few other marketing avenues provide. Your company should be taking full advantage of this and responding to members of your audience as frequently as possible. Interactions between businesses and consumers have the potential to go viral, resulting in a wave of public engagement. For example, Wendy’s Twitter account has built a reputation for responding to its customers in a lighthearted snarky manner. This earned them the love of the internet and some media attention.