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Repetition makes reputation and reputation makes customers, said Elizabeth Arden, one of the wealthiest businesswomen of her time. Constantly delivering on your brand promises will most certainly help you acquire and keep your customers and strengthen your reputation, but with the help of social media, you can expand your reach beyond your initial target audience and land tons of new prospects. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and other social media channels boast over 3 billion users globally, so it’s safe to say that the “pics or it didn’t happen” mantra dominates in the world of business too. It’s worth noting that not every social media channel works for all niches, so visually oriented businesses will naturally turn to Instagram, while LinkedIn is mainly reserved for B2B industries. Facebook, with its 2.13 billion monthly active users offers a certain degree of versatility, so all kinds of companies use it as their favorite marketing channel. Here are a couple of ideas about how to leverage social media to boost your business and build credibility.
Get to know your audience
As a business owner, you probably know who your target audience is, and you craft your pitch and marketing efforts based on the needs and interests of that particular group of people. But, social media allows you to understand members of your target audience on a more profound and personal level, which is the perk that no other advertising channel offers. You can use social media to improve your customer support, feel the pulse of your audience, keep track of what people are talking about your brand, and interact with your followers in real time. By listening to your customers, you can refine your brand and tailor more engaging content. Since relevant and useful content is among the most important traffic drivers, social media “eavesdropping” can bring lots of fresh visitors to your website.
The power of social proof
When you take a look Coca-Cola’s Facebook page, you’ll see that 107 million people all around the world like this beverage. This immense popularity means that people trust this brand and that they know its quality is consistent. Similarly, when you find yourself in an unfamiliar city and you want to grab a bite, you’ll be drawn towards a packed restaurant, as the fact that it’s crowded is an indicator of its popularity and good food. These two examples show how powerful social proof is. Social media is one of the best vehicles for sharing social proof. When your potential customers see positive comments and reviews on your Facebook page, they will be more likely to convert. Just like a reliable performance bond strengthens the reputation of a construction company in terms of financial security, social proof psychologically vouches for the quality of a certain business and shows that it’s legitimate and trustworthy. The only catch is that all those positive testimonials should be sincere and genuine because customers can smell fake reviews very easily.
Search engine rankings
It’s only logical that search engine ranking significantly affects your business’ bottom line, but the fact that the first page of the SERPs garners 91.5% of the overall traffic paints a complete picture of its impact. And guess what? Social media engagement plays an important role in catapulting your website to the first page. Although shares and likes haven’t been upgraded to regular ranking factors, they still significantly influence how Google perceives your website. Namely, if your content is popular and shared, the search engine will perceive it as relevant and useful, and you’ll get a ranking boost.
Make the most of your content
Consumers are more inclined to trust industry experts, which is why this kind of reputation can skyrocket your business. One of the main methods of earning such a title is by creating relevant and quality content and sharing it on social media. Your blog posts have to focus on solving some of the specific pain points and challenges that your target audience faces in a clear and effective manner. Of course, choosing the right social media channel is also important, so you have to find out where your customers hang out and use those particular social media platforms. Apart from that, finding out what medium the members of your audience prefer is crucial for making your content appealing to them. Generally speaking, visual content is more engaging and relatable, and this doesn’t mean that Instagram and Pinterest should be your only solution. Infographics and videos are among the most popular content forms across all channels of communication, including Twitter. Consumers who view video are 1.81 times more likely to purchase a product or service, than non-viewers, so make sure to use this strategy to promote your brand on social media. After you’ve selected the most appropriate channel and medium for your content, be consistent and publish your blog posts on a regular basis.
Boost your brand recognition
People spend a lot of their free time on social media. According to surveys, an average person spends 40 minutes on YouTube, 35 minutes on Facebook, 15 minutes on Instagram, and 1 minute on Twitter every day. These stats show that your brand can gain exposure on social media and spread the word about your products or services. Through shares and likes, you can reach a much wider audience and increase your following. Apart from generating high-quality content, another strategy that works great for raising brand awareness is connecting with influencers from your industry and grabbing the attention of their followers. This way you’ll expand your audience with people who are genuinely interested in what you have to offer. Finally, you need to develop a consistent social media voice that will reflect your company culture and be authentic.
Social media holds tremendous potential for growing your business, promoting it, and boosting your credibility.
Guest Post: Alex Williams is an blogger and a journalism graduate. She currently is a regular contributor at Bizzmarkbloc.com.