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Steps in the right direction

Warren Knight – growth coach, speaker, trainer and author of
the best-selling book, Digital First
 – got stand-up applause for his inspirational seminar on social media at The London Bridal Show. Here’s what he had to say...

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There are now 2.8 billion people using social media worldwide. The number is 21% higher than in 2015, and will continue to grow throughout 2017. We have evolved into the ‘experience’ economy and we now have to give our customers an experience they fall in love with.

With 67% of consumers expecting a brand to be using social media, how are you saving time, by listening and reaching your target customers on a daily basis? This article covers a six-step path to purpose that will help you achieve sales as a bridal business by marketing your offering online.

 

STEP 1: HAVE A GOAL 
Without understanding the success or failure of your business online, you won’t know what works, and what doesn’t. To track your progress, and to be held accountable; set a goal. This goal could be to increase website hits, or generate leads. Your goal could be to increase your sales over a four-week period by 20%. Set your goal, and if you have a sales team, make sure they are on the same page as you.

STEP 2: LISTEN
 Most businesses using social media just talk, talk and... talk. To really connect with your target audience, you need to listen. Listening means discovering where your target audience hangs out. TagBoard is a great tool to use to search hashtags, and see where they are being used online. This will allow you to find the social networks that your audience are using the most. Listening to your audience is key, but so is listening to your industry, and its thought leaders. What are they saying, and doing online that gives YOU an idea of what your audience are looking for? You need to be looking at ways to generate leads by solving a problem and learning from thought leaders in your industry is a great way to do this.

STEP 3: CREATING CONTENT 
Adding images to a post on social media WILL get you more likes, and shares. Visuals are a great way to encourage engagement. Writing perfect content for your target audience can be difficult, especially if you’re a small business. But you don’t need to spend hundreds of pounds on writing content for your blog, nor do you need to outsource if you take the time to understand your target audience and do your research.

STEP: 4 TOOLS 
Using the right tools can mean you are able to schedule all your social media in 30 minutes a day.

Facebook Pixel – Facebook has introduced a new feature called ‘Pixel’ that allows you to run a Facebook advertising campaign to a ‘look- alike’ audience. You upload your existing database of contacts when running a Facebook ad, and when you select a look-alike audience, it will build one, allowing you to target your ideal recipients.

YouTube Annotations – YouTube, the world’s second largest search engine, has become a go-to for consumers to find out information before purchasing a product/service, so what videos are you creating about the bridal industry that are connecting with your target audience, and building trust? You can now link back to your website in a YouTube video, and offer other suggested videos for them to watch. Having a YouTube channel allows you to create content that can be shared across all your other platforms, whilst also offering a multitude of content variation.

Google+ for SEO Purposes – Google+ is a social network but building a community inside it is near impossible. One of the main reasons you should use Google+ is for SEO purposes. Every piece of content you write/create, make sure you share via your Google+ account with your business keywords and when someone searches for your keywords, it will bring up your Google+ post on the first page of Google!

Hootsuite – Hootsuite is a great social media dashboard. Being able to
 monitor streams around keywords as well as schedule social media content in advance helps businesses save time, and allows more time to engage in a two-way conversation, and track this from one central dashboard.

STEP 5: CONVERSATION
 What are you doing online that increases engagement with your audience? When it comes to attending an event in your industry as an exhibitor, are you letting your audience know? Having a two-way conversation online and encouraging engagement will build trust. The more open you are, and the more you use social media as a customer service outlet, the more likely your audience will feel safe, and be one step closer to purchasing from your business.

It takes eight times for a potential customer to ‘touch’ your business before they buy. With this in mind, what are you doing to shorten this process? That’s why social media is SO important... it shortens the buying process, and turns a potential customer into a paying customer that much quicker.

STEP 6: CALL TO ACTION
 A call to action button is incredibly important and it needs to be clear to customers that this is where they need to go for any information. This call to action needs to be consistent across all of your online and offline marketing avenues. If a potential customer is not directed to a CTA (call to action) they will leave your website and go to a competitor who has made the navigation process that little bit clearer.

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