21st February 2019
Social media isn’t a young person’s game anymore. Indeed, social media has become a popular marketing tool that allows businesses to establish and promote themselves. With this in mind, it’s becoming increasingly important for brands of all sizes to leverage the power of social media platforms to assist their broader marketing strategies. Whilst it’s easy for us to say that you need to be building a loyal following through different campaigns, without truly understanding the platforms or your audience, you won’t be able to optimise your content. To help provide some insight, we thought it was worth taking a closer look at how social media can be leveraged to increase the performance of your business.
It may not seem immediately obvious, but your social media accounts are an important extension of your wider marketing department. Everything from Facebook through to Twitter and Instagram allows you to get your products or services in front of potential customers. Of course, in order to begin advertising to an audience of people, you need to get their attention. Luckily, there are different ways that you can optimise your social media accounts to shape your brand perception whilst developing a loyal audience.
By posting a variety of content to your social channels on a regular basis, such as product information, lifestyle posts and popular culture references, people will start to follow your page because of the story and perception your brand is creating. Throughout your entire journey, you will be building a community for your brand that people will want to belong to. This is why it’s so important to regularly update your pages and engage with followers.
For example, one of our current clients, Gumleaf, has seen an increase in social media referral traffic to their website. In a matter of three months, social media has grown from contributing less than a fifth of their online traffic to the main source of all website traffic. This didn’t happen overnight and of course there have been a variety of complementing marketing strategies to build up to this point. However, a clear social media content strategy played a vital part in the transformation.
Whilst a consistent stream of on-brand content will engage your current audience, you will need to plan a marketing strategy to target a new audience as well. Traditionally, if companies wanted to promote to a newer audience or create a desire around a product, they would hire popular celebrities to market their next big product. They were known then as ‘brand ambassadors’.
In this new age of social media marketing, we have seen the rise in popular personalities known as ‘influencers’. Unfortunately, due to the lack of understanding, there is a stigma surrounding this type of marketing as people believe that many influencers don’t benefit brands and simply want free products. However, this is a common misconception, as in most cases and there are numerous hard-working influencers who enthusiastically rave about the brands they believe in and make a real impact to their online sales. Indeed, many only become influencers for brands after continuously supporting their products out of genuine interest.
Often, influencers will also turn down collaborations with brands they don’t support as they won’t suit their audiences’ interests. Think about it this way, you wouldn’t see former Beatle and long-time vegetarian Sir Paul McCartney promoting McDonalds. It would contradict his personal morals and everything he believes in. His fans would find it insincere and McDonalds wouldn’t see an increase in hamburger sales. The same applies for the majority of influencers, which is why finding the right people is crucial to a successful collaboration.
Over the last few years, it’s become possible for businesses to place greater confidence in influencer marketing. In fact, popular social media platforms now provide influencers with data about their following and engagement levels. This information ultimately enables them to determine how relevant their audience is and how likely a collaboration with a given brand would be.
Once influencers share a post which features your product, there is a good chance their targeted followers will click through to your own social media profile. If you’ve optimised your profile and have plenty of content they like, they’ll become followers. Before long, they will be converted into customers. This is exactly how we improved the sales and brand perception for Gumleaf. Using a variety of influencers relevant to their market, it was possible to attract a larger following. Specifically, we saw an increase of over 1000% in terms of Instagram followers.
These followers have gone on to participate in genuine engagement surrounding the brand and act as advocates for Gumleaf by liking content and leaving comments. In this way, paid influencers led to the creation of a network of free influencers.
Adverts aren’t a new form of marketing for businesses or consumers but presenting them and optimising them for a social media platform is. Previously, companies commonly connected with their audience via adverts in-between TV shows or in relevant magazines. Nowadays, people are willingly displaying their interests on social media by selecting their demographics when they sign up to the platform. In addition to this, users are supplying further information about their specific interests as they engage with groups and pages. Platforms like Facebook will store this information within their profile as an interest that businesses can target through adverts. With access to this information, brands are able to tailor adverts to spend their budget effectively while targeting the ideal audience across a variety of demographics and interests.
Some people might ask: “Why do I need to spend money on Facebook ads when I have thousands of followers?”, “Won’t they see my normal posts and buy from them?”, or “I thought that was the reason behind posting regularly?” Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. Social media is a heavily saturated market due to more brands and bloggers taking advantage of the impact they can make. Taking this into account, budget needs to be allocated to paid adverts in order to be heard over all the noise. Posting regularly will amplify your brand, but without the targeted adverts, consumers aren’t guaranteed to see your posts. In regard to our client’s success, the brand has monthly adverts running with a refined target audience that has been developed through A/B testing to create the best results.
You might be questioning after all this time and running your own brand’s social media accounts if this type of marketing is beneficial for you at all? This is where you have to take a step back and ask yourself if you’re performing the above steps to the best of their ability. It might be that you are posting to your social accounts but using the same images from an outdated shoot. Or, you’re working with one influencer, however, they don’t have an audience that relates with or appreciates your brand. Or, you might be running adverts on Facebook, but with an ineffective format and poor audience selection. A combination of the above three social media marketing techniques, when preformed correctly, will result in higher referral traffic to your website. This, of course, leads to greater sales. If your competitors have successful social media accounts, why can’t you?
Contact us today at our Norwich web design agency for more information on improving your social media marketing and how to drive more traffic to your website through these platforms.
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