We’ve all heard that social media is great for business, but it often feels like there is not enough time or resources to devote to it.
How many times have you seen amazing campaigns from big companies and thought you can't do the same thing? How many times have you thought “I sell flooring products. My product is not a GoPro and I can’t film a skateboarding cat to promote it”?
But remember: people have bought your product or paid for your service before precisely because it has value to them. People want what you have, it’s just a matter of getting it in front of them at the right time. Social media is another way to do just that.
For many businesses, developing a social media strategy can seem distressing and almost impossible at times. However, we’ve learned and benefited so much during our 10 years of practice that we’ve identified four easy steps you can work with. By following these steps, you will be able to augment your business on the internet. As of right now, WarmlyYours has a presence on YouTube, Facebook, Houzz, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google Plus and, most recently, on Periscope. We’ve gotten to the point that, thanks to our social media efforts, we are able to achieve $7000 a month in additional sales with a little less than $100 in advertising expenditures.
Right now, you know two things: 1.) you want to get involved in the social media marketplace 2.) you are limited in the time and money you can afford to invest. Like any business venture, that means you need to maximize the return on your investments. The first step is to assess your resources. Look around: do you have a videographer in-house? Open a YouTube account. Do you have a writer? Go to Wordpress. Do you have a photographer? Go to Instagram. Do you have someone who feels comfortable talking in front the camera? Go to Periscope.
You’re lucky if you have one those, but if you don’t, it’s not a problem. You can still make use of social media by choosing the right platform for you.
We were just like you. 10 years ago, we started out with a Facebook page and a Twitter account. There were a lot of options, but we didn’t know which would be right for a company like us. Twitter was really successful for us because we made sure to respond to every single customer who followed us, making sure they felt valued and recognized. It was also a very useful way to get a sense of our audience by seeing who they follow and what they like. Companies often spend a huge amount of money to gather this intel traditionally, instead, we spent a few minutes.
Over time, we found the right fit for us in social media. That’s what you have to do. If you don’t have a creative department, but you have a phone with a camera, that’s all you need. For example, Instagram is a great option when images are important for your business. It allows you to share your work without needing a professional photographer. The app offers filters if you want to make your project look more appealing, or you can just leave it as it is.
On the other hand, if you’re not producing blog posts but you have a sharp wit, you should open a Twitter account for your company. You can tweet as much as you want, sharing tweets about your company offers, new products, and why you stand out from your competition.
Even though Twitter allows you to post pictures and Instagram allows you to post comments, the very nature of each one is geared toward the opposite. Twitter was created to express your thoughts in just 140 characters. Instagram was created to share images.
This is why social media is so powerful: because it is more important to be real than stilted. Better casual than formal. You don’t have to give up because of a lack of resources, not even with videos. With Facebook Live or Periscope, you can stream videos for your followers and they will receive a notification when you’re live. Periscope also guarantees that video material will be saved on your device, so you can re-use it in other social media accounts.
If you properly use your resources, there’s no reason to throw in the towel when it comes to social media.
Step 2: Using social media as a contact point with your customers
Social media is a great avenue to keep in touch with your customers. For instance, we frequently receive requests from our customers on Facebook, even though we also have 24/7 customer service assistance available by phone.
It’s crucial to carefully maintain your presence and your image on internet. When you’re inactive on social media, your customer could see it as reflective of your business in a negative way. When you have an online presence, you are showing you are a real company made up of real people. By keeping your social media accounts updated, you are demonstrating that you don’t have anything to hide. Furthermore, you are proving you are an established company. If you answer your messages carefully and quickly, it means you are there for your customers, and they will appreciate it.
It makes a lot of sense if you put yourself in their shoes. Facebook is a platform to keep in contact with people. Your customers find everything and everyone they need on Facebook. You can’t be the exception.
When you have promotions, social media is the cheapest and most efficient avenue to announce it. Remember you can “boost” selected posts on Facebook if you want to increase your reach. You can start just with 2 dollars. The more money you put in, the more people who will see your post. Twitter also has its own way to promote specific campaigns for business. The price depends on your campaign’s budget. In general, most platforms allow you to target your posts to new potential leads who share interests that align with your target demographics. For instance, we’re boosting this blog specifically to people interested in topics related with entrepreneurship, small business, social media and our products.
Step 3: Extend your professional partnerships to the digital realm
Starting on social media requires patience. At the beginning, you will feel like you are talking to a brick wall. Building your audience takes time and every “like” or “follow” is a reason to celebrate.
Of course, you will need some help. Just like in the real world, cooperating with the people you are already working with is key to maximizing your effectiveness on social media.
At WarmlyYours, we offer a free Social Media Partnership Program for all of those dealers who are trying to augment their business in social media. By joining our Social Media Partnership Program, you will receive monthly tips, exclusive giveaways, and, most importantly, a partner to help share your posts. This partnership can help you boost your social media presence while staying in the loop with WarmlyYours at the same time. What do we receive in return? Well, we increase our virtual community and strengthen our relationships with our partners.
Father’s Day Post
We have a product that is very interesting in its function and its style. Our mirror defogger is unique, but with something like a single photo, it is really hard to convey how interesting and useful this product is or how it works. By using a simple and relatable emotional approach, we promoted our mirror defogger on Facebook during the Father’s Day. We chose a cute and bright picture, we added our product there and we sold it with an appealing copy. We received a bunch of likes and shares in return.
Don’t leave any message without an answer
We received a public message from one of our competitor’s customers. He complained about one of their products. Even though the claim wasn’t related to us, we replied offering our help and we earned a new lifetime customer.
People love pets on Facebook and Instagram. Technically, our product isn’t related with pets at all. However, our employees love their pets. Why not to show that on social media? This strategy goes beyond sharing animal pictures to get likes. It also helped us to show the human side of our company. If your customers feel like they know you as a person, they're that much more likely to engage in business with you.
If you want to learn more about this topic, get more content examples and meet our social media expert, click here to see our last webinar.