What if I told you there is a tool that is free, customizable, offers unparalleled customer data, and can help grow your business? In case you didn’t guess it already, I’m referring to social media. From my time spent supporting a variety of clients’ social presences, I have found that there are nearly infinite opportunities that a carefully managed social media campaign can produce. With this in mind, any business owner who has yet to try out the power of social media needs to start working on creating a stronger online presence. It’s something that I have seen bring value to my clients, positively impacting their businesses’ bottom lines.
Looking ahead to 2019, here are 6 of the top ways that I believe social media can help you grow your business.
1. Become “THE” Business People Know
According to Sprout’s 2018 Social Index, one of the reasons businesses turn to social media is to increase their brand recognition. This likely isn’t too surprising given how consumer behavior across generations has become more complex as there are more forms of interacting and learning about brands than ever before. That said, getting your target audience’s attention is easier said than done, but don’t fret!
One of the tried and true methods of generating buzz around your brand is to produce quality content, particularly via mediums that evoke engagement. For example, you might create a “snackable” video (30-seconds or less) introducing your business and team with easy-to-use tools like Promo or Biteable – two products Duckpin’s been experimenting with.
When in doubt creating content, a good rule of thumb is to ask yourself is, “Would this make someone stop scrolling?”
2. Don’t Settle for Web Traffic, Drive the Right People to your Website
For many business owners “increasing brand awareness” is great, but what if you’re looking to encourage people to complete a definitive action? Many of our clients fall into this camp when it comes to social media. Not wanting to see their efforts (and money) go to waste, they want to see new leads, requests for more information, and web traffic arrive via their websites.
Putting this into context, media outlet TechCrunch points out that in 2016 Facebook said it got two billion search queries per day, meaning businesses need to pay attention to social media as a gateway to their other properties. Similar to my point above about creating quality content for brand awareness’ sake, if you want to help your bottom line in the form of website conversions, in-store visits or whatever your business goal is, invest in posts that do the following:
Increase Your Conversion Rate to 8%
Give people a reason to engage with your business on a recurring basis and need to visit your website. Doing so can potentially lead to a conversion rate of nearly 8% and 4% of your total revenue, according to this 2018 study. This could take on the form of a “content series,” which could be a weekly post addressing an FAQ and links out to a webpage with more information.
Increase Leads by 17%
If you’re after lead generation specifically, social media provides built-in forms, buttons, and more to help drive newsletter sign-ups, product sales, and requests for information. Using Facebook’s guided advertising set-up, for instance, you can develop affordable campaigns that deliver quality leads. The benefits of this approach are that it doesn’t require users to exit an app/site to enter information elsewhere and Facebook may even auto populated sections. To see how traditional landing pages delivered compared to these ads, social media resource AdEspresso conducted an experiment and found lead generation ads resulted in 17% more leads.
3. Affordable A/B Testing
A/B testing will always take time and money, but social media can be a great tool to reduce the cost. Social media, both organic and paid, presents an opportunity for you to learn what stokes engagement through small variations in marketing materials. These results can ultimately impact your business goals, as a 2018 Wolfgang Digital study identified when analyzing the relationship between Facebook posts’ engagement and conversion rates:
- 3% increase in conversions for a like
- 4% increase in conversions for a share
- 4.67% increase in conversions for a reaction (other than a like)
- 4.9% increase in conversions for a comment
- 9.95% increase in conversions if they message you
Needless to say, you might be leaving money on the digital table if you’re not seeking out the best message for your target audience. How could you put this into action? A common experiment would be seeing if Buzzsumo’s findings that “Facebook posts with images see 2.3X more engagement than those without images” applies to your brand.
4. Foster Lasting Relationships With Customers
Leaving a comment or messaging a business via social media is a sign that an individual sees value in your digital presence so make sure to show some love back. These interactions usually fall into one of two categories: responses to content or complaints.
The latter, in my experience, is the most common and can be nerve-wracking for businesses given how public they often are. Social media complaints, however, can be capitalized upon if handled promptly and honestly. As these interactions are public, your reply can aid in signaling to this customer and others that you’re responsive to their feedback and strive for a resolution.
Additionally, even if an individual isn’t complaining via your social profile, it pays to converse with your audience. Check out this study done by Twitter on customer care and purchase amounts. Brands that replied led to customers being willing to spend 3–20% more on an average priced item from that business in the future.
5. Highlight Your Customers’ Experiences
An added benefit of being active on social media is the chance to identify individuals that might be willing to give you a positive review or testimonial.
Why is this important? Check out some key statistics on consumer behavior and influence stemming from user-generated content:
- A PwC Total Retail 2017 survey concluded that 59 percent of global consumers use social media as a source of inspiration for purchases
- A Hootsuite study found that 50 percent of US consumers say user-generated content—images and video from satisfied buyers—makes them more likely to buy a product
Take the time to show some love to your customers and reap the rewards.
6. Keep an Eye on the Competition
Social media platforms’ public nature can be a boon for your business when it comes to seeing what competitors are doing. It gives you the chance to see what content they are posting, how followers interact with it, and most importantly, learn what works and avoid what doesn’t.
Depending on your budget and level of comfort with social media, there are a variety of tools out there to help you find actionable insights and keep a pulse on rival businesses. Here is a sample list of ones I personally recommend for their user-friendliness and quality of data:
With nearly 77 percent of the American population having a social media account, businesses of all sizes and industries stand to gain quite a bit from an active online presence. Following even only a few of the above tips and doing them consistently can prove beneficial in finding new customers, building deeper connections with existing ones, and more.
Want help implementing this advice in 2019? Get in touch with us below.