The global economy has been thrown into recession, but fortunately, working from home through online channels is saving businesses from a complete shutdown and major losses.
This just proves what an important part of our lives social media is – as consumers, its something we cannot live without and as marketers, we need to take advantage of that.
2020 is the year of social media– with Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and so many others aggressively competing to come out on top.
However, you need to invest in the right social media marketing ideas for your business.
Check out these social media marketing ideas to incorporate into your strategy:
#1. Know which platforms your target audience is active on
The first thing you need to do is pick out the top 3 platforms your target audience uses.
For this, you need to team up with your R&D department. An older target market over the age of 40 is most likely active on Facebook.
Busy, working individuals of all ages are active on LinkedIn and Generation Y is most active on Instagram.
Once you have this information on hand, use the STP model:
Every target market has multiple segments that businesses can focus on.
A shoe manufacturer like Nike can target business individuals, athletes, school kids and many more segments.
Use your research to find out which segment requires your product or offering and then target those segments.
To effectively convince customers to try out your brand, position yourself by establishing a unique selling point.
Coca Cola and Pepsi sell carbonated beverages that are almost exactly the same in taste with similar pricing, yet Coca Cola shares a much larger market share globally.
Why? Because Coke sells happiness.
Check out these 10 social media marketing statistics to help you make a decision about which platforms to opt for.
#2. Hold engaging social media contests
If you normally look up social media marketing ideas, contests are one of the most common suggestions.
However, it’s time to move away from the typical like and win a free item contest.
If you want your brand to be noticed, come up with a unique and engaging idea. The best way to do that is to incorporate user-generated content.
Kelloggs recently held the ‘Great Eggo Waffle Off’, a two-part Facebook contest.
In the first part, participants were required to submit their best waffle recipe and in the second, fans voted for their favourite recipe.
Not only was this extremely fun and engaging but there was a great prize for motivating participants to make the effort – a $5000 prize bond!
Similarly, Colman’s Mustard also got creative with their contest on Instagram.
We all know how hard it can be for customers to leave positive reviews after an experience.
Many of them only make the effort if they get something in return and that’s what Colman’s Mustard did.
Not only did they motivate customers to leave reviews by offering free products, but they also created the hashtag #HotMessSquad which participants were required to add in their reviews.
Instagram’s algorithm is curated in a way that hashtags categorise content and make it more discoverable:
That’s why using hashtags improves engagement on posts and help in making your content go viral faster.
To create your own engaging social media contest, complete the following steps:
- Decide on a prize or a giveaway: This could be your brand’s product, a free service, cash or even a chance to meet and greet with a famous celebrity
- Set up a list of terms and conditions: There are a lot of followers willing to play dirty, for example, creating fake profiles to participate multiple times in order to increase their chances of winning – so make sure you draft up a set of rules to minimise any loopholes
- A point of contact: A lot of the times, contests can be complicated and difficult to understand for participants. Offer a point of contact such as a phone number, email address or website chatbot where interested participants can leave queries
- A creative way to enter: You need both logic and art to be successful as a business. If you play by the book, you’ll be good at what you do but you won’t be the best until you get creative, so brainstorm an come up with the most unique ideas that you can think of!
#3. Interact with your followers
Because there is so much competition in every industry, customers expect the best of service from businesses – whether small or big.
That is why one of the most trending social media marketing ideas is increased communication with customers.
Smaller businesses, especially startups, have the advantage of direct communication with their customers.
Due to limited employee personnel, business owners deal with the major aspects of the business which is why it is easier for them to address customer concerns.
However, as I said, customers expect the same attitude from all businesses so even larger businesses need to appoint PR heads and customer representatives than do more than just customer support:
- Host an AMA
As you probably already know, AMA stands for ‘Ask me anything’.
It’s a great social media marketing idea and a very popular feature on Instagram that a lot of celebrities use for interacting with their fans.
As a business, you can take advantage of as well.
For business profiles, the feature is also referred to as AUA i.e. ‘Ask Us Anything’:
AUAs could be used by the head chef of a restaurant to offer tips and hacks to customers on how to cook better.
A lot of freelancer makeup artists also host AMAs to give tips for glowy skin, using the right brushes and other makeup tips to look great.
- Go live
Live videos are one of the biggest marketing trends of 2020 as interactive content is replacing text and traditional marketing channels.
Even if you’re the CEO of a multinational firm, interact with all of your customers once in a while.
Customers trust brands that are transparent, honest and make an effort to show that they care. The cosmetics manufacturer MAC often hosts live videos of their makeup artists teaching followers makeup hacks, tips and full looks:
Host a live video once in a while to share the reasons behind your success, how you can build a business from the ground up or just answer general questions from your customers in the comments section.
A live video is great because it allows for instant, two-way communication between businesses and customers; thus, making it the most interact channel of communication currently.
You can also live-stream exclusive events to share updates with your followers and make them feel more included:
This is a great tactic to improve customer loyalty.
- Don’t miss out on the smallest contact points
There are so many different communication channels now and businesses are expected to be responsive and active on each which is why I advised you to pick only the top 3 social media platforms that your customers use for effective communication.
Even the biggest corporations like Macy’s, H&M, Pepsi and others are making the most of customer interaction.
You’ll notice that these businesses are now responding separately to thousands of customers in the comments section of social media posts:
By paying attention to each and every customer’s concern, brands can manage to improve customer retention, loyalty and avoid negative reviews and word of mouth.
However, this is not an easy task especially for larger businesses with a huge fan following on social media.
With over millions of subscribers, it can be difficult to respond to each and every customer which is why you need to incorporate automation into your strategy.
Check out these tools for online marketing that not only allow you to respond with pre-written messages to deal with customer queries but also provide you with detailed analytics to help you improve your social media marketing performance.
You can also check out ManyChat, a platform that provides you automated chatbots integrated with platforms like Messenger so that your customer representatives are relieved of some of their job’s burden:
#4. Take advantage of partnerships and alliances
There’s a business term called ‘co-opetition’ which refers to brands co-operating with their direct or indirect competition.
It may seem unusual but partnerships benefit both parties – it reduces competition as customers double up and it offers a stronger position in the market.
A very famous example of this is Taco Bell and Doritos co-branding campaign, ‘Doritos Locos Tacos’. Frito-Lay used Taco Bell’s crunchy taco recipe to create the Locos Taco – a taco with a Doritos shell.
The campaign was a huge success: it sold an estimated 1 billion tacos within a year:
Similarly, the podcast industry is a hit with millennials and one of the most popular shows is Impact Theory.
The host Tom Bilyeu recently invited Marie Forleo, an entrepreneur who hosts a similar podcast, to tell the audience the secret behind her success.
The point is, none of these co-opetitions would have been successful without the use of social media marketing to create awareness and promote the campaign.
You can also partner with brands in the industry that sell complementary offerings.
Sprout Social, the social media management platform that provides analytical tools to help businesses measure performance, recently partnered with Moz, a platform that provides link metrics, to conduct a webinar.
The result? The two allies were able to sign up with over 40 new companies and a spokesperson from Sprout Social said that the partnership boosted webinar reach more than the two companies could have managed on their own.
#5. Opt for Social Media Takeovers
Often, during an event, you’ll see firms giving control of their social media accounts over to influencers, celebrities, experts and other personnel.
This is similar to a partnership except the brand compensates the individual and the period of time for a takeover is usually 24 hours.
So how does it help your brand?
Your influencer’s followers will automatically be following you – keeping up to date with events, offers and your brand’s offerings in general.
This means awareness and potential clients, but that’s not it.
Another very important reason why you should opt for social media takeovers is exposure, or as Sprout Social puts it, ‘a new way to inject life into your business’.
It’s a change away from the normal routine so you should go for it when you need to improve engagement and reach for your posts.
So that wraps up the top social media marketing ideas of 2020. However, it’s important to understand that different ideas work for every business.
Following your competition will not help you come out on top.
Even if you utilize the same ideas, make sure you put a creative and unique spin on them to ensure success and ROI. Did you enjoy this article? if so here are another 5 ways your business can benefit from social media.