Is it possible to use social media as a marketing strategy?
You want a reliable way to grow your business's following, right?
You want an effective way to promote your business, right?
Using social media as a marketing strategy is one of the best ways to achieve these goals.
Read the article below to arm yourself with an arsenal of social media tactics that will help generate huge amounts of revenue and brand awareness for your business.
Social Media as a Marketing Strategy?.. Yes! Use These 11 Tactics TODAY
In this guide, you'll learn how to use social media as a marketing strategy and boost your following and conversions by 10x!
Here are 11 tactics to get you moving.
1. Hone in on your best platforms
One of the most common mistakes that new businesses make when diving into social media is attempting to work all the platforms.
While this practice used to be a standard recommendation in social media marketing, the mindset has since shifted.
Rather than spreading your resources too thin over various platforms, it's better to have fewer profiles with better content.
Take some time to determine which platforms are right for your company.
How do you accomplish this task?
By figuring out where your ideal customer spends the most time.
For example, if you're offering business coaching services, it makes sense to have a LinkedIn profile.
However, if you're selling cupcakes to Gen Z, it would be more prudent to target Instagram and TikTok.
If you opt-out of certain platforms or want to be ready to expand in the future, you can reserve your company name and add your branding to the profile.
However, when you create content and share where your audience can get in touch with you, highlight only the active platforms.
2. Create a consistent content strategy
Consistency is key in the world of social media marketing.
While running a couple of promotions each year can help expand your following and grow your business, it's not the be-all-end-all of business growth.
It's critical that you post consistent content between promotions to keep up your momentum and nourish the leads you've collected.
Before you start planning your social media promotions, take the time to find social media content strategy guide recommendations on creating daily content for your business.
Remember to focus on the two Rs: relevance and regularity.
You should be posting relevant content regularly in order to connect with your audience and work in congruence with the algorithm.
Imagine you have a vacation rental business.
You host a sweepstakes promotion to get more followers and build brand awareness.
Then, you don't post again until the busy season is upon you.
The followers you gained months previous won't remember your business and could unfollow you the first time you post.
Additionally, you won't be top-of-mind when those followers book their seasonal getaway because you haven't built a rapport.
To be successful in growing your business, don't just plan the social media promotions — plan what happens in between.
3. Set clear goals
When a business plans social media promotions, the goals often fall into a few overarching buckets: gaining followers, enhancing brand awareness or getting conversions.
Before you plan the details of your social media promotion, take some time to clarify your goals.
If your goal is to capture email addresses for email marketing efforts, determine how that will happen and how many emails you want to capture.
If the goal is to make conversions, set a goal number that allows you to track your success.
The clearer your goals, the clearer the objectives to reach them will become.
Make sure to capture data!
Whether your goals for promotion are based on conversions or audience growth, you should always be capturing data.
Put landing pages in place to collect email addresses.
Invest in AI-driven tools to determine where people are coming from, what they're doing, and how they're interacting with your business.
Data captures should be in place before you launch a promotion.
Letting that valuable information go means that you won't have it to shape your future campaigns.
4. Use engagement-based giveaways
Engagement-based giveaways are social media promotions that encourage people to like, follow, share, save, and tag — all of which are actions that help your content find favor with the algorithms.
The more engagement you have, the better your content will rank on social media.
This event also has a trickle-down effect that will impact the reach of your non-promotional content.
To effectively run an engagement-based giveaway, you'll need to be very clear about what's expected.
It's also beneficial to have a tool to randomly select the winner of your contest or giveaway.
5. Offer something valuable and relevant
When you create a promotion, it's integral to offer something that's both valuable and relevant to your ideal customer.
Otherwise, you'll end up attracting unengaged followers who will never convert into paying customers.
Consider it this way: you have a boutique fitness center that caters to high-income, intermediate athletes.
You decide to try a social media giveaway to establish a follower base.
You offer an engagement-based giveaway in which the winner receives a gift card from a local restaurant.
You get a lot of followers who have no interest in your business who just want a chance to win that gift card.
They either unfollow you or hang around as unengaged numbers on a list.
For another scenario, this boutique gym offers a free membership or gift card to a local supplement store— something more relevant to their business and ideal customer.
By taking this approach, you attract people who are more likely to become customers.
When running social media promotions, offer something valuable that your ideal customer will want.
Remember, engagement trumps the follower count any day.
6. Cross-promote with other businesses
Working with other (non-competing) businesses is a fantastic way to expand your business when running social media promotions.
This strategy is particularly effective in the post-pandemic world, with many consumers trying to support local initiatives.
Partnering with a complimentary local business can help both of you share the work and reap the rewards.
When reaching out to other companies, highlight the value of your proposed partnership.
Be sure to get everything in writing about what's expected and how you'll help each other going forward.
7. Take a cross-platform approach
Posting your promotions across various platforms can help you expand your following and grow your business.
There are a few key considerations to keep in mind when taking this approach.
First, consider whether you want the same promotion posted on the various platforms or if you want to cross-refer.
For example, you could have one promotion that's the same no matter where someone starts.
Conversely, you could offer platform-specific promotions to encourage followers to explore your other social media profiles.
Many companies overlook the value of having the same followers on various platforms.
By having the same person follow you on all platforms, you create more customer touchpoints through which to connect and promote your offering.
You might have a potential customer see a promotion on Instagram and forget about it, then see it again on Facebook and think, "Right, I wanted to buy that!"
The benefit of running the same promotion on various platforms is that it takes less work and fewer resources.
Conversely, the benefit of single-platform promotions is that it creates more touchpoints.
There's no black and white answer to what's better; it depends on your business goals and available resources.
8. Perfect your paid ads
Running paid social media advertisements is a gamble if you don't know what you're doing.
When done correctly, paid social media ads can grow your business exponentially.
However, without the right planning and execution, the cost can far outpace the benefits.
When using paid social media ads for your promotional strategy, it's important to hone in on your ideal demographic.
Use the organic analytics that you've collected from each platform to drive your campaigns.
Ensure that each ad is compliant with the best practices of the platform you're using.
In general, your ad should be clear, compelling, and concise.
Start with a strong hook that grabs the viewer's attention, both visually and verbally. Prioritize the quality of your copy and imagery, and finish with a strong call-to-action.
Remember, creating an offering that has relevance and value is essential for promotional social media campaigns.
9. Work with influencers
Working with influencers is a powerful way to expand your audience and boost your business.
As with creating content, it's vital to find an influencer who's in alignment with your brand.
Here are some key things to keep in mind when working with an influencer:
- Find someone whose values align with your brand.
- Set clear goals and expectations for the campaign.
- Outline the terms and payment structure clearly in writing.
- Understand the influencer's creative process and give them room to add their personal flair.
It's important to remember that influencers are also businesses and will expect adequate compensation for helping your company grow.
Macro, micro, and nano influencers
Another thing to consider when working with influencers is the size of their following. It's important to understand that more isn't always better.
Many companies are finding success working with micro or nano influencers — those with under 100,000 or 10,000 followers, respectively.
As mentioned previously, engagement will always trump follower count when trying to convert sales.
When vetting a potential influencer, think outside the millions and ask for information about their engagement rates.
Incorporating affiliate marketing
One of the best cost-friendly solutions for social media promotions is to use affiliate marketing.
When using this approach, those who share your content with a tracking link will receive a kickback on sales.
Many influencers will take this as payment for their services.
Using this approach also opens up your business to taking a more passive approach with brand ambassadors and user-generated content (UGC).
It's worth exploring this option if you'll be using social media as your primary target for driving conversions.
10. Create shoppable posts and product tags
When creating social media promotions, an imperative factor to consider is the idea of customer friction.
Ideally, you'll have as little friction as possible in the customer journey.
What does this mean for social media?
If you own a clothing eCommerce business, your content will likely showcase models or customers wearing your pieces.
If a customer sees an outfit they like, how can they buy it?
The more steps your customer must take to identify the name of the outfit, the location on your website, etc., the less likely they are to complete the transaction.
Unfortunately, the customer journey will look a little different from one social media platform to the next.
However, you can simplify the journey and remove friction by using product tags and shoppable posts.
On Instagram, shoppable posts allow users to hover over an image, identify the product they're interested in, and click through to the transaction page.
This option is paramount, as it dramatically reduces friction on a platform that isn't optimized for external links.
Conversely, Facebook allows links, but the algorithm doesn't like them.
Using product tags can help keep your posts free of raw URLs and easily identify what product is featured.
As you plan your promotions, take some time to understand your options for tags and shoppable posts on each platform.
11. Use psychological selling tactics
Gerald Zaltman, a Harvard Business School professor, once stated that "95% of all cognition occurs in the subconscious mind."
Based on those findings, he proposed that purchasing is an emotionally-driven decision rather than a logical one.
What does that mean for businesses running social media promotions?
It means that tapping into consumer behavior and using psychological selling tactics is an effective way to grow your business.
Consider it this way: when someone sees the dress you're selling, they're not buying the dress; they're buying the confidence they'll feel in that dress.
When someone buys a luxury vehicle, it has nothing to do with logic.
They want a car people will notice, that they'll feel good about driving.
When creating social media promotions, it's important to showcase the benefits rather than the features.
Using other techniques, like time limits and scarcity, can also enhance the effectiveness of your promotional content.
When using social media as a marketing strategy, you need to think beyond what YOU want to show customers and instead obsess about what THEY want to see.
Be clear, concise, and compelling in everything you create.
Be intentional in what you post, where you post it, and why you're doing it.
The more thoughtful and intentional you are with your social media promotions, the more likely you are to grow your business and accomplish your goals.