9 Steps to Reaching Your Customers Through Social Media

9 Steps to Reaching Your Customers Through Social Media

This post was written by our friends at Nine Supply for the TurnKey Success Blog

Every social media strategy should be as unique as the brand it represents. Approaches will vary based on what you’re selling, who you’re selling it to, where you’re selling it, and of course, how much of a marketing budget you’re working with. A little planning can go a long way toward making your social accounts a valuable asset for your brand. Not sure where to start? 

Here’s our 9 steps to a confident social media strategy:

Decide on KPIs

It might seem counterintuitive, but a larger follower base and higher engagement (things like likes and comments) don’t necessarily go hand-in-hand. It’s common for engagement rates to drop off as you rapidly gain followers, both due to algorithms and to the fact that social media platforms want to get you to pay to boost your posts. This is why it’s important to decide what your priority is on each social media platform. Do you value higher engagement versus just wanting to have a ton of followers? Or does your volume of followers speak louder to the companies you are pitching too? Maybe you’re an online magazine, and the daily goal is clicks back to your articles. Find out which key metrics are of the most value to your business, and let those determine your strategy and spend.

Settle on a Budget

Simply put, your budget will determine who you can work with and how much money you can put behind boosting posts. If you already have a full marketing team (i.e. with a marketing director, photographer, designer, copywriter, etc.) and if they’re active on social media and good at staying on top of trends, you might find it best to run your social account in-house. If you only have one or two marketing people on your team (or if you’re running it yourself!), consider hiring an outside team to manage this piece of the pie. In that case, they should do the next 6 things for you, with as much or as little input as you want to give. Just make sure you shop around and choose an agency with a good social media aesthetic (their Instagram page should wow you) and a portfolio of brands that have goals similar to yours.

Split Testing

At Nine Supply Social, we always talk about consistency. But, it’s important to play around a little, too, so you can make sure you’re confident in the practices you adopt. The things that perform best for one brand aren’t always a slam dunk for another. Choose a few things to keep consistent while you play around with variables like imagery, tone, scheduling, and hashtags. When you find a good formula, keep refining it until you’ve built a polished look and feel for your brand. Rebrands will happen, and algorithms change, but it’s important to lay a foundation that your customers come to trust, and this testing early on can help you figure out your secret sauce. 

Find Your Audience

Do a quick inventory of the followers your brand already has. Who is following you? Is this your target audience, and if not, you need to either rethink your social strategy, or who your target customer is? Figure out if there’s a particular region where these people live, where they work, where they spend their money. When you have a solid audience nailed down, this will help determine the look and feel you want your social media posts to have.

Establish a Voice

For instance, if the audience you’ve decided to target is young moms, develop a persona based around this psychographic. Make sure that their values and your company values line up, and that you’re communicating this in a tone that they’ll want to engage with. Besides captions, you can showcase your brand personality in your actual posts with motivational quote graphics, funny memes, statistics, or other types of short, easily digestible written content. 

Choose an Aesthetic

What’s going to stop the scroll? If you’re a CPG brand or product, you’ll want to take into account the type of packaging that you have, and the colors and branding you’re already working with, so that you can maintain a cohesive look. Look into current design trends and find a color palette that both complements your packaging and can act as a bridge into the trendy world that is social media. 

Establish Some Content Pillars

When someone scrolls through your posts, they should see a variety of content, such as lifestyle and studio shots. It’s good to keep things dynamic — for instance, many brands will choose to alternate these two types of shots so that the way the posts line up (by threes), there are never two of the same kind next to each other or on top of each other. 

Get Into a Rhythm 

Some brands post at the same time every day, while others might post three times a week, supplementing with daily stories. Play around and see what works for your brand. If you notice that you get great engagement on your posts but actually tend to lose followers every time you post, maybe you’re overwhelming your audience by posting too often. At the same time, algorithms often reward freshness and frequency. Try working up toward a more frequent cadence as you accumulate imagery, UGC (user-generated content), and followers along the way. 

Tap Into the Talent Pool 

Influencers are a great way to get introduced to new audiences and collect UGC that you can repurpose on your own page. Your budget will determine the volume and star-power of the influencer you are able to work with, but even if your budget is $0, you can still find quality partners with whom to collab. Reach out to micro-influencers who seem to resonate well with your intended audience, and offer them free product. Many will do stories for free even if they won’t do a dedicated post. Ultimately what you’re looking for is results, right? Once you find the influencers that give you great results and are easy to work with, nurture those relationships and collaborate with them long-term! The partnership will seem more and more authentic as time goes by and their audience will become very familiar with your brand. 

We hope these nine steps will help you build a successful social media strategy even if you’re a newbie to the scene. And if you need help along the way, head to Nine Supply’s social and website for more in-depth blogs and quick social hacks!

Jumpstarting Your Social Media Presence – Twitter

Jumpstarting Your Social Media Presence – Twitter

In this day and age, having a strong social media presence can have a huge impact on a business’s ability to identify and cultivate new customers while simultaneously staying in touch with repeat ones. Unlike other social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest) who have clearly defined uses and best practices, Twitter tends to be something of an enigma to business owners. With only 140 characters to get your point across, does it even make sense for you to jump on the Twitter bandwagon, and if so, what is the best way to go about it?

When making the decision to start a Twitter account for your business, there are several things you must consider including: 

  • Target Audience: One of the keys to properly promoting your business is to be where your target demographic likes to hang out. According to a Pew Research Center (www.pewresearch.org)  report, Twitter’s audience skews heavily towards the younger end of the spectrum with 40% of users being between the ages of 18 and 29. These percentages drop steadily as age increases with a mere 8% of 65+ year old utilizing the platform. 
  • Time Commitment: Twitter is considered a “micro-blogging” platform. This means that in lieu of a traditional blogging structure where one might share longer pieces of content several times a week, Twitter users share very short and concise pieces of content (tweets) several times a day. In order to properly utilize Twitter, you will have to commit to consistently making or sharing enough content to support multiple posts per day. While you can use a social media scheduling software to streamline and automate this process, you will still need to consider the additional time needed to create the content and schedule it out.

Additionally, Twitter is a very social form of “social media”. Unlike other platforms, Twitter is very much about the interaction between yourself and your audience. You should think of each tweet as an invitation to your followers to discuss the topic you’ve shared. Along with scheduling regular posts, you will also need to spend time responding and networking with your followers daily. The general rule of thumb is for every post plan to engage with users for at least fifteen minutes after posting. 

  • Content Creation: Creating content is not simply a matter of time, but topics. Are you passionate about your niche? Do you enjoy sharing about your day? Is connecting with your customers on a daily basis important to you? If so, then Twitter is a great way to do all of these things. Making sure that you have enough to say about your company specifically, and your niche at large is crucial to becoming a successful Tweeter.

Assuming that Twitter is the proper platform for you and your business, the next step is to put a strategy into place that will maximize your effectiveness:

  • Develop Your Voice: Before getting started with account setup, image creation, or your first tweet. Decide what sort of voice you’d like to project. Do you want to be seen as an innovative thought leader, a place that customers go for serious information, or maybe taking a fun and playful approach is more your style? Consider your product and the demographics you’re trying to reach. There is no right answer for this, but as with any aspect of your business, consistency is key. Once you’ve decided on a voice stick with it.
  • Setting Up Your Account: Now that you’ve established a tone, remember you never get a second chance to make a first impression. Make sure that your username, header image, profile image, and 140 character bio reflect your brand properly. 
  • Have a Good Content Mix: While having original content to share on Twitter is essential, the great thing about social media is there is also a plethora of information already out there. This means that you do not have to continually recreate the wheel. Sharing pertinent information from other sources is completely fine, and helps you to save time by not having to create the content. However, be sure that you are using a good mix of content. Most experts recommend your tweets consist of 30% original content (images you’ve created, links to articles you’ve written, simple text-only tweets), 60% shared content (retweets, other people’s images, links to outside articles), and 10% promotional information (sales, giveaways, product launch info). This helps you to balance your need to promote your business, with your followers’ desire for new or relevant information from you.
  • Be Consistently Active: As mentioned previously, Twitter is very much about the immediate exchange of ideas and stream of consciousness. This means that to get the most of the platform you must be involved. Follow other brands, experts, and influencers who are tapped into your demographic, interact with your followers, research and use hashtags that are relevant to your business and niche, and respond to mentions and messages in a timely manner. 

According to Twitter’s own research into its users, on a whole, the tweeting universe tends to be full of trendsetters and early adopters from across the globe. This makes it the perfect place for Amazon sellers to connect with potential customers and get the word out about their products. While it might be more involved than other forms of social media, one thing is certain, the more you put into Twitter, the more you will get out of it!

Jumpstarting Your Social Media Presence – Instagram

Jumpstarting Your Social Media Presence – Instagram

Did you know that Instagram has over 800 million active users, with 500 million of them using their platform daily? This makes it one of the most engaged networks, second only to the popular Facebook. Today, most brands are actively using their Instagram accounts to not only grow their fan base but to sell their products. Over one-third of Instagram users have purchased a product directly through the app with their mobile device, and their retention rate is around 70%, which means more repeat buyers for companies. 

So, what does all of this mean for you? As a company selling on a tech-heavy platform like Amazon, it’s important to see the value of advertising and being active on Facebook and Instagram. Placing your product in an online marketplace easily translates to activity on social platforms. Getting started can be overwhelming – but we’ve broken down a few action items you can take to ensure that you have a successful social strategy. 

  • Start Small – Using multiple platforms can be overwhelming, but it helps if you choose one and stick to it. With more and more consumers flocking to Instagram for shopping, creating an account and linking it to your homepage would be an ideal way to gain followers. In addition, you could create a special promo code for consumers who like your image to gain additional followers. 
  • Build Your Grid – Think of Instagram as an online catalog. You want to provide valuable images and content so that you drive consumers to buy. Start by posting nine images to fill your grid with your highest selling products and drive consumers to see what your posting. The more content you provide, the better. Instagram’s algorithms change so often, it’s hard to know what will get your posts seen by consumers, but consistent posting has proven to be the most effective.
  • Go Live – Instagram stories are becoming more and more popular! Showcase your products “in the wild” by putting them in a real-life setting to show the usability of the product. 
  • Plan Your Content, Make Posting Easy – Several apps allow you to plan your content out for weeks in advance. You can set aside a few hours to build content and create a schedule of when that content will be automatically posted directly to Instagram. Some content apps even allow you to schedule stories. You can easily do this in conjunction with your monthly promotional calendar, something that we at TurnKey build and present to all of our clients. 
  • Invest in Social – You know your clients and their demographics! Instagram allows you to do paid targeted advertising. You can easily select age demographics, and other important data which will help narrow down your results. This is, arguably, the best bang for your buck in terms of marketing dollars. Boosting posts and creating content is an easy way to drive more sales. 
  • Partner with Influencers – Influencers are Instagram (or other social media platform) users who have a large, almost cult-like following. You can pay these celebrities, or high profile individuals in your niche to talk about your product and link back to your Instagram. The exposure from their followers will certainly increase your number of followers and drive sales. 

As social media continues to evolve, so will it’s advertising, but one thing is for certain, it is not going anywhere! When you sell on an online e-commerce platform like Amazon, it’s only fitting that your business should embrace social media and utilize it to your advantage.