According to Forbes, 78% of consumers say that social media posts influence their buying decisions. With 1.59 billion Facebook users, 305 million twitter users and tons of other social media platforms, if you are not active on social media to respond to your prospects, your competitors are which means that you will lose business to them. Whether you are a small, local operation or a global conglomerate, social media can help you build brand loyalty and relationships with your customers by sharing your company’s voice and personality with the rest of the world. And if you needed another reason, Google says that the authority of social media accounts and the number of times a link has been shared could influence your search engine rankings and support your SEO strategy. Below are some social media marketing tips to foster and engage your target audience, increase brand loyalty and bolster customer relationships to make you more money.

Consider your Target Market

To ensure a successful social media strategy, it is important to define your target market and determine how they can benefit from your company’s products or services. Think about which social media networks your users use the most and how they interact with them. If you are a B2B company, Pinterest and Instagram might not be the way to go.

Host Social Media Contests

Social media contests are a great way to increase engagement to build your following and increase website traffic. Make it super easy to enter and ask your everyone to tag their posts with your selected hashtag to track the contest and allow people who do not follow you to see it. For Pinterest you can ask users to “pin it to win it”. For Twitter, you can ask your users to follow and retweet. For Facebook, you can ask your users to like and comment or share your post. For Instagram, you can ask users to post a selfie with using your product.

Host Q&A Sessions

Social media a great way to instantly connect with your community and allow them to pick your brain. Pick a time, a hashtag and tweet about it to get the word out. Retweet the questions that you are going to answer for everyone to see and then answer them in a tweet. You can summarize your Q&A session with a blog post to allow other people who could not participate to read through your content.

Be Witty and Human

It is important to keep all of your social media posts witty, engaging and personal. Do not be afraid to crack jokes as long as they are acceptable to your industry and target audience. You do not have to own every piece of content you post as long as it is relevant to your customers.

Post About Adjacent Topics

Sure it is great to post about your value propositions and industry-related news but also consider other things that your followers might be interested in. If you sell luxury cars, you might also consider posting about travel per se. If you just post about your products or services all day long, you might as well be preaching to an empty church.

Be Visual

According to Kissmetrics, updates accompanied by photos get 93% more likes, comments and shares on social media so it pays to be more visual.

Compose Well Balanced Headlines

According to CoSchedule, well balanced headlines with uncommon, strong positive or negative emotions and power words perform better than headlines that do not have such words. Headlines with 55 characters and 6 words earn the highest number of click-throughs. We have substantially increased user engagement with their CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer.

Consistency is Key

As with anything, consistency is key. The average social media post only lasts 25 minutes so you will have to post relevant and unique content throughout the day to build your social media presence. Tools like Hootesuite and SocialSprout help you schedule social media updates across multiple networks through one dashboard. Remember to turn off auto-posting in event of a crisis.

Social media marketing can be a huge time consumer for novices, but it is worth the effort and the investment. Nielson reports that 33% of buyers prefer to contact companies over social media rather than the phone. If your company is not engaging its prospects on social media, you are leaving a lot of money on the table. Please contact us if you need help with social media marketing.