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  • Ciara Daly

4 Ways Social Media Marketing Can Help Your Business

Updated: Mar 16, 2021

According to the most recent figures from the EU’s official statistical office, 60% of Irish adults are active on social media networks (2019). Combine this with the fact that social media is one of the cheapest and easiest ways that Irish businesses can connect with customers to build their brand and increase sales, it quickly becomes apparent that marketing via these networks is vital for selling your products and services locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally.

Benefits of Social Media Marketing

1. Creates Brand Awareness

43% of digital consumers use social networks to research businesses before they buy from them (Hootsuite, 2020). The bottom line is that if you are not there for them to find, you are not there for them to shop with. Similar to shutting your shop door on the busiest day of the year - by not showing up online, you're simply directing your customers towards your competitors.

Part of the research digital consumers conduct involves getting to know who you are as a brand and what it is you stand for. Obviously, your goal is to promote your products and services with the intention of growing your sales but my advice is to refrain from simply listing out what it is you do and instead incorporate some personality. An impersonal business profile can be off-putting from the consumer's point of view. This in turn can have the negative knock-on effect of dissuading the customer from availing of your products or services due to their poor experience online.

Think of your social media profiles as a means of conveying the personality and ethos of your business. Use these channels to share your business story, give an insight into why it is that you do what you do or what it is that makes your business so unique. By taking a more personal approach and speaking to your customers the same way you would if they were standing in front of you (because that's who these digital consumers are after all), you can strengthen your brand identity, create connections and convert these online window shoppers into paying customers.

2. Builds Connections With Customers

One of the remarkable benefits of social media for small Irish businesses is that it allows us to talk directly to our customers and followers. With Ireland voted as one of the World's Friendliest Places on Earth, it's important for businesses in the hospitality and tourism sector particularly to build on the famous Irish welcome. By applying this same welcoming feeling to their social platforms, they can create an all-round experience for their customers.

A study from Sprout Social shows that 71% of people are more likely to buy from the businesses whom they have had a positive experience on social media with (2019). The key takeaway from this is simple; when people engage with your content, it's a great idea to engage back as this helps to build trust, allowing you to nurture relationships which can develop sales over time.

There are no secret formulas or quick fixes to engaging with your customers and building relationships with them. The best ways you can do this are by providing them with content they will want to connect with, responding quickly to their queries and comments, personalising your interactions showing there is a real person behind the comments or even by simply re-sharing the content they post about your business.

By rewarding customers with competitions which help to build a buzz around their loyalty to your business, or listening to and taking on board their feedback, you can demonstrate your appreciation for their custom. Providing discount codes or special promotions exclusively to your online followers is also another great way to drive engagement.

3. Keeps Your Business Top Of Mind

With a myriad of tasks upon which your attention needs to be focused when running a business, it is easy to allow social media to descend from 'Priority' to 'Whenever-I-Get-A-Chance' on your ever growing to-do list. However, we're sure you've heard the old adage 'It's a lot less expensive to keep a customer than to acquire a new one'. Short of going into their homes and asking them to remember you exist, social media is the perfect tool to help keep your business stay top of mind with customers.

If you are a business owner whose main concern is their bottom line, then 'top of mind awareness' most likely renders little excitement for you. Yet, when you look at the studies which report that consumers are 57.5% more likely to buy from your business if they follow you on social media (Sprout Social, 2019), the direct impact which it can have on your bottom line suddenly starts to become a lot more relevant doesn't it?

4. Targeted Advertising

With more than 3.4 million people in Ireland using Facebook and Instagram (Irish Tech News, 2018), social media advertising is an extremely powerful tool which allows small Irish businesses to promote their products or services to a specifically targeted audience, and at a much lower cost than traditional media advertising. It's reported that 70% of businesses generate leads on social media. Meanwhile, 58% of marketers said that social media channels have helped them boost sales for their clients or companies. These are figures which greatly demonstrate the potential that social media advertising yields for small businesses who are ready to allocate a social media marketing spend.

In order to manage a successful social media advertising campaign, business owners should consider the budget they have available to them for the year. If you are unsure how to determine a budget, take into consideration how a particular campaign aligns with your overall goals for the year. Once you have been able to place a value of importance on the campaign, you'll be better equipped to decide how much you are comfortable spending, as well as the worth of the return you are likely to get from this particular campaign.

It's crucial that when running a social media advertisement, you consider your audiences' interests in order to make your ad as relevant as possible to them. The more engaging, and eye-catching your ad is, the more likely it is to capture the attention of your prospective customers. However, the language you use is just as important as the visuals. By keeping your customer in mind, you can better tailor your messaging to clearly communicate your value proposition. The last step is simply to remember to include a call to action in your advertisement and ask your customers to take an action, be that to sign up, reserve a table, buy a product or simply comment on your post.

If you are a lifestyle brand looking for assistance with your Social Media Marketing then Conquer may be the right choice for you. We are passionate about helping businesses leverage the power of storytelling online and offer a no-strings attached 30-minute free call for businesses looking to see if we are the right people to help them grow online. Email to learn more.

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