Social media tactics that can boost your online business

A person drawing a success growth chart, symbolizing social media tactics that can boost your online business

Another fine post from Mary Aspen Richardson

We live in the age of social media. Marketers worldwide are trying to find better ways to utilize social media and improve marketing, sales, and brand awareness. There are many social media strategies at your disposal, and it is crucial to understand what each does. That’s why we want to discuss social media tactics that can boost your online business. Here is everything you need to know!

Set reachable and measurable goals

The first step in every plan is to understand what you are trying to achieve. When it comes to social media engagement, there is a whole list of goals you could focus on:

  • increase brand awareness;
  • get more followers;
  • drive more website traffic;
  • generate leads;
  • increase conversions;
  • grow revenue;
  • provide customer service;
  • build a community.

All of these are reasonable goals. However, it would be best if you did not focus on completing them all simultaneously. If you have a team of only a few people, you should set your priorities and go from there. You can always add a goal or two to the list, but make sure your starting goals are close to complete.

The idea is that you don’t want to create a situation where you cannot keep up with tracking all your goals. That may seriously backfire. The evolution of social media managers clearly shows much progress in the field, as they can take on more responsibilities. But, if you are new to this game, pace yourself and start slow.

An illustration showing the SMART goals setup.

Caption: Setting SMART goals is the best way to move your business forward.

Furthermore, all of your goals should be measurable. For example, don’t just say, “I want to increase the conversion rate.” What’s your measure of success there? If you had one conversion more than the last month, does that mean your campaign was a success?

It is better to say, “I want to increase the conversion rate by 15%.” Now you have something to work with. When setting goals, be sure to set SMART goals: specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely.

Know your audience

To be successful on social media, you need to target the right audience. There is too much content and too many people browsing social media. From a customer perspective, they see a pool of random things. Everyone is trying to pitch their products and services, and there is a lot of spammy content. You don’t want to communicate with people that don’t have an interest in what you offer.

Customer research plays a crucial role here. You can do various social media polls to collect customer data. It is an excellent way to get to know your customers and, more importantly, find out where they are.

Follow your audience

As a social media manager, your goal is to manage various social media profiles, post content, communicate with customers, and so on. The more accounts you have to operate, the more work you have.

media tactics that can boost your online business.

Caption: Choose one or two social media platforms for starters, and add more as you become more experienced.

As a business owner, you want to pace yourself when choosing social media platforms. Do not try to take multiple platforms if you cannot maintain the same quality and dedication. Try to master one platform before switching to the next one.

Be consistent with posting content

One thing that social media followers want is consistency. If you start publishing one post daily, you want to maintain that consistency. If you add another platform, you should follow the same schedule there.

The best way to connect with your audience is to produce quality content constantly. If you don’t think you can create many posts and maintain quality, start with a smaller number.

To clarify, it is okay if you miss a post or two; that will not create any significant problems. However, it would be best if you avoided that practice and always try to stay on schedule your followers are used to.

Use scheduling apps

Since we are talking about consistency, the best way to achieve this is to use a scheduling app. You can write your posts, schedule a date and time of posting, and significantly reduce your work this way. Automated posting is one of the best strategies at your disposal.

Your content should tell a story

When we talk about releasing quality, consistent content, there is more to this strategy than meets the eye. It would be best not to look at your business as a tool to sell products. Your business should become an institution – a brand that conveys specific values. Every piece of content you post on social media should tell a story about your brand.

You want to connect with your customers on a more personal level. You can use social media to let them get to know the staff, learn company history, and become a part of a society you are trying to build.

An illustration of drawn people standing in a circle.

Caption: Social media will help your business to connect with customers all around the world.

Social media is very visual

Using stunning visuals is the best way to create unique and shareable content. Even though social media posts have words, the picture may speak volumes. And everyone will focus on the image first and then read the post.

Invest time and effort into creating unique photos, and you will achieve much better results.

Use social media to boost other marketing strategies

A well-placed post can help your business in many ways. For example, let’s say you want to organize a giveaway. You create a visual that engages clients and asks them to send an email explaining in three sentences why they should win the prize. This one simple strategy is now growing your email database at the same time. If you use social media for this, you have your contact list for a newsletter.

Social media tactics that can boost your online business – explained!

These social media tactics have a high percentage of success. As a key takeaway, try mixing them to create a solid strategy to boost your online business. Remember, pace yourself, and always maintain the quality. It is always easier to increase social media engagement than to decrease it.

META DESCRIPTION: Many social media tactics are at your disposal if you wish to boost your online business. Here is everything you need to know!

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How to Use Brand Storytelling to Grow Your Business

Another great article from Mary Aspen Richardson

Source: https://pixabay.com/photos/chalkboard-story-blogging-believe-620316/

We all love a good story. Since the age of campfires, we almost seem hard-wired to recognize narrative patterns and relate with benevolent underdog protagonists. We value storytellers themselves as the vessels of the stories they tell – especially if they’re protagonists. Is it surprising, then, that storytelling offers an excellent marketing opportunity? For many, it’s probably not. Indeed, storytelling can inspire trust, foster bonds, and do so much more that marketers crave as outcomes. To illustrate this, let us explore how to use brand storytelling to grow your business.

What is brand storytelling?

First and foremost, let’s establish what exactly brand storytelling is. At its core, it’s a simple enough concept; your brand’s stories elicit specific positive emotions. But that’s just its fundamental function – how it does so is rather complex, albeit specific:

Source: https://blog.flipsnack.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/01-steps-to-create-a-good-brand-story-v3.jpg.webp

So first, your story needs to be good. This fundamental quality will allow it to entice audiences and incite engagement. Then, it needs to specifically address your audiences’ problems, i.e., pain points in marketing terms. Finally, it needs to remain consistent and foster long-term relationships to best leverage the positive emotions it elicits.

Of course, what makes a good story is a vast subject in itself, which we can’t afford to dive into here thoroughly. Still, if you’d like to know more about these fundamentals, you may also consult our article on why brands need stories, to begin with.

Ways to use brand storytelling to grow your business

Having a good story is only the first half of the proverbial battle. The second, perhaps even more crucial, half is leveraging it effectively. We all know the common saying about trees falling in the forest; it also applies here.

In brief, you may leverage brand storytelling through virtually every marketing channel. Among others, consider the three key examples that follow.

#1 Content marketing

First, no matter which marketing channels you prefer, you most likely have a content marketing strategy in place. Growing your brand almost necessitates one, and you can use content to your advantage in various ways toward this end. As Bill Gates famously asserted in the distant 90s, “content is king” indeed.

To illustrate this, consider the most common goals of content marketing:

Source: https://visme.co/blog/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/13-1.jpg

As you can see, brand awareness predictably reigns supreme. Audience education and building trust come second and third, respectively, and “pure” marketing goals only follow this trio.

Luckily, brand storytelling explicitly seeks to achieve these exact goals as well. Put differently – you will most often use brand storytelling to grow your business. You can thus use it confidently to enrich your content marketing strategies – and reap some Search Engine Optimization (SEO) benefits through higher authority and more engagement.

#2 Social media

Second, your marketing channels most likely include some social media platforms. It’s hard to argue against it; consider TikTok’s unique path to purchase and stellar marketing results. Marketers can’t afford to overlook social media marketing nowadays or the vast potential audiences it offers.

In addition, visual content like the infographic above remains remarkably effective as a form of content. Social media platforms also thrive on such content – especially visually-focused ones like Instagram and Pinterest. Not-so-coincidentally, storytelling does so as well, making this nothing short of the perfect match. With increasingly more features on “stories,” your brand story has a natural home in social media.

#3 Email

Finally, email most likely won’t be absent from your arsenal either. The king of marketing for many, email boasts up to a dazzling 4,200% Return On Investment (ROI) – if done correctly. And as modern audiences increasingly seek value and personalization, “correctly” often overlaps with “using effective stories.” So, why not use brand storytelling to grow your business through your newsletter and email outreach?

Indeed, consider typical trust signals that facilitate higher email open rates, your mission statement, which audiences increasingly value as an indicator of moral alignment, or even clean, compelling copy, which will convince them that your solution suits them best. These elements, which email marketing hinges on, require brand storytelling to shine through.

Leveraging brand storytelling

Now, how exactly you do so will ultimately depend on you; the stories you have to share, the channels you use, your unique audiences, etc. Still, leveraging storytelling does require some universal principles, which we may cover here.

#1 Craft a compelling story

Before all else, you will need a compelling story to spearhead your efforts. Remember the “three Es” brand storytelling calls for:

Source: https://stonecreate.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/Brand-Storytelling-V2-01-2560×1301-1-768×390.png

You cannot entice audiences or have them engage with subpar stories. You most certainly cannot enthrall them with them either. So, to use brand storytelling to grow your business, you may start with the key components of any good story:

  • A relatable protagonist. Who are you, and who are the people behind your brand? When and how did you get started? Brand humanization is critical here.
  • Adversity. Similarly, why did your brand come to be? Which persistent problems in your field called you to action? What problems did you face along the way, and how did you overcome them?
  • A positive outcome. With challenges behind you, what lies ahead? How does your brand seek to help your audiences, and why are they now your focal point?

As you do, remember to keep it a story; few people will care for business loans and mergers. Your brand will need to sound human in relatable terms for people to relate to you.

#2 Center on the customer

Next, your story needs to use said humanization to bring your audience into the spotlight. It’s their journey that you can make more pleasant, and it’s their problems you can solve. In this sense, the customer is the ultimate protagonist – and you’re there to help. Embracing this philosophy may be the best way to use brand storytelling to grow your business.

To do so, among other approaches, you may:

  • Have them identify with you. Focus on your shared love for the field; you should come off as their peer with a shared journey.
  • Focus on their pain points. Lean into their concerns, and highlight exactly how your brand’s story crafted the ideal solutions.
  • Encourage engagement. Ask for engagement, comments, shares, and so on. The more they hear from you, the more confident they will feel in your genuine willingness to help.

All the better if you can do so through social media polls and activity.

#3 Focus on long-term connections

Finally, the ultimate goal of this approach is, of course, to forge meaningful, long-lasting connections. This is an almost inherent goal from a storytelling perspective, but it’s also one of deep marketing value. Consider the sheer value of customer retention as LinkedIn illustrates it:

Source: https://media-exp1.licdn.com/dms/image/C5612AQGjeev_4-8JJQ/article-inline_image-shrink_1500_2232/0/1520141138069?e=1657152000&v=beta&t=oU98XKa4BlXb9sb5WUjR3SF2Fnn1XuMKc1CiGxltG8M

For an age when the Edelman Trust Barometer identifies a “cycle of mistrust,” connections weaved through stories may be the best remedy. In this sense, you won’t just use brand storytelling to grow your business but also sustain it through deep-rooted trust. Your storytelling will substantially inform your perceived trustworthiness from your mission statement to humanization through influencer marketing and everything in-between. 

To strive for this goal, you may consider the approach that best fits your story. For some basic examples:

  • Do you persistently champion a noble cause?
  • Does your social media marketing activity thrive on constant engagement?
  • Perhaps you require your audiences’ support as an underdog against your field’s status quo?

In all such cases, centering on loyalty through engagement, customer support, and loyalty programs should frame your storytelling.

Conclusion

There are as many ways to use brand storytelling to grow your business as there are brand stories. You may leverage it through any marketing channels you engage in and to any extent your audiences allow. In all cases, however, brand storytelling requires a good story that humanizes your brand. It calls for a keen focus on the customer’s needs and an authentic willingness to forge long-lasting connections. Finding exactly how to manifest these qualities will often present a challenge, as different storytelling techniques resonate with different audiences. Still, it’s almost imperative that you do so for brand awareness and customer retention. While brief, this article hopefully offered some inspiration for fueling your brand’s growth through its unique, enticing story.

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Regardless of your goal, you need to understand what it truly takes to be an exceptional social media manager.

Interior Design Trends 2022

Thanks to https://www.ezliving-interiors.ie/ for the infographic

7 Tips for a Successful Rebrand

Guest article from Mary Aspen Richardson

In the digital age, branding is crucial; from a brand’s logo and mission statement to its website’s color and outreach tone, a brand’s identity will inform customers’ perceptions, expectations, and behaviors. Proper branding will instill positive connotations in brand recognition, inspire trust, and foster long-term relationships. Thus, a rebrand may be highly desirable or even unavoidable when this pivotal element underperforms. However, that’s no easy process, and it comes with multiple pitfalls for the unprepared. To help you navigate these waters, then, let us share 7 tips for a successful rebrand.

When is it time to rebrand?

First, let’s briefly outline the reasons and motivations for a rebrand. Doing so here will help contextualize the process that follows.

Brands will typically consider rebranding of different scales in such cases as:

  • Mergers and acquisitions. In such cases, the merged entity may either maintain the brand image of the better-known brand or compound the two. Still, a rebrand of some scale may be necessary.
  • Market repositioning. Attracting new audiences and redefining one’s position in the market will also often require a new brand identity. This is particularly true when a brand expands its offerings.
  • Expansion into new markets. For effectively similar reasons, expanding into new markets will also often require a reinvigoration of one’s brand. New audience segments will often require a different identity to resonate with.
  • Damage control. Relatively more rarely, brands may also be damaged seemingly beyond repair. In those cases, a rebrand may be the only viable option.
  • Modernization. Finally, time inevitably outdates brands as well. Realigning core values with one’s audiences, recalibrating internal culture, and other branding elements can effectively refresh a brand’s image.

Of course, the exact scale of one’s rebranding efforts will strongly depend on the reason. Modernization may require little more than a visual update, for instance. In contrast, repositioning may call for complete reinventions to add proper meaning to one’s marketing.

7 Tips for a Successful Rebrand

With this context in mind, let’s outline a strategic, prudent rebrand process.

#1 Collect feedback

Feedback collection and data analysis are likely vital parts of your marketing efforts. If so, they can also serve as excellent foundations for rebranding. Consider such practices as the following, through which you may extract meaningful insights.

Tracking website visitors and activity

Monitoring your website’s effectiveness is among the most reliable ways to know what your audience wants, needs, and expects. You may use such tools as Google Analytics, website heat maps, and other dedicated marketing solutions that collect analytics.

Conducting surveys

Where tracking performance handles quantitative data, surveys offer qualitative data to explain your findings. Audiences are typically very eager to participate in surveys and tend to respond honestly. Moreover, they appreciate the perceived attention to their views on your brand and their experience with it.

Employing social listening

Finally, you may monitor what audiences won’t say directly through social listening. Such tools allow you to track discussions on your brand that happen outside of your profiles and content and can perfectly complement your social media strategies as well.

#2 Identify rebranding triggers

With all your insights, you may now more reliably identify rebranding triggers. In line with the circumstances outlined above, consider such findings as:

  • A poor reputation
  • Low trust
  • Poor engagement signals
  • Low market penetration
  • Branding inconsistencies

If such conclusions can’t be remedied with smaller, hyper-specific changes to your outreach, PR, and content strategies, it may be time for a rebrand. Of course, the key to a successful rebrand is to initiate it exactly when it’s needed.

#3 Carefully consider the cost and risks

Still, before you get started, you should also consider the scope of your investment. That is, the costs, time frame, expected returns, and potential risks.

For this step, as you solidify your plans, examine:

  • Costs. Depending on your rebrand’s scope and exact nature, costs will vary considerably. Simple visual polish may not strain your budget much, but holistic reinventions of your brand will.
  • Time. Similarly, rebranding takes time to complete and bear fruit. This time investment will also occupy your teams and sway them from their current tasks.
  • Risks. Finally, no business effort is ever truly free of risk, and neither is rebranding. Slight changes may fail to meet your goals, while complete makeovers may alienate existing audiences.

By no means should this step discourage you. However, evaluating those factors may inform your choices and guide your efforts toward a safer direction.

#4 Rebuild your visual identity, retell your story, and recapture your audiences

With all of the above covered, you may now begin executing a successful rebrand. Here, you may start with your visual identity and then explicitly address all shortcomings you’ve identified above.

The 3 fundamentals for this stage, as the section’s subheading suggests, are the following.

Rebuilding your visual identity

Start with your brand’s visual identity; humans are very visual beings. Examine your logo, website design, social media profiles, and even visual content, and align them with your rebranding’s goals.

Retelling your story

Your brand needs a story, and rebranding entails retelling it. Beyond visuals, examine:

  • Your mission statement and vision
  • Your brand values and culture
  • Your brand voice and personality

The sum of such elements ultimately tells your brand’s story, communicating its past, present, and future.

Recapturing your audiences

Finally, consult your insights again to determine what existing audiences expect. Maintain these values and qualities, and keep them at the core of your new brand identity. At the same time, keep an eye on your new audiences – should they be your rebrand’s goal.

#5 Test your concepts with key stakeholders

Next, you may begin testing such rebranding concepts with key stakeholders. For larger-scale rebrands, at this stage, you should also establish a rigid rebranding framework; as you approach launch, all teams must work in perfect synergy. Without this happening, you cannot have a successful rebrand of any considerable scale.

At this stage, you may move beyond the C-suite and test the waters with existing customers, employees, and other stakeholders. If you have access to audiences of potential customers, they should also help immensely. This step will help identify potential issues and shortcomings early and allow you to correct your course if need be.

#6 Deploy a “stealth” brand launch

Moving beyond closed test environments, you may proceed with a “stealth” launch – a soft, controlled launch to critical stakeholders. This practice allows for a gradual, safer rebrand execution that typically works better than abrupt, explosive announcements and launches.

You may begin with your internal teams, other key partners, and key customers for this step. Outline your reasons and motivations, allow for previews and constructive input, and prepare press releases as needed. This step will serve as the final rehearsal before your full launch, so remain vigilant and attentive.

#7 Remain persistent and consistent

Finally, once you have fully launched your rebrand, it is crucial that you commit to it. By this stage, you should have

  • Identified your key rebranding triggers, backed by ample data
  • Planned your rebrand and execution
  • Progressively and thoroughly tested your changes

That is not to say you may not need to make minor adjustments by any means. In fact, as with all business endeavors, maintaining a watchful eye over your analytics may always reveal more room for improvement.

However, you should now largely have a solid, data-driven, robust rebrand in place. As such, it is crucial that you fully commit to it; rebranding entails a new brand identity, regardless of size. Customers perceiving your rebrand as superficial or a quick fix will, in most cases, hamper your efforts, if not outright invalidate them.

In closing

To summarize, there are many reasons why a rebrand may be essential. A plain visual one may be desirable, or a holistic one may be necessary. In all cases, however, a successful rebrand requires very careful planning and strategic execution.

You may begin with accurate data to identify your rebrand triggers and negotiate its type and scope to best match your needs. You may then evaluate the risks, craft your new identity, and consistently test it with select audiences and stakeholders. Finally, you must fully commit to your rebrand post-launch to maintain trust with your audiences and ensure success. It may not be easy, but with these 7 tips for a successful rebrand, it will certainly be more manageable.

Meta description: From collecting insights and identifying your rebrand triggers to a strategic execution, discover 7 key tips for a successful rebrand.

Photos used:

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TikTok Shares New Tips on How to Maximize Branded Content on the Platform

As TikTok continues to grow, and become a key culture driver in many regions, many advertisers are logically considering how they can tap into the platform in order to boost their promotions.

But marketing on TikTok is different from other platforms, most specifically in that TikTok users respond better to native-style content, arguably more so than other platforms. The full-screen, short-form nature of TikTok clips means that interruptive approaches are less successful, so you need to align with norms and trends of the ‘For You’ feed for maximum branding impact.