You don't need rocket science to see how social media has changed the dynamics of business. It's almost impossible for a new brand to establish itself without a prominent presence on social media channels. Companies these days use popular platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and others to boost their online profiles.
Most of us already know how to use these channels, and we see how businesses use them to their advantage to build a strong social media following.
But there are still effective tactics and strategies that not everyone is aware of, and even now, few brands apply them all to their own online presences. Let's review a few tried-and-true ways to drive traffic (and leads) with social media marketing.
1. Informative content
We've all heard by now that content is the king. We know this in theory, but in practice, it's more complicated than a simple maxim. Well-crafted content that speaks to a specific target market's questions and pain points can bring amazing results. A regular cadence of posts will build a bond of trust between a brand and its followers. Interaction through social media also builds that trust, and those long-lasting relationships translate into loyal sales and strong word of mouth better than most mediums.
There are lots of ways to build informative content:
- Case studies
- White papers
According to research, 78% of customers find custom content useful and believe that companies providing content are interested in building long-term relationships with them. To create amazing social content, search for trending keywords on platforms like BuzzSumo, Hivemind or Epictions—then create informative blogs & pages around your findings.
2. Visual appeal
Visitors to a website decide in a split second whether they want to check out the whole thing or leave it. Visual appeal is all about capturing their attention and curiosity, which in turn will improve their engagement and boost the number of pages they visit. These principles apply to social media, too.
There are many ways to add visual appeal to your social content:
- Custom photography
- Artistic designs
- Data visualization
- Trending memes
As a savvy social brand, it's up to you to decide how to use these visual assets across the social media channels that would be most effective for your audience. Make sure you understand the culture and purpose of each platform, so that the content type you choose fits the context.
3. Vibrant video
Depending on how a visitor feels in the moment, reading an 800-word blog post might be too much—so they skip it. Alternatively, a strong 20-second video is easily understood and highly effective. That's why many brands use video to grab attention from social media followers. But know this: the idea, message and execution of the video must work well together, otherwise the effect will be lost.
To make a strong video, create 2 to 3 drafts of the content and ask your team to choose the best one. Then decide where to host the video, keeping in mind that many social platforms (like Facebook) prioritize native video over external links. But, also consider that video-sharing portals like YouTube, Vimeo or Dailymotion can extend your reach.
If you strike gold, your video might even go viral. Just imagine what that could do for your brand!
4. Brand personality
In today's brand-driven marketplace, it's all about image and perception. No one stays loyal to a brand simply for the sake of buying a product—the brand's reputation, the company's philosophy, and the lifetime value it gives to the customer are all taken into consideration. For a small or medium-sized business, it can be difficult to compete with big, established brands. That's where the power of social media can make a huge difference.
Quality products and services are vitally important, of course—but the way a company builds its community and nurtures its relationships really does matter. The marketing team must think deeply about the brand's personality and purpose to achieve brand consistency on social media, which in turn will empower the company to have more meaningful, authentic interactions with its customers.
5. Communication tips
There are a lot of social principles to remember when building a strong online presence. Some can be used across various social channels, and they can be the catalyst a company needs to get the brand up and running.
Here are a few communication tips that can be applied across the board:
- Reply to all comments, quickly if possible.
- If someone shares a complaint, apologize and follow up when the issue is resolved. Visitors can grow angry if their grievances are not addressed in time.
- If someone reports an error or bug, thank them for reporting and investigate the error to resolve it as quickly as possible.
- Approve invitations and friend requests to grow your list of followers (and potential customers).
- Maintain a healthy balance between posting original content and sharing content curated from others. Both serve a valuable purpose in building your brand and attracting followers.
By following these strategies and tactics, you should be well on your way to building a strong, active brand presence on social media—and driving traffic to your site. Give these a try and let us know what's worked best for you!