In our increasingly interconnected world, social media is no longer optional for businesses — it’s essential. A well-crafted social media strategy can increase brand awareness, grow your audience, and ultimately foster a meaningful relationship with them.
Social media is also very effective in driving sales and revenue. In fact, according to studies, 41% of shoppers in Australia brought something after seeing it on a social media platform, while the same applies to 40% of shoppers in the United States and 39% in Ireland respectively.
Whether you are a budding start-up or a large corporation, harnessing the power of social media is key to unlocking the full potential of your business. In this article, we’ll discuss five effective social media strategies that can help launch your business to new heights.
Embrace Influencer Marketing
Want to spread the word about your business even if you don’t have a huge audience yet? Try partnering with influencers.
Influencer marketing is a collaboration between a brand and an individual who has a significant presence on social media. This individual will then promote the brand’s products and services to their followers. If you have just launched your business and don’t have a huge audience, or you’re looking to tap into a new market, influencer marketing is the way to go.
Influencer marketing has also seen significant growth in the past few years. In 2022 alone, it had an estimated market size of $1.64 billion. And it’s no surprise. Research has shown that 61% of people rely on influencers’ recommendations when making buying decisions. In fact, 40% of people said that they bought something online after seeing an influencer use it.
While this strategy is indeed powerful, you’ll need to find the right influencer to make this work. So don’t just go about looking for the influencer that has the most number of followers. It’s best to find one that suits your industry, niche, or brand identity. For example, are you an eco-friendly cosmetic brand? Then working with influencers that focus on cosmetics as well as sustainable practices will work for you. Do you want to portray a friendly and approachable brand image? Try working with influencers that focus on relatable and funny content.
Also, check their engagement rate. Even if they have lots of followers, if they don’t have good engagement, it means that their followers are disengaged, or worse, fake. You’ll want an influencer that has active followers, as it means their followers will actually be interested in knowing more and potentially purchasing your product.
Find Your Brand Voice
With millions of brands competing for attention on social media, how do you stand out? The answer is by having a distinct brand voice.
Brand voice is the way businesses communicate online. The words or slang they use, the tone of voice, the flair or style — all of these add to their brand voice. This way, you can easily “recognize” their posts even just through the text alone.
Think of Wendy’s. The brand is known for its sassy and funny tweets, and these tweets tend to garner lots of replies and buzz. Meanwhile, Glossier embodies the cool girl image with the way they caption their posts and the muted color palettes on their images.
Having a distinct brand voice is your shortcut to being known on social media. It’s also a way for your followers to feel connected with you, as people usually prefer interacting with brands that they can relate to. Win-win, right?
Of course, a great brand voice needs to be paired with a solid brand identity to further elevate your business. Make sure your visuals, such as logo, color scheme, or typography, are harmonious with your chosen brand voice. Your business name plays a huge part as well. Make sure it’s something unique but easy enough to remember and spell. If you’re having trouble with your name, try playing around with some business name generators online to get some ideas.
Leverage User-Generated Content
User-generated content or UGC is defined as “any form of content, such as images, videos, text, testimonials, and audio, that has been posted by users on online platforms.” UGC includes product reviews, ratings, testimonials, hashtag challenges, and, yes, even those unboxing videos that you see on YouTube.
UGC is seen as a highly effective strategy due to one important component — trust. People tend to trust other people’s reviews and experiences rather than ads from brands. People view direct marketing methods from brands as suspicious, as they feel like brands are only saying things just to make people buy their products. But if a person that is not associated with the brand likes the product, it means that it’s really good, right?
This logic is even backed up with data. According to studies, 79% of people say that UGC affects their purchase decisions. 93% of people read reviews first before making a purchase, and 58% of people are willing to pay more for a product that has good reviews.
High engagement is another perk of UGC. Hashtag trends and challenges from TikTok and Instagram tend to generate lots of buzz and activity from people. An example is the viral #MyCalvin from Calvin Klein, which gathered nearly a million photos from its audience.
As you can see, the power of UGC is undeniable. If you are looking to have more UGC content for your business, try the following:
Ask for Customer Feedback
Make sure it’s easy for your customers to leave reviews and ratings, whether on your social media pages, website, email blasts, or ecommerce sites.
Start a Hashtag
Pay attention to trends and to what kind of content your audience likes, and you’ll be able to start a trend of your own.
Start a Discussion
Ask questions on your social media pages. Even something as simple as “What’s your favorite book?” can spark a discussion!
Engage Your Followers
Keep an eye out for any mention of your business on social media, and share your followers’ posts about you. This will encourage people to share more as they get recognized for their efforts.
Run Giveaways and Contests
Everyone loves free stuff, and your audience is no exception. Running social media giveaways and contests is a great way to boost engagement with your followers, as well as potentially gain new ones.
Social media giveaways are promotional tactics where businesses (and sometimes influencers) ask their audience to do certain actions in exchange for a prize. These could be something as simple as liking their Facebook page, tagging three of their friends on a post, or commenting on a post. It can also be something that requires a little bit more effort, such as creating a video post or doing a challenge.
You can even align your giveaway rules with a marketing objective that you want to meet. For example:
- Increase reach: share the post, share the page, tag friends
- Increase engagement: like the post, comment on the post
- Increase sales: need a purchase or receipt as entry for the giveaway
- Increase brand awareness: challenges and hashtags
- Improve brand credibility: reviews, product images, testimonials
Of course, make sure that you run a nice balance between the rules of your giveaway to the prize that your audience will receive. For example, if they need to create a video, then the prize needs to be worth your audience’s effort. And if the rules are too complicated, you’ll run the risk of people just not participating in your giveaway.
Focus on Video Marketing
Ask any marketer what’s the most effective content type, and the answer will be the same — video.
Video marketing has been proven to be highly effective in influencing purchase decisions. According to studies, 96% of people watch an explainer video to learn about a product, while 89% of people say that they’ve gotten convinced to buy a product after watching a video about it.
Video marketing is crucial if you want to boost engagement and reach as well. This is because 51% of people are more likely to share videos compared to any other type of content, thus making it the most “shareable” content format.
If you haven’t jumped on the bandwagon yet, now is the time to do so. Start out with short videos first, such as Instagram Shorts, YouTube Shorts, or on TikTok. If you find some success there, you can then try your hand at long-form videos for YouTube or even try Facebook Live.
Bonus Tip: Be Consistent!
Having a great social media presence is important, but your work doesn’t stop there. Make sure every other part of your business is solid — from your branding, web design, email marketing, and digital ads to product quality and customer support. All of these should work consistently together to provide your customer with a positive experience, which will lead to them going back to your business, and (hopefully!) turning into your brand advocate.
When it comes to growing your business, social media plays a huge role. Follow the tips we’ve shared above in order to create an effective social media strategy, and you’ll be well on your way to boosting sales.