If you’re a business owner running a business-to-consumers company, the importance of targeting and marketing to your consumer base on social media cannot be emphasized enough. Social media platforms directly influence purchasing decisions, with 74 percent of shoppers making buying decisions based on what they see on different platforms.
The key, however, is ensuring your product or service is being seen and discussed online by the right audiences. It’s not enough to create a Facebook and/or Instagram page for your business and then leave it alone for consumers to, maybe, come across. That’s a big maybe.
Better Business Bureau Northwest and Pacific has tips on how business owners can use social media to drive sales:
• Establish a strong presence: Have a unique voice that fits your brand. Create a brand- or product-specific hashtag that promotes your website and use that hashtag throughout your own posts. The idea is to encourage customers and their friends to join a conversation about your business because those connections matter – 80 percent of consumers are likely to purchase an item based on a friend’s suggestion.
• Encourage engagement: On both Facebook and Instagram, posts that receive more engagement than others will appear first on news feeds. This means you have to post content that gets more than just likes. Ask your followers and shoppers to leave comments and share your post by including questions or even giveaways to get the conversation started.
• Tailor your feed: Statistics show that 63 percent of Facebook and Twitter users use social media as a source for news. This provides an opportunity for business owners to share real-world content with users that align with the target demographic, in an effort to drive them to your website. Posting frequently creates a consistent feed that showcases products, and personality will help turn followers into buyers.
• Advertise strategically: Yes, investing in advertising is still critical. Social media platforms have created very user-friendly advertising capabilities to target a specific consumer segment. Business owners can place ads that align with their current strategy, whether that’s generating brand awareness, evaluating behavior or driving sales.
Social media allows you, the business owner, to grow brand awareness, but it’s all about what you put in to it. By sharing credible content and gaining followers, new visitors will see other consumers are following and engaging with your page. In fact, 45 percent of shoppers said that reading reviews and comments about a business influences their purchasing decision. So, when someone new sees others are taking notice in your social pages, this increases the probability they will purchase from you.
Finally, don’t forget to track all of this. Understanding marketing metrics relative to posts’ reach, posts’ engagement and number of people talking about your service/product are key indicators of how your social media management is working.
Danielle Kane is the Better Business Bureau’s marketplace manager for the Tri-Cities and surrounding areas. Building Better Business publishes monthly. Comments and ideas for this column can be shared with Kane at Danielle.Kane@thebbb.org.