Using social media to your advantage

​​​Josh was one of our Countdown to Launch winners in 2014

Social media marketing is something that has become increasingly more popular over recent years due to the direct accessibility to customers. Within this post I am going to be discussing ways in which to find, increase and maintain your customer base and following through social media avenues with no budget at all.

Let's start from the beginning. So when you are creating your social media pages it is very important to keep the name and branding absolutely consistent throughout. This way it would not matter which portal a customer may be looking on, they will have no confusion over how and where to find your business, therefore streamlining this process and reducing the chances of drop-off before they even find you. Once you have a consistent name your branding and story is what you need to pay attention to next. It's the concept of your business that tells every customer what your product or service is and why is going to solve his or her problem, this being your first hook. A brand'​​​​s story is one of the main hooks as it gives your customers a chance to feel invested and part of your journey.

Now that there is a nice cohesive brand for your customers to follow, it is time to go start posting, following, inviting and attracting attention. One way to initiate interaction with your potential customers is by trying to work out what their likes and interests might be. For example a streetwear clothing company may also search for large commercial companies such as Topman or Footasylum. By turning your attention to businesses similar to yours it automatically opens you up to potential customers. Begin by strategically following the followers of businesses that would align to your customers' interests. This is done on the assumption that they would therefore be interested in your product or service. Followers will begin to pickup you will begin to have a small following that is increasing.

In order to build on the small following and gain loyal customers who will market your product it helps to reward them in some way. The early adopters, these loyal customers who have brought into the brand story and values can be offered things such as discounts or offers. This will make them feel a part of the brand and valued as a customer, thus more likely to be an unofficial representative, spreading their positive experience of your business to friends or family. 

Giveaways and competitions are another fantastic way to expand your reach for potential customers. Although you may be giving a discount code or free product, your followers are marketing your product or service by reposting about your company in order to potentially win. This creates a snowball effect where your followers' friends will see these competitions and continue the trend of reposting for a chance to win. Upon revealing the winner you will have expanded your business to a new potential customer base.

The final section of this post will focus on building and maintaining a strong relationship through social media. Now this can be seen from many different angles, and it depends on where the placement of your business is. Placement is meant by where your business sits in its customers' minds. How does it make them feel when they think about your business? For example, a family business would want their customers to feel part of the family and therefore involving them with the emotional ups and downs of the business. Involving your customers on the business journey will allow them to continually feel a part of the journey. This can be done in many ways, one of which is celebrating the success of the business, such as your milestones. Be proud of your accomplishments and your followers will be equally proud. It will also show past, present and potential customers that your business is fast-paced and always improving.

Another way to stay on the mind of your followers is to involve your business in the current happenings within fields that you believe would be of interest. So, a fashion company may do a special following and update on fashion weeks and big releases. This is done so that customers begin to value the opinion of the brand and do not see them as just a product, which feeds again into the position of your business. By inviting interaction from your followers you're strengthening the relationships and by changing up the content customers will not feel forced to view/buy your product or service, they will do so because they are invested in it. 

Blog post by Josh Barnett, founder of Treatment Clo​thing​
January 2016