Online shopping was first introduced in the late 1900s, and no one could predict that it will take a boom in the 2020s. Today, the success of a business depends on how strong its social media presence is. It is not only setting up an eCommerce website; it is about being actively engaged with the audience through social media channels. If you don’t do it right, you will never be able to create an impression in the minds of your prospective customers.
In 2020, the number of online shopping customers was about 2.05 billion around the world, and this trend will continue to increase in the upcoming years. Since millions of customers are glued to the social platforms daily, you need to keep a tab on your social media presence as a conscious business entrepreneur.
Frankly, we shouldn’t be stressing you with the reasons to be on social media and harness it effectively. We all know how social media can influence your business, but we will still give you a quick overview of why you should do the same.
- You can create brand awareness through social media. For instance, if you create a Page, invite customers to like it, they will have a picture of your brand in their minds. If there is no Page or a Group on social media, it might be hard for them to visualise your brand effectively.
- You can connect with the customers. Yeah, that is the most impressive benefit of social media. It lets you interact with the audience and inform them about your products and services in a totally convincing way. It is promotional, but it appears you are simply talking to them about your business and helping them out solve their problems. As you engage in different activities such as contests and discount packages, they stick to your products and services for an extended time. They are happy that they are connected to a brand and receive special treatment as a regular customer.
- You can increase sales as you connect to the customers directly without the presence of any intermediary. In the earlier days, businesses had no means to connect with their customers. It was like a far-flung relationship in which businesses had to predict and estimate customer behavior. But now, business entrepreneurs can understand what goes on in the customers’ minds and draft sales plans accordingly.
Now, let us understand what social media management involves.
- Creating profiles and maintaining them on requisite social media channels.
- Studying competitors.
- Building strategies to curate and post content (based on timings, and what customers expect, and what might entice them to purchase).
- Developing text content, visual images, and videos.
- Launching web campaigns.
- Collaborating with influencers.
You have a deeper understanding of what social media can do to your business and what exactly it entails.
Let us discuss the essence of this post, how to harness social media for effective sales and revenue. Following are the practical and valuable strategies.
1. Choose social media channels wisely
You shouldn’t be posting only on a single channel or all of them. It is bad advice to be active on all social media continually. What you post on Facebook shouldn’t be in the same way and on the same day on Instagram, or your customers won’t feel anything unique about your content.
Analyze your business type, and you will get an idea that you won’t have to be present everywhere. You might need a few social media networks such as LinkedIn (it is a must for every business), Facebook, and YouTube. Some businesses do not need to be on YouTube as their customers are concentrated on other platforms.
Hence, choose your channels wisely and do not go for all. Select a few to post quality and regular content on them.
2. Stick to your brand but ensure each message is unique
The common mistake made by businesses is that they post the same message in the same fashion on all platforms. This doesn’t seem right as it will not make the customers feel different each time they view your brand story. Now, this also doesn’t mean that your every message should look different from each other.
Your content format should be the same, but the message should be different and must not make the customers feel monotonous. You will need several formats for each platform. For instance, a blog post, a few images, a story, a video, and announcements. You should know where to post each of these formats on the specific platforms. Business owners often get confused with this, and to save time, start posting the same content every day. Do not let this happen with your venture.
3. Be regular in posting content
Social media is not a one-time thing. Once you announce your product and you never look back – hey, this attitude doesn’t work in managing social media. You have to create a content plan and upload it in your calendar; it should contain how many posts you will upload a month and a week, what will you post, the goal it will achieve, where will you post it, and at what time will you do the posting.
You should have a goal; it shouldn’t look like mindless posting of images and videos. For instance, if you wish to launch a product next month, you should be introducing it in this month itself. Tell them about the general benefits of the product, your company mission, and how the existing customers will benefit from it.
When you don’t have a content plan, you will not have anything to post, leaving your social media feeds empty. If this happens, customers might lose track of your business and try others where the noise is more, and they have something to view.
4. Engage with your audience actively
Audience engagement is one of the vital keys to achieving social media success. The first thing is that your content should align with the message that you convey. It must talk more about the brand and the product or service. Secondly, when customers strike a conversation with you or ask questions, answer them promptly. It is a possibility that they will purchase the product as the need has been created in their minds.
You shouldn’t delay replying to their questions or messages. When customers know that the business owner will reply to their message or query, they will be delighted to buy from them. No matter how new your business is, they will be willing to make purchases because they have found your business credible.
5. Attention doesn’t always mean sales
If your motive is to create viral posts only or content that brings customer attention, you have been doing it all wrong. Viral posts do not necessarily mean millions of customers buy your product or service. Posts that bring attention do not promise sales.
Hence, you have to understand the concept of social media posts and accept that all posts will not generate attention, and all will not be futile. Posts such as customer testimonials might not bring attention but are essential to post as it tells a lot about your product review. When a post does not bring sufficient likes doesn’t imply you should not post similar posts. This is because it builds a solid foundation of your brand and lets the customers know passively about your business venture.
6. Take social media to the personal level
If you are the sole business entrepreneur of your venture, you can create separate social media channels for your business. But this doesn’t mean you should strictly post about your business. You can even personalize your handles by posting a little about your own life or issues or how you deal with the current scenario.
When you post content about your personal life (ensure that you do not go overboard with it), customers will feel connected with you. They will think that it is not just a business venture but an entity created by a human being with them who has feelings and emotions. Try posting something about your life and how you balance personal and professional lives, and this will bring a unique perspective to your venture.
7. Focus on the call to action
While you post about the existing trends, your professional life, about products and services, never miss out on the crucial aspect – Call to action. You can offer discounts, conduct giveaways, and make your call-to-action more appealing for the customers. Your ultimate motive is to convert the existing and new customers into active ones and not just increase your Page Likes or Followers. Seek mentor advice and alter your social media strategy to let the customers take appropriate action.
In a nutshell, social media is a boon that you need to optimize and harness for your own good. You can hire a social media management firm and outsource the tasks. But merely allocating the task is not sufficient. You have to collaborate with them, convey your intentions and business goals, and craft the social media strategy accordingly.
Social media can help your small business grow by increasing brand awareness, driving traffic to your website, establishing customer loyalty, engaging and connecting with customers, receiving feedback, generating leads and reaching a wider audience.
The first step to establishing your business on social media is to choose the platforms that are most suitable for your target audience. Consider the type of content you want to share and the people you want to reach. Create a plan for how often you will post and the type of content you will share.
The type of content you create depends on your goals. Look for content that resonates with your target audience and educate them about your products or services. You can post current industry news, share helpful tips, create polls, share videos and infographics, giveaways, customer testimonials, create blog content, and much more.
It is important to establish a consistent posting schedule and post often. How often you post depends on the platform and your individual goals. Most businesses post one to five posts per day in order to maintain engagement and remain consistent with their followers.
Visuals are a great way to grab attention and present your message in a creative way. Including visuals like images, videos, and infographics can boost engagement and help to make your content more shareable.
When creating your social media strategy, it is important to set measurable goals so that you can track your progress. Analyzing metrics like website visits, likes and shares, and followers can help you better understand your social media performance.
You can use targeted ads to reach your exact target audience. You can also create content that resonates with your target audience and build relationships with influencers who can expand your reach to their followers.
You can increase engagement by creating interesting and high-quality content. Ask your followers questions, share user-generated content, and run polls or contests. Use hashtags to reach a wider audience and post at optimal times for each platform.