Choosing the right social media marketing strategy for your business is an important task. Social media is critical for how companies interact with the public–companies with successful social media presences have a leg up on the competition. If you’re avoiding social media for whatever reason, don’t! It’s critical for determining buying decisions, and companies that ignore its incredible reach are missing out.
Business owners need to determine what their social media needs are. One size doesn’t fit all, and matching your company’s needs with an appropriate social media plan is vital. Planning to use social media to legitimize your local business? That takes a different approach than using social media to generate leads or promote new products.
Choosing the Right Platforms
Platform selection is critical, and it’s better to master one than be mediocre on all. Not all social media platforms are the right fit for every company. For example, a local solar energy provider may not find a lot of traction on Tumblr. That same company may instead benefit more from Facebook’s increasingly aging demographic.
Choosing the right social media platforms requires you to identify your audience. If your target audience is business decision-makers, look to LinkedIn over Instagram. Likewise, if you’re aiming to attract customers in their teens or 20s, Tumblr or Instagram will be a better choice. Knowing your audience is part and parcel of making the right choice for a social media strategy.
Crafting a Voice and Sound
The right social media platforms can get you on the same playing field as your audience, but you’ll need more. Crafting a unique voice and sound is how you develop and express your brand–telling the stories you feel represent your business. Red Bull literally gave a man wings! It’s unlikely you’ll be dropping men from space, but the point stands–use social media to make your audience believe in you as a company.
Your voice is your own choice, but remember it’s social media and not a textbook. People are more eager to interact with entertaining content, so keeping it light can help. Wendy’s is famous for poking fun at its titanic rival McDonald’s via Twitter. Dollar Shave Club puts out humorous content that makes shaving and hygiene fun. Red Bull has zero limits for stuntmen, and Airbnb steals the spotlight on Instagram with its user-generated content.
Connecting with Customers
The choice to use social media as a method of connecting with customers is a rewarding one. Customers feel connected with businesses active on social media, and those same customers are able to influence the buying decisions of their peers. Social media enables customers to communicate with businesses in a public forum. Positive interactions in that public space means happy customers, and that’s when business thrives.
Square allows you to add your social media accounts to your receipts and invoices to encourage interaction with your customers. If you prefer to have a private conversation, Square Feedback allows people to leave feedback directly through their digital receipt and lets you see how you’re doing in real time.
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Engagement is key! A conversation takes two (or more) people, and no one likes to see someone muttering to himself alone. If a customer comments on your social platforms, engage with them and don’t be shy. Posting videos, engaging with comments, and joining conversations are how you turn a social platform into a place where customers feel at home.
But most of all, customers appreciate authenticity. Companies that build a trustworthy brand online are companies that succeed. A strong social media presence reinforces and legitimizes a business–without it, trust is hard to come by.
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