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Social media has changed the way we interact with our friends, how we find out about the latest news, how we support our community, and it was only a matter of time until it changed the way we interact with brands.

If a few years ago, people would mainly check if you had a website before buying from you, now websites are pretty much a given. Every business has a website, so consumers go to social media for help. Of the average of three hours that people spend on social networks, a lot of that time is spent looking at branded content, whether they searched for it intentionally or it just popped up on their news feed.

What’s more, 77% of consumers will buy from a brand they follow on social, and 73% of marketers say that social media marketing was very effective for their business. Without a doubt, social media is a massive marketing powerhouse that can offer you fantastic returns.

But having a strong social media presence isn’t always easy. After you set up your profile, add your business details, and run your first ad campaign, the work isn’t over. Mastering social media is a long-term effort. Once people follow you, you need to keep them engaged and earn their trust. Otherwise, you’re just another page that they’ll unfollow when it’s time to clean up their newsfeed.  

These three tips will help you build a strong social media presence and become one of the businesses that people actually want to hear from.

1.      Stick to a consistent posting schedule

With social media marketing, consistency is the key to success. Why? Well, first of all, because posting regularly shows that you’re still in business. If users visit your social media profile and see that the last post was three months ago, they might assume that you’re no longer around, that things aren’t going too well for you, or that you’re sloppy.

Consistency has always mattered, but now, with COVID-19 sending many out of business, it’s even more important to reassure followers that you’re still there.

And secondly, a consistent posting schedule breeds familiarity, which is essential in marketing. When people see your content regularly, they get used to it, and the next time they need your products/services, they’re more likely to choose someone familiar rather than someone they’ve never heard of before.

Now, if you’re a small business owner who took up social media management on top of many other tasks, that’s easier said than done. When you have deadlines to meet and contracts to sign, sharing your latest news may be the last thing on your mind and, before you know it, your social media supremacy starts to wobble.

The solution to this? Automation. Use tools such as Hootsuite, Crowdfire, Loomly, Buffer, and Sprout Social to schedule your posts and make sure you don’t miss a day. Plus, you can also sync your posts on all social networks so that you don’t neglect anyone.

2.      Try to help rather than sell

The end goal of social media marketing is to promote your business, gain followers, and get as many people as possible to buy your products.

But it’s not that simple. If you’re used to traditional marketing methods, you may be a fan of direct advertising. In other words, using every post as an opportunity to describe how awesome your company is. Well, social media users don’t appreciate that. People have different expectations from social media and advertisers in general, so this “must sell” attitude could hurt in the long run because it doesn’t add value.

On social, you have to let your brand image sell for itself by creating meaningful interactions and delivering content that’s actually helpful.

So, while it’s normal to advertise yourself from time to time, you should also sprinkle other types of content in between:

  • Share informative blog posts, infographics, and video tutorials that show followers how to use your products
  • Share insights on your industry, such as annual reports
  • Share user-generated content
  • Post contents and giveaways

Needless to say, this strategy only works if you engage with your audience. People will send you messages and leave your comments. Don’t ignore them. Try to help in any way you can, and they’ll be more likely to remember that pleasant interaction and recommend you to a friend.

Now more than ever, customers are looking for solutions and this trend is changing the face of content marketing. They don’t just want to hear that your product is good. They want to know how it can help them specifically, and how you can make their experience better.

3.      Be human, not just another corporation.

If you want your brand to make a lasting impression, you have to be authentic and personal. Otherwise, you’ll come across as yet another faceless corporation that only cares about profit.

So, keep in mind your brand values, and apply them in a way that’s thoughtful and personal. Treat your followers like people, not numbers, and you’ll be repaid in the same way.

For example, when someone has questions about their order or needs help picking a product, don’t reply with an automated email that doesn’t help them in any way – especially not in the comments, when everyone can see that. Adding a personalized touch and spending 30 more seconds drafting your answer goes a long way.

If it’s appropriate and it matches your industry, you can also add a bit of humor to your posts to make your brand more relatable.

Final word

Social media is one of the most affordable and flexible platforms for marketing, but it takes time to develop trust. To consolidate your presence here, you have to keep your target audience in mind at all times and post content that’s useful, relevant, and relatable.