Photo Credit: Pixabay

Photo Credit: Pixabay

Effectively marketing your business means building a connection with your customers based on who they are and their needs, values, and wants. Unfortunately, while most companies understand the importance of marketing, many fall short of implementing strategies that resonate with their customer base. They also fall short of using the right vehicles for their marketing efforts. 

One of the most popular vehicles for marketing your business is social media. Social media started as a way for people to stay connected but has since grown into a platform for companies to use to connect with customers and potential customers. Consistently pruning and updating your social media marketing strategy will lead to increased traffic, better SEO, higher conversion rates, and improved brand loyalty. 

Here are seven different ways to use social media to grow and promote your business.  

Seven Ways to Use Social Media Promotions to Grow Your Business 

The success rate you have promoting your business on social media is dependent on using techniques that support your overall marketing goals. It also heavily relies on your ability to strategize and produce content that not only preserves and enhances your brand’s unique image but helps it connect with its target audience. You can hone this ability by furthering your education in content marketing.. Content marketing specialists learn specific techniques like market analysis that translate into more targeted content and campaigns.

In creating authentic, unique content mindful of marketing trends and emerging approaches, how can you best release it to your target audience on social media to generate traffic, increase sales, brand awareness, and promote overall business growth? 

Here are seven ways to use social media promotions to grow your business, along with actionable tips on implementing these strategies.  

Run a sweepstakes or contest 

Running sweepstakes or contests on your social media is one of the best ways to generate more sales, increase traffic, better your social engagement, and dramatically increase your number of followers. Social media is a great platform to execute sweepstakes or contests because of how many people you can reach and the level of engagement you can have with them. 

For example, Starbucks #WhiteCupContest each year asks participants to create an original design on a white Starbucks cup and post it to Instagram or Twitter. The winning design is produced as a limited edition cup for a select season. Fan contests like these get your followers involved and encourage them to do fun, positive activities on your social media platform of choice.

Run monthly or quarterly contests with an easy entry method like filling out a form on a landing page, joining a live-stream, doing a survey, sharing photos of product/service usage, or participating in a quiz. Your contest should also comprise clear and concise guidelines and rules, a great contest topic or theme, your brand voice, and a grand prize.  

Consistently share your contest or sweepstakes on social media for the life of the competition. Use all of your platforms’ features to ensure you’re reaching as much of your audience as possible. For example, share contest information on your Instagram story, use Twitter’s fleet feature to update followers on how the contest is going, or create a group on Facebook to gather all participants in one space. 

Your prize should be specifically related to your business. This could be a basket of products from a new line, free services like one-on-one coaching or consultations, featuring the winner at an upcoming event and giving them VIP treatment, or another experience-based prize. 

Promote things other than products

Besides promoting your products and services on social media, you can also grow your business using social media to share information about your business that is unrelated to sales. People may not be able to support your business with a sale, but they may be able to attend a fundraiser, share a volunteer opportunity, or offer valuable feedback to the CEO.

A considerable part of growing your business is internal, too. This means having the right team members, organization leaders, and partners in place to aid in growing your business. A massive portion of today’s workforce is made up of millennials and Gen Zers who use social media daily for all things life-related. Sharing the compensation structures, talent development opportunities, company perks and benefits packages you’ve created, and any open positions via social media will ensure you’re connecting with top talent that can help grow your business.

Flywire does a great job of promoting its internship opportunities on Facebook. Domio also does a great job of sharing company culture, specifically with a post celebrating its Chief Operating Officer being named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 list. Social media can help you reach the part of your audience interested in supporting your business for the awesomeness that goes on behind the scenes.

Use story features to share behind-the-scenes information about your culture, your sustainability efforts, and your manufacturing process. Make posts about any job opportunities, new partnerships, and leaders joining your company.

Team up with an influencer

Influencer marketing is taking off, especially on social media. Businesses in every industry are taking advantage of partnering with influencers on social media and leveraging their already established fan base for promotional opportunities. Teaming up with an influencer that’s relevant to your industry could fast-track your business growth. People are more inclined to make purchases with a business when their favorite influencers are vouching for them.

For example, Hyram is a famous skincare influencer with millions of followers across all of his social media platforms. He reviews various skincare products and brands, teaming up with some of his favorites regularly for giveaways, collab videos, interviews, and so forth. 

Collaborating with the right influencers who align with your social media content goals and purposes can give your business the edge it needs over your competitors. People are attracted to real-life advice and experiences more than they are to paid ads and promotional content. So, take advantage of this people-centered social media promotion technique to better your business. 

Host a live Q&A session with reputable influencers. Invite them to a virtual or in-person event and encourage them to invite their fans as well. Ask them to partner with you on a giveaway. Work with them on producing a product line. Simply asking them to post reviews of your products/services can significantly influence how well you build trust with your customer base.

Use your other platforms to drive traffic to your social media

Social media marketing is just one strategy used to connect with your audience. Email, website, SEO, content marketing, events, and in-person shopping are all avenues for marketing your business. Cross-promotion is a great way to grow your business in general. It’s more important than ever to increase the number of places a person can learn about you. 

When you sign up for American Apparel’s email list, for example, you’ll see how well it utilizes its welcome email series to promote other ways to connect with it. It places an enlarged CTA ‘Follow us’ and social links in the center of its emails. This ensures that anyone receiving these emails knows how to connect with them should they unsubscribe from the email list or find that engaging with them on social media is easier.

If you don’t have platforms other than social media designed to grow your business, you should first do some target audience research to find out how your ideal customer communicates. Is it email, text message, or chatting on websites? You’ll also want to find out what platforms they use to communicate and how they get their information. Is it primarily on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter? Or do they enjoy video-sharing and live-streaming platforms? What blogs and news outlets do they read? 

Then, do an audit of all your current marketing strategies to highlight any gaps in connecting with your audience.
✓ Identify the platforms you could do a better job cross-promoting on.
✓ Add your social media icons to each web page on your website.
✓ Make content on your blog shareable to social media platforms right from the post.
✓ Add links to your social media pages in your email signature.
✓ On each of your social media platforms, fill out your bio entirely and include handles to your other social media accounts in each.

Create branded hashtags 

Hashtags seem like they would be low on the list of social media promotion techniques that work, if they are even on the list at all. But hashtags level up your brand awareness strategy on social media because they can be created specifically for your products and for specific reasons. Hashtags have been around for quite some time now, but many businesses haven’t grasped precisely how to maximize their use.

According to Mention, businesses run hashtag campaigns on social media to: 

  • Create brand awareness.
  • Increase the visibility of their content.
  • Make it easier to track and quantify their content.
  • Boost followers and retweets.
  • Get their audience involved.
  • Promote events effectively.
  • Run a contest or launch a product.

Lay’s #DoUsAFlavor campaign allowed their audience to vote for their favorite flavor on social media. Audi did a great job promoting the launch of their new car with the hashtag #WantAnR8. KFC used #NationalFriedChickenDay to aid a campaign about dedicating a day to fried chicken. Each of these brands figured out how beneficial hashtags are to creating awareness and enthusiasm.

Create standard branded hashtags for general awareness about your business. You should also create specialized hashtags for contests, events, giveaways, and sweepstakes. This will help organize the data you collect regarding the success of each hashtag. Instagram recently added the ability to link other accounts and hashtags to your bio. Use the space to easily direct visitors to other location-specific accounts and add hashtags representative of you and your busines.

You can also use hashtags to get sales through social media. Highlight your use of marketplace or store features on your platforms by allocating a specific hashtag to it and asking users to share the hashtag and what they bought from your marketplace or store.

Create and use paid ads 

Although people are more inclined to buy from a business when their favorite influencer vouches for it or after reading reviews from real people who’ve purchased the product or service, paid ads still have a place in social media promotion. We’ve all encountered an advertisement from a business in our social media timelines, usually more than three a day. Businesses that create and use paid ads successfully enjoy better quality leads and more successful automated awareness campaigns.  

H&M, Forever 21, Hilton, Live Nation, and Lyft are examples of brands that take full advantage of paid ads. They display ads that are relevant to their target audience, specific, and connected to each level in the marketing or sales funnel. Great paid ads always target a particular point in the buyer’s journey with each ad. 

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and now Tik Tok all allow you to create highly targeted ads and place them on their platforms to help build awareness and generate new leads.

Create your ads based on your target audience’s buying patterns, communication style, location, age, marital status, financial landscape, and other demographics. Your ad captions and other content should speak to those most likely to need your services. 

Offer discount codes, coupons, and flash sales

People love a good sale, coupon, or discount. If they can get their favorite products for a budget-friendly price, they’re more likely to complete a purchase with you versus another business selling the same product or service. Businesses that prioritize this customer value find social media an excellent avenue for sharing exclusive discount codes, coupons, or flash sales. They also find that the exclusivity attracts more customers and retains them for more extended periods.

E-commerce giant Shein is a clothing brand that’s known for offering flash sales every day. Their customers look forward to these flash sales not just for the $3 shirts, $5 pants, and $7 dresses, but for the quality of the clothing they receive. A discount, coupon, or sale is of no interest to customers if the products or services aren’t going to last.

Go a step further to see if you can implement the dynamic pricing model for your products. Take a look at your product/service line. Identify which of those products or services could benefit from a high-quality sale. Dynamic pricing is time- and effort-intensive, but it can help you consistently offer a discount or coupon code without an adverse effect on your finances.

Only offer specific discounts, coupon codes, or access to a flash sale via a link exclusively on your social media. Create a loyalty program for your business and offer these discounts or flash sales exclusively to those who sign up for the program.

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