Last updated on February 19, 2019
It’s not new knowledge that social networks are living, breathing communities filled to the brim with people. The population within these networks are spread within different demographics dictated by interests, nationalities, gender, beliefs and even values.
Not to belabor a point, but the above mentioned details paint social networks as potential marketplaces among other obvious uses.
People are consumers driven by interest. The higher the number of people showing interest, the more products and services come out of the woodwork to cater to the growing market. Products and services are dictated by demand. But demand is not always dictated by necessity.
Most products parade their capabilities and features to generate desire. That’s why people want that new smartphone that has a thousand and one state-of-the-art features; because the smartphone they have now only offers a boring thousand features.
Services earn billions usually because consumers can’t be bothered by the various inconveniences that surround them.
Hungry? Have it delivered. Lazy? Let someone else do the laundry. Interested in a book? There’s a book that comes with an audio file just in case reading isn’t convenient… in fact, delivering books at people’s doorsteps on a day and time they choose has already been made possible.
Social media sits at the center of all the growing demand and necessity for more accessible convenient services. People now use social to do their own research about a product or find services shops that are close locale.
Facebook alone has evolved into a perfect venue for the modern day ‘word-of-the-mouth’, giving new ventures an opportunity to gain quick exposure and leverage against bigger competitors.
As more people like and follow a brand’s page acquiring the desired product, inquiring about a list of services and posting ratings and reviews became less time-consuming. Customer assistance likewise became more personalized.
Not to mention, the unique branding of social media platforms and social networking services such as Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, Tumblr, and YouTube gave rise to a wider range of approaches for sales and marketing.
Facebook and YouTube are great for increasing brand loyalty, traffic and sales while Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr and Snapchat work best for creating higher exposure and brand awareness as well as for growing a fan base.
With the numerous and constantly expanding advantages presented by social media, reaching a wider variety of customers is no longer a surprise.
Brands became more inventive in terms of making an impact among their competitors as well as accommodating changing customer and market demands.
With the numerous businesses that cater to every whim a person might have online, planning is a major difficulty. How does one business owner get past others? How can businesses be “the brand”? Being generic leaves brands to compete with so many others, being service-specific can shut out the bigger demographic.
Creating an effective strategy for social media marketing allows businesses to be prepared despite the numerous new trends in audience reach and product selling
So what are the must-have strategies this 2019 that businesses should adapt to boost their social media presence?
The strategies listed in the graphic above represent modern B2C approaches that elevate convenience, efficiency and authenticity while helping brands stay true to their distinct identity.
More on that here:
Social media marketing goals need to be realistic and reflective of what a brand wants to achieve in a specific timeline. Whether it is to enhance online presence, improve product presentation or generate more leads, having a clear set of objectives keeps a brand’s social media content and activities cohesive.
Measuring progress on social media campaigns is likewise made easier and more organized—from determining audience engagement rates to collating impressions and keeping track of website and page traffic.
How to execute:
If the goal is to generate more leads, business owners can focus on analyzing the following data accumulated from social media pages or accounts:
Quantity of end-users who participated in product promotions, total amount of personal information collected from leads, clicks and conversions gathered via gated content and other relevant posts about the services offered.
The enumerated data will serve as the basis for establishing a better strategy to attract more potential customers.
The simplest things can be huge money-makers simply through the generation of interest through content. To this day, various products and services have no conclusive scientific evidence on their actual therapeutic uses or declared benefits
But the content created for these products and services generate interest by either being outright unbelievable to just plain entertaining.
Aside from text-based content and images, videos virtual and augmented reality are currently all the rage in the best practices for advertising through social media. Both virtual and augmented reality impressively enhance end-user experience.
Introducing products and promotions becomes more riveting and impactful. The end-result is a huge influence on the customers’ purchasing decision and possibly a dramatic increase in audience engagement.
How to execute:
While augmented reality may not be as easy a practice to include in social media marketing, it doesn’t hurt to know a few ways on how it can be implemented for future references.
Adding augmented filters similar to that of Snapchat’s is not particularly an original move, however, it can be a good start. Filters can be modified to represent images related to the brand’s logo and services.
For instance, a food joint can create AR filters that allow their patrons to snap a photo or video of themselves at any of the restaurant’s branches, and add an augmented version of the establishment’s mascot to make the photos and videos more fun for the customers.
More visual appeal means higher audience engagement and the likelihood of gaining more traffic to the restaurant’s page. Enterprises with more budget and time to spare can also set up AR virtual stores on their social media pages.
Online shopping is now integrated into the daily lifestyles of several customers, and providing them a chance to check out and shop for products without them visiting a physical store will likely drive higher sales in no time.
Nothing beats brands that take the time to learn and employ content practices that appeal to their customers. Several social media users make constant use of the ‘Stories’ feature on their Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat accounts.
It lets them show a sneak-peek of their day, make important announcements or simply express their current emotion, mood or thought. All posts on the Stories feature have a 24-hour time limit.
It is this limited time of accessibility that makes it more attractive to end-users. Similarly, when businesses add Stories to their lineup of social media content, it drives higher interest and curiosity on the part of their audience.
The more views their Stories get, the more visible they will be and the more traffic will be generated on their websites and social media pages.
How to execute:
Sponsored ads that pop up on end-users’ Facebook news feeds currently deliver a weaker impact compared to advertisements posted via the stories on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. Authenticity is what makes stories more engaging.
Showing followers exclusive content such as behind-the-scenes footage of how products and events are prepared, introducing the people behind the business, relevant face-to-face encounters with customers and even important announcements for upcoming product updates or gatherings are just some of the many ways businesses can use this specific feature to their advantage.
Influencer marketing makes use of the aid of influential individuals and groups to bring attention to a business’ products along with conveying key information to target customers. When industry influencers spread word about a specific brand or service, it has a more powerful convincing power to draw genuine interest from customers and potential business partners.
Influencer marketing can be done either through creating product reviews, blogging, social media mentions and even through snapping a photo of a celebrity or famous individual using a brand’s product.
How to execute:
The first and foremost thing that must be done to be able to use influencer marketing effectively, is to follow social media accounts and pages of known influencers in the industry where the business belongs.
Exhibit regular and eager engagement to influencer posts through likes, shares and even quoting some of their famous lines, if any, from seminars or events they’ve attended.
Better yet, approach influencers directly and offer to exchange knowledge and experiences to establish good rapport and hopefully start a solid partnership from there.
Social media now functions as a researching tool for customers, particularly when they want to learn more about a specific product or service. Allowing customers to share about their experience trying a business’ product and service serves as a viable reference for other customers on whether they would want to check out a brand or not.
Reviews also push brands to continuously enhance their services in order to generate authentic positive customer feedback.
How to execute:
Facebook pages for businesses already have a section where customers can submit their reviews or rate the services being provided by the establishment.
Twitter and Instagram do not have the same feature, but customers can voice out their experiences with a certain product and even tag the brand on their tweet.
Otherwise, customers can snap a photo or take a quick video where they are shown using a business’ services.
Keeping tabs on these reviews, mentions and features from end-users and making it a point to reply to each is an impressive method of employing customer feedback to further a business’ growth.
Engagement and communication through private messages are crucial because it can make or break a business’ reputation. Personalizing private messages sent to customers makes end-users feel more valued, while brands become more relatable.
On the other hand, chatbots make customer service through social media more efficient and accessible regardless of the time and day. When chat support agents are not available to respond to client queries, chatbots can handle individual feedback in place of human agents.
How to execute:
Customers hate interactions with businesses that seem robotic or rehearsed. Personalized communication can be implemented through hiring personnel dedicated to managing the business’ social media accounts.
Real people addressing customer feedback means higher levels of empathy and more individualized, problem-specific responses. Chatbots, on the other hand, can enter the social media marketing picture for when there are no agents available 24/7 to answer customer queries on social media.
Canned messages are alright for chatbots, for as long as customer messages will be followed up by support agents consistently.
Live streaming video content generates real-time interaction with customers. It is also a great way of projecting a brand’s true image in a manner that keeps audiences curious for more. Being authentic and relatable are very important in introducing a brand and enticing the right audience.
Videos are more effective in piquing interest as compared to blogs and images or status updates. Thus, when used in real-time fashion, the impression it will leave is stronger and more memorable.
How to execute:
Aside from stories on social media networks, live streaming is also excellent for promoting new products or making important announcements and updates related to the brand.
Use live streaming as well to demonstrate how to use new products, or establish real-time communication with customers through a live Q&A.
Instagram, Facebook and YouTube ads are useful in terms of making an impact and sparking interest. However, simply using paid and organic ads on social media networks without a clear objective of what customers and services are being targeted may not generate the desired results or objectives.
Following up on item number 1, having a clear set of objectives for social media marketing lets businesses choose the most appropriate forms and channels of advertising to use.
How to execute:
Saturating ads on social media can be achieved by first measuring the number of messages, interactions and feedback of customers in response to a brand’s social media posts.
This helps businesses determine what products need more advertising and consequently choose what channels or social networks to use to continue marketing services and products.
When using a mix of paid and organic ads, or any of the two, carefully design the promotion into something that will directly adhere to what customers need and demand.
If a store sells women’s shoes, then creating ads showcasing shoes for every occasion or season will surely grab the attention of target customers.
Sometimes, managing online branding can be quite a handful. Outsourcing Social Media marketing is one way to ensure a strong online presence is maintained, campaigns are consistently executed and the right audience is being targeted. Companies with social media expertise are partners that business owners can rely on in enhancing their brand through social networks.
Closing this off is proper social media management. Studying the times to post, the type of content to share and the current trends that may affect campaigns. Having a great editorial calendar for social media is very useful.
Following up with messaging campaigns or updates is a definite plus for any business, and to bring things into full-circle, online engagement brings value to the customer not just for support purposes but for future sales.
The internet may be a virtual space for business but everything else is real. The targets, the workload, the money and every tiny little detail that make or break a business – all real.