7 Low-Budget Social Media Marketing Tips to Build Your Brand
There is no denying that social media has grown exponentially in regards to its impact and reach. As per a GlobalWebIndex study, 54% of internet users research products and services on social media.
Moreover, 71% of customers who have had a positive experience with a brand on social media are more likely to recommend it to their family and friends. So, if you are a business owner, there is no way you can get away by not being on social media.
But how many businesses that you know have an active, flourishing presence on social media? The number is pretty small. The truth is posting random photos and links and tagging a few profiles every day will not help any brand.
A social media marketing strategy will take your brand a long way. Sure, brands having a massive budget will quickly help strike-off milestones such as 100K followers and 100X retweets/shares.
However, can you build a social media presence and engage your audience without burning a hole in your pocket?
If your business is struggling to come up with what to post on social media, these 7 low-budget social media marketing tips will help you build your brand.
1. Make the most of user-generated content
If you want to make a mark on social media, you cannot duplicate your competitors’ content. You need to create original content. That could include designing infographics or doing your research and coming up with content formats your audience prefer consuming. You can also take help from your customers.
User-generated content (UGC) has long been considered the domain of B2C industries, as B2B products tend to be software-oriented and thus hard to capture on photo. However, times have changed.
Irrespective of what you sell, you can still send out gift boxes or branded merchandise as tokens of appreciation to customers. Ask them to use your company hashtag when posting about these incentives on social media.
This Instagram photo of a cute baby wearing Warby Parker glasses, as shared below, has amassed more than 15,000 likes and transpired comments such as “too cute!!!” Had this eyewear company staged the photo with a model and high production values, it would not look authentic.
Consumers are 2.4X more likely to interact with UGC as it is perceived to be more authentic and credible. Therefore, to boost user-generated content, you can also offer incentives to those customers who share their experiences before and after using your product online.
2. Use unique hashtags
Hashtags are more important than ever on social media. They offer a fantastic opportunity to label and make your social media posts more discoverable and enable you to connect with relevant social media users.
Use trending hashtags to get more exposure for your content. Additionally, include a unique hashtag to get more click-throughs. Nowadays, people incorporate both trending and specific hashtags in their social media strategy.
For instance, if you use the #Christmas hashtag, you will see that it is tweeted thousands of times in an hour. There is a high chance that your tweet may get lost among the other tweets.
On the contrary, if you used a less popular hashtag like #HolidayGifts or #Xmasgifts, there will be lesser tweets using this hashtag, and so your tweet is evident to your customers. You can even create your unique hashtag and run a contest to enable your followers to use it and increase its footprint on the social media platform.
For instance, Toronto Raptors’ branded hashtag “WeTheNorth” has a universal appeal since Canada is known as the “Great White North.” When the team won the 2019 basketball season, the hashtag blew up on Twitter and became one of the most-used hashtags by Canadians early that year.
The simplest way to find trending hashtags is by entering the hashtag on Twitter and Instagram.
3. Actively post and piggyback on trending topics
Inactive social media feeds look bad for brands. Therefore, show up every day with fresh content. Plan your calendar at least two weeks in advance so that your online marketing team can get the posts designed and approved on time.
Schedule your posts. This is one of the most useful hacks in social media. While Facebook and Twitter have their built-in schedulers, use social media scheduling tool SocialPilot to schedule LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Instagram posts, and save time and energy.
Alternatively, if you cannot reinvent the wheel every time, that is OK. Repurpose content. Spend 10-15 minutes on your most active social media platform to respond to customer queries. That way, your posting schedule does not have to interfere with your customer service activities.
4. Optimize your social media accounts for engagement
Unlike SEO, optimizing your social media profiles is not technical. Make sure your profiles are filled out based on the platform’s best practices. Here are some social media optimization tips to follow:
- Use hashtags in Twitter and Instagram bios as they help in getting discovered.
- Use a high-quality profile and cover photos on all platforms.
- Add links to your website in the profile, for visitors who would want to know more about your brand.
- Facebook asks for details including business hours, location info, website URL, summary, phone number, and address. Personalise your Facebook cover with a call-to-action.
- Follow popular profiles in your industry on social media to gain exposure from relevant accounts that might follow you back.
- Add a personal touch to your social media channels. This could be in the form of quotes and tips from the team, customer testimonials and product reviews.
5. Sprinkle some fun elements over your social media posts
Gone are the days when customers would click on boring, over-selling ads on social media to know more about a product. Advertising and marketing today are highly competitive, it is common to see social media posts being humorous, innovative and amusing.
Consumers want something fun to read or see, rather than a long list of features or information about a product. Social media is a brilliant platform for creating several kinds of content, such as images, videos, jokes, quotes, questions, polls, and so on.
You can even create posts with nothing by an emoji to stand out. Bud Light, a beer company, designed a tweet of the American Flag with emojis to commemorate Independence Day in 2014. Naturally, it went viral and fetched close to 120K retweets.
Especially for the holiday season, you can create funny images, memes, or even start a poll to make things more interesting. Popular sites such as Buzzfeed, Pinterest, and Tumblr provide perfect ideas for creating engaging social media posts.
6. LinkedIn for lead generation
While other social media platforms work great for increasing awareness and engagement, they do not help much for lead generation. For a successful digital marketing strategy, LinkedIn is a powerful lead generation machine.
The statistics to support LinkedIn’s effectiveness in gaining leads are:
- The lead conversion rates from LinkedIn are 3X higher than from other ad platforms.
- Only 15% of marketers are creating content for LinkedIn.
- LinkedIn’s traffic generated the highest visitor to lead conversion rate at 2.74%. This is 3X higher than both Twitter and Facebook.
LinkedIn lead generation strategies using automation have multiple benefits. They help in precise targeting and personalising the outreach and automating the process of finding the right prospects, sending them connection requests and setting up a meeting.
7. Encourage employee advocacy
With employee advocacy, encourage team members to promote your company among their social circles and social media. This is an excellent strategy for two reasons. Firstly, your content gets shared with the followers of your brand accounts and with each of your employees’ followers.
Secondly, people are 14X more likely to read a social media post by a friend than by a brand account, which means that engagement rates go up.
Therefore, you should make it easy for your employees to practice advocacy by providing them with the content, giving them simple instructions on how to share it, and setting up a reward program for content sharing.
You can even host monthly competitions where the employees who are most active with advocacy get a special prize. It is believed that brands become more humanized on social media provided the staff makes a constant effort to keep the “social conversion” interactive.
Social media gives the brands a chance to act like people because, in the end, people like doing business with other people, not companies.
Track your performance
The trick to succeeding with a social media strategy is to be consistent with regular posts on the social media channels where your audience resides. Sure, there will be a time when you will have to invest money to do paid campaigns.
But unless you have a strong social presence for your brand, it won’t add any value to your social media efforts. Your paid campaigns are active for a limited time period. However, your brand image remains forever.
As with every aspect of your business plan, performance tracking is critical for social media. Use monitoring tools like Hootsuite, Zoho, or Sprout Social to see how your posts are doing across platforms, the kinds of conversions you are getting, and how much customer engagement can they garner.
Accordingly, you can make changes in the types of content you share and the social media platforms you share them on.
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