Social Media 101 – A Guide to Getting Started on Social Media for Online Retailers
One of the best ways to draw attention to your online business is by using social media marketing. Close to half of the world’s population is on at least one social media platform which can generate a lot of attention for your brand.
Creating a marketing campaign from scratch is challenging, especially when you consider the number of social media platforms. To help you create a successful social media marketing campaign, we’ve put together a guide filled with tips and tricks.
What is Social Media Marketing?
Social media marketing is a set of tactics you can use to promote your business on various social media platforms, like Facebook, Instagram and TikTok. By using the various platforms, you can reach millions of potential customers and introduce them to your brand.
However, for your marketing campaign to be successful, you need to have a strategy. The strategy you choose will define the tactics you use in your social media campaign.
Your goals and business model will help you define your social media marketing strategy. Some samples goals could be:
- Building awareness of your store or product
- Driving traffic to your online store
- Generating sales on the social media platforms
- Communicating with customers before, during, and after purchase
- Gaining insights into your audience, competitors, and industry
You may want to focus on one, some, or all of these business goals.
The Benefits and Challenges of Social Media Marketing
Like any type of marketing, social media platforms have advantages and present a few challenges. Posting on social media platforms and building an audience is free, although you can buy ad advertising to boost posts or target specific audiences with ads. This guide will focus on building an organic, aka free, social media presence.
Benefits of Social Media Marketing
One of the obvious benefits is the number of people you can reach. With social media, you can increase brand awareness, build an audience, and gain market insights. You can learn about the industry and consumer preferences. Social media can also provide insights into your competitors, including their marketing strategies.
Did you know social media platforms also improve customer satisfaction? Customer service is a key aspect of any brand. With social media, you are connected to the customer. This allows you to meet them where they are and respond immediately to their questions and concerns.
Never underestimate the importance of offering good customer service, especially when online reviews are commonplace.
When it comes to cost-effectiveness, it’s hard to beat the social media marketing price. Platforms like Twitter, TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook are free, easy to sign-up for, and a breeze to use. As mentioned above, social media platforms also offer advertising opportunities, but in this article, we’re going to focus on building a strategy to grow your organic social media presence. If you’d like to learn more about Springbot’s advertising services go here.
Challenges of Social Media Marketing
While one of the advantages of marketing your brand on social media is that you can check out the competition, when you start advertising, your competitors also get insight into your business and marketing strategies.
Time and content creation can also be challenging. A good social media strategy often requires different content and approaches for different channels. This can quickly become overwhelming for small businesses. To start, you’ll want to pick the one or two social media channels that you think will be best for your brand.
How to Pick the Right Social Media Platforms
Online retail is becoming common on social media platforms, but it doesn’t always mean your brand is a good fit.
It’s important to understand the purpose of the channels. For example, Facebook has multiple marketplace pages for advertising products and services. Twitter is a good platform to start a dialogue about your brand. LinkedIn is good for introducing the team behind your brand and sharing professional information.
Don’t forget about YouTube and Pinterest. You can also create content for Tiktok videos. Instagram marketing is another option, and it has advertising options that may fit your brand. For many retailers a good starting point is something visual, like Instagram, Pinterest or Facebook. If in doubt, survey your customers about their favorite social media channels.
Posting on the platforms that best fit your brand helps ensure a successful social media marketing campaign.
Best Practices for Building a Branded Social Media Presence
Creating a strong social media presence is challenging. You have competition in every niche. Here are a few tips you can employ in your social media marketing strategy.
Highlight Your Brand’s Personality
No matter what your product is, you can make your brand stand out. You want your social media advertising to resonate with consumers. An effective way to give your brand a personality. If you are the center of the brand, you can do this by sharing your story and insights from your life. Other options are to use humor, tapping into a topic that’s important to your target, or by highlighting your company’s support for a social or environmental cause.
Collaboration Is Key
Another way to build brand awareness and increase your audience is by collaborating with social media influencers familiar to your audience or another brand that compliments yours. A few collaboration ideas are,
- Partnering with complementary brands to create a giveaway. The giveaway can be posted to all participating brands’ social media channels, dramatically increasing your exposure and increasing your audience.
- Posting unboxing or Q&A videos with social media influencers on Instagram, YouTube or TikTok
- Letting influencers test and review your products or services. You can even give them a unique coupon code to share with their audience. If the influencer likes your products, this can generate awareness, credibility and sales for your store.
Create Short Video Content
It’s easy for content to get lost online among the news feeds. While you want to inject personality into your brand, you also want to keep your videos brief. Not everyone has the time or attention span to watch lengthy ads or videos chronicling your brand’s history and mission.
Short content often generates more attention, especially on some of the platforms with multi-generational audiences like Instagram and TikTok. Best of all, your content doesn’t have to be limited to sales. The platforms encourage creativity, so you can still inject personality into the video. Test different content to see what works best for your audience.
Share User-Generated Content
When consumers feel recognized, it helps to build a strong relationship with the brand. One way to make your customers feel seen is by sharing photos of them with your product. It also builds brand recognition among your customer’s followers. You can start by asking your customers to share their photos or videos with you. You can also motivate customers to share images or tag your store in their posts by running photo contests with prizes or discounts to your store.
Create a Posting Schedule
It doesn’t matter if you have a team taking care of the social media campaign or if it’s a one-person show, it’s vital to post regularly. Not only does it build your social media presence, but it also helps your brand obtain and keep a following.
Creating a posting schedule helps ensure your brand’s social media presence and stay in contact with consumers. Again, you will need to test to determine how often you should post and what days and times are best for your audience.
Springbot’s Marketing Calendar and Social Hub can help here. Springbot’s Social Hub will help you post on all your social media channels and engage with followers in one spot. With Social Hub, you’ll never have to jump from social platform to social platform again. Social Hub also makes it easy for you to keep track of your social media strategy, connect with fans and shoppers, and measure the success of your social media campaigns