A Retailer’s Guide to Using Social Media: Part II
Establishing a presence on social media can be key to growing your business.
And the numbers don’t lie.
According to a Social Media Marketing Industry Report, 92 percent of marketers working with small businesses (between two and 10 employees) agree or strongly agree that social media is crucial to their marketing efforts.
What’s more, within two years of using social media, more than 50 percent of small businesses agree it helps them increase sales—and within five years, 70 percent of small businesses see ROI from a social media presence.
Not only can social media help your company reach and connect with current and potential customers, but having an active profile sends a clear message that you are a legitimate and trustworthy enterprise.
Before the holiday rush, now is an ideal time to consider launching the social media channels that make the most sense for your company, be it a Yelp page to collect customer reviews or a Facebook page to share important information about upcoming promotions and seasonal availability.
In Part I of this series, we discussed an overview of “The Big 8” social media channels that you can use from a business perspective. Now, we would like to offer some basic tips to help even the most novice user get started.
Image is Everything
The profile image for your business on social media shouldn’t be a default avatar. Upload a high-resolution photo to all of your social media accounts. This could be your company logo or professionally taken image of one of your pet clients.
It’s best to use the same image for all your social profiles, so customers can easily recognize your brand on whatever platform their busy thumbs are scrolling through.
Consider image sizing. It’s also a good idea to name the photo files as your business name (e.g., yourbusiness.jpg), so they will show up in image searches for your business.
Make Actions Clear
Want customers to visit your website, send you an email, give you a call or book online? On your company’s Facebook page, let them know with a call-to-action (CTA) button, which prompts visitors to take action by linking to any destination on or off Facebook. The seven CTAs available are: Book Now, Contact Us, Use App, Play Game, Shop Now, Sign Up and Watch Video.
Why should you invest in social media? It’s an opportunity to increase your audience, engage them and build a loyal community by fostering authentic connections. Start by inviting people to follow your business, and connect with friends, family, customers, vendors, business partners and others within the industry by following them and commenting on their posts.
Sites like Google+ and Facebook allow customers to post reviews and rate your business. Make sure you encourage loyal customers and followers to share their positive experiences with your business on your social media pages. Don’t forget to respond to the review and thank them.
Grow Your Following
One of the simplest ways to increase your following is to incorporate social media into all marketing efforts. Add social sharing icons to your website, blog posts, email signature, business cards and flyers to spread the word.
Frequency is Key
Like any meaningful relationship, digital connections need nurturing. Regular posting of authentic content on your website or social channels will be paramount to customer engagement and growing a community of followers and brand enthusiasts.
Boost Your Posts
Explore opportunities to advertise on Facebook, the largest social media network in the U.S., for additional exposure. Begin by setting a budget—ads are available for any and all budgets, and the amount can be modified at any time. Next, choose the right audience based on demographics, location, interests and behaviors. Finally, determine the right format (video, photo, multiple photos, mobile) and consider repurposing existing content that has resonated with customers.
Analyze to Improve
Keep up with the traffic that your social media page is producing through analytics. Every social platform provides some level of this type of information. Examine it often to determine which posts have been most popular with followers—and which have not.
Working with a partner can help your company get the most out of social media. At Vivial, we provide tools that make it easy for you to not only create a compelling profile on must-have sites, but also increase followers and keep them engaged with regular posts and updates.
Laura Cole is Vice President of Marketing at Vivial, a leading marketing technology company.