Despite it’s rise in popularity, social media still equates to only 13.8% of overall marketing budgets with many marketing departments reserving 0% of that to paid advertising.
This low figure could be down to companies lacking the budget to invest in social, or the fact that many decision makers are still uneasy about spending money on the medium due to its often delayed and difficult to track ROI. Whatever the case, with 59% of people now accessing social media at least once per day, not making social media a key part of your marketing strategy is unwise.
Luckily, there are ways to increase social media’s value without a paid advert in sight.
1. Choose your platforms
It can be difficult to gain organic reach on social, especially on Facebook (good article from Brandwatch about the Facebook algorithm). But that doesn’t mean you can’t get to your customer without spending. Befriend the algorithm; find out when your customers are most active, and on platforms such as Instagram, which favour users who utilise all of its features, boost your chances of visibility by tagging and including your location on every post.
2. Increase conversions through genuine engagement with your followers
One of the beautiful things about social media is its ability to bring a more human component to your brand’s messaging. According to HubSpot, social media has a 100% higher lead-to-close rate than outbound marketing tactics.
No other medium gives you the chance to draw your target consumer to you (through hashtags etc) then directly build a rapport with them by posting valuable content and engaging in dialogue, consequently you improve trust and credibility and convert an interested party into a customer, all without spending a penny.
Of course this can be very time consuming, but that’s where our white label service comes in. We can support your in-house Social Media or Community Managers in and out of office hours; or provide temporary cover, to ensure your brand’s messages reach your customers, and that they always receive a response when they reach out to you.
3. Create a blogger and outreach programme
Okay, so this option is pretty time-heavy but, you can get great results if you do it well. Contact those bloggers that are members of your target community who hold influence. This still remains a great way to increase both visibility and sales.
Build relationships with taste makers that are relevant to your sector, there are still many who are willing to exchange a gift for promotion. Set up your programme carefully, check that the influencers are genuine, have a 'real' following and, are good to work with. Do your due diligence, put your parameters in place and be clear on what you want (and what you will give).
4. Stay present to improve your search engine ranking
Google’s ranking factors are forever changing, but one thing that tends to stay the same is its preference towards brands with a healthy social media presence. When people search for your company, unless you have a brilliantly SEO-focussed website, or a Google ad running, it is usually your brand’s social media pages that show up highest on the SERP’s; maintaining an active presence on social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook (which is very highly favoured by Google), is a great way to improve your general online visibility.
5. Treat social media like your online “retail space” for customers
Your social media pages are equally (if not more) important as your company’s website. A good social presence works as a portfolio and can encourage leads, so make sure that all of your pictures are professional, properly sized, and consistent with your brand imaging.
For more information on how to improve your social media strategy get in touch with the StrawberrySocial team. Here's our Contact Form or call us on 020 3873 1092.