With 1.4 billion users on Facebook, 500 million on Instagram, and 100 million on Twitter active every month, leveraging social media is crucial to the success of your marketing strategy. Ninety percent of all marketers saw an increase in their business’s exposure when they implemented social media to their business’s strategy. Social media provides personal, one-on-one interaction with each of your users, introducing them to who your brand is.

Josh Munoz, 3rd-degree black belt and Grow Now’s online marketing master, stresses that the high level of engagement and intimacy in each interaction makes social media the ideal space to invest your marketing skills and define your brand’s story. He even warns that “if you don’t provide the market a story to talk about, [the market] will define your story for you.” This would be like relying on your wingman alone to make an incredible first impression. Instead, skip the wingman and define your own story using Munoz’s proven four pillars to effective online marketing:

Pillar 1: Structure

Your structure curates your marketing strategy to your target customer. For example, someone who sells lawn mowers will take a different approach to reach their intended audience than someone who provides photography lessons. By recognizing who your ideal audience is, you can build a lasting connection with an intentional marketing structure.

Who is your business’s ideal audience?

Be as specific as possible when answering this question, focusing on who they are, their demographics, their style, where they go, what technology they own, etc.

Your answers will point you toward the most effective social media platforms to reach your target audience. Compare your target audience to which demographics are active on each platform and focus your strategy on reaching your customers where they are.

How often should you be online?

This isn’t a trick question, and no, the answer is not every waking moment of every day. Being overly present, absent, aggressively posting, or sticking to reacting to others affects the effectiveness of your marketing strategy.

How often doesn’t only refer to the number of times you post a week (although, Munoz does emphasize the value of investing in a cost-effective automation tool like Buffer to make posting consistently easier), but how often you engage overall.

What content does your audience want?

To increase engagement, your brand must deliver consistent content that your audience wants and needs. This could be anything from digestible educational resources to a reflection of your audience’s ideal depending on your product and ideal audience.

Research what your competition produces and communicate directly with your target audience when curating content. Effective content is an ongoing experiment, and tracking analytics validates whether you are making the right pivots to your marketing structure.

Pillar 2: Emotion

Munoz keeps it simple for this one: “facts tell, stories sell.”

Content that engages emotion outperforms other content on nearly every metric, including (but not limited to) shares, click-throughs, profit, and revenue. One research study shows that a strong emotional response to content or branding substantially increases the likelihood that a lead will purchase the product.

Relate To Your Audience

Evoking an emotional response starts with knowing what your audience is talking about and experiencing.

Keep tabs on current trends among your audience, even if these trends don’t immediately relate to your business, and naturally insert your brand in the conversation. This doesn’t mean force yourself in, but generate content that spoofs a hit television series or collaborate with an already respected name.

Seriously, the key to this is to be yourself and have fun! Communicating your brand through what your target audience is already familiar with establishes relevancy while highlighting your brand’s unique personality.

Incorporate Storytelling

Where trends establish relevance through common interests, stories build your brand’s relevance through shared experiences.

TRY THIS: Feature an empowering story about individuals positively impacted by your product. Munoz explains that stories are more likely to inspire action because they engage the senses and evoke emotions.

Create 5-Star Reviews

Studies show that customer reviews matter… a lot.

You’ve dedicated so much to create an incredible customer experience. Provide your customers with a space to share these experiences. Whether in the comments below your social media or on your product page, encourage your audience to rave publically about how incredible your business is!

Pillar 3: Knowledge

Set your business apart by sharing your deep understanding of your industry! Customers gravitate toward brands that add value and speak to their pain points without condescending to their perspectives or experiences. Studies show that businesses that assume customers don’t understand their business or take time to educate their audience are ten times more likely to lose sales.

Add Value

Add value to your audience by teaching what you know.

In a hyper-saturated market, insightful social media posts, blogs offering tips on your product, and how-to educational videos can be the factors that separate you from your competition. Value adding works because it demonstrates to your target audience that you understand who they are and what they need.

Speak To Their Pain Points

Munoz suggests creating entertaining, educational, or engaging videos that speak to the pain points your product solves.

TRY THIS: Host a live Q & A on social media. Not only does this engage your following, but it provides insight on what content your target audience wants. Your answers produce on-the-spot content curated to their pain-points, which you can then easily and quickly transcribe into a blog post or youtube video.

Pillar 4: Legacy

Munoz defines legacy as “your brand’s reputation offline.” Although your online presence contributes, your legacy starts when your customers return, your company grows, and you make a substantial difference.

Consider these questions when drafting a message to establish your legacy: Is your work positively changing the world for future generations? How many individuals does your work impact? How long will your impact affect these individuals?

Create Return Customers

Whether this is a link to follow your social media pages or a pop-up window to subscribe to your monthly newsletter, create a space on your website to connect with customers after they visit your website.

Then, reach out. Following up with potential leads sends them down the funnel, creating return customers and setting the foundation for your legacy.

Generate Referrals

The customer base you’ve already built is instrumental in generating referrals and growing your business. And although old fashioned word of mouth referrals are always appreciated, social media has become the most powerful tool for reaching new audiences.

TRY THIS: Offer incentives to your social media followers who introduce your brand to their networks. Sometimes all it takes is a “follow and repost to win” giveaway to grow your following, reach new spheres, and gain new customers.

Become An Authority

Think of this as your version of the “three in four dentists recommend our brand of toothpaste.”

Identify explicitly what pressing problem you solve and why your solution matters. Brands establish authority by measuring and reporting key metrics of their business and industry. These metrics demonstrate how well your solution works, who it helps, and how this impact continues to increase. In other words, these metrics prove that you are changing the world and establish why you’ve earned your legacy.

Want more resources to ensure you reach the right customers with Munoz’s four pillars? Join us this July for our MidWeek MindTweak workshops in regards to process and operations.