February 3, 2016

How Social Media Can Increase Your Profits & Build Your Brand

By Megan G.

According to a survey conducted by InfusionSoft and LeadPages, the top three goals of small business owners’ digital marketing campaigns are, not surprisingly:

     1. Driving sales
     2. Building the brand
     3. Collecting leads

Nearly half of all the business owners surveyed reported that they themselves do marketing for their own companies. This is a huge task to take on in addition to all of the other areas an SMB owner has to worry about, but many small businesses do not have the budget to accommodate a full-fledged marketing team. So, if you are marketing for yourself, what will make your life a whole lot easier?

The answer lies in social media channels, which drive “bigger increases in retail traffic than any other online channel,” according to Business Insider. If you are in the industry of digital marketing, you must also be a master of social media engagement.

We have discussed time and time again the importance of effective social media presences for all businesses, big and small, and Tek Shouts! itself does its best to maintain consistent and dynamic campaigns on various social sites. However, if we narrow our focus in terms of driving sales, building brand awareness, and collecting leads, which social networks can help small business owners the best?

Taking simplicity and affordability into account, here are the top social networks for these three aspects of SMB success.

Drive Sales with Facebook
As the report provided by Business Insider shows, the social network, Facebook, is the grand champion of social commerce. Everyone’s favorite dumping ground of status updates and funny memes actually yields 50% of total social referrals and 64% of total social revenue. While this report focuses on retail businesses only, these numbers vouch for the professional power of Facebook with any industry.  

Stats and conjecture can only go so far, so let me give you a real-life example of excellent retail marketing on Facebook. Being a nerd, I get a lot of advertisements in my Facebook Newsfeed and sidebars for products of geek culture. The most memorable brand from these ads is Squishable.

I have only seen Squishable in two places: in Facebook ads and on a YouTube channel called Geek and Sundry. This is a shame because look how flippin’ cute their huge animal pillows are.

Image from Squishable.

I remember this company’s ads from the very beginning when they maybe featured 2-5 pillows—all standard, non-mythical creatures—in their ads. Now, as you can see in the image above, the plush company sells 97 Squishables ranging from unicorns to Cheshire cats to toast! That’s amazing! And still, with that success, I only recall seeing them on those two marketing platforms. Just goes to show the power of Facebook’s reach and stellar ad-targeting systems.

Build Brand Awareness with Instagram + Facebook
When it comes to both brand discovery and brand awareness for businesses across the board, Facebook actually takes the cake once again. Entrepreneur argues that Instagram works well for visually strong businesses.  Considering that Instagram is pretty much attached to Facebook at the hip, we at Tek Shouts! like to use both platforms for marketing purposes, even though a marketing company doesn’t necessarily convey the thought of exciting visuals. That just means you have to get creative.

Instagram is the platform where you can build brand awareness in a more personal way. Check out the Instagram page of the marketing agency GigaSavvy.

Images from gigasavvy Instagram account.

GigaSavvy has a lot of food posts, which are always a hit on Instagram, as well as high definition employee profiles and videos/photos of office activities. True, the GigaSavvy brand perhaps only shines through in the employee profiles, but content marketing on social media is not all about showcasing your products.

Successful marketing in the digital age is about creating an approachable and fun persona for your brand. Instagram is the best avenue to do this, especially when paired with strong Facebook campaigns, as this can widen the audience reach for your brand. Business owners can reach an older audience with Facebook and younger viewers with Instagram.

Collect Leads with Twitter and…Yep, Facebook
Clearly the number one social media site for small business owners is Facebook, no matter which way you slice it. Lead generation via ad targeting people’s interests, as we saw with Squishables, is Facebook’s strength. However, Twitter offers more in terms of targeting people by location.

Hootsuite details the benefits of social media advertising and explains that Twitter is the best option for small business owners operating on a local level—and, really, who doesn’t want to do well in local? It’s the most obvious choice for your go-to customer base! Whether you need to plan a sporting event, grand opening, or charity event, Twitter can serve as the hub for all of your location-based promotion.

While we’re on the subject, Instagram can also serve as an excellent location-based marketing platform thanks to their geotag search capabilities…but perhaps that is a topic for another blog post. Keep up with Tek Shouts! to get the latest on marketing, Google Maps, and small business strategy.

Do you market your business on Facebook? Did you know that business without a website can still gain a lot of Google Search traction with a Facebook page? Comment below to continue this discussion of social media marketing!  

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