Whether we like it or not, social media has changed the marketing game for businesses in general. To start, businesses and customers have gained a new way to communicate with each other. Instead of the one-way communication we used to have before (brands reaching out to customers), now the interaction goes both ways. Customers can interact with businesses in real time and get backed up by millions of people in social media platforms. In turn, this puts more pressure on brands to be responsive and attentive.

In addition to higher levels of communication, customers also have the power to create content. Thus, brands don’t only have to compete with other brands for attention, but they also have to compete with regular people making content — which is, many times, the content that goes viral! You know — the cat, puppy, and kids videos and memes that get shared thousands of times.

Put simply, customers have more power than ever before.

They have more power to express themselves, create, and block advertisements from businesses. While many businesses may see this lack of control as a disadvantage, I encourage you to see it and use it to your advantage. Customers are already telling you what they want, so listen.

They are already showing you what they like with the content they create, so create similar and relevant content.

Most importantly, make them your stars by showcasing them in your content.

With this mindset, I’d like to show you some creative ways to acquire new customers, drive sales, and keep them coming back to purchase again.

How to Acquire Customers with Social Media

Before getting into the tactics, I would like set some expectations and give you other valuable information to keep in mind. First, understand that your social media strategy may be a long-term investment, depending on the stage your business is in.

You’re going to have to have to make an effort to connect with your followers before you ask them to make a purchase, and building that connection takes time. The good news is that you can increase loyalty once the connection is built.

In addition, keep in mind that most people won’t make a purchase right away. Almost 20 percent of people need to see a social post or ad 5-8 times before making a purchase. Fortunately, you can get very strategic with remarketing advertising and get in front of your customers at the right time, with the right message.

1. Use Clever Ways to Sell Your Products Without Selling

The idea, here, is to find innovative ways to showcase your products in different contexts. It’s selling without directly selling.

People often use social media as a break from reality or a source for entertainment and are not actively looking to buy something, so they tend to block “buy from me” direct-selling ads. However, by giving them what they are looking for (entertainment), you can catch their attention and encourage them to make a purchase or, at the very least, follow you. Use the following ways to showcase your products:

a. Memes

According to Google, memes are “an element of a culture or system of behavior that may be considered to be passed from one individual to another by nongenetic means, especially imitation. A humorous image, video, piece of text, etc., that is copied (often with slight variations) and spread rapidly by internet users.”

Memes are often comical, which makes them entertaining and highly engaging. Use memes to your advantage to increase engagement with your brand while promoting your products and creating a “feel” or personality for your brand. Memes work well across all social media platforms.

For example, see how Gucci promoted their new watch on Facebook with this meme:

How to Acquire Customers with Social Media