According to Statista, the number of social media users worldwide is expected to hit 3.02 billion active users per month by 2021 – a third of the world’s population!
If your business isn’t making the most of social media, your brand is likely missing out on future growth opportunities. Unfortunately, there are so many platforms available – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube to name a few – that it can feel overwhelming knowing where to start.
Here are four key principles to using social media to scale your business.
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Use video content to keep your audience engaged
If you were to make a note of all the types of messages that businesses are using on your own social media feeds, you’ll find well-optimised and targeted videos rank well above text and imagery. Video has become so popular that social platform algorithms have changed to prefer this content over all other formats. And businesses have been quick to react. According to Vidyard, 86% of businesses use video on their website, while 77% use video on social media.
It doesn’t have to be expensive; filming an event on Facebook Live can draw an audience as can video blogging on your phone, or using vox pops to gather people’s opinions and stories. The content can be creative too - why not vlog about a new product launch? Or share what it’s like working at your company?
Once you’ve experimented with different types of video content and found what engages your audience most, the next step will be scaling your business.
Build your brand awareness by engaging with social media influencers
A study by Tomoson found that 22% of marketers consider influencer marketing to be the most cost-effective way of obtaining new customers.
Consumers will often follow their favourite role models on social media, so involving them in your business can have a powerful effect on your brand.
Start by identifying an influencer wish list for your business and find some common ground where collaboration can help both you and them. This could be by inviting them onto a podcast that you host, and interviewing them on how they see the market or how they see your sector transforming in the future. You could also do a video blog of your meeting with the influencer, or invite them to contribute to a blog or article that you’re working on.
Once you’ve found somebody keen to work with you, you’ll be able to tap into their social media following to boost your own brand’s profile.
Always provide value above everything else
Customers hate being sold anything online, but they love to buy. One way to achieve this is by providing valuable content that will help your following learn something new, whether that is something about your products or how your products can help them.
This builds trust between your followers and your brand, meaning when they eventually want to buy a product you sell, your business will be the first they think of. Building trust is more critical than ever today, when customers are being bombarded with ads all over social media.
Providing content that solves a problem or shows that you care about them before asking them for a sale will quickly build a pool of loyal – and possibly returning - fans.
Use social media to tell your brand story
Everybody loves a good story, and your customers are no different. When buying anything, customers will make a decision based on emotion and then justify using logic. Having a brand story targets that emotional state which draws people towards your business.
This could be as simple as writing a series of blogs and social media content about a single subject that helps customers better understand your product. For instance, constantly talking about how valuable life insurance can be by producing case studies, involving influencers and producing podcasts on the subject will build your brand’s reputation in that area. The next time somebody is researching life insurance, your business will start to appear.
Brand storytelling is one of the most powerful ways to differentiate yourself from competitors and engage with your customers to build trust and sell your vision.
Whether you’re new to social media or have been using it for years, these four tips will help you focus your social strategy and scale. For more advice on building your business, be sure to visit our Growth Series Library.