By Alisha Shibli
In today’s day and age, you need social media to get the word out. Leads, conversions, customer engagement, SEO rankings—there’s a lot riding on social media’s shoulders. The stakes are very, very high. This comes as no surprise considering that both big and small businesses are punching above their weight to get the maximum returns from their social media campaigns. A report published by Yellow Social Media in 2018 said that small businesses spent 42% more on social media marketing than they did in 2017—which is staggering.
As a small business owner, the competition is tough given the kind of money you need to pump in for your paid social media campaigns. This is why low-budget social media tactics might help fuel your social presence and help you in terms of reach and conversions.
The tips mentioned below can ease the monetary pressure on small businesses when it comes to social media marketing.
1. Crowdsource opinions about your products and services
Connecting with customers and solving their queries is just part of the whole social media story. One of the ways to proactively engage with your followers is to ask for their opinions on products before they are launched in the marketplace. It makes them feel valued and part of a brand that strives to be inclusive.
This exercise encourages a dialogue with potential customers and that helps strengthen relationships. It can help turn your followers into first-time buyers of your product.
For example, when launching a new pair of sneakers, you can ask your followers to tell you the colors they would like those sneakers in. Or you can take it a notch up and create a webpage such as www.yourbrand.store/sneaker-ideas and invite them to design their sneakers.
2. Be the first to try new social media features
Facebook live video, Instagram shoppable posts, Snapchat’s on-demand geofilters—these are features that are cool to experiment with when they are launched. The sooner you jump the bandwagon, the more expertise you’ll have on how to make the most of them. Moreover, these powerhouse features could take your business to the next level.
One of the ways to ensure you stay on top of this is to set up Google alerts for new social media features. The moment you hear something that is worth your time and money, start brainstorming.
3. Host an AMA (Ask Me Anything) on your social channels
The former U.S. President, Barack Obama, did an AMA on Reddit in 2012 when he was running for re-election. It opened a direct channel of communication and helped him connect with his voters on a personal level.
Gary Vaynerchuk built (and continues to build) his business and his personal brand hosting AMAs on YouTube.
AMAs are one of the coolest ways to raise your social engagement. Call in an influencer from your industry and invite people to pick their brains. You can host an AMA on Facebook (through Facebook Live), Instagram, Twitter, Quora, or Reddit.
4. Have light conversations
People go on social media to have a good time. Talk to your followers like you’re telling them something over a cup of coffee. The more conversational and informative your tone, the more seamlessly you’ll blend in. Keep your promotional messages to a minimum.
According to a study done by Sprout Social, 86% of social media users follow one or more brands and 60% reported being annoyed by too much promotional content. Before you share your content, drown the promotional part to a minimum to avoid sounding like an infomercial.
5. Follow the 70:20:10 rule
What this rule suggests is that 70% of your content should be low-risk, light, and fun, 20% should be the content that you share from other resources and 10% should be your promotional content.
It’s good if you can hire a professional to strategize your social media content. If not, then study your competition and see the kind of content that they are sharing and the kind of engagement those posts are generating to get an idea.
You can add more texture to this strategy by using branded links to share your content. For example, instead of sharing a generic link such as bit.ly/2NeSGRS, go for something such as yourbrand.site/social-media-tips. Branded links increase brand name recognition and help develop a positive affinity towards the brand and the content shared.
6. Become a good news-jacker
Catching onto the latest trends can be helpful for any brand. Leveraging current events to highlight your ideas or products will definitely give your business mileage on social media. This could be new movies, new trends, political issues, or anything related to breaking news.
However, try to keep it light-hearted and steer away from any controversial subjects.
Zomato, a restaurant search, and discovery app does a brilliant job at this.
7. Make posting on social media a daily affair
Social media isn’t a once-in-a-while affair; it’s a long-term commitment. You need to carve out time every day to share content and actively engage in conversations. However, how many posts to put up and at what time is something that depends on the platform.
One of the ways to do this is to post at different intervals, then check the platform analytics to see what times produce the most engagement. You can use that data to form your strategy.
8. Narrow down your audience and basis that, your platforms
If your messaging is targeting college students, then your attention must be directed towards LinkedIn. However, Snapchat and Instagram are where you are likely to find more 18 to 24-year-olds based the data shared by Pew Research Center.
Moreover, one of the most important tricks to win at social media communication is to talk the language of the platform. Being overly formal on Snapchat might make you come across as the weird uncle at a party who is trying too hard fit in with the kids. Therefore, it is crucial to figure out your message and how you plan to present it to your audience.
9. Make the most of giveaways and promo codes
While free or discounted merchandise might look like a big investment, it’s actually not when compared to the sales you can generate over time. Everyone loves freebies, and hosting giveaways or giving out promo codes through a contest is a terrific way to attract the masses and get the maximum number of shares. Your social followers will love a good contest, thereby skyrocketing your overall traffic and engagement.
One of the best ways to do this is to create a dedicated landing page such as www.yourbrand.fun which becomes synonymous with your contests and giveaways. That way your followers will know where to go to check for the latest offer.
10. Freely share content published by someone that’s not you
To put it simply: help people grow, and they’ll help you grow. Social media is all about people and interactions. A lot of people avoid sharing tweets/posts of other brands thinking they might lose their followers. However, sharing content that helps solve people’s problems and puts someone is a good light will earn you extra brownie points.
The key to social media success is unstoppable engagement. By implementing the above strategies you are sure to keep your customers engaged, entertained and most importantly, drive conversions.