Nine social media tactics for growth
Through defining your social media strategy, you have set your social media goals, analysed your audiences, chosen a few platforms that suit your business and formalised your social media processes. Now it’s time to define your social media tactics: the ongoing actions you will take on your social media platforms to build a loyal audience and potentially grow your customer base.
9 Social media tactics to drive traffic to your online store
Assuming you have a finite number of hours in the day and a set budget to work with, your social media tactics should be effective. We have highlighted below the tactics we believe will get you results:
1. Set up a social media content calendar
When you’re regularly posting across multiple channels, it’s easy for things to fall through the cracks. To prevent that from happening, create a calendar that gives a detailed picture up front of exactly what content is being posted on which platforms, and when. There are many tools for this or you can create a very simple spreadsheet as shown below. Share that with everyone else involved for feedback and then ensure the final posts are scheduled using a tool like Hootsuite or something similar.
2. Cultivate influencers
Look for successful people or businesses in your industry with plenty of followers and follow them yourself. Notice how they do things. For example, what hashtags do they use, do they share posts from others and exactly how do they interact with their own audience? It is important to partner with an influencer who shares the same values and culture as your brand.
Once you have a feel for them, engage with their posts by sharing them and/or leaving well-considered comments to catch their attention. Then finally connect with them directly, using thoughtful incentives to establish a mutually beneficial relationship. For example, you could offer them a free product if they review it on their social media channels.
Learn more about identifying influencers in your industry in this article.
3. Share the right content
There are two types of content you might share on your social media channels:
- Your own: This needs to be high quality, substantial and offer real value to your audience.
- Content from others: This is not written by you, but still carefully chosen to be relevant and again add value to your audience. These tools can help you find that content.
A few other content-related tips
1. Avoid direct selling
Nothing turns customers off more than a hard sell. Think about what your customer wants and needs, and balance promoting your products with providing useful, entertaining and inspiring content.
“Pushing a company agenda on social media is like throwing water balloons at a porcupine.” – Erik Qualman (@equalman)
2. Go short
With time and attention at a premium these days, short posts with images are far more attractive and engaging for the average customer. They’re also easily and quickly shared, spreading your net (and your budget) further
3. Include images
People love to share images, so make sure you always include some, no matter what channel you are using. Great quality product pictures are critical, so your product looks good whether it’s appearing on social media, in search results or for sale on your site, Facebook Shop or Google Shop. Also consider including other related pictures that add interest to your post. Some editing tools that are very helpful here are Landscape, Canva and PicMonkey.
4. Start your own blog
Again, provide your audience with useful and inspirational content. You could write about the latest news at your company or in the industry, handy tips or detailed how-to guides. If you plan your posts to align with your strategy up front, you create a steady flow of new content related to your business.
5. Create videos
Videos are becoming more and more popular, so create some to share across all your channels. You could feature new products and/or explain how to use them, again providing handy hints, highlight the people aspect of your company by sharing the stories of customers or staff, or hold a live webinar where you interact directly with your audience.
6. Optimise everything
As we’ve mentioned in the social media strategies blog, your social media posts should be optimised along with your website.
4. Engage consistently
Schedule your posts so your customers know when to expect the next one, and look forward to it. Decide how regularly you are going to post, then stick to that. Use scheduling tools like HootSuite or Buffer to help keep you consistent and make the whole process easier.
5. Interact with followers
This is a very important social media tactic. Show your audience you’re a real live person who cares about them, rather than a robot, by engaging as much as possible. Ask for feedback, acknowledge and thank them for sharing and commenting, respond to questions (preferably within 4 hours) and take part in discussions. When you interact regularly, you build relationships, trust and likeability – and people like to buy from people they like.
6. Use hashtags
Hashtags categorise content, help people find you and make interaction easy, widening your reach. One or two hashtags per post works best – don’t confuse matters by including too many. Read more about how to use Hashtags on every social media network.
7. Use reviews
Good reviews create a lot of trust when they come from objective third parties, and that goes a long way towards making a sale, especially to new customers. Invite your satisfied customers to submit a review and make it easy for them by including a link in your sms or mail. Don’t apply any pressure though or your plan may backfire and generate a negative review.
8. Use social media sharing buttons responsibly and in strategic places
Make sharing really easy for your readers, without distracting them from the main goal of your marketing strategy, whether that’s making a sale or signing them up for a newsletter. Your call-to-action button should still be the most prominent on all your platforms, with sharing buttons highlighted next.
Read this article to understand when to use sharing vs following buttons.
9. Utilise paid advertising
As we discussed in this blog, targeted paid advertising is a great way to attract customers, especially if your business is new. Social media advertising works especially well for e-commerce shopping cart businesses, and is well worth the investment.
The bottom line….
Social media has come a long way, from connecting people to playing a significant role in growing your business. Simply having a profile on a few social networks and posting haphazardly won’t grow your business and reputation though. Instead create a social media strategy, supported by simple, effective tactics around a clear content plan, and you’ll be halfway there. The other half? Be genuine and actively engage to build lasting relationships.
“Social media allows big companies to act small again” – Jay Baer (@jaybaer).
Do you use social media? If so, what are your ongoing tactics to establish a genuine relationship with your customers?