Users engage with brands big and small on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat for a variety of reasons, from getting advice from other customers to sharing positive and negative experiences.
Social media harnesses user-generated content, which is vital to creating an authentic and engaging brand in 2018 and can be an effective way to garner hype around your company for free.
Why promote on social?
But how, specifically, does social media benefit your business? To illustrate how this marketing tactic can bolster business, let’s take a look at some of the latest data.
- It promotes loyalty—Last year, a survey showed that 66 percent of users between the ages of 18 and 24 years old say they’re more loyal to the brands they follow on social media. Loyalty tapers with age, but is still effective, with 39 percent of users that are 55 and older saying they have more loyalty to brands they follow.
- It boosts sales—A recent Nielsen study commissioned by Twitter showed that Twitter has a particularly high impact on sales—one in four new car buyers in the U.S. went to Twitter to help them make a decision. Due to the fact that social media can be used to sell organically without an up-front spend, it also has a relatively high return on investment (ROI).
- It gets you more props—No surprise here, but people who have had a good experience with companies on social media are more likely to recommend them to others. In fact, one study showed that 71 percent of those who have a positive company experience on social media are likely to tell their friends about it.
Simple but creative social media promotions
So, you know that social media is vital to boosting loyalty, sales and new customers, but how do you do it? Here are a few ways you can promote your business online for free (or cheap) to help meet your unique marketing goals.
- Host a giveaway—Give the fans what they want—free stuff! Social media contests are a great way for new or new-to-social-media companies to get more followers. Offering your fans something they want, like unique corporate giveaways or a free version of your product in exchange for a share, is a good way to reach the friends (and friends of friends) of your fanbase. In other words, simply by offering something up for free, you can exponentially grow your organic audience, which will undoubtedly lead to more sales.
- Use hashtags freely—One of the simplest ways you can promote your business across all social platforms, but especially on Instagram and Twitter, is to leverage hashtags. These tagged phrases connect your post with thousands of other posts that are also tagged with the same phrase. Many users follow or search hashtags to connect with like-minded users, find specific products or get inspiration on décor, fashion, weddings and more, so tagging is a good way to get your account in front of new users.
- Leverage employee pride—Make sure that your team is always sharing posts about your business’s wins and helping to represent your company in a positive, favorable light. The fact of the matter is that unhappy employees can negatively affect your company’s image, so you’ve got to keep them engaged with special activities, cool company swag and solid benefits and bonuses. Ask them to share their experience on social job sites like Glassdoor and LinkedIn and help keep the vibe positive on Facebook and Twitter.
- Create original videos—Sometimes it pays to spend a little bit of money on creative posts. Video marketing can do a whole lot for your brand, from educating consumers about how something works to helping forge a special brand image or aesthetic. To put it numerically, 90 percent of consumers say videos help them make purchasing decisions and 64 percent of people say they buy products online after watching a video about it. Photos and text posts are no longer enough to enrapture your audience.
- Use stories—Getting on social media is one thing but keeping up with new social media trends is quite another. Right now, it’s all about social stories—short, disappearing snapshots with photos and video—on Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat. Stories give you a chance to showcase product uses, debut new launches and engage with your customers. Stories are also a good way to make your company feel more like a friend than a corporation, adding to its authenticity factor.
- Give deals to fans—Don’t forget to reward your loyal customers. Offering exclusive products, sales and deals to those who follow you on social media helps to incentivize hitting that “Like” or “Follow” button. When consumers feel like they’re being rewarded for their engagement, they’re much less likely to unfollow and much more likely to share your brand with their friends.
- Share user-generated content—We all know that UGC is important to forging an authentic, reliable brand image, so it’s important to do whatever we can to encourage it. Make it a priority to share and reward users who post thoughtful content about your brand by sharing their posts or offering them an exclusive discount or free product. This will reinforce two things: your brand’s commitment to customer satisfaction and its willingness to listen to its core consumer.
Listen to your customers
At the end of the day, the primary reason why social media and business are so closely intertwined is because social platforms give users a voice. The most successful companies are those that listen intently to what their fans are saying about them online and respond accordingly. Speaking your user’s language and listening closely while you’re at it is a good foundational approach to boosting your social clout.
Lee Becknell serves as the Senior Digital Marketing Manager for Pinnacle Promotions. Lee oversees digital marketing from the Atlanta, GA headquarters. Lee has been with Pinnacle for over six years. Lee enjoys spending time with her husband, son and golden retriever, and running.