It’s 2019, and this is your year to make a big splash into your market. Today we’re going to talk about how your business can better reach its target customers. Let get the obvious out of the way: yes, being on social media is obviously a great way to reach out to your market. A lot of what we’re going to explore now is the best way to use social media and why your current approach may not be getting the results you want. By the end of this article, you’ll have a better understanding of what it means for your business to have a proper digital persona.
1. Social Media Presence
Are you on social media? Good. Are you on Facebook? How about Instagram? Twitter? If I’m looking for a job, can I find you on LinkedIn?
While your target market may have defining behaviors, social media use is probably not the most distinct one. There are a lot of people who aren’t on Facebook but are on Twitter or Instagram, or have a Facebook and Instagram, but no Twitter, or some combination of the three. You want to make sure that whichever they’re most active on, you’re there to give a good impression of your brand. Simply being there, with complete details of who you are and how to reach you can do wonders for your business.
Having an account for these also means people can tag you, giving all of your customer’s friends one-click access to your profile, so make sure that landing page is ready to make a good impression on its visitors. Tagging people also means you have better visibility on what people are saying about your brand. In fact, pay close attention because if people have feedback that they tag you in, that means customers are going out of their way to tell you (and their followers) exactly what they feel about you, for better or for worse.
2. Use Hashtags
It’s not just the tag, but the #hashtag. For the uninitiated, a hashtag is a word or phrase (not punctuated with spaces or symbols) that starts with the hash sign (#) and is used to categorize a comment, post, or reply with a specific topic.
The best way to understand the use of hashtags is to search for them yourself on your most frequent social media platform. You can start by searching #ootd on Instagram which is an acronym for “Outfit Of the Day” and go from there.
If you’re familiar with hashtags, but don’t seem to get much out of them, try searching hashtags relevant to your brand on Instagram. The dropdown menu will show the number of posts that contain similar hashtags to the one you searched.
Be strategic with your hashtags, and try to observe how competing brands and similar businesses use hashtags as well. Observe how other pages use volume (adding three hashtags or twenty hashtags to a post), specificity (adding #water to a picture of the sea), and variations (having both #fun and #funny in the post) and experiment with your own posts.
3. Presence Outside of Social Media
We’ll go back to social media in a bit, but since we’re talking about how people can find or discover you, be sure you’re on relevant platforms outside of social media as well. If your business has a physical location (even if it’s just your office space), make sure it’s on Google Maps and Waze. If you’re a restaurant, I should be able to find you on Yelp or TripAdvisor. If you have a lot of video content, I should find it on YouTube and Vimeo (aside from your social media accounts.
4. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Have you ever tried googling something and wondering how Google can search the whole internet and return the most relevant result to you? That’s because there’s an algorithm for it that takes into consideration things like relevance, credibility, significance, etc. of the site and the link.
There are whole companies dedicated to helping people’s websites show up as the top results of google searches without the aid of ads, so we won’t delve too deep into this, but here’s an article that can get you started on it right now.
5. Make People Want to See Your Site
This means you shouldn’t be exclusively posting on promos and sale prices on your website / social media, unless you think that’s all your customers care about. Engage customers by understanding the things they want to view and read. If your brand is for skincare products, make weekly posts about how to take better care of your skin, without even plugging your product into the customer’s face.
Customers are content consumers, so if you can figure what content they want to consume, you can use that as the hook so they start viewing your posts or website more. More views and engagements on your post means the posts about your brand and promos will appear more frequently for your customers as well. The same goes for websites: the more people are linking and opening your site, the higher up it will appear on the search engine results list.
6. Now Schedule It!
Another way of keeping your brand visible both in social media platforms and on web searches is to come up with regular, focused content. Have a schedule of the type of things you’ll be posting for the week, then start planning further ahead from that. The schedule means you’ll get regular engagements and you can prevent over or under-saturating the type of content you’re posting, as well as the time of week which you’re posting.
7. Sponsored Ads
Should you rely on sponsored ads? No. Can they help you reach out? Yes.
There’s no getting around this one, but Sponsored Ads will inevitably reach your target customers. Every time your YouTube videos get cut is proof enough that ads will be seen by people (how intrusive / obstructive you want those to be depends on you). Again, try it out and see the effect. Sponsor an ad for a month and ask customers how they learned about your brand to gauge the ad’s effectiveness. Sites like Facebook will let you set a spending budget and narrow your target market down so you spend as efficiently as possible.