Do you want to make social media a marketing powerhouse for your products? Of course you do. Social media is probably the single best way to promote your brand. If you do the right things, social media will let you create genuine relationships with your prospective customers - and drive massive product sales. Here are 6 secrets to help you generate huge returns from social media.
Generate Shareable Content
When you create content for social media, your goal is to get people to share it. And here's the not so incredible truth - if you post boring product information, people aren't going to pay any attention. Instead, create content that amuses, amazes, informs and entertains your audience. Tell them a great story that has deep emotional appeal. Be the first to break good news, or give them an inside scoop. If you do this, your followers will show your content again and again - bringing your brand to an entirely new audience.
Of course, the content you create should wrap around your product, or at least mention it - but you shouldn't put the product in the driver's seat. Remember, tweets and blog posts aren't corporate brochures - write something people actually want to read.
Engage with Your Audience
On social media, you need to talk with people - not at them. By engaging with your audience you can build a real relationship with them. These relationships lead to sales - if people like you and trust what you say, then they're much more likely to buy your products. Pay attention to what your fans are telling you. Talk with them online, help them out, solve their problems and answer their questions. Your goal is to let people know that you care and have something of value to offer. Be passionate about this - if you show a genuine interest in your audience and let your personality shine through, your followers will pick up on this and respond the same way.
Sell the Sizzle
There's an old chestnut in the marketing world - sell the sizzle, not the steak. This applies to social media as well - in fact, it's even more important online. When you talk about your brand or products, focus on benefits, not features. Your audience wants to know what your product can do for them, not how many buttons it has. To get this right, you have to spend time understanding your audience and what motivates them. If you're selling to consumers, show how your products make their life better. If you're selling to businesses, talk about how your products solve business problems.
Here's an example. Think about how Red Bull markets its product. It's not a carbonated energy drink - instead, it gives you wings. The company is appealing to a young, risk-taking audience that wants to break free. It has strengthened this message by associating its brand with extreme sports, creating a buzz that has nothing to do with caffeine. You may not have Red Bull's marketing budget, but you can still make your audience hunger for your products if you roll up your sleeves and get creative.
Build Your Influencer Network
If you want to spread the word on social media, then you need to get other people to talk about your brand. Engaging with bloggers and other influencers is absolutely essential - it lets you tap into a huge new audience. Not only that, people listen to bloggers and trust them to give unbiased opinions - that's why they follow their blogs. So when a blogger says something positive about what you have to offer, people pay attention.
You can connect with bloggers on sites such as Tomoson. Just ask them to review your product in exchange for a free sample - and maybe a review fee as well, depending on the blogger. Unless you're selling big-ticket items, this costs next to nothing - so it's a great investment. In fact, if you build ongoing relationships with a number of bloggers, they'll continue to build buzz for you far into the future.
Exclusive Deals and Competitions
One great way to keep people coming back on social media is to give them deals that they can't get elsewhere. For example, publish discount coupons on your social media channels. Make these deals truly exclusive - don't offer them anywhere else - and let everyone know about them well in advance. In fact, if you really want to get traction, make your best deals available only on social media.
Contests are another great way to get attention on social media. Don't just make it another boring lottery. Ask your readers to submit personal stories or funny anecdotes for a chance to win. Share the best entries on your social media channels, and give away a prize for every one that you share. You'll get great content for the cost of a few giveaways, and you'll create incredible engagement.
Use Images and Videos
People on social media crave great visual content. A stunning image or an exciting video has a much bigger impact than even the best-crafted copy. After all, if you're selling something beautiful, then you want everyone to see it. Just avoid boring product shots - show someone enjoying themselves with your product, or using it in exciting or unusual ways. The same principle applies to videos - go for high production values and lots of action, and you'll get real traction with your audience.
For instance, let's assume you want to sell skateboards. Shoot a video of some skateboard geniuses pulling off amazing tricks down at the park, or even make a video of a dog riding on one of your skateboards. This is the kind of content that can go viral. Post it on YouTube, then promote it on Twitter and Facebook. Everyone who watches the video is another potential follower - and another potential customer.
Incidentally, the dog on the skateboard is a real story - his name is Tillman, and the video of his antics has had over 3.8 million views on YouTube.