Social media has always been and will remain to be a platform for entertainment content. And at the same time, it is a powerful tool to promote business. We will explain why any business needs to build its presence on social media and describe the principles of promotion on different platforms.
Two Approaches to Promoting Your Business in Social Media
When talking about using social media for business, there are two radically different approaches to SMM. One of them is highly inefficient, while another is the right one, though, at first sight, it may seem resource-intense.
Variant One: Extensive
It’s a mistake to regard social media solely as an advertising platform, as an analog of banner advertising. Social media is not intended for instant sales, although some companies producing low-cost consumer goods can really encourage the audience to make impulse purchases. Businesses use social media to build long-term, trust-based relations with their target audience.
When using the wrong approach to social media, the business strives for promotion on any platform, allocating resources as follows. The company’s SMM specialist creates content, and the marketer sets the budget for an advertising campaign.
Such an approach will result in calculating the sales volume based on the results of the advertising campaign. The problem with such an approach is that it doesn’t provide long-term effect planning. And it is hard to define the criteria of success of the advertising campaign accurately.
The target can be set correctly, and the company has its sales, but you can be absolutely sure that with the decrease of paid promotion, sales will go down proportionally.
Such use of social media for business purposes can be called extensive. The more money you invest in advertising, then, theoretically, the more customers are attracted.
Variant Two: Intensive
An intensive approach to business development on social media is one requiring many intellectual and time resources. They should be committed to the creation of the brand’s image. By running social media accounts correctly, you can build and grow a loyal target audience.
Such an audience can purchase not only directly on Instagram or Facebook but also on the company website. That’s a balanced type of development. Since, according to Western marketers estimates, a modern consumer needs 6 to 8 touches with the brand to lead him into making a purchase. Consumption of social media content is counted as touches as well.
With such an approach to social accounts management, the crucial task is to develop a content strategy, and the criterion of effectiveness is ROI (return of investment), in other words, the efficiency of paid promotion on social media. An intensive approach implies improving content quality instead of increasing advertising spending.
In its turn, it increases the number of closed deals with each paid promotion campaign while the advertising spending is constant or decreasing.
To grow the audience gradually, use such an approach that will help create an ‘information agenda’ in social media. The “Awareness Ladder” concept is one of the widely used Western techniques.
Ben Hunt, the author of the book “Convert!”, came up with the following principle: “In order to offer people the right proposition, it is important not only to segment them by their need but also by their level of awareness.” Depending on the level of awareness, they define six stages at which the lead can be:
Potential Customers Are Unaware of the Problem
Social media advertising is a great and convenient tool to show them their necessity.
They Are Aware of the Problem or Need but Unaware That Solutions Exist
Examples of the problem solutions will help advance the lead “up on the ladder.” A video on YouTube or a dedicated page on the site can serve the purpose well.
They Are Aware of Some Solutions but Not of Your Brand’s Specific Solution
For such leads, you should provide content on how the product works.
They Are Aware of the Brand’s Solution but Not of Its Benefits
The stage when it’s important to detach your company from the competitors without downgrading them.
They Are Aware of the Benefits but Not Convinced to Buy Yet
The stage that a customer should go through, being sure about the positive image of the company and product. If you haven’t done it at previous stages, it’s vital to explain to the potential customer how their life will change when he gets the product.
Convinced and Ready to Buy
At this stage, the lead becomes the client
Some Special Aspects of Managing Several Accounts in Social Media
Until recently, many companies used to create accounts on all social media to make identical posts on all accounts on the same day. The effectiveness of such a content strategy is very low as it doesn’t consider specific features related to the user audience in each of the social media.
It’s obvious that the young and less attentive TikTok audience will consume information in a totally different way than people who are used to reading relatively long, meaningful posts on Facebook.
So that promotion on social media brings profit in the future, it’s necessary to prepare publications for each social network. In particular, consider the overall tone common to the platform. You do not have to make unique content for each social network.
On the contrary, visual content can be identical, but written content should be individual for each social network.
Also, consider that one user can subscribe to the brand’s account on several social networks —e.g., on Instagram and Twitter. In order not to stir irritation by identical posts published on the same day, it’ll be more appropriate to post publications on the same topic on different platforms within a few days of one another.
The only exception to this rule is urgent news stories that you may need to announce on all promotion channels at once.
The most inconvenient thing about managing several accounts is that making posts is a time-consuming process. If you use a smartphone application or a desktop version of a social network, posting and tracking related reactions in several different programs would mean spending time inefficiently.
To manage several accounts quite comfortably and keep track of the publications calendar is much easier and more effective if you use the Onlypult service.
Onlypult is a platform for managing popular social networks: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, etc. Using Onlypult services saves the time for doing simple tasks, meaning that SMM specialists will have more time to solve creative and strategically important issues.
Characteristics of Major Social Networks
Let’s discuss thoroughly how user behavior differs in different social networks, and in this connection, what a business should do when it concerns SMM.
Facebook provides many opportunities for businesses. On this social network, one can have:
- a brand page;
- a brand group;
- an online shop.
To create a positive image, you need to have an official page or group. The audience gets a feeling of trust with the possibility of having an open dialogue with the brand. Such communication increases the load on SMM specialists since the slightest negative attitude is really noticeable in public groups, so it should smooth away quickly.
However, at the same time, such openness is an advantage because Internet users can develop a positive impression of the company visiting the brand group judging by the way it communicates with its audience.
The most customer-oriented companies can even answer the audience’s questions at the expense of their business interests. For example, Zappos, a giant Internet shop, told one user about competitor shops selling shoes of some particular brand.
Facebook ads can be economically beneficial to produce, but they will require a lot of imagination to grab the audience’s attention. Many publications on this social network consist of text only. Therefore, the text as the main content in the advertisement looks appropriate, and a banner or a photo can be just an addition.
However, the feed of each user contains an unlimited amount of content. So, you have to fight for attention.
But all longtime preparation work concerning account management pays off when subscribers convert from prospects to customers. The case study of the online Pink Tag Boutique shop reveals that a high-quality content strategy ensures sales on social media.
A small company created by two mommies got $44k sales from their Facebook shop within a five-months. With that, the average order value on this social network was 66% higher than the one for sales via the official website.
In many countries, Instagram has become an effective platform for promoting any business — from small local coffee shops to global corporations. The crucial helpful feature of Instagram that makes it a universal platform is visual content that is understandable to many, if not all, users. The platform also has descriptions, but they are an additional tool.
Users of this particular social network come to look at beautiful photos, and you should consider them before you start to develop the content strategy. Perhaps the company sells a sophisticated information product or device which functionality is more important than its appearance. In this case, it is necessary to create abstract visual images with an emotional message.
The Instagram account of DHL Global is a very good example. Apparently, courier delivery is not the type of product to produce the wow-effect. However, in the autumn of 2021, on Instagram, the brand promoted the idea of zero CO2 emissions the company is gradually implementing.
And the brand also demonstrated how logistics specialists coped with the worldwide delivery of the shooting equipment for the new Bond film. Both the first and the second messages definitely cause a wow-effect.
Instagram is an excellent platform for growing the brand’s reputation. Publications of videos from the company’s work-life, posting Stories showing teamwork. All this correlates with the current trend of having an open dialogue with the audience.
Of course, you should not be 100% frank and tell them about all the difficulties your company has to deal with. On the contrary, the creation of an honest brand image is a complicated marketing technique. It’s vital to keep balance and not scare away the audience by being extremely simple and fraternizing.
Publishing educational videos or instructions are helpful for the development of business. Such content produces a positive impression on current customers. That is because the product users receive essential information in small portions in a non-intrusive kind of way.
So they start trusting the company more. Such type of content is also helpful for influencing potential customers as it generates awareness of the product.
We should also mention one feature that Instagram has had for many years. Many users create video content. You can post videos on the feed, in Reels, and in Stories. In this context, it’s crucial to think about how advertising will look in the eyes of the target audience.
We should also mention one feature that Instagram has had for many years. Many users create video content. Videos can be posted in the feed, in Reels, and in Stories. In this context, it’s important to think about how advertising will look in the eyes of the target audience.
YouTube is a very important social network for any business. According to American statistics, 51% of employees have to decide in the B2B segment. So, watch videos on YouTube when learning about the product.
The “Show, Don’t tell” principle is widely used by Western marketers. And the easiest way to apply it is via videos on YouTube. Users of this social network have an opportunity to watch videos on a big screen, move forward to the required piece, and then resume watching.
Another essential advantage of YouTube is that you can use this social network as a search site. When an Internet user specifies the search query on Google, relevant videos are shown in the first positions in the search results.
On Google, online users can immediately click on the video tab to view links to videos related to the essence of some definite question. Businesses can use this feature of user behavior and create videos answering the question “How?”.
It can be an instruction for using a specific product or a solution to the user’s problem.
Stories about the company’s work-life, the product creation process, future business plans — all this content can be and should be published on YouTube to increase the loyalty of the customers and the leads.
The current state of social media shows the core trend — Internet users are interested in spending time by viewing the posts. The average American user spent 1300 hours on social media in 2020. Businesses should consider such behavioral patterns and use them for their development.