Leveraging Social Media to Bootstrap Your Business

By Sean Brown | April 10, 2017

According to We Are Social, over 1 million new active users join the world of social media every day. With numbers like that, it’s no surprise that more and more businesses and digital marketers are incorporating social media into their advertising strategy. If you are starting or own a business, leveraging social media is the fastest way to promote growth.

Posting on social media is a cost-effective way to grow your customer base and improve your brand image. If your marketing is limited to banner ads on social apps like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, you could be missing out. Here are some ways to effectively leverage social media and increase your reach.

Content Is Your Voice

Content marketing is one of the easiest ways to build your brand’s voice and extend your customer reach. But if your content does not clearly convey your brand’s message, it will be hard to increase your following.

1. Frequency

Research what time to post and how often to post on different social sites. A study from HubSpot showed that if you have a smaller following, posting on Facebook twice a day will reduce the number of clicks per post by 50%. However, if you post only 1-5 times a month, your clicks per post will almost double.

2. Consistency

If all the pictures you post on Instagram vary heavily in content, someone might not understand your brand’s message. Make sure that there is a unified message to your posts, but don’t over-promote. Find a balance between posting content to engage your followers and promote your business while maintaining a consistent message.

3. Sell Value

Content marketing should not be an avenue for you to sell your features. Research your market and your customers. Find out what separates your brand from the rest and focus on how it benefits your customers. You are selling the value your product brings to the customer, not the features themselves.

4. Differentiate Your Brand

Once you have decided on your brand’s message, formulate unique selling propositions. Without M&M’s’ unique selling proposition “Melts in your mouth, not in your hand,” it would have been difficult for customers to know what sets them apart from other chocolates that commonly melt in your hand. Find your USP and make it known to your customer through high-quality content.

Your Reach Goes Beyond Your Content

Many businesses limit their social media marketing to the content that they post, but there are effective ways to leverage the power of social media beyond the platforms themselves.

1. Follow Buttons

Make sure that people know where to find you on social media. Your website is a great opportunity to do this. Add social media follow/subscribe buttons on your homepage or ‘Contact Us’ page so that they can easily keep track of new products, updates, etc.

2. Sharing Buttons

One way to broaden your reach beyond content is to add sharing buttons to every piece of content you produce, whether it be a new blog on your website or a blast email you are sending out. This way, when one of your existing followers sees or receives the content, they can immediately share it with all the people in their social media circle.

3. Embeddable Tweets

Many people are unaware that they have the ability to embed tweets into their website. This allows for you to broadcast your social media updates directly from your website. Never before have you been able to validate your brand so easily. In the past, testimonials have been somewhat suspect, but with this feature, you can embed the positive feedback you receive straight into your website.

Social Media Intelligence

Not only is social media a great way to market your business, it’s a powerful tool in generating leads and information about your customer. Studying analytics on your marketing campaigns also help you make better decisions about how to reach people on social media.

1. Learn About Your Customer

Knowing your target audience is key for any business that is trying to market on social media. Use tools like Facebook Insights to gain information about the demographic of your customers, such as their age and gender. This is a valuable tool in creating new objectives because you can pinpoint who is responding to your content. For instance, if you release a cologne for men on Facebook that is directed towards males ages 18-30, you can validate that your marketing is reaching its intended audience.

Additionally, if you are looking to expand your brand into a particular place or region, you need to learn where your customer is. Use tools like Hootsuite to geolocate the activity on your social media accounts. You’ll be able to track how many clicks you receive on each post, and more importantly, where each click is coming from.

2. Monitor Customer Feedback

Social media allows for people to express their opinions about businesses in a light like never before. Hootsuite helps you see what people are saying about your brand, its products, and its customer service. This information will provide the insight needed in order to understand your brand’s current stance, and what you need to do to grow your business.

3. Get Ahead

Business is a competition. You need to keep track of your competition in order to make better decisions. If one of your competitors launches a similar product, you need to research its nuances and find out what people are saying about it. Hootsuite has a feature that allows you to track who is getting more mentions on social media. Check out what people are saying about the competition and use that information to create your next objective.

Make Your Life Easier

Running a business is hard. Not all of us have the resources to be able to fund our own ideas, but there has been no better time in history to bootstrap your business by capitalizing on all of the opportunities that this digital age allows us.