Social media is a marketer’s dream. It provides exposure to an unlimited audience at virtually no cost. Various social media platforms including but not limited to Facebook, Twitter, WeChat, Snapchat and LinkedIn have made it easier to get your business recognized.  There will always be other businesses out there providing the same products and services you are, for this reason marketing your commodity should be your priority.

One of the greatest ways to do this is through the infinite wonderland that is social media.  If used effectively, social media can transform your faceless brand into a successful, recognized brand.  However, you will need to be aware of general and channel-specific hacks to fulfill your social media marketing objectives as different users are on different platforms, and some things work better on different platforms. For example – you cannot ask questions on SnapChat as it does not allow the user to engage on a one-on-one basis with the brand.  Polls and questions are better suited to Twitter and Facebook.

So, how can marketing through social media benefit your business, and what do you need to know before you use this method of marketing?

Know what’s relevant and know your audience.

Unless you’re a pig farmer, pig farming is not relevant to you. Your posts need to be relevant to your business and to your audience.  According to 2015 statistics, over 2.2 billion people are active on social media in one form or another. This means that you could increase the brand awareness of your business exponentially if you use social media platforms correctly.  It becomes imperative that you do some sort of research into the gender, age, and interests of your target market before you use a social media platform.

As a media law firm, we encourage and promote the use of social media in your marketing strategies, because chances are, you’ll have various questions that we will be able to answer.  We practice what we preach, so check out our Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and LinkedIn profiles.

Get creative and learn the social media language. 

Videos, images, gifs, infographics and emojis grab attention so much more than plain ol’ text.  However, it’s important not to overwhelm your audience or create and distribute content that would cause them to lose interest.  Videos should be between 15 seconds to 2 minutes long, like a mini skirt, short enough to grab attention, but long enough to cover the important parts.

 IMAGE WEB 2Use an infographic to direct your audience to what you want them to know, don’t let them struggle to find it a mass of a text. 

Engage 

It’s common knowledge that your Facebook posts, Tweets or even Snaps can be shared in a matter of seconds.  You can relay information to your target market in the blink of an eye irrespective of where in the world you are.  This exposes more people to your brand in less time.  However, mere broadcasting is not going to gain you popularity.  Most social media platforms allow for feedback and comments from potential clients.  It is important to ensure that these comments are responded to as this allows for relationships to be formed between your business and the clients.  Social media centres around communication, and if you cannot interact with your audience, they will “unlike”, or “unfollow” you – the new spam filter.  So, ask questions, run polls, quizzes, competitions – the more interactive you are with your social media community the better.

Give your business a personality

People identify with passion and if you are firmly behind what you stand for, you are guaranteed to have people firmly behind you.  Everything you post on social media impacts your brand, you need to determine how you want to be perceived and work towards that.

You need to stand out from the crowd. Use humour, sarcasm, wit or even controversial statements to get your posts shared, after all, there is no such thing as bad publicity.  However, if you’re going to take the bold approach, be mindful of hate speech and defamation.

In the words of Matt Goulart, founder and CEO of Ignite Digital, an online content and social media marketing company, “Social Media is about the people! Not about your business.  Provide for the people and the people will provide for you.”

Take advantage of the digital era and use social media to gain a competitive edge. Social media knows no boundaries and it has a phenomenal reach – your prospective clients are waiting to find you.