Tapping social media to grow your business
Six Tips For Using Social Media To Grow Your Business During The Pandemic
The world as we know it seems to have changed overnight. None of us have experienced a global pandemic on this scale, with so many businesses forced to shut down to help stop Covid-19 from spreading.
But from great adversity comes great opportunity. It’s time to adapt to survive, and social media marketing can help businesses withstand this storm.
With so many people staying home, social media use is soaring, as are online searches in certain categories. Social Media Today recently reported a 44% increase in searches for leisure activities, a 70% increase in searches for fitness equipment and a 19% increase in searches related to hobbies. There’s also been a staggering 520% increase in searches for videoconferencing and other online software tools. Searches related to food, essential products, TV and streaming services have increased too.
It’s essential to update your social media marketing strategy now to reflect these changes and adjust to changing consumer interests. Considering ad spending is down, it’s time to get creative to engage your target audience.
1. Collaborate With Other Brands And Influencers
Activate a “we’re all in this together” mindset, and partner with others for mutual benefit. Reach out to local business owners and influencers to collaborate with them on giveaways and other projects. You can find people via LinkedIn using the advanced search filters to narrow them down according to their city. You also can find people using hashtags on Instagram. For example, if you are a beauty business based in Miami, use search terms like #beautybloggermiami, #beautyinfluencers and #miamibloggers to refine your search by location and industry. Partner with brands that offer complementary services and are not direct competitors.
When you reach out to influencers, offer them more than free products or services. Hire them to post on your feed and share your website link in their stories. Ask them to collaborate on a giveaway with you. I’ve found that contests often generate a surge in followers, brand awareness and sales.
Target influencers with between 10,000 and 100,000 followers, and make sure they have a good engagement rate so that you’re not flushing your dollars down the fake influencer toilet. For an influencer with 50,000 followers, look for a minimum of 1,000 likes and at least 50 comments per post.
2. Aim To Increase Conversions, Not Just Followers
Social media followers are worthless if you’re not converting them into customers. Yes, it’s impressive to have an engaged following, but if you’re not pushing followers to your website to transform them into customers, they’re simply voyeurs serving no real purpose.
One of the quickest and most cost-effective techniques to convert followers into customers is using giveaways to build your email database. Basically, you share your contest details on your social media accounts with instructions for how your fans can enter by clicking on a link to your website and then providing their email addresses. You have two options for how to collect this information: You (or a web designer) can design an engaging website landing page, or you can create an email subscribe pop-up on your website. I used this strategy for three small businesses last month, and they collected over 300 email addresses between them within 24 hours. Once you have the email addresses, you can retarget your leads with email marketing campaigns.
3. Use Your Giveaways To Maximize Brand Awareness
Give your fans multiple ways to enter your giveaway to gain maximum brand awareness. Instruct them to enter by clicking the link in your bio, following you (and any brands you collaborate with on the prize), tagging three users who’d love your giveaway or sharing your contest image. The latter options can heighten brand awareness among your target market, and they don’t leave out those users who aren’t likely to spend time navigating to your profile, clicking the link and entering their email address.
4. Appear On Podcasts
Whatever product or service you are selling, starring on podcasts can help position you as a thought leader in your field. Podcasts are a powerful and cost-effective way to build your personal and brand reputation. Write a list of podcasts that are relevant to your entrepreneurial journey. Follow them on social media, and engage with their posts. Reach out via direct message or email and pitch the expertise you could share with their listeners. Podcasters typically share their interviews on social media, which can generate significant brand awareness for you while providing you with content to use on your channels. This can help you generate new leads and attract new followers who fall into your target audience.
5. Tap Into TikTok
While you may be opposed to posting on another social media platform, TikTok’s popularity has erupted during the pandemic. A fun video I posted on TikTok for a local business with zero budget gained over 143,000 views. Research what your competitors are doing, and create short, entertaining videos that are in line with your brand tone. Have fun with it. Use trending hashtags like #4upage to increase your video’s visibility.
6. Network Online
Networking can be the key to expanding your enterprise. And best of all, you can network with industry big players from the comfort of your living room. The world is your oyster. Join Facebook groups and Meetups that are relevant to your industry, and network away.
If you can’t find an existing group or networking event that sparks your interest, start your own. Promote your event for a niche interest or to teach a certain skill to act as a trigger for email signups. I’ve found that Zoom is one of the best video call options in terms of pricing and call quality.
The pandemic has forced many of us to rethink how we approach social media marketing. Implement these tactics, and your brand will reap the benefits.