It’s hard to believe, but once upon a time social media was nothing more than a way to kill time and keep in touch with distant friends and relatives.
But as the world becomes more digital, social networking websites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Pinterest have become powerful tools for effective marketing. According to a recent study, 91 per cent of small businesses utilize social media as a way to communicate with customers and increase sales. And while it may appear challenging to apply strategic online marketing techniques to drive revenue, the work and effort is well worth it in the long run. To help you leverage your online efforts, here are 5 ways to make the most of social media.
Create an Online Community. As a small business owner, you have a huge advantage when it comes to creating a successful online following. Since you already know your local audience and have strong relationships with existing customers and clients, it’s easier for you to build an online community. Remind customers that your business is online and in no time at all, you’ll reign in a significant amount of loyal followers that will be happy to share your social handles with their own friends and followers. In addition, be sure to advertise your handle on business cards, flyers and newsletters to let new and potential customers know that you’re on social.
Promote Sales and Special Products. Remember when we said that successful social media marketing can help you increase revenue? The best way to make that happen is to get online and let your friends, fans and followers know about the sales and special offers you’re providing them. Whether it’s a two-for-one special on paint rollers, a spring blowout sale or a can’t-miss discount on discontinued items, make sure your customers know about things that can benefit them through your social media streams. And if you carry the best line of certain products that aren’t available in other stores, take the opportunity to use your accounts to advertise this in a clear, concise way.
Make it Visual. For every tweet that you create, make it a habit to include a photo. Not only will this make your Twitter stream look more visually appealing to the person scrolling through your account, but it’s been proven that tweets including relevant pictures are 94 per cent more likely to be retweeted and favorited. So next time you tweet about receiving your shipment of designer wall decals, or a staff member is celebrating a birthday in the store, snap a picture and attach it to your post.
Mix it Up. One of the best things about social media is the vast amount of information readily available for any topic imaginable. To make your accounts more interesting and informative, be sure to share, reblog and retweet relevant business or paint and decorating related content like articles, interviews, captivating info-graphics and eye-catching photos and videos. Ideally, you want your social media presence to represent a one-stop-shop providing information for people who are interested in all-things paint and home decor. This is also an effective way to form and push your company brand.
Pay Attention to the Numbers. With all of the hard work it takes to create a successful social media presence, it becomes rather pointless if you don’t pay attention to how and if those efforts are paying off. Pay attention to your social media and web analytics to determine if what you’re doing is working towards your goals. After all, if you don’t measure it you can’t manage it.