Social media is a fantastic, free way to reach customers about updates, special promotions, deals, and events. By starting up a presence on social media you’ll become more discoverable to prospective customers, communicate with existing customers, and energize brand evangelists to spread the word about your business. Turbocharge your social media presence with these 8 social media hacks.
1. Concentrate on channels that matter.
There are literally hundreds of social media platforms. Figure out which platforms are most likely to work for you and focus your efforts there first. One quick way to research whether a platform is likely to be worthwhile is to look up your competition and see where their social media following is the strongest. (Check out our post 5 questions to ask before adopting a new social media platform for advice on how to select social media platforms.) Then, as you gain traction, broadcast out to multiple channels using apps such as Hopr, which will let you monitor your presence in social media on facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and respond to what’s trending quickly.
2. Engage influencers.
When first starting out, ask employees to follow and repost your messages. They are your first circle of influencers. Then entice customers to follow and engage in your content by offering incentives. Social Branding, an app available in the Clover App Market can help build up a social media following by promoting your channels right on your receipts. If there are highly-visible influencers, such as Yelp Elite reviewers, or Beauty YouTubers in your area, consider inviting them to a free trial in exchange for an honest review—just make sure you’re ready to give them the white-glove treatment.
3. Optimize Content.
Experiment with content—including text messages, links, images, and videos. See what works the best for your audience and product, and then optimize to publish roughly 75 percent of your posts using that format. Never transition to 100 percent of one type of content, because platform algorithms change constantly, and your visibility may be affected if you’re posting content suddenly carries less weight. For every piece of content, make sure you include a call to action!
4. Make your content edgy.
What kind of content goes viral? Myth-busting, best-of lists, live event updates, “secrets of”, and contests…these types of content perform really well for most businesses and tease customers to click through to learn more. Increasingly, highly visual content, such as videos, are performing better, especially if they are funny or surprising. Make sure your content is eye-catching and offers something unique that customers want. If the content includes rewards and promotions (and it should), consider using an app that helps you build up your list with rewards. Opt-In Rewards, for example, makes it easy to run special promotions like discounts on your birthday on social media as well as via email, direct mail, and on your website.
5. Experiment with targeted advertising.
On some platforms it can be difficult to get noticed without sponsoring your updates. Try sponsoring your promotions to targeted audiences based on where your customers live, age, gender, or who they follow. For ideas on how to target your customers, check out Clover Insights. This free app will help you identify the demographics of your best customers or of the customers similar businesses in your area. You can find profiles of your existing customers and segment them. The better you get at segmentation, the more personalized and relevant your posts will be to customers, and the more effective it will be in getting a good response.
6. Partner with other small businesses.
Check out other local businesses online and occasionally share their content. Perhaps they would be open to a social media campaign where you co-promote your businesses and highlight your contribution or special role in the community.
7. Make it personal.
Customers can get their nails done anywhere. If all you are to the customer is the product, your business becomes a commodity. Make sure your messaging is personal. What makes your business truly unique? What do you stand for? How does your business connect to the community? Giving your business a face and a name makes it a personal experience for customers. Highlight your employees and their contributions on a regular basis with photos of their superb customer service, workmanship, or unique flair for their job. Another way to make your marketing more personal is to emphasize your connection to the community—do you give back? Encourage customers to partner with you to reach social goals like rebuilding the community after a storm or funding a local hospital. Are you where the local sports teams celebrate their wins? Share photos and congratulatory messages online. This type of content makes shopping with you memorable and a positive experience.
8. Integrate your marketing.
Whatever you’re doing to market your business, make sure to integrate it into your social media marketing plan. Your profile information (and a reason to join it) should be on every piece of marketing you send out. Use active language and benefits to joining your network such as: “Like us on facebook and get the latest promotions first” or “Retweet our Beauty Tips and enter for a chance to win a product upgrade.” One quick way to integrate your marketing is to accept orders within social media platforms. OrderEm, for example, allows customers to make purchases within facebook that sync to your Clover device.
Want to take your marketing to the next level? We can help—check out our marketing apps in the Clover App Market.
Clover is sold by leading U.S. banks including Bank of America, BBVA, Citi, PNC, Sun Trust and Wells Fargo. You’ll also find Clover at our trusted partners including Ignite Payments, Restaurant Depot, and Sam’s Club. For more information, visit us at clover.com.[image: Social media apps by Jason Howie on flickr]