By: Garine Yaacoubian, of Chair Décor, Linens & More
For the longest time, word of mouth was the best means to market your brand. Over time, technology advanced and with that, businesses sought new ways to advertise and attract new clientele. Now, the best means to reach new audiences is through social media.
In this article, I will be discussing the importance of social media, what is right for you, how to correctly use it, and how to improve it!
Why is social media so important?
A strong social media presence is crucial to the development of any organization or venture. Specifically, it provides a cost-effective method of directly communicating with potential clients. In fact, some businesses are able to save a considerable amount of money on advertising by incorporating a social media strategy.
Also, depending on the demographic, this may be the platform where most of your potential clients learn about new products and opportunities. This is supported by research demonstrating that 74% of consumers rely on social networking sites such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest or LinkedIn to help with their purchasing decisions. This is particularly true for people below the age of 65. Social Media is continuing to prove that it is the future. Operating a business without a strong social media presence would be as limiting as not having a website in the early 2000s and the best part is…the platforms are free!
It’s important to understand what platforms are right for you and your brand! Knowing how to capture your audience is the first step in acquiring new clients. Before creating any sort of ad, marketing campaign or promotion, you need to gather information about your target audience. Their age, location and occupation are all necessary pieces of information to create the most engaging social media strategy possible. The more you know your clients, the less time and resources you will spend on trial and error through campaigns.
Once you have a general idea of who makes up your audience, you can start tailoring your advertising message on social media towards these potential customers! I work at an event rental company called “Chair Decor” that specializes in table linens, tablescapes and chairs.
Through trial, I have noticed that advertising on Instagram is far more effective than any other platform. On Instagram, I received far more engagement and it seems that our audience (which is generally venues and event planners) prefers the look of Instagram more so as a “portfolio” they can sift through and see many of our products in an event setting. This doesn’t mean we do not use our Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn accounts. In general, we have used this information to develop stronger campaigns moving forward.
In conclusion, though companies need to understand their audience in order to get started with the launching strategies, there is still trial and error that must be done in order to validify all the research.
Social media is constantly evolving and it’s never one size fits all.
How to use it?
Technology changes with so many updates happening monthly, it is important to keep up to date. If you do not have social media, simply doing a quick google search will show thousands of videos on how to download these apps and general steps on making posts.
Assuming you already have it, here are a few more important details to stay on top of your accounts! CONSISTENCY and TIMING are extremely important. It’s critical to be posting when your audience is free, engaged and open to new opportunities. This is important so you can be front and center on their feed. Do you follow any businesses you enjoy? What about it do you like? Do you feel as though they post too often/overwhelm you? Or, is there not enough content to keep you engaged? These are all important questions, and now you must also think like your audience, would they enjoy this content?
Chair Decor generally posts once a day during the week, in the evenings, knowing our audience tends to be busier in the day and extremely busy on the weekends.
Another important aspect is HASHTAGS. Finding the right hashtag is actually easier than you might think. With a quick google search, you can find the right hashtag for your target audience. I make sure to have hashtags on each post because, without them, it is a wasted opportunity. Though you might have found the perfect hashtags, it is important to know; social media is always changing and updating these hashtags once a month, especially during holiday seasons. You can’t use a #valentineslinens on Halloween, or #2017weddings in 2020!
How to improve
Besides the consistency, the timing of the posts and hashtags there are 2 other very important factors that people often don’t take into consideration when using social media. Aesthetic and community engagement!
The aesthetics of your social media account is the first impression you give to a new client.
Your long-time clients have stayed because they are loyal, and enjoy your customer service, etc. but the aesthetics of your posts are key to attracting the interest of new clients. I ensure that Chair Decor’s colour palette is generally the same for around 9 images, as well as surrounding each post with a white border to give it that extra consistent style. These images are all high quality, and generally from style shoots or events that Chair Decor had the pleasure to be a part of. All of the captions are clear and simple and explain which products are ours and who was involved in the process of the event design.
Make sure to always tag those vendors or anyone involved in the content because this also creates loyalty, expands your audience and helps give more information to your audience making your business more reliable.
You spend all this time making sure to take all the necessary steps to have a beautiful social media presence and then you just leave your social media account to do its thing. Though this might help you gain the occasional follower, it doesn’t necessarily mean that this new clientele will stay. What truly creates a loyal bond, and will ensure that your audience keeps coming back for more, is community engagement.
Engage with your followers
Post polls, ask questions, listen to their main points and showcase improvement. There is nothing more exciting than being a part of a giveaway (especially with other companies) or seeing how a company’s backend operations work!
Show the Face Behind the Brand
We want to support companies that are transparent, engaging and humanized. It’s always nice to see the faces behind the brand. Though Chair Decor mostly avoids putting people in our Instagram posts (to keep the attention on our products), we make sure to post an engaging story at least once a day and introduce or involve each member of our staff. I ensure to respond to all tags, all comments and all DMs as soon as possible.
Customers LOVE a fast response time. Especially in the event industry, the longer you wait to respond, the more research clients have to do to find other resources.
I hope through this article you have learned a lot more about the social media world, the importance of social media, what is right for you, how to correctly use it, and how to improve it! As someone who always wants to improve, please reach out at any time with your own social media tips and tricks, and if you have any questions yourself feel free to message us on our Instagram @chairdecor