Social Media Marketing: Utilizing it as an Effective Tool

The average person uses social media websites for approximately 136 minutes a day, and as the number of social platforms increase so does the time being spent on them. Time spent on social media is greater than time devoted to grooming, eating and drinking, or even in-person social interactions. Using social media as a marketing tool is the most cost effective and resourceful way for a small business to grow their audience, which is why 97% of marketers are using it.

Why social media? Simply put, your customers are there and consuming colossal amounts of content daily.  It’s estimated that 70% of the U.S. population has at least one social media profile, and that there are more than 2.5 billion social media users worldwide. With the boundless number of consumers using social media platforms each day, small businesses are presented an unparalleled marketing avenue. It is necessary to be present and active on the channels that your target audience is using most often. Refusal to affiliate your business with social media pages neglects potential engagements that you could be having with your current and new customers.

Social media is a place where we connect to the world, expand our network, and keep in touch with our friends and family. The users of these platforms aren’t necessarily there with the purpose of being marketed to, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t following the brands they find valuable. Social media outlets allow you to unmask a more personal side of your business, demonstrating your voice on an intimate level, and supports authentic connections. Consumers are overwhelmingly more responsive on social media than they are to traditional, direct marketing messages. Brand recognition and visibility are increased as your content presents your business’ true voice and nature. While the consumer may have never heard of your company before, they are more likely to explore and become better acquainted with your business after noticing you across various social networks.

Another benefit of social media is that it allows you to more specifically target your audience, rather than broadly putting a message out for anyone to see. Targeting your audience will generate higher quality leads, and eventually boost your conversion rates. While not only being a more objective advertising avenue, it’s also more financially worthwhile than conventional advertising. Social media is estimated to be at least 3 times less expensive for paid advertisements than traditional media, but you also have the option of using it entirely free.

 

By being more active on social media, your search engine exposure increases. Search engine algorithms are alerted by links to social content, shares, likes and comments. The livelier these engagements the better your organic growth and visibility on search engine sites. Your competition can also be found on social media and search engines, so this engagement favors the diligent.

Consumers also use social networking to find recommendations. A survey found that 72% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations! Use customer feedback, positive or negative, to thank them for their support, expose necessary areas of growth, and to boost your glowing reputation! Ask your current customers to leave reviews of their experiences, because 90% of future buyers rely on positive reviews to influence their purchasing decisions!

When executed correctly, social media is an unbeatable device. To feel like you aren’t getting the reciprocation deserved when investing your valuable time and effort is defeating to say the least. Before giving up on social media, ask yourself these questions: Are you posting the right content for your market? Are you posting enough? Are you simply posting at the wrong times? Research the various social media outlets to find the optimal times and days of the week that each platforms’ users are most active!  Know your audience, be persistent, and share content of value regularly! Best of luck in your social media endeavors!

 

 

 

 

Sources Cited:

Asano, E. “How Much Time Do People Spend on Social Media?” Social Media Today, January 2017.    Retrieved from https://www.socialmediatoday.com/marketing/how-much-time-do-people-spend-social-media-infographic

Smith, K. “15 Reasons Why Marketing Through Social Media is a Must For Every Small Business.” LYFE Marketing, January 2018. Retrieved from https://www.lyfemarketing.com/blog/marketing-through-social-media/

Bhat, U. “4 Reasons Why Your Social Media Posts are Not getting Engagement.” Cloohawk Blog, July 2018. Retrieved from https://www.cloohawk.com/blog/4-reasons-why-your-social-media-posts-are-not-getting-engagement

How To Write Your Business’s Story

In a lot of ways, people don’t buy products anymore — they buy your story. That means companies must constantly refine and redefine their stories and present them in innovative ways.

A brand story envelops your mission as a company, your culture and your history: How did you get started? Why do you do what you do? Where are you going? Our story specifically shares the idea development, research of the idea and viability, and growth and success.

High Touch High Tech – Science Made Fun: Our Story

Because shoppers are so connected through social networks, marketers should aim to present their stories in such a way that people will want to share them and their friends will want to connect with them. One advantage of social media is that we can have some control of our story. We can either passively hope people find our story appealing — or we can intentionally shape it to try to resonate with prospective customers. Either way it is a very important part of marketing your business.

High Touch High Tech – Science Made Fun: Marketing

Here are a few suggestions on how to convey a more powerful story:
One of the best things a company can do is be transparent about why it is doing what it does.
Not quite sure how to go about brainstorming your “why”? Try these suggestions:

Ask your customers:
Put up a blog or Facebook post asking your customers why they stick with you?

Ask your employees: Your team is the closest to what you are doing and the why behind it, so ask employees why they work for you and what motivates them to come in every day?

Read your web mentions: Google your company’s name and see how people are talking about you out on the web.

 

Share your “why” in distinctive ways.
Make your story engaging and easy to share. Social media consumes one out of every five minutes spent online. That means your audience is most likely spending a significant amount of time online sharing content. Here are a few ideas for getting customers to share your content:

Put a video on your site. Rather than just telling your story in text or in the About Us section of your website, create a video as well. It could feature employees talking about why they work for you and how they hope the company’s products or services will help customers. Consider accumulating a number of videos and creating a YouTube channel. Be sure to make it personal.

High Touch High Tech – Science Made Fun: YouTube Channel

Post photos. One of the easiest ways to enhance your story is to add images to your site, social network, or facebook page. If you have a cool office or store, showcase it. Also, post photos of customers and your team to highlight the people behind your brand’s success.

High Touch High Tech – Science Made Fun: Facebook

Add a few quotes. Many sites put up long testimonials from customers, but you should go further. Get quotes from your leadership, customers and especially business partners. This will help tell the “why” of your story. Then showcase only the words or sentences that really tell the story and give them a beautiful visual treatment.

High Touch High Tech – Science Made Fun: Partnerships

Give your “why” more real estate.
Is your company’s story tucked away in the footer of your website with an “Our Story” link? If so, it’s time to give your story greater visibility. Ideally, your story should be laced throughout the text on your entire site, but that can be challenging. Instead, start with some of these baby steps toward giving your story more of the spotlight:

Put it on the home page. Rethink which content should get this prime real estate. What could be better than putting a video up on your home page that describes why your company exists and why you do what you do? Tell people something that encourages and inspires them to learn more about you.

High Touch High Tech – Science Made Fun: Mission

Link to it from social profiles. Companies are investing heavily in social media and teams to manage those conversations. Make your story a critical part of that interaction. Link to videos or website pages that help your followers understand what makes you special.

Write about it on your company blog. Your blog can be a great place to call out your story. Transparency in business resonates with customers, so talk openly about both your company’s struggles and successes.

High Touch High Tech – Science Made Fun: Blog

Marketers should rethink what exactly they are selling. With so many products and services out there and so much noise in the social sphere, it’s your story that can really differentiate you, and separate you from the competition. Careful attention to how you tell that story and how you showcase it can make all the difference.

If you want to check out what we’re doing, visit any of our social media outlets. We’d love to get your feedback!

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/HTHTWNC
Twitter:  http://twitter.com/@HTHTWNC
YouTube:  http://www.youtube.com/user/HighTouchCorp
Pinterest:  http://pinterest.com/hthtworldwide/
Blog:   http://sciencemadefun.net/blog/

To learn more about franchise opportunities with High Touch High Tech, visit us online at ScienceMadeFunFranchise.net.

High Touch High Tech is the leader in innovative hands-on science and nature experiences for children, serving over 4 million children annually with 27 franchise locations across the United States, Canada, Turkey, Singapore and South Korea.