Is it possible to build a successful business relying solely on the effect of social media? Many companies show that there will be no need in having a physical store or even an official website if you do everything right. For any entrepreneur, there are only two fundamental questions at the beginning of the process: how much investment is required and what will a payback period look like. Using social media as the only tool for promotion and sales makes it possible to cut the initial costs and get fast results. Here are some other advantages of focusing on the social media impact:
- direct sales to your clients with no intermediaries;
- customers from around the globe;
- feedback from the clients to improve your business and make it more appealing;
- possibility to find opinion leaders/influencers to promote your brand;
- expanding list of customers you can reach whenever you need;
- possibility to make your brand popular without spending crazy budgets on advertising.
Some of the businesses, especially retailers, often do not consider a brand’s Facebook page or Twitter account as something necessary and useful. They find it difficult to estimate the real results the online activities bring. Do customers come to a store because of the great work of your social media manager or just because they have seen an ad on TV? It’s hard to say without collecting additional information. But when it is the only channel of communication you use, things become as clear as day.
Be specific identifying your target audience
Every new product or service tries to solve the existing problem a specific group of people has to deal with. The real challenge is to find those people and attract their attention with your company’s page. Making a statement that your target audience consists of men who live in New York and like coffee is far from being helpful as you don’t address their need. Your product or service has to fill that existing need in the most convenient and efficient way. So, coming to the conclusion that your audience consists of men aged between 30 and 45 years old who are always in a hurry and don’t have time to drink coffee in the morning on their way to work can make a difference. Now there is a problem you can solve for your clients.
Decide what social media channel your target audience uses
What network do your prospective customers use the most? Learn about the main purpose each of these platforms has and get a clear image of their typical users. Advertising your software business services will not be effective using Pinterest. Letting the world know about your home bakery startup on LinkedIn will not bring the impressive results either.
Analyze the behavior of the competitors on social media. How and where do they present their brands? There is nothing terrible about copying the approach of successful brands. There is plenty of room for every business that has something unique to offer.
Focus on branding
The choice of the appropriate platform depends not only on the clients but also on the brand image you want to communicate. To build trustworthy relationships with users, you need to demonstrate the benefits they get from subscribing to your page. Show them your expertise and be consistent with the messages you send.
The essential components of brand design you should pay close attention to are:
- brand logo;
- slogan/short message that represents the identity of your brand;
- consistency of the branded images you post.
Make it easy for people to identify your brand. We all see thousands of ads of various brands every day. Make yours stand out.
Develop a content plan
Posting random information about how great your brand is will not bring the page thousands of fans. What you need is the content that is useful and can get as many shares as possible. Your goal is to boost interactions with your page. It will increase brand awareness leading you to the bigger number of clients. The common mistake of beginners is to post as often as possible about new offers and fantastic deals their brand has.
If no one knows about your brand yet, it will be quite challenging to sell anything even at an attractive price. Let your content plan have a detailed strategy and no more than 25% of posts with direct offers. Also, you can post in different languages to attract more users. Google translate is not that accurate when it comes to the less popular language pairs, so you can use online translation services.
Posting every 3 hours is not helping. You risk losing even those few subscribers you’ve earned so far. For platforms like Facebook, you can post once a day if you have something to say. Do not write just for the sake of it. Use branded images and unique infographic. If you are selling products of a premium category, it would be nice to explain to users why you believe that they should pay a lot for a new product. For example, if it is luxury leather bags you are selling, make a video showing the process of crafting them.
Get ready to learn something unpleasant about social networks. It is not always the words of gratitude and admiration that you will read in the comments’ section. People will complain about something and you will have to respond to their negative experience. Be prepared to address them with respect no matter what. Negative feedback is not as bad as it seems. You get to know about the advantages of the current approach and have a chance to fix the situation really fast. Make sure to discuss the issues with your team and people responsible for that particular weak spot your clients complain about to react effectively.
Do Not Be Pushy
There are different ways to sell something via social networks without directly asking people to do that. If a popular influencer writes a positive review of your brand, it’s like winning a lottery. You can reach the opinion leaders and negotiate the terms of cooperation. If they agree to test your products, you can expect a quick growth of your brand’s awareness.
Contests are still gaining popularity as it is an effective way to get new leads and promote your brand. Keep in mind that the success of a contest depends on the incentives you choose. This activity will require you to invest money and time in it but brings good results if you do everything right.
Use paid campaigns as it is one more powerful way to find new clients. You will need some time to get your head around the process of setting an ad campaign for the first time. Read the guidelines from and tips from the more experienced digital marketers to avoid making common mistakes.
Evaluate the results
There are many tools you can use to see what posts are more popular than others and make necessary changes to the content plan. Some of the results will be completely unexpected. The posts you think are nothing special can get viral for the reasons you will never understand. This is the magic of the social media channels, so get used to it.