Easy ways to make the most of social media marketing

Explore the social media marketing updates and approaches that can create value for your business.   

Social media platforms are constantly evolving, and it can sometimes be a little tricky to keep up. One week you may notice new audio features. The next, you’ll see creator collaboration tools – but which trends should your business use to improve your social media marketing? 
Here’s a roundup of social media marketing approaches that are worth exploring to help your business. 

 Creator marketing 

By working across social media platforms, Creators – who you may have once called influencers – can help promote your business, and there certainly isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. From Gen Z to Gen Y; casual to professional; each creator is different, so the first step is identifying which influencer/s speak to your target audience. 
Try partnering with a few local or micro-creators to start building better brand awareness – and increasing sales too. Micro-creators aren’t people you might think of as traditionally ‘famous’. Rather, they have engaged followers, interested in the content they share – whether that be related to fashion, cooking or sustainability, for example. You’ll need to put some time into searching for creators relevant to your business’ niche, and further time reaching out to secure a partnership. And if you’re lucky enough that your product/service is used regularly by someone with a large following, make sure you explore that partnership too. 
Here, you’ll need to also decide how you want to pay for a creator’s service. Whether you offer direct payment, gift your product/service for them to experience, or offer them a discount code, decide what form of payment you can offer before reaching out. 

Video marketing 

While photos are faster and easier to generate, you should carefully consider how video marketing could benefit your business. In fact, 85% of marketers say short-form videos are the most effective format on social media. 
And video marketing doesn’t need to be complicated. You can begin by using your smartphone to film product teasers and how-to guides to build brand awareness. Or you can encourage your audience to share user-generated content for you to repurpose too. Whether it’s a video of them using your product/service or a video of them sharing a review, you can share these videos on your own channels. Just don’t forget to tag each customer. 

Paid advertising 

Did you know, on average, only 1 in 19 followers see organic content – posts shared for free – on Facebook? So, it’s no surprise that paid advertising is important for not only reaching new customers, but connecting with existing customers too. 
And paid advertising doesn’t have to be expensive; you can sponsor organic posts directly within your Facebook or Instagram feed, adding as much or little budget as you like. Small budgets can go a long way, especially if your targeting is right – so set a plan first, and make sure you really know your audience. No matter what budget you use, you’ll be able to leverage each social media platforms’ algorithm and internal data to reach new audiences. So, paid advertising is an easy, cost-effective way to connecting with a wider audience, before you’re able to hire a dedicated marketing team.  

Changing content formats  

New content formats appear constantly on social media. Keeping an eye on up-and-coming updates – and finding out to best use them – will help your business make the most of what social media has to offer. Here are a few platform updates you can explore right now: 

  • Pinned posts 

Pinned posts aren’t new on Twitter, but other channels are following suit. Now, you can pin up to three posts at the top of your Instagram grid, to give you more power over your content’s display in an effort to create a more customisable grid. 

  • Instagram guides 

Since the launch of Instagram Guides, Instagram is no longer the place for only short-form content. With the inclusion of blog-like pieces right within the platform, users can scroll through a seamless flow of content, accompanied by commentary. So, this format provides an opportunity for you to share product/service highlights, FAQ guides and so much more. 

  • Facebook groups 

If you’re looking to gather your community in one place, Facebook Groups are the way to go. By creating a Group for your business, you can gain valuable insights and engage with your customers in one place. And Groups are optional to join, so they’re an effective way to speak to people who are genuinely keen to connect with your business. 

Ready to start selling on social?   

Social media’s an easy way to get your business in front of customers and connect with them at little cost, but did you know you can sell directly over it too? If you’re already using social media to promote your business, products or services, chances are you’ll have started to build a dedicated following, who are interested in engaging with or buying from you. Once you’ve taken this step and have begun building awareness of your business and capturing the interest of customers, you can use these very platforms to start making sales through these channels as well. Here’s how... 

Which social media platforms are set up for making sales? 

The opportunity to sell on social is coming to more and more social channels, but a few options are still the most popular. 
Instagram is among the top picks, as it lets you easily turn posts into sales opportunities with Instagram Shopping. With its own in-app checkout and customisable Collections (where you can list products and group them by theme), it’s designed from start to finish to create an easy online shopping experience. 
Facebook is quickly following in Instagram’s success with its mobile-first shopping experience, Facebook Shop. As the digital equivalent of a physical shop, it’s designed with businesses in mind – and it even has customisable features to help your shop stand out. The best thing about it? You can answer customer queries directly through the platform, by connecting your shop to WhatsApp, Messenger, and Instagram. You’ll need to set up a free Facebook for Business page to get started though. 
Pinterest TV offers a self-contained shopping experience too. Running from Monday to Friday, creators can share videos throughout the week, before letting viewers shop products at a discounted price on the Friday. Not to mention that it’s rolling out shoppable Pins for one-click shopping on everyday images, as well as better catalogue management, so you can share more product information in-app. Watch this space! 
TikTok Shop is also growing quickly in the UK, with discounted products selling at speed. This is becoming especially common as a result of creator promotion. The authentic nature of the platform lets creators quickly and easily put together impactful promotional videos, which link directly to product discounts and one-click purchases. Although this live shopping experience isn’t currently available across Europe, if you’re outside of the UK, it’s still worth keeping an eye on this platform’s updates in the months to come.  

Tips on how to start selling more on social 

Once you’ve chosen which social media channel (or channels) to started selling on, you need to set yourself up for success from the very start. Here’s a breakdown of our quickfire tips to help get you on the right track: 

  • Make sure your images or videos stand out. If it isn’t interesting, you won’t grab attention. 

  • Get creative; think of your social media channels as a digital shop window. 

  • Focus on excellent customer service. Be present on your social channels, answer questions as quickly as possible, and create a great impression every time. 

  • Offer amazing deals with promotional offers to draw people in. 

  • Pair your social channels with your website. Buying through social media won’t be right for everyone, so make sure your website is easily accessible too. 

  • Consider spending a little on sponsoring social media posts to get your business in front of more potential customers. 

  • Team up with micro-influencers to help bring more people to your page. Whether you pay their fees or offer free products in exchange for their support, this can be an inexpensive, impactful way of increasing sales. 

Social commerce shows no signs of slowing down, and since it’s free to get involved, there’s no better time to try it out.  

With social media platforms rolling out new updates all the time, how can you keep up in the future? https://www.socialmediatoday.com/ is a great place to keep an eye on how the social media landscape’s changing. And, even better, you can subscribe so important updates are delivered straight to your inbox. 
Just getting started advertising and selling on social media? Reach out to our V-Hub Digital Advisers for free, tailored support.  

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