Social Media is a hotbed for business marketing and expanding clientele. Thousands of businesses have grown due to exposure on social media. For growing brands, a presence on social media is a no brainer. The benefits can be great but it's important to understand how to utilize social right in order to expand your business. Because it can be so competitive, many longtime users and mavens don't like spilling their secrets. Here are five tips on how to find social media success that many experts avoid being too vocal about.

1. Get to Know Your Brand Advocates

Recruiting brand advocates will help you gain maximum exposure on social media with a limited budget. If the brand is well-marketed and represented on various streams of social media, brand advocates tend to pop up. They are often enthused to share their personal experiences with your business on their own. You'd be surprised just how many advocates with large followings share their experiences on blogs, YouTube, Twitter, and even Facebook.

It's a low-cost investment that yields tangible exponential marketing attention. You can identify these advocates via blogs, publication and other social media. You can identify and recruit these people using social listening tools. The larger the following, the more exposure your service is likely to receive. A few ways to recruit these advocates for your brand are to discount your services/products, have them review your products for free, or even feature them on your blog or in one of your social media business campaigns. You can even have your advocates bolster the campaigns you run on their channels as well. 

2. Engagement is Key

On social media, interaction is vital. Mere presence on social networks does not equal profitability. Profitability comes with customer/client interaction. Engaging with potential clientele includes commenting and replying to customer posts, riding social media trends, and regularly posting videos and photos that help encourage sharing, liking, retweeting, etc. Avoid controversial subjects like religion and politics. All of this makes it easier for the business to identify brand advocates.

Actively engaging on social media means exciting exposure for business but with marketing, it's always quality over quantity. You must become efficient in marketing one avenue of social media before expanding to other outlets. Business campaigns are much more effective with a higher concentration of buzz in one avenue than if you have mediocre engagement over multiple social media outlets. Eventually, you'll want to cover most of the major social media platforms but you should establish a strong presence in one of them first. If you provide an engaging experience, brand advocates may take your business to other avenues of social media.

3. Take Advantage of Social Media Trends

Hashtags and memes are everywhere now. Images and catchphrases are the new language of this trendy social media generation. Utilizing them helps to generate more circulation and exposure online. It might seem a bit corny to utilize memes, hashtags, or even dance videos but these trends are sure to provide exposure for your brand. Essentially, taking advantage of social media trends will help you reach more potential clients.

This doesn't mean tagging on a few hashtags here and there. Popular tactics range from paid ads on social networks and republishing, to launching a video or hashtag campaign that allows your clients to interact with your business. When the business utilizes social media trends, the audience experience can be more fulfilling.

4. Create an Experience

Social media is an experience and within each avenue of content on social media are yet more experiences. Creating an experience connects you to consumers, brand advocates, and other businesses directly. Social media is more than a platform. It is the epicenter of activity. Campaigns, contests, information conferences, videos, and other features you choose to utilize for your business all create an experience for customers and clients.

The entire world is at the fingertips of the people and your social media presence should provide an experience of your business at the fingertips of your online customers. Create experiences through your online and offline brand advocates and take advantage of social media trends to engage your potential clientele but make sure your online marketing is reflective of your offline campaign.

5. The Basic Principles Apply

It's great to have a few unconventional marketing strategies up your sleeve but you must always keep your goal in mind. Your goal is to sell. Each tactic should encourage or enable purchasing behavior. Your brand may be popular on social media channels but if your videos and hashtags don't encourage consumers to buy, it's pointless. Always develop with the end goal in mind.

When considering expanding your business onto social media, identify where your target audience is most likely to engage with your business online. A younger clientele might interact more on Twitter, Instagram or Snapchat while an older clientele might be more active on Facebook. Identify the best avenue to begin with and establish your business there strongly before expanding.

Published on: Feb 17, 2016