SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING: AN IMPORTANT BUSINESS TOOL

In this age of smartphones, selfies, and hashtags, social media plays an essential role in every small business owners marketing plan. And it’s not hard to see why: the amount of
people who regularly use social media is staggering. Every month, there are 1.28 billion active users on Facebook, with 540 million on Google+, 255 million on Twitter and 200 million on Instagram. Social media is an attractive tool for vape shops looking to retain their current customers by means of relationship management as well as grow their customer
base through lead generation. In fact, nearly 2 in 3 SMBs report that social media exposure helps them solve their biggest problem: attracting new customers.

Consumers take digital word-of-mouth very seriously  just one Like on Facebook can lead to 200+ additional Plus, 69% of customers are more likely to visit a local business if it has a social media presence. Start taking advantage of this cost-effective marketing tool to help your business reach its goals. But we get it“ its hard to know where to start.

This guide will give you tips on how to identify which social media channels are right for your vape shop, show you the best ways to connect with customers on social media and highlight examples of local businesses that are using social media effectively.

5 VAPE SHOPS GETTING SOCIAL MEDIA RIGHT

There’s a big difference between having a social media presence for your business and using it effectively to engage and interact with your customers. So let’s start things off by
giving you some inspiration for what to strive for when you post, tweet, share and more.

Check out how these local businesses are getting it right on social media with tactics that engage their customers and encourage participation.

The Vapor Hut

This business, a vapor shop located in Oklahoma uses a combination of Facebook and Twitter to connect and converse with customers. By using their feeds as places to announce contests, promote events and post photos of their shop, they foster goodwill and raise awareness for their business. They even partnered with a local radio station to promote their contests and announce their winners.

The also provide loyal customers with an additional 5 points for liking them on Facebook.

Blue Angel Vapes
Belly Merchant Blue Angel Vapes use their Facebook profile to promote public safety, posting articles about how e-cigarettes are safer than smoking. They also use their page to build the community around vaping — supporting other local businesses while they’re at it. They’ve amassed over 2,100 Likes by posting relevant content for their community.Customers also leave helpful reviews on their page, boosting their standing in the community.

Legend Vapor
In the Ohio vape scene, Legend Vapor has amassed a large Belly member base with 4,321 members who have visited over 36,000 times! They use product photography in combination with weekly raffle winners to connect with their local digital fan base.

By posting product shots of weekly winners, Legend Vapor positions itself as a business willing to interact with their customers by giving something back. Plus, Facebook’s
algorithm ensures that statuses with images will be viewed by more of a business Fans, which leads to more Likes and Shares. They also do a good job of posting videos of
satisfied customers.

Vaperite
When you’re posting for a small business, it’s important that you post often and make the contentrelevant to your customer base. Vaperite in Woodstock, Georgia does both of these things well, using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and  Pinterest to talk with customers, showcase their employees and posting beautiful product photos.
Posting information that’s useful to your target will grab their attention and encourage them to share with friends.
Social media offers small businesses the chance to engage with individual customers for a personal touch. It’s important to respond to questions and comments from fans in a timely fashion. This tweet from Vaperite shows that customers are engaging with them, and excited to be part of their
community.

Green Forest Vapor Shop

You shouldn’t only use social media to advertise your product or service – a good rule of a thumb is to make 80% of content a value add-on and 20% promotional. By sharing behind-the-scenes looks at whats happening in your business, as well as informative articles related to your product, you’ll make people feel more connected to your business increasing their affinity for your brand.
Green Forest Vapor Shop does a great job of sharing content that helps their clients live a healthier lifestyle. The information they post is relevant to their customer base, helpful and easy to share.

10 TIPS FOR BOOSTING YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING

Identify Your Ideal Customers
As a business owner, you already have an idea of who your target audience is. That’s a good thing, since its easier and cheaper to target people on social media when you know
the demographic you’re trying to engage.
Identifying your target audiences age, occupation, income, interests, problems, obstacles, habits, likes and motivations will help you craft content they will find meaningful and engaging. It’s also a key factor when you’re deciding which social media channels are right for your marketing plan. For more information about which social networks are best for
specific demographics, see the section below.

Once you have a handle on your audience, you’ll be able to interact with them more effectively, posting information they care about, in a tone and manner they find engaging.
Create A Channel Marketing Plan

The key to success in social media marketing is posting great content on the networks where your customers will see it. That’s why identifying which social media networks are
used most often by your customers is one of the first steps in successful social media marketing.

Going by raw data alone, Facebook is the social network used by most active users monthly, followed by Google+ and Twitter.But there are other things to consider when choosing the social network that will work best for your business, like:

Are my customers using that network?

According to a 2013 study by the Pew Research Internet Project, there are definite demographic trends in each social media network. The folks at Buffer App have analyzed this data in a useful chart for businesses trying to decide which social media networks to focus on.

Will it work for the content I want to post?

Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ are all great networks to use if you want to post a variety of content. From information to photos, to videos, all of these types of content are easily
shareable on these kitchen-sink networks. But let’s say you only want to post photos to promote your business. In this case, an image-based network like Tumblr, Pinterest or Instagram might be something to consider. Likewise, video networks like YouTube, Vine or Vimeo are solutions for small businesses looking to share mostly video content with their
customers.

Publish content on a regular basis

The best social media pages consistently post information that their customers find interesting and worth reading. That’s what will keep them coming back for more. It’s also important to post frequently, so your followers come to anticipate and expect great content from your feed.

To help your page stay up-to-date, try creating a content calendar. For instance, start off the week by sharing Weekly Specials or new promotions. Record a quick video to show what
your in-store experience is like and post it mid-week. Round out the weekend with a question eliciting customer involvement. Or, sometimes calling out a simple discount or
special is all it takes to drive customers to your store.

Use images & videos in your posts Posting images and videos to your social media feed makes it more visually appealing, andalso increases engagement – photo posts on Facebook get 39% more interaction from us ers. In fact, photos on Facebook get 53% more likes, 104% more comments, and 84% more click-through than text-based posts.

Using photos engages fans on Twitter, too. Tweets with images generate 35% more retweets than those without.When using images and videos in your posts, try not to use generic stock imagery. There are a variety of tools on the web designed to help you find free photos and videos that areavailable for your use through creative commons. A few sites that let you search for this imagery to use on social media include:
http://search.creativecommons.org/
https://www.flickr.com/creativecommons/
http://pixabay.com/

Another option for keeping your social media imagery fresh is to take the photos yourself!
Smartphones take high-res images these days, and taking your own photos means you can personalize your social media content to your business and your customers. One example
of this is when restaurants post photos of their food specials of the day. Who wouldn’t stop and look at a photo like this delicious burger when they’re scrolling through their Instagram
feed?

So whether you choose to use your own photos or imagery you find online, adding pictures to your social media networks will help your business stand out from the crowd.

Post at the times your customers are online

One way to ensure that your customer base will see and interact with your message is by sharing content at the times when the majority of your followers are online. There are many
tools that will help you identify optimal times to share, including Social Bro. They’re Best Time to Tweet report analyzes the timelines of your followers and tells you the best days
of the week and times to tweet in order to reach the most followers.
Choosing the right days and times to post content is also important on Facebook. A recent study estimated that brand posts on Facebook are typically seen by only 6% of a page’s fans. So how can you make sure more of your fans see your Facebook content? One tactic is to target your post using Facebooks settings options that let you specify age, gender,
location, relationship status and other criteria. Another way is to post on Thursdays and Fridays when studies have shown that Facebook engagement rates are 18% higher than
normal.

In fact, there have been a lot of studies done by research groups on the best times to post to different social media networks, so you’ll have to experiment a bit to see what times have
higher engagement with your specific fans. But here’s a  few more tips to get started:Twitter engagement for brands is 17% higher on weekends.

The most retweets on Twitter happen around 5 PM

Blogs are most frequently read in the morning

Remember, your specific audience will help you fine tune your posting schedule, so use these stats as a guide, but make sure to check in and tweak your schedule based on how
your fans engage with your content at different time s.Offer exclusive discounts for your social media fans

Customers are more likely to follow your feed if it gives them added value. One way to achieve this is by offering exclusive promotions to your social media audience. The tactic
seems to work: 35% of Facebook Fans like a page so they can participate in contests, and 42% of Fans like a page to get a coupon or discount. Offering your social media fans a
special promotion will encourage them to continue following your business on social media, and drive them to your store to redeem the offer, making it a great tool for customer acquisition and relationship management.

Experiment with paid ads Facebook and Twitter offer small businesses the opportunity to pay for the chance toadvertise. It seems to be an attractive option for many business owners: over 1.5 million businesses have purchased Facebook ads. And it’s not hard to see why: Facebook allows small businesses to target their message to a very specific audience, so you’re only reaching the people you want to connect with. Facebook Ads Targeting Tool allows you totarget your ads based on a variety of data, including demographics, interests, geography, and life-stage.

There’s even a new hyperlocal advertising solution on Facebook that combines the use of mobile applications and GPS technology, driving foot traffic into your store that can lead to
more sales for local businesses. For example, the new tool allows brick-and-mortar businesses to target ads to anyone who lives nearby or who was recently within a specific
distance of their store. And since 38% of users have made a purchase as a result of a share or like they saw on Facebook, utilizing this method could lead to increased sales.
When using paid advertising on social media, it’s smart to start out with a smaller budget, and experiment to see how it works for your business. Start by seeing what $100 can get you for a return on your investment, then decide if paid ads are the way to go.
Promote events at your business through your social channels

Your social media channels are the perfect place to get the word out about events happening at your business. By inviting your followers to events they find relevant and exciting, you’re fostering a positive relationship and driving customers to your store. To encourage people to attend the event, try making an event page on Facebook and inviting everyone who follows your page. Make sure to include the title of the event, date, time, and
location. And use pictures and videos to promote it. It’s a cost-effective and easy way to let your customers know about an upcoming in-store event.

You can also use hashtags to promote the event and encourage fans to use the hashtag when discussing the occasion or posting images. Sharing photos and video from the actual
the event will show fans the interesting things going on in your business and make them more likely to participate in the future.

Use email marketing to drive people to your social media accounts

Put your email marketing lists to use to boost your social media followers. It’s easy to take this multi-channel approach by including social share buttons in the template of all your
email communications. If you embed these icons into your email template, they will automatically be sent to your customer base every time you send a newsletter or email,
encouraging more social network follows.
The relationship works both ways – make sure you also share a link to your latest newsletter on your social media channels to increase views from your customers. Creating a multi-channel approach using both email and social expands the reach of your message, provides an opportunity for list growth, and gives you more ways to connect with your
audience.

Utilize in-store decals to promote your social media accounts

It seems like an obvious choice, but a great place to tell your current customers about your social media presence is inside your business! Window decals and signage are easy to
implement and help increase your base of social media followers. To maximize the impact of the signage in your store, follow these tips:

Include your business custom URL on the social media signage

Add a visual cue to signify the social media network you are promoting, for instance, the
Facebook logo if you’re driving to a Facebook page
Use a simple call to action to encourage customers to actually engage. Phrases as simple as Like us on Facebook or Follow us on Twitter work well. Offer your customers a reason to take action, whether its a small giveaway, a discount, or entry into a contest.
Consider using a QR code. These codes can be read by the camera of a smartphone, and bring customers directly to your social media page, making it easier for them to Like your business.

AUTOMATE YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA

Maximizing your return on social media marketing can be a time-consuming process. While 81% of small to medium-sized businesses use social media to establish loyal fans, most
struggle to dedicate the time needed to make it seamless and successful. The belly is making it easier for Merchants to collect and track Facebook Likes as well as get more shares on
social media sites including Facebook, Twitter, and Yelp.

Automatically Gain More Facebook Likes77% of B2C companies have acquired customers through Facebook. That’s why businesses are investing heavily in social media . To make it easier to develop a loyal following, Professionals marketing company prompts the customers to Like your business on Facebook and incentivizes them to do so for additional Belly Points.

You can set the number of points a Facebook Like€ is worth, and professionals will prompt customers for Likes at the in-store iPad, on their mobile phone, and through email
notifications.

Get More Shares For Your Business

Professionals also automate social media activity for your business by encouraging customers to share their visit on Twitter and Facebook when they check in with Belly.

To help you follow your growing social media presence, Belly provides tracking reports that show you the number of customers Belly has driven to your Facebook page over a set date range. So you can sit back and watch your Likes grow without lifting a finger!

Belly’s social media package makes it easier than ever for small business owners to automate their social media marketing.

Professionals has made it easier for me to connect with my customers. People look for rewards and they know there is something in it for them, so they come in for it. It works! The biggest benefit has to be the number of repeat customers we have. Our customer database has definitely grown since we started using

 

Sources

http://blogs.constantcontact.com/product-blogs/social-media-marketing/using-images-social-media/

How to Increase Your Facebook Fans and Twitter Followers


http://grasshopper.com/blog/the-best-paid-advertising-channels-for-small-business-and-how-to-creatively-use-them/

Five Must-Have Free Visual Marketing Tools


http://thinkbonfire.com/science-social-media-signage/
http://time.com/48358/facebook-marketing-eight-ways-to-get-posts-seen-more/

How Small Businesses Can Use Visual Content and Increase Conversions


http://www.godigitalmarketing.com/understanding-basics-facebook-ads-small-businesses/

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