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Last year UK-based pub chain Wetherspoon suddenly became worldwide famous. The firm completely wiped out its presence in social media linking the move to bad publicity. 

While many businesses can relate to this challenge, Wetherspoon’s answer to it is extremely rare, as social media are undoubtedly a powerful sales, marketing, and PR tool.

We realize it perfectly well at Chanty, developing a brand new, powerful and easy-to-use Slack alternative. Getting ready for the grand release of our team chat, we are just beginning to surf the rough seas of social media. This brought us to explore the up-to-date trends in networking services. 

This article is a takeaway of what we’ve learned for the past couple of months. I’ve been following some top marketers, picking up their most crucial tips on how to grow a business via social media. (Some of them we already put into practice). Enjoy our quick review! 

Foster your social media groups 

My old friend (he’s really old – 89, by the way) is a bit esoteric. He says social media is a result of human evolution. ‘We are all connected,’ he declares in a mysterious voice, ‘to catch up with it, we invented Facebook.’ 

minions are celebrating

Well, he sounds a bit gaga, but isn’t he right? We love being connected. That’s why building communities in social media seems like a foremost way to help your business grow. 

Now, seriously. Since the 2000s, researches have repeatedly proven that social media communities can enhance brand trust and loyalty. By 2019, demand for truly ‘social’ engagement has only increased. As Holly Chessman of GlowTouch Technologies puts it, ‘people want to do business with companies they know, trust and love.’ 

This kind of engagement results in ‘humanizing’ brands. Want to skyrocket ROI? ‘If you make your social network interactions personal, you’ll get better results,’ claims a social media expert Neil Patel.  

‘Why not give it a go?’ we thought of Chanty and created a FB community. As we started it last fall, it might be too early to draw conclusions. But there are two things already worth noting. First, our FB group became a valuable source of feedback and medium for clients’ support. 

Customers send us the inbound requests all the time. By answering them we increase customer loyalty. 

Another great thing about the Facebook group is that it provides us with analytics for adjusting marketing efforts. We learn about the most popular topics and posts, the gender distribution of community members, etc. 

It feels like opportunities social media groups provide are endless, and it’s not all about Facebook. Since fall 2018, member engagement in LinkedIn communities more than doubled. This social media platform deserves to be mentioned as a separate tool for growing your business. 

Go ‘all in’ on LinkedIn   

If you are an old-timer like me, you might remember the early days of LinkedIn. How dowdy and peculiar its interface was back in the 2000s.  

Who would have thought LinkedIn would become a top social media platform with more than 260 million active users, which is about half of the United States’ entire population. Yet, being so popular, the platform is seen as underrated nowadays. 

Therefore Gary Vaynerchuk, CEO of @vaynermedia, advises ‘to publish an enormous amount of content on LinkedIn every day.’ He claims that organic reach on LinkedIn is similar to what Facebook’s reach was several years ago. Why not make the most of it? 

Of course, it’s not about text only. Video is the fastest-growing format on its platform, as Larry Kim of @MobileMonkey reminds in his tweet.

Moreover, in February 2019 LinkedIn started launching Live video. The feature allows the broadcasting real-time video to select groups, which gives even more opportunities for providing great content. 

Ads, however, are claimed to be expensive on LinkedIn because there’s a ‘floor’ on pricing. But if not on LinkedIn, advertising seems to be a must in other social media. 

Continue buying those ad spaces 

I know, your marketing budget is probably tight. But maybe it shouldn’t be a reason to completely refuse from posting ads, as they are expected to crush everything else this year, according to eMarketer statistics and prognosis.  

Why social media ads might be crucial for growing your business? Here’s Neil Patel’s answer: ‘there’s too much content on the web’. He says: ‘It doesn’t matter how good of a content piece you write it’s not going to be seen unless you promote it.’  So Neil Patel’s advice is to spend more time promoting than creating. 

Another top marketer, Gary Vaynerchuk jumps on the issue that ads don’t work and provides some tips for that. To wrap them up: you shouldn’t run messages for long and you have to make more content contextual to the audience. Of course, it’s also a good idea to test ads before spending money on promotion. 

Jon Loomer suggests we use variation in our ad creatives – when there is a larger choice between creatives, the high frequency can be less of a problem. 

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And, of course, video ads are a must, as we obviously live in visual culture. However, apart from the advertisement, there’s another way of promoting your brand…

Reach out to Kim, Khloe, or… your next-door neighbor maybe? 

It’s a wild wild west in influence marketing – the field is growing fast. Mediakix estimated that brands would spend $5-10 billion a year on influencers by 2020. The web is full of success stories of brands nailing it with the help of influencers.  

At the same time, this marketing field faces enormous challenges. One of the main was neatly wrapped up by Rand Fishkin: ‘the practice is far too narrowly defined’. He claims ‘we should discover all the sources that influence our audience’ instead of ‘paying half-naked people on Instagram $500 to pose with your product’. 

We should also watch out for influencer fraud. And don’t let me start on prices… Here’s a snippet from Larry Kim’s recent tweet about how much influencers cost. 

Luckily we don’t have to spend all our savings on Instagram stars. To get a better ROI, we might turn to micro-influencers, as Neil Patel and many other marketers suggest. Though being less popular than world-known movers and shakers, they can actually attract more people to your product. It’s proven that micro-influencers with an account following of between 1,000 and 30,000, can drive more engagement than bloggers with millions of followers. So it might be just your next-door neighbor who you turn to eventually. 

Gary Vaynerchuk’s take on influencer marketing is similar – we should find which influencers are underpriced. He suggests we ‘hire hungry interns to work for free (or low pay)’. 

In a word, influencers worth spending money at. It’s all about finding the right strategy for this marketing field. 

Conclusions 

I’ve picked up the main social media trends that could help in growing your business. They’ve been repeatedly featured by prominent marketers lately. I’ll reiterate these tips here.  

1. Create brand social media communities that build trust and loyalty. Extra engagement channels can improve your consumers’ attitude towards your company’s image and their purchasing intention. 

2. Fill up your LinkedIn groups and pages with valuable content, as the platform seems to be underestimated. 

3. In times when content is abundant, ads help your copies and videos to stand out. Use variation in your ad creatives. 

4. Reach out to influencers and explore all the ways they can assist you – it’s not all about a single post of a social media star. Consider micro-influencing to get better ROI. 

Do you agree with these tips? 

How do you use social media to help your business grow? Let us know by dropping in the comments.

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