You may have missed it, but June 30th was Social Media Day, a day set aside to “recognize and celebrate social media’s impact on global communication.” In reality, every day should be social media day for your business, as it provides an essential way to gain leads, attract customers and grow sales. The secret is operating on a foundation that includes three important components: a solid strategy, valuable content and most importantly the know how. Without these, it is easy to waste a lot of time and effort.
Meliss Jakubovic, owner of Meliss Marketing in Atlanta, GA and founder of the free Facebook Group Magnetic Marketing Mastermind, is a Facebook Ad Expert and Marketing Strategist. She helps entrepreneurs worldwide scale using the power of Social Media and shared her top tips for every platform. As a small business owner, you can use her top social media tips to build awareness, increase customers and grow sales.
“Every business in every industry needs to be on Facebook,” Jakubovic says. It’s the largest online social platform with over 1 billion users, and it can give you access to potential customers you couldn’t otherwise reach. When used correctly, Facebook marketing outshines any traditional advertising. Here’s how to do it right:
- Start marketing with video. “Right now, video is hands down dominating social media across the board,” Jakubovic notes. Statistics show that video marketing boosts engagement and increases conversions, which both lead to more sales.
- Promote with paid advertising. “If you’re serious about growing your business, you should have a budget for marketing and Facebook is the first place you should invest it,” Jakubovic “Because Facebook ads offers easy access with the ability to target specific audiences, they provide the highest return on your investment (ROI).”
- Use eye-catching visuals. “Thanks to our brains, humans naturally process images at incredible speeds. Meanwhile, statistics tell us that attention span on social media is about 8 seconds, which makes visuals the best way to communicate and trigger emotion all in a single glance,” Jakubovic notes.
- Align yourself with industry influencers. When you partner with influencers in your industry, you gain access to a large network of people with common interests. This offers a unique opportunity to reach potential clients. “The easiest and most cost-effective way to connect with influencers is to offer them an opportunity to try your product and give feedback. If you can get just one influencer to share positive feedback or open up discussion about your product or service, you can have an immediate impact on your visibility and reputation,” says Jakubovic.
- Start using Chatbots within Facebook Messenger. Chatbots are fairly new and predicted to increase in popularity. “In fact, I bet you’ll start to hear and see more about Chatbots in social media strategy in the months ahead. Those already using Chatbots are seeing open rates increase 75-85%. Chatbots provide a sense of immediacy, offer the personal connection consumers crave, and because of tags make sure no opportunity is lost,” Jakubovic adds.
Some say that “Twitter is dead,”but Jakubovic says this couldn’t be further from the truth. “The reality is businesses can easily engage and connect with their customers and vendors, while gaining valuable information about their competitors without spending any money. That’s right: tweets are still free.” She notes.
You may not know it but Google indexes every tweet (which makes it a great tool for search engine optimization or SEO). Most importantly, you can’t ignore that 60% of a business’s or brand's followers are likely to purchase or recommend after following them on Twitter. Here are five ways to improve your performance on the platform:
- Limit how often you share links. Research has shown that tweets without links perform better and get more engagement. “When you limit the links you share, you bring more weight and value to the ones you occasionally include,” Jakubovic advises.
- Choose the right Hashtags. “I highly recommend you build a library of Hashtags for your business, and make sure you include both industry tags and tags that appeal to your specific audience. However, don’t overkill.” Jakubovic recommends. Studies show that tweets with two Hashtags perform the best on Twitter.
- Tag relevant and industry-related profiles. Tagging should be an important part of any Twitter strategy, but it needs to make sense. “Only tag relevant profiles and make sure you’re using the appropriate format for Tweets. Unless you’re replying to a post, it’s typically best to include their mention in the body of the tweet,” she suggests.
- Acknowledge every one that mentions you. “When you receive a mention or acknowledgement on Twitter (or any platform), it’s the perfect opportunity to spread awareness. Strengthen your presence by favoriting the tweet, replying or offering up a shout out,” Jakubovic says.
- Implement Twitter cards for lead generation. Twitter cards provide an easy way to get people to subscribe to your list, and a growing list offers opportunity for potential clients. “Gaining new leads is always the central goal, so channel your efforts on social media toward building your list and/or following,” she adds.
Before you decide if Instagram should be part of your social strategy, you need to hear the statistics: 33% of internet users are on Instagram, 60% of Instagram users login daily, approximately 80 million users reside in the United States, and engagement on Instagram is 10x higher than Facebook and 84x higher than Twitter.
What does it all mean? “Instagram has a more engaged audience than any other social media platform. It’s eliminated the frills and features, and works because it solely shares strong visuals via photos and video. The platform also has less competition when compared to other social media giants, which makes now a great time to dive in and deliver your content,” Jakubovic notes. Here’s how to put your best foot forward:
- Convert to a business account. When you convert to a business account, you get access to features not available on personal accounts (it also keeps you out of hot water since all businesses should be using business accounts according to their terms of service). “Instagram for business offers a unique profile layout with the addition of a contact button. It gives you access to analytics, so you can monitor and improve results. And it provides access to Instagram Ads, so you can target a custom audience and get preference in the newsfeed,” adds Jakubovic.
- Use a Hashtag strategy. Hashtags will get you noticed, increase engagement and build your following. “A good Hashtag strategy includes Hashtags that are brand specific, industry relevant and trending. You can find a variety of tools online to help with Hashtag research and identification,” says Jakubovic.
- Focus on the customer. “Sharing your followers’ photos on your site is one of the best strategies for growth,” Jakubovic notes. “You’ll want to ask permission first and give proper credit to the source, but it’s a great way to acknowledge and connect directly with potential customers. In fact, Starbucks uses this strategy regularly and is among the top 200 brands on Instagram.” As part of a customer-focused strategy, make sure you like and comment on your followers’ photos and respond to their comments on your own posts. “If you want Instagram to support your business, you cannot simply post and run. You must continually interact and actively engage with your fans and followers,” she adds.
- Creativity wins. “Only the best quality images and videos will do,” warns Jakubovic. “Be creative, be consistent, be authentic and be unique. Don’t limit yourself to just photos. You should also use video and stories to give your customers a look behind the scenes. If you let them get to know more about you, they will feel more comfortable buying from you.”
- Host a giveaway or contest. When done correctly, contests and giveaways net big results on Instagram. “It’s a great way to build your following, showcase product and interact with others. Here are a few tips to make a contest work for you: offer something valuable that others want (don’t go cheap), make sure you have a strong following first and simplify the process for entering the contest,” Jakubovic suggests.