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Standing Out in the Age of Digital Consumerism

In the past ten years, there has been an influx of new media platforms riddled with potential consumers. As a result, a new way to market businesses has formed to create a whole industry devoted to social media marketing. Today, I will be outlining tips to help you make the most out of your business social media marketing.

Setting SMART Goals

Before you can begin building your brand's social media presence, it is essential to have a marketing strategy. One way to do this is through the use of SMART goals. The acronym, which stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and timebound, is a great way to set goals that are structured and focused.

SMART goals have been used for decades by businesses in order to set clear-set goals that are pointed and achievable. They are especially useful when creating social media content to ensure that all posts serve a purpose and are not aimless and unfocused.

Finding Your Target

Identifying your target market is an important step in building your social media’s audience. This is because it affects the social media platforms you use, the type of content you publish and what information you put in your profile.

If you are a house cleaning company looking to expand your brand’s social media presence, you are not going to cater your content to teenagers on Instagram who don’t have homes to clean. You should be utilizing platforms like Facebook that have a higher population of middle-aged parents. As well, because your target audience is a generation that is new to the digital world and less tech-savvy, your social media and website should be easy to navigate.

 

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Building a Relationship

Once you have started building your brand’s social media account it is essential to build a relationship with your audience. One of the greatest assets of social media platforms is that they allow for a business to build connections through their different features; for example, Instagram stories are a great way to engage with your audience as it has features like polls, questions and answers and quizzes.

As well, social media accounts allow consumers to easily provide feedback to the business with features like Facebook’s comment section and reviews page, both of which allow for an ongoing conversation between a customer and a business representative.

Furthermore, it is important for your brand’s social media to be helpful to the audience. For example, rather than just trying to sell your product; it should engage with any questions or concerns a customer might have within a timely manner. One way of showing your brand cares about the opinion of its audience can be through the use of Instagram polls and Q&As by asking for feedback or suggestions on how to make your product and/or business better.

Creating a Content Calendar

When looking to grow your brand’s social media presence it is important to make sure that you are posting consistently. This can be done by integrating your content through an editorial calendar. An editorial calendar is used to set-up your social media posts ahead of time so that it will post at the exact time wanted, this is useful when you are looking to post during a period of maximum engagement, as well as it allows for zero forgetfulness by the account manager.

 

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Reaching Out Through Hashtags

To help grow your audience it is important to have content that extends beyond your present following. This can be done by using keywords and/or hashtags that your target audience might be looking at.

These keywords can be helpful to include in your brand visuals, as well as captions for a greater opportunity to show up in searches. An example of using these keywords in an Instagram post by a cycling company would include using hashtags like “#cyclinglife” or “#instacycling”, and using images of cyclists or bicycles in your posts

Visuals Matter

Not only is the content of your social media important but the visual presentation of your page can make or break if someone follows you. To stand out, a brand’s social media account should have eye-catching visuals that flow cohesively throughout your page, as well as behind-the-scenes images and photos of employees in order to show a more personable side.

Creating good visual content is essential in earning “clicks”, according to SharpSpring “Facebook posts with images receive 2.3 times the engagement rates of posts without images” which can be attributed to the fact that “65% of people are visual learners” (SharpSpring, p.18).

Keeping Up With The Trends

Social media has been a breeding ground for online trends and we have seen brands like Wendy’s and Nike flourish when using these trends in their online marketing campaigns; keeping tabs on the trending hashtags and latest hot topics is a good way of showing that your brand is relevant, as well as using the buzz around the topic to gain traction for your account.

A good example of this is KFC piggybacking on the trending hashtag “#NationalFriedChickenDay” and going on to offer promotions for their restaurant on the day as well.

As the world increasingly becomes more dependent on technology and consumers flee to the internet to find goods and services, it is important for brands to use new media platforms in their favour in order to market themselves to a new type of consumer: the social media user.