How to make social media work for you?

Social selling, online branding, social media marketing are no longer buzz words they are part of business strategy. Simply being present on social media is not enough, one needs to build a strategy – a content plan and measure performance.

For any business to be successful one needs to start with a mission statement, set up business goals and build a strategy. Set SMART goals before you start posting on your social media account.

Be Consistent: Start with posting at same time daily or post three times a week. Most importantly, timely response helps you increase engagement and build online community.

Media: Always use high-quality images and videos. Try free online resources (Canva, Depositphotos etc) for GIFs, videos etc

Identify high engagement platform for your business. You don’t have to create all the content. Ask your customers to tag you in their posts and repost those on Instagram. The recognition you give to your customer helps them connect with your brand.

Trends – Hashtags are social media magic wands but they only work when you use them regularly and engage with conversations with trending hashtags. Simply make a list of seasonal hashtags and ever-green hashtags and use both when posting content.

Timing: Post content at the right time. The best way to find out best posting time for you, just start testing! Change your posting time every three weeks for two weeks and see what works for you most.

Don’t be camera SHY: GO LIVE!!!! Yes that’s the mantra. Live-streaming options are available on Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn and it allows you to connect with your customers/audience real time. It’s a gold mine for you, engage with the audience and ask them what content they love/hate and what they would like see more. That is your content plan right in front of you! If you can’t go live, create video content – video perform better than written content, Video posts on Facebook get 59% more engagement, Linkedin they performs 3x better than written post and so on..

Keep an eye on your competitors – read their blogs, posts, and find out what’s working for them. Identify the patterns of keyword used, visuals, videos that gets attention every time.

Monitor: I am not talking about monitoring your posts but tuning into your target audience understanding what kind of content they are engaging with, picking up on any brand mentions, similar product reviews and keywords usage.

Why do you need to listen to the people who are not even in your customers – well they are your prospects, look for buying cues, answer their questions or clear doubts without asking them to buy your product.

Add Value – Genuinely help others by providing correct information, sharing links and resources that would help them with their search. Don’t hesitate to follow them or ask them if they would like to join your whatsapp or Instagram group for more information.

Measure: Analyse metrics that matter to your business. Track increase in comments, conversions, sign-ups, website traffic, likes, shares, followers, retweets, and click throughs.

Lastly, use emotions and humanise your brand. People react to positivity, happiness, inspirational content, make your audience curious, make them think and remember make them laugh too 🙂

Changing World of Retail

The retail industry is going through unprecedented change. New technology is at the forefront of this change, brands and retailers and changing their business models to beat competition and keep up with evolving as is customer’s shopping behaviour.

Consumer behaviour is driven by price and convenience but it’s slowly moving away from instant gratification to unique finds and experiences. Why I say that is because of the high number of high street casualties we have seen recently. The consumer would continue to expect products to live to their online alter egos with free or low-cost delivery and proactive customer support.

As the customer journeys grows on to become more complex the desire to have a seamless shopping experience will become paramount. The days of questioning the significance of social media’s impact on brand building and overall sales is over. Brands will have to develop strategies to marry offline retail shopping with online *be the first* to share culture.

The commitment to low carbon footprint and environmental initiatives means more and more brands (H&M and Marks & Spencer) will have to consider recycling and reinventing products.

Mobile as a customer touchpoint is now intrinsic to any shopping journey whether it means buying products from brands Instagram account, liking a friend’s dress on Instagram and then placing an order or getting notifications of the order being delivered. Mobile shopping is growing and in near future will require planning when it comes to incorporating in brands marketing strategies. The battle between Android and Apple products will deepen further as global brands will see higher adoption rates for Android phones and acceptance of Android payment apps in emerging markets.

If you are working on a marketing plan or a new website don’t ignore mobile! Mobile can not only help you drive more traffic but also improve your conversions.

Please share in comments your experience of developing a mobile first strategy and how it impacted your conversions?

Picture Source: (c) theretailfactory