Social media promotion is one of the most effective marketing strategies today. With social networks having a combined user base of approximately 3.2 billion people. If you manage to convert even a fraction of them your business will be well on its way to success.
Social media business promotion is all about fostering interaction. You want to keep social media users engaged with your brand so you can convert them into paying customers down the line.
There are numerous strategies for generating social media engagement, and no business can conceivably use them all. Instead, the trick is to find a set of tactics suitable for your specific business needs. So to help you find an approach that works for your business, we’ve decided to compile a list of tactics with a proven track record to promoting your business on social media.
Social Media Business Promotion
1. Set Concrete Goals
Social media business promotion is a structured, goal-oriented activity. If you don’t have a clear idea about what you want to achieve, you’ll just end up wasting resources for the sake of doing what everyone else is doing. In this context, being clear means being explicit and precise. For instance, ‘I want to have more subscribers’ is not a precisely defined goal. Compare that to ‘I want to increase my Instagram followers by 25% in two months’ time’. Here you have a clear idea of what you’ll be working towards for the next two months, a hallmark of a good business strategy.
2. Understand Your Audience
Another thing to keep in mind in the planning phase is the nature of your target audience. You have to understand who you’re trying to appeal to before you start creating social media ads or writing social media content. For example, if you’re selling a SaaS business solution, your target audience is probably not going to be Gen Z individuals looking for entertainment online. To determine your target audience on social media, start with your existing customers. Use your CRM software to segment your customers into groups, and then try to think about their wants, needs, and desires. This will give you a good starting point in terms of what kind of content they like to see on social media.
3. Choose a Suitable Platform
Once you’ve determined who you’re trying to appeal to, it is time to find out where they like to hang out online. Promoting yourself on the wrong platform can undercut all your marketing efforts. For instance, publishing memes on Instagram is not likely to attract attention from business professionals in finance. Ideally, you should focus your efforts on a single platform, and maintain a presence on a couple of others just to cover all your bases. For example, you might want to publish all your major content updates on LinkedIn, while maintaining a profile on Twitter to post periodic announcements.
4. Be Consistent with Your Branding
Social media business promotion is a long-term marketing strategy. And if you want to keep social media users invested in the long-term, you have to be consistent with your branding. Changing your content format and length, the values you espouse, or the tone of your writing will confuse your followers, making them lose interest in your brand. What you should do instead is set up guidelines for your social media branding. Follow them consistently for the duration of your marketing campaign. For instance, if you decide that you’re going to present yourself as a friendly, irreverent, consumer-focused brand, try to maintain this image by posting helpful advice and lighthearted jokes. You could also incorporate some marketing psychology into your branding to boost success on social media.
5. Create a Content Calendar
Timing is of the essence when it comes to promoting on social media. Each member of your target audience has their own social media habits. Trying to change these is a futile effort. If someone likes to browse Facebook for an hour in the morning, your evening content updates will likely never reach them. So what you ought to do is create a content calendar that matches your audience’s schedules. If you post content when your followers are likely to see it, they will be more likely to respond with likes, comments, and other forms of engagement. Some social media tools will also have a content calendar built-in, which will schedule your posts to automatically publish at the right time.
6. Fill Out Your Profile
One of the most common mistakes of social media business promotion is incomplete profile information. If you fail to specify essential information such as your business hours or contact email, your followers will be unable to develop a deeper relationship with your brand. For example, if you’re using Pinterest to promote designer clothes, but you fail to include a link to your Etsy storefront, you will make your entire campaign less effective overall.
Another thing you don’t want to do is load your profile with useless information. Keep it simple, and focus on facts over embellishments. No one wants to read 1000 words on what drove you to start a business if they’re just looking to see what you’re selling.
7. Use Targeted Ads
All social networks come with built-in features for advertising. Using these features is not necessary for running a successful promotional campaign, but they can bring sizable returns if you’re willing to invest. Facebook has the most in-depth targeted ad system among all social networks, so we’ll use it as an example here. Facebook allows advertisers to access their audience data for the purpose of creating laser-focused ads. The ad-creation wizard will guide you through the entire process, from determining your ideal audience, to creating the ad itself with images and content.
8. Post Eye-Catching Images
The success of all modern social networks can be related to their image-sharing features. Visual content is 40x more likely to be shared than other kinds of content on social media. This means that all your social media posts, ads, and events will perform better if they’re accompanied by high-quality images. Ideally, you want to take these images yourself in order to avoid using stock images. Images are especially important if you’re using social media to promote physical products. Try to snap photos from a couple of different angles to give your products the spotlight they need.
9. Create and Share Info-graphics
Info-graphics are images used to visually represent structured information. They are an excellent way of preparing content for immediate consumption. Unsurprisingly, info-graphics are a staple of social media content, and you should use them whenever you want to provide your followers with value. If you have interesting data to share, you can use info-graphic creation software to visualize it. Or you can simply share useful info-graphics you have found online that are relevant to your industry niche.
10. Use Tools and Assistive Technologies
Social media business promotion is a digital activity, which makes it suitable for technology-based optimization. Software tools allow you to automate key workflows, gather and compare user data, conduct tests, and keep your campaigns organized. A manageable CRM system can help you accomplish all of these tasks while providing additional features such as software integration, collaboration tools, SEO keyword analysis, and more. Social media management software also makes it easy to scale up your social media operation without having to invest in additional personnel.
11. Produce Ephemeral Content
Not all social media content has to have lasting value. Some forms of content are best if they’re consumed once, and discarded afterward. This so-called ephemeral content is the basis of features such as Facebook and Instagram stories. Ephemeral content is usually unpolished, unscripted, and created in the heat of the moment. It’s raw, authentic nature makes it feel less business-focused, so social media users usually respond to it better. Use ephemeral content to show that even though you’re running a business operation, you’re still just a social media user like everyone else!
12. Go Viral with Memes
There is a kind of ephemeral content that merits its own section. Memes, humorous images created by mashing together (often conflicting) pop-culture visuals are one of the most popular forms of content in general. Memes spread like wildfire online. Incorporating trending ones in your social media posts, you are all but guaranteed to improve engagement on your channel. You can also attempt to make memes yourself, but there is no guarantee that they will go viral. Fortunately, they are also one of the easiest forms of content you can make, so you won’t waste many resources if you give it a try.
13. Comment on Trending Topics
A more level-headed way to leverage viral online phenomena for social media promotion for businesses is to comment on trending topics and posts. Facebook recently introduced the ‘top fan’ feature, which highlights users that create the most engagement in comment sections. If you become a top fan for a given page, you can reach out to users beyond your existing followers. Another way to leverage trends is to publish posts with commentaries, criticisms, and reactions. For instance, if you’re running an SEO company, creating a post that explains Google’s latest algorithm changes can earn you a lot of credibility among your followers.
14. Embrace Guest-posting
Social media promotion is a collaborative endeavor, and not just in the sense that you have a social media team on your payroll. In a more fundamental sense, social networks are about collaborative content creation. This means that the content you share doesn’t have to be made exclusively by you. Instead, you can invite other content creators to publish guest-posts on your channel, and then return the favor by publishing something on theirs. This will strengthen the bond between your brands, and expand both of your audience’s through cross-pollination.
15. Work With Influencers
Another way to utilize the ‘social’ aspect of social media business promotion is to work with influencers from your industry niche. What influencers bring to the table is their audience. Thanks to their insightful comments, wacky appearance, controversial opinions, and sheer star power, influencers can inspire their followers to take action. And by choosing to work with an influencer, you can leverage this ability to promote your business on social media. You can sponsor an influencer to give you a shout-out while performing for their audience, or you can hire one to work exclusively on your behalf.
16. Respond to Comments
Not all social media promotion tactics are proactive in nature. You can also accomplish a lot just by responding to comments coming your way. Whenever you post on social media, be on the lookout for comments, questions, observations, and other attempts by followers to catch your attention. A lot of these types of comments can be banal (such as asking for information that is clearly highlighted on your profile page), but replying to them will earn you a lot of community goodwill. The point is to show your followers that you care, and not necessarily to have a riveting conversation.
17. Handle Criticism with Grace
Practically all communities have a darker, less inviting side to them, and social networks are no exception. There are many social media users that find satisfaction in criticizing, down-voting, arguing with, and outright trolling other users. Such individuals also make it difficult to tell when someone has a legitimate complaint or criticism. In order to be successful at social media promotion, you need to know how to handle these individuals with grace. The best way to do this is to acknowledge what the user is saying. Provide a measured answer, and never fall into the trap of engaging in a flame-war.
18. Host Contests and Giveaways
By far the best way to keep your social media followers engaged is to offer them something of value in return. Providing content is the standard way to do this. But there are other ways of providing value such as hosting product giveaways. If you’re selling digital goods, this can be as simple as offering subscriptions or product keys in exchange for liking your page, sharing your content, or inviting friends to follow you. Or you can hold a contest and offer your products as a prize. Photo contests on Instagram or by far the most popular way to do this. All you have to do is specify a topic, offer a prize, and share the contest.
Concluding Business Promotion on Social Media
Social media promotion is one of the most effective digital marketing strategies today. Social networks offer you vast outreach potential combined with a low barrier to entry, making them perfect for doing small business promotion. So pick a strategy from the ones we have outlined above, and start nurturing your followers.