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Social media marketing, advertising, and growth


New Contributor
Jul 6, 2017
Hi, I recently Interviewed 23 successful entrepreneurs on a business seminar earlier this week. The theme was clearly “Social Media Marketing Strategies” and it turned out all their opinions answered my own questions. Here is what they had to say:-

For those of you who are using PayPal as their payment gateway, call the customer service in advance and tell them that in about 6 weeks you’ll be receiving a huge inflow of money from different sources. Should they get any cunning Idea of holding the funds in your account, your lawyer shall have a copy of that conversation and will use it against them in the courts of law

Before You Begin; Choose Appropriate channels (Best Ways to Connect with Leads)
Many businesses create accounts on every popular sociable network without researching which platform provides the most return. You can avoid wasting your time in the wrong place by using the information from your buyer personas to determine which system is best for you.
If your prospects or customers tell you they spend 40% of their online time on Facebook and 20% on Twitter, you understand which primary and secondary internet sites you should focus on. When your customers are using a specific network, that’s where you should be!

STEP 1(Make Your Business Flexible)

I. Integrate Video Marketing into social Channels

The use of video in retail marketing has seen a substantial rise over the years. , video content has been the hot topic among social media marketers. Statistics indicate that 73% of marketers are increasing their use of video, 21% claim it’s the most important form of content marketing, and 58% want to improve their knowledge of YouTube.

Millennials have also proven that they prefer to research products through YouTube as compared to more traditional sources. A video is a must-have for retailers who want to sell to the approximately 80 million millennials.

II. Add Social eCommerce features to your Strategies

Social media is becoming an increasingly important resource for online shopping. Social platforms are introducing new features to make it easier for consumers to complete purchases directly from social sites.

Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter all currently offer in-channel purchasing options. Pinterest offers Rich Pins to show consumers real-time pricing and product availability. Facebook app UltraCart’s online Facebook store transforms your Facebook page into an actual online retail site with buy links from specific products that can then be loaded directly into a shopping cart. Shopping carts such as Shopify, Bigcommerce, and Magento also have integrations for Pinterest, and Shopify offers a Facebook store for retailers.

III. Combine the Power of Social with Mobile

The number of global mobile phone users is expected to pass the five billion mark by 2019. Additionally, for those retailers who hope to thrive with the Millennials and Gen-Z, social marketing must be integrated with mobile.

The majority of consumers now use mobile devices as their primary access point to social media. Marketers are planning accordingly and the social advertising market is projected to hit $11 billion by 2017.

Statistics indicate that:

· 2x more sharing occurs on mobile vs desktop

· 71% of consumers use social media from mobile

· 76% of Twitter users access from mobile

· 1.1 billion Facebook users are on mobile

To drive social marketing success among mobile users, it’s imperative that the content you create is posted on mobile-friendly pages and is easily shareable from a mobile device. Mobile is a visual medium so be sure you are sharing plenty of video and photos.

IV. Identify and Make use of Social influencers

More retailers are utilizing influencer marketing as part of their social media strategies. Influencers are people who are active on social media and blogs, making them ideal candidates to become a brand advocate.

Consumers trust recommendations and reviews from a third party more often than the brand itself. This behavior has encouraged more brands to invest in influencer marketing. When influencers align themselves with your brand they bring their entire network of social followers, can drive additional traffic to your website and social networks, and can outright drive more sales through their recommendations.

V. Add Social experiences to your physical locations

Connecting social media experiences to brick-and-mortar locations offer a great way to further engage social followers. Social media should be seen as an extension of the physical location versus just an online experience. However, many retailers are missing out on these opportunities to enhance brand loyalty and provide a more interactive experience for customers. Social media company Ignite suggests the following, “Adding social experiences in-store, such as photo booths, video tutorials at the point of purchase, Influencer recommended product placement/signage, UGC in-store, etc. are valuable opportunities to add validity to your brand and products.”

STEP 2 (Connect with your Prospects)

I. Analyze the Current Status that your clients have with your brand

See what needs to be done and start sketching the plan that works best for increasing your results. Don’t fear a lack of training. 93% of sales executives have not received any formal training on social selling, therefore all you need to do is start with what you have now and figure out a way to grow.

II. Establish a one-to-one Communication Plan

82% of prospects can be reached via social media. So you can engage in a conversation that can get you a closed deal in an easy manner. Remember to research and see where your target audience is searching for content and be there for them to find you.

III. Connect and Engage With your prospects

Still, a few entrepreneurs connect and engage with their prospects on social media today. You’ll probably need to re-think your approach if you haven’t delivered any targeted content out there yet. There is still time to turn your prospects into actual customers.

IV. Build relationships

The most important thing sales people need to know is that they need to develop relationships more than they need to develop leads because good relationships will turn into leads. People share a lot of information, and if you monitor and listen to what they are saying, you will eventually be able to engage in a meaningful conversation with them.

Once you develop a relationship, you can tell the prospect how your product or service might be something they want or need.

V. Join a Community and Create a Persona.

Build up a personal account, have conversations, and become acquainted with the norms and expectations of the community.

Without misrepresenting yourself, create a persona that’s likable and trustworthy within that community. Avoid being a “jerk” when they see you on a social media site, nobody is going to do business with you. If you comment a lot to get people to go to your site, nobody is going to listen to you. You can’t abuse or misuse social media.

Show your network that you’re an amiable, trustworthy resource.

STEP 3 (The Don’ts and the Dos)

I. Advertising with Social Media

Using social media to advertise or otherwise “get the word out” about your business is a sure-fire “losing” strategy. Yes, it is! Let me explain. Yes, you need to have a message, this part is obvious. Yet broadcasting on social platforms in hopes of netting attention and engagement that converts to leads is a losing strategy.

Instead, focus on solving customers’ problems in ways that you can easily connect to what it is you are selling.

II. Telling your “Unique Story” (nobody cares!)

Contrary to popular opinion, it’s best to resist telling customers all about your business, your “unique story” as part of your social media sales strategy. Instead,

Offer them micro-transactions that lead them toward (or away from!) your service offering. Prospects and customers rarely care enough about your culture, attitude, style or personality to decide on initiating (or increasing) business with you on these criteria. They care FIRST about their own problems or goals. So promise them a cure for an expressed pain and take them on a journey toward the remedy.

III. Offer at least a Unique Service that beats your competitors

For as much as social media can do to help you grow your business, it’s important to note the one thing it can never replace: a good product. Without a truly unique product or Service, A business won’t succeed regardless of how many people are there on your social account.

IV. Listening to Social Media

Listening and monitoring what customers are saying/thinking about you is important. If they curse don’t brush off nor walk away bitter. This won’t do! Focus on the process that ties the messages and resulting behaviors together. Discover ways that will help you sell better.

V. Think Small to get Big

With so much noise and competition in the social media space, it’s easy to wonder how any small business could possibly stand out. The number of fans and followers you might have doesn't have a major business impact because of how saturated the web is right now. focus on a narrow audience and then cater resources, advice, and information directly to them every day. You will be Surprised at how fast a word can spread! Next thing you know, you are on STEP 4

STEP 4 (Now that you have Thousands maybe Millions of prospects turned to Customers)

I. Leverage Social reviews to automate word of mouth marketing.

Using product reviews to create trust and provide insights on your products is a great way to increase sales.

Yotpo is a popular free social review app that's available in Shopify's app store. The app helps convert over 8% of customers to reviewers through their mail after purchase email which results in a large number of reviews being created. The best part is that this process is automated so you don’t have to spend time reaching out to customers to try and get new product reviews.

II. Run a Twitter Q & A

Engagement is critical to keep any online community alive and well. A great tactic to grow your Twitter community and dramatically increase engagement is by hosting a weekly Twitter Q&A. The idea is to pick a day of the week, and then encourage your community to post questions related to your product, business, industry or really anything. You then provide answers to their questions and then choose the best questions and use them in a blog post.

Over time others in the space will take part and slowly you will establish your brand as an authority in the space.

III. Create a Hype

Tweet and Post on Social in the run-up to product releases, Creates massive excitement and interest from your followers.

IV. Offer Something in exchange

Occasionally, create an initiative like asking users to tweet or post a photo of themselves for the chance to win a voucher, a trip e.t.c.

V. Make it Easier for customers to share and Pin your Product

Including social sharing buttons is a must for any online store that wants to take advantage of our innate social behavior online. Make sure you include buttons to the popular social networks (Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest) and that they are not hidden away in your store’s theme.

Many choose to go in the direction of choosing buttons that match their store’s theme but this may limit the percentage of shares. Choosing colorful buttons which stand out can help improve a number of shares which will help drive new traffic to your site.

Q: Ok so now you are a social Guru, what next?

A: Pay Your DUES and Share the THREAD!

Cheers! It’s a great Pleasure being part of this Wonderful Forum.
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