When you first set up your business, you had a vision of that business someday making it big and your profit margins going sky-high, right? Otherwise, you wouldn’t have set up the business in the first place. These days, one of the best ways to grow your company’s stock is to leverage social media. Social media marketing (SMM) has, in fact, become more important than traditional marketing strategies like radio and newspaper advertising.
Here are some of the most important benefits your company can get when you leverage social media:
1. Brand Recognition
Social media platforms allow you to engage millions of people at once. It therefore gives you a chance to introduce your brand to as many people as you want. As long as you take the right approach to social media marketing, you should be able to build a strong positive reputation for your brand, anchored on your company values and the things that set you apart from the competition. With millions of people logged into their social media accounts each day, it’s easy to understand why SMM is now known as the modern-day word-of-mouth advertising.
Social media is all about keeping in touch with family, friends, and colleagues. It is therefore a perfect venue for building communities. When you attract like-minded individuals to your company’s page, you get the perfect opportunity to earn their loyalty and unite them into a community of patrons. This community will help introduce your brand to more people, thereby extending your reach. And as your social media content gets repeatedly shared by your community, your brand enjoys all the benefits brought about by repeat exposure.
3. Influence and Authority
As your community grows, you can also expect your influence to grow. Soon, you’ll be able to successfully build a reputation of being an authority in your niche and maybe even in the industry. This will definitely give you an edge over your competitors. On the flip side, you leave a huge opportunity for your competitors to gain an advantage over you if you choose to take social media for granted.
Of course, you have to make sure you’re using social media the right way. Instead of concentrating on promoting your brand, you should focus more on reaching out to your audience and providing them with whatever information they seek. When you make them feel special this way, people tend to appreciate you more and remain loyal to your brand. This helps you stay ahead of the competition.
Now that you know how beneficial social media can be for your business, you should be ready to start learning how you can use the various social platforms for growing your company’s stock. Here are a few tips:
1. Run a Contest
Among the best ways to catch attention on social media is to run a contest. People love being rewarded for something they do online. What makes contests even more appealing is the fact that it gives people a chance to best others at something. You could also get more people to join your contest by offering rewards simply for joining. For example, you could give out a 10%-discount coupon to each participant and offer more valuable prizes for the winners.
When using Facebook, you could ask people to post pictures of themselves using one or more of your products; the photo that gets the most Likes wins the contest. On Pinterest, you could ask people to re-pin a particular photo you posted, with an electronic raffle determining who gets to win the top prize. On Twitter, you could post trivia questions about your business and the first to tweet the correct answer gets the prize. These are just a few examples of social media contests you can run.
2. Announce Amazing Offers
Social media users love sharing news about big sales and special offers. If you’re giving out coupons or having a major sale, therefore, one of the best ways to get the word out about it is by posting an announcement on your social media pages. Such announcements almost always go viral and when they do, you can be sure that more people now know at least the name of your brand. If you keep doing things right, you can effectively convert these people into loyal customers.
3. Offer Freebies
Earlier we pointed out how people loved getting a reward for something they do online. Well, getting something for free without having to do anything special is one thing they appreciate even more. Here’s something very interesting you’d do well to note: People generally become more excited over a freebie than they do over a discount, even when the discount amount is actually bigger than the value of the freebie.
Considering this, it may therefore be a good idea to offer something as simple as free shipping for every order made on your website. From time to time, you may also want to throw in some free items for good measure. Even something as small as a key holder or a paperweight with your logo on it can go a long way.
4. Share Pictures
If you truly want your social media efforts to be successful, one of the things you should aim for is to get your content shared by as many people as possible. Note that of all the forms of content being published online, pictures are the most widely shared. When you deliver your message on social media, therefore, be sure to include a picture of excellent quality. Of course, you should also make sure the message and the photo are something people would want to share with their family and friends.
5. Use Hashtags
Notice those groups of words with the # sign before them that seem to be always present in social media posts these days? Those are known as hashtags, and you’re right; people do seem to include at least one in every social media post they make. Why are people so fond of them and how can you use them to your advantage?
Well, hashtags help people find posts about certain topics or personalities. When you use both generic and branded hashtags in your posts, you are essentially making it easier for your followers to search for information about your company and your brand. In fact, creating an entire promotional campaign around hashtagged posts can be a very effective way of increasing brand awareness.
Which Social Platforms to Use
Okay, you’re aware of how important SMM can be for growing your company’s stock and you now have a good idea as to how you can leverage social media for this purpose. But which platforms should you focus on? Should you create accounts on as many social networking sites as possible, or should you just choose a few popular sites?
While you may be tempted to set up accounts in as many social sites as possible to reach the most number of people, it is actually better for you to focus on one or two platforms to begin with. Think of who your target audience is so as to determine which social platform to use. If you’re operating a B2B business, then you’d do well to start with LinkedIn and one industry-related social site. If you have a B2C company targeting those in their late teens and/or early twenties, then Facebook and Twitter may be good places to start.
How Much Time to Spend
SMM success doesn’t happen overnight. That much is pretty obvious. This doesn’t mean, however, that you should spend the entire day checking on your social accounts and constantly updating your status or posting content. We’re also not advising you to assign one of your employees to do nothing but keep track of your social accounts all day, every day. What we do suggest is for you to set certain times during the day for one of your staff to manage your accounts and work on your SMM strategies.
It is also a good idea to clearly designate responsibilities. Who will be doing the tweeting? Who will manage your Facebook account? Who will create content for your social media accounts? Who will respond directly to questions posted by your followers? Make sure the people you assign to these tasks have them among their core responsibilities rather than just an added burden, so it doesn’t get taken for granted.
Remember that not all business that use social media have succeeded in growing their stock this way. To ensure success, you need to carefully plan your strategies. Careful planning includes setting clear goals and objectives as well as drawing up a plan for measuring success. Your plan should specify such details as how often you plan to post new content, what general message you want to deliver, what image you want your brand to have, and what kind of response you want to get from your audience, among other things. With the right approach and guided by the tips above, you should succeed in growing your company stock through social media.