Whether you run a brand new business or one that’s decades old, if you’re not taking advantage of social media to promote your products, you’re missing out on a golden sales opportunity. Sharable links are the new word of mouth, while using the proper hashtags allows you to find your customers and vice versa.
With so many channels to choose from, figuring out where to focus your energies can be challenging. Let’s take a look at examples of how businesses and individuals have harnessed the power of social media to achieve success.
Think of Instagram, the app and social media site, as a sharable online photo album. Instagram gives you access to multiple filters that help even the most amateur photographers shine. Instagram’s hashtags help you spread the word about your products while building your brand.
Free online services like Iconosquare provide Instagram analytics that will help you figure out the best time to post based on your history and engagements. You’ll see how many likes and comments you’ve received on each photo, and it can also assist you in determining the right hashtags to use depending on your keywords.
If there’s an Instagram user in your company’s niche with a huge following, consider sending them a product for review. For example, if you’re a jewelry designer and you follow a stylist who might love what you’re creating, send them a sample. If they feature it, you may end up attracting many of their followers.
Allusions by A.Lekay Swimwear is one example of a small business that’s growing by leaps and bounds and gaining plenty of attention by using Instagram. Having just celebrated its two-year anniversary, the brand has a devoted 25,000-strong following on the social media site.
The luxury lifestyle line’s motto is all about empowering women to live life “fierce and fearlessly.” In addition to photos of confident women showing off the products, the Instagram account is infused with empowering slogans and quotes inspiring followers to pursue their own path and find their bliss.
The swimwear has even attracted the attention of stylists and celebrities, including Nicki Minaj, who wore the brand’s swimsuit in the July 2015 issue of Cosmopolitan. Those photos are helping to draw new Instagram followers eager to make purchases.
Facebook’s insights tool allows businesses to take a look at the likes and reach each post has garnered so owners can see what’s resonating with fans.
MVMT Watches (MVMT is pronounced “movement”) is a company that creates high-quality, attractive watches at affordable prices. The business, crowdfunded through Indiegogo, makes the most of Facebook to showcase its wares.
In just two years, the startup has amassed close to 600,000 Facebook followers who routinely share photos of the watches in unique and intriguing settings. Satisfied customers have a chance to show off their timepiece using the hashtag #jointhemvmt. Photos are often accompanied by puns and interesting catch phrases, creating a more engaging experience.
MVMT also hosts regular watch giveaways, which serve as another opportunity for the company to grow its following. To enter, you must sign up for the newsletter or follow MVMT on either Pinterest or Instagram. Clever.
Pinterest is a virtual bulletin board that allows you to “pin” something you love or want to look at again later.
HomeGoods’ Pinterest page offers a dose of daily decor inspiration, and followers can take in visually-stunning photos that illustrate everything from how to assemble the perfect guest room, to ideas for hosting a festive backyard barbecue.
HomeGoods’ page boasts more than 250,000 followers, and it’s no wonder; this fast-growing national retail chain showcases a very interesting method of using Pinterest to gain their customer’s attention. With 49 Pinterest boards devoted to indoor and outdoor designs, each room of the home, and holiday-specific items, it’s extremely user-friendly. All you need to do is scroll through the well-appointed rooms and be appropriately awed.
Featuring real-time posts limited to 140 characters or less, Twitter is a fun and innovative way for companies to interact with their customers.
Frozen treat purveyor SkinnyCow’s Twitter campaign asks customers to share their guilty pleasures and secrets to living the “sweet life” by using the hashtags #SkinnyCowSecret and #SkinnyCowMoments. Not only do the Tweets read like a confessional, they also give the business a chance to interact directly with customers, many of whom receive “sweet rewards” via a direct message from the company after sharing. Gift card giveaways have also been tied to the hashtag to attract new customers to the brand.
Marketing Strategist and keynote speaker Dorie Clark proves she’s an expert in her field by consistently sharing her content on professional networking site LinkedIn. The author of Stand Out: How to Find Your Breakthrough Idea and Build a Following Around It and Reinventing You: Define Your Brand, Imagine Your Future says LinkedIn is the most targeted way to connect with professionals who are interested in business topics.
“Facebook has a wider reach, but people are on there for a multitude of reasons—usually social. By posting business content on LinkedIn, I'm reaching people in the exact place they're going to look for it, so they're at their most receptive,” Clark says.
While the branding expert says she doubts seeing an article or an update posted is enough to sway someone into purchasing one of her books, she believes it’s a very good “top of the funnel” marketing activity.
“If you think of the classic sales and marketing formulation AIDA—Attention, Interest, Desire, Action—then LinkedIn is great at getting people to notice you and perhaps to become interested in your work. Later, after reading more or investigating your website or joining your email list, then they become ready to purchase a book or consulting services or hire you for a speech. LinkedIn is a very convenient way to reach people, and I've certainly gotten many messages from people who wanted to connect with me and found it to be the simplest way to get in touch.”
Getting your products in front of your target audience has never been easier, thanks to social media. Choosing the right platform to showcase your wares and how to best connect with your customers can be well-worth the effort.
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