9 Killer Social Media Marketing Hacks and Strategies for Small Businesses
Being a small business limits a lot of things that you could do to up your marketing game. You don’t have a high budget like the industry giants usually invest in running paid ads for a long-long time, or hiring a team of adept professionals to boost the brand.
So, what should you do that will give you the best results without straining your pocket?
You have to be creative and take advantage of all the free marketing opportunities online. Digital marketing is not exclusive to brands that can spend a ton of money, you can do it too. You just need to be aware of the strategies that have already proven successful for others and also come up with your own set of actions to help drive sales and make your brand an online success.
One such great avenue of digital marketing that can return you the results you want for your brand is “social media”. It’s the place where you can attract the majority of your potential customers and most likely convert them.
Social media platforms are the most hip and happening places in the digital world where people from around the globe converge and communicate. So, imagine if you can tap into this thriving pool of online community. Your brand will get the coveted recognition as well as drive your sales to an all-new stature.
Not just communicating with your visitors and followers, or advertising your products on social media, there are other very effective and proven strategies that you can adapt for your brand. These will help you extract the last bit of the potent marketing juice that social media has to offer and allow you to achieve your ultimate business and marketing goals.
Today in this article, I am going to share 9 small business social media marketing hacks that you should embrace and apply right now for your company’s social media marketing strategy.
Let’s get started!
1. Use Social Proof to Boost Results
Would you buy a product if you don’t find anyone else online using it? Would you trust a brand if you can’t see others buying from it?
The answer is “No”.
We as humans, especially as online buyers, require “social proof” before we make any purchasing decisions.
But what is “social proof”?
According to Wikipedia, social proof is defined as
A psychological phenomenon where people assume the actions of others in an attempt to reflect correct behavior for a given situation.
Simply speaking, you buy a product if you see that other buyers have also purchased it and are saying good things about it. We generally buy a product from a brand if it is recommended by experts, celebrities, influencers, or just friends and family. So, what I am saying is, consumers need ‘proof’ that the community is using the product as well as liking it.
There are several ways you can earn ‘social proof’ for your brand.
Firstly, you can ask your customers for honest reviews and testimonials after they have purchased or used the product. Ask them to write down their experience with the product on your website to help other potential consumers make an informed decision. To entice your customers to leave a review, you can offer incentives in exchange for it, which they can use to avail discounts and perks during their next purchase.
The Indian cosmetics brand “Nykaa” provides loyalty points to their customers for each review they write for products they have bought from them. The more reviews written means more points gained, which they can redeem during their next purchase to avail a certain discount.
Secondly, ask for visual proof from your customers. An image posted by a reviewer holds a greater impact than any written word. It gives prospective buyers a physical sense of the product and influences them to buy it for themselves. Display these images on relevant pages of your website, social media channels, and other online outlets so that consumers’ attention is drawn to it without much extra effort.
You can also go for displaying certification and case studies about a product as a proof of authenticity. Displaying the numbers of shares, follows, subs, and downloads are also excellent methods of gaining social proof.
2. Include Call-to-Actions in Your Posts
You can’t expect your audience to do stuff for you without asking them to do it. Give them the well-timed push to make them do what you want.
A Call to Action is the way to lure your audience to focus on an immediate action you want them to take. Use them across all your social media accounts to increase likes, shares, and views. You can also direct traffic towards your website and allow them to learn more, join your newsletter or signup for free content or courses.
Make the call to actions simple yet visually appealing so that your audience has minimal difficulty to follow it and perform the action you want them to make. Include them in multiple places throughout the post. Also, create a sense of urgency in your consumers’ minds to increase the conversion rate.
3. Gamify Customers’ Social Media Experience
Engage your audience and make them interested in your brand by gamifying their social media experience. Create competitions and contests that will excite the audience to participate and play.
Create specific hashtags for each contest you organize and entice consumers to spread the word around by sharing the post on their social media accounts. More the number of participants you can procure, the more exposure your brand will get.
Employing this gaming aspect has a twofold advantage.
- It increases consumer engagement thus generates more online visibility for your brand.
- It also helps in building UGC (user-generated content) that is created by your audience, which ultimately promotes your brand without any work on your part.
This is a foolproof way to earn more views and potential leads in a short amount of time.
4. Create Shareable Contents for Better Reach Online
Your posts on social media may contain a truckload of information. It can be about sales, new product launch, value-added contents like ‘how-tos’, case studies, and a whole lot more.
But what happens if these posts are not put on the radar of your audience?
There will be less traffic, fewer views, and finally, fewer conversions.
Your posts should have the means to reach as many audiences as they can. To do so, you have to create shareable content that any of your viewers can easily share with the online community.
Any form of content you create, be it a video, an image or an article, optimize it in such a way that it can be shared throughout all social media platforms with ease.
Along with the “call to action”, you should also incorporate “social share” buttons to urge your audiences to “share” and “retweet“ your posts. This will increase the visibility of your content and the number of eyeballs on your brand.
5. Include Appealing Visual Elements to Attract Attention
Images are more powerful for creating a long-lasting impression on your audience than written contents, however good and informative they may be. People respond more to an image, a simple GIF, or to a video teaser. So, to keep your audience and customers engaged and interested, you need to include visual elements heavily on your social media posts and other forms of content.
Studies by eMarketer show that Facebook posts with images are shared more and have an interaction rate of 87 percent. In Tweeter too, tweets with an image are retweeted more by 35 percent than the no-image ones.
Increase the number of visual components that you include in your social media posts. Create attention-grabbing images like Infographics for explaining a process or sharing stats, ask for images from your customers using your products, or share relevant image content from other creators with your audience.
To quote online marketing expert Drew Hendricks
If you’re unable to find a good infographic that would fit for your article try to include up to 3 images in the piece to keep users engaged and reading the entire article.
And if you want to create an eye-popping infographic, you can learn it quickly. There are tons of videos and tutorials available online, which will show you the step-by-step process of making a beautiful infographic. Else, hire freelancers online who can design appealing infographics for your project.
So, the point is, use attractive and engaging imageries to take advantage of visual-based social media platforms like Instagram and Pinterest.
6. Repost Relevant Content to Better Engage Your Audience
It’s not like you are the only one in your niche with valuable information or stats to share. There are others on social media platforms who are related to your niche with content that may benefit your audience base.
Don’t shy away from reposting others posts on your social media accounts. Your audience and customers will appreciate your selfless efforts to provide them with value-added content relevant to your industry. This helps in building trust as your audience will see you as an authority in your niche.
Don’t forget to give the creators their due credit on your post. This helps in creating lasting relationships with creators you feature on your feed and opens up future possibilities of them returning the favor. This way you get added exposure and make important industry connections along the way.
7. Collaborate with Influencers
Influencers are the gateway to potential leads for your brand. An influencer has a hefty number of viewers and if you collaborate with them, a vast portion of these viewers can be converted to your audience, which most likely will boost your brand’s sales conversions.
To reach their viewers and subscribers, first, you have to amaze the influencer somehow. Reach out to the right influencers in your niche, propose them a good deal, and also provide them with a free sample (or account) of your products. If your products get their seal of approval, then they will be sure to share their experience with their audience and recommend them as well.
Contact influencers who better match your brand’s vision and propose collaborations in exchange for monetary compensation or other lucrative benefits. You can approach a YouTuber to make a series of video contents related to your to-be-launched product to spread awareness and increase excitement before the main event.
You can also provide your influencers with affiliate codes specific to them that will be beneficial to both them and their followers.
Be nice and courteous to the influencers in your niche. They have a lot of sway over your target audience. Try to cultivate lasting relationships with them for more referrals and future collaboration possibilities.
8. Be a Part of the YouTube Mania
YouTube is the second largest search engine after Google with a whopping 30 billion people watching YouTube videos every day. This makes YouTube a powerful tool for any brand when it comes to marketing it online.
Create a YouTube channel for your brand and start creating videos that your target audience wants to see and will benefit from. You can go for simple videos like ‘how-tos’ and ‘DIYs’ in addition to in-depth content like comparisons, case studies, or tutorials.
Pro Tip: If you run out of content ideas for your audience, go to Twitter or Instagram and ask them what they want to see from you next.
Along with informative content, you can also use the YouTube platform for exclusive product launch footage, behind the scenes, sneak peeks, contest announcements, deal promotions, and many more.
Create quality video content that is fun, engaging, and visually appealing while being relevant to your brand with the power to turn viewers to potential leads.
9. Use Live Videos and Instagram Stories to Drive More Traffic
Interaction with your audience will always benefit your brand more. It makes your brand more human-friendly and approachable.
Start live videos and give your consumers a way to connect with your brand personally. Take this opportunity to assuage their doubts, answer their queries, and provide them with new information regarding your brand. Your consumers will appreciate this gesture and it would go a long way to create a brand community loyal to you.
In addition to live videos, you can also use Instagram stories to keep your consumers apprised of new information about your brand. You can also use them to direct traffic to any new posts that you have recently published or to a sales page on your website.
Make your customers aware of what is up with your brand using Instagram stories and use live videos to increase interaction with your audience and thus engagement.
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