The number of global social media users has hit nearly 3.5 billion in 2019, according to research firm Smart Insights, representing a 9 percent year-over-year growth.
It’s no secret that ecommerce companies looking to thrive in an increasingly competitive market need to target these users by posting a consistent cadence of content promoting their products and services.
But how do companies utilize their accounts in a meaningful way, what type of content should they post, and how should they measure the effectiveness of their strategy?
Here are some tips you can use to ensure you’re not wasting your social media efforts and reaching prospects and customers efficiently.
Understand Your End Goals
With social media marketing, it’s easy to feel like you’re posting content into a black hole with little return on investment.
The truth is, your company’s customer base has specific needs and wants to be marketed to in a specific way. Assuming you know how to measure general success in terms of customer acquisition and retention, work your way backward from your end goals and identify how your efforts on your social media platforms can support them.
For example, if you’re a smaller, growing company trying to carve out a space with general awareness, look at the volume of traffic your social media platforms are bringing to your site and see if you can increase it.
On the other hand, if you’re a more established company with strong brand awareness, look to actual fans/followers and engagement metrics to identify how the public is relating to your social content.
If you’re a more niche market with a smaller customer landing strip, look at which platforms you’re using and the number of posts you’re creating and how that relates to actual conversions.
Ultimately, you want to avoid the generic social media “broadcast system” and be more thoughtful about what you want to achieve, and work from there.
Keep Your Social Voice Informal
More than ever, customers care about not just the value of the product they’re buying, but also the people behind that product. Social media represents a great way to create a more human persona behind simply what your company offers, and engage with your prospect and customer base on a human level.
Post photos of company culture, events and other less product-specific content to show your organization’s personality. This is particularly important in the B2B space where your business is less of a transaction and more of a partnership. Prospects can gauge a sense of the interactions that they’ll share with you over the long haul, particularly with your customer service and client success departments.
You can also ask questions and set up polls for your social media following to identify what they want, what their pain points are, what kind of improvements they’d prefer, and overall engage with them one-on-one.
Create a Value Proposition Specific to Your Social Media Base
If there’s nothing on your social media platforms that your followers can’t get from your website alone, then why would they follow you?
Incentivizing social media relationships with prospects and clients will help not only cultivate new fans and followers, but keep and further engage the ones you have already.
Offering discounts, promotions and other benefits exclusively to your social media following maintains a reason for them to continue following you. Secret discount codes, holiday deals, or special video content not otherwise offered are just a few ways to do this.
Connect with Industry Influencers
We’ve talked a lot about how important it is to not only sell to the market, but educate it with tips, trends and best practices. There’s no better way to cultivate customer trust than by investing just as much in your customers’ success as you do your own.
Use your social media channels to identify and connect with meaningful thought leaders and influencers in your market, and build a relationship through content swapping, shared product reviews, or offering insight into one of their blogs or case studies. You can be sure that prospects who research the market will find these top influencers, and they’ll ultimately find you as well.
Credibility is the hallmark of long-term customer relationships, and your social media channels can be a key outreach strategy to develop just that.
Social Media as a Customer Service Tool
Many unhappy customers may bypass the traditional customer service portal and instead take to Facebook or Twitter to complain. They know the general public will see these complaints and the company will be far more likely to act to prevent the bad press.
As an organization, take this opportunity to respond quickly and thoughtfully to these customer concerns. Offering a quick discount or other incentive will likely satisfy the customer and allow you to maintain their business.
Likewise, positive Facebook and LinkedIn reviews and positive tweets should be retweeted, shared and posted on your website. Customer testimonials are an effective credibility tool for your business and can encourage further customer acquisition.
Video Content is Far More Engaging Than Written Content Alone
As the onslaught of available content increases, our patience as consumers decreases. The more easily and more quickly companies can transmit their message the more likely consumers will engage with it. In short, you want video content and a lot of it.
According to Neil Patel, 80 percent of people prefer watching video rather than reading a blog post, and 82 percent would choose live video over any other type of social post.
Make sure to take full advantage of video product demos, a how-to instructional series, customer testimonials, and messages from the CEO or other leadership members. Easy-to-digest video content can educate the market around your business much more effectively than nearly every other type of content.
Use Paid Social Media Advertising
Prospects will likely find your social channels organically when they’re looking for them. But how about those who don’t even know they need your product and haven’t yet begun the research phase? Here’s where paid social media efforts can create a big win for your business.
Facebook and Twitter – and to a larger extent LinkedIn – offer a paid advertising model in which you can allocate a certain portion of your marketing budget and target social users based upon industry, geo and job title, among other filters. Getting your advertising in the social media feeds of key prospects is an effective way to get them in the awareness stage of your sales funnel, and ultimately close their business.
For more on social media best practices, check out these posts:
- Leverage Social Media as an Effective Branding Tool
- Four Ways to Use Social Media to Create Ecommerce Opportunities
Learn how cleverbridge can help manage, monetize and optimize your digital business as you continue to grow. We take responsiblity for recurring billing, global payment processing, compliance, customer service, and more. Contact our sales team today.
Kyle Shamorian is the content marketer for cleverbridge. Connect with him on LinkedIn.