Since the start of the early 2000s, social media has continued to rise and become one of the most profitable marketing methods for businesses. Social media gives companies direct access to their target market and can create stronger relationships with those customers. With nearly three-quarters of Americans actively using social media monthly, it is vital to have it become part of your marketing strategy.
Create a Solid Social Media Strategy
Before you start posting on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn, you must take the time to plan out the social media strategy. Take the time to ask yourself the following questions:
- What is our target audience seeking on social media platforms?
- Do we have an existing social media strategy? Have we seen any results?
- What are our goals for social media marketing?
- Can we effectively manage multiple social media channels?
- What are our competitors doing on social media?
Create a social media calendar to push content to the correct social media platforms for proper engagement.
SEO Pro Tip: Use the 80-20 rule for social media marketing. 80% of content to entertain, inform, and educate—20% for brand and product promotion.
Define Social Media Platforms
It is important to take time to define your target audience by understanding where they spend their time. Are your customers primarily on TikTok, or do they spend all day on Twitter or Instagram? The more you know about their social media patterns, the easier it will be to spend most of your time on those social platforms instead.
SEO Pro Tip: Use this helpful social media Audit tool from Hootsuite to evaluate your social media strength.
Find Your Audience
Social media marketing strategies can be successful when you are capable of finding your audience. Start by reviewing the analytics on your website. Find out which platforms they are on the most and go to the social media site’s analytics. Create a marketing strategy that helps to link the two interests to bring in a new audience.
Test Your Advertising
To learn what works for your customers, start by testing different ads on social media platforms. The majority of businesses turn to Facebook for a direct advertising method while Instagram is centered more on “relationship marketing” to strengthen the brand’s image and generate interest.
If you want to see results for a local business, target the local conversations. Facebook groups provide information focused on connecting local customers to local businesses. Look for discussions that pertain to your customers so you can build a more substantial community presence.
Maintaining a strong local presence will expand the trust and loyalty for the company. The higher the interaction rate on social media, the higher your account will appear in the social media search algorithms. Relationship marketing leads to sales over time, based on reputation and trust.
Find the Influencers
Another way to build your following, reputation, and overall visibility is learning who influences your customers on social media. Who do people trust? Why do they follow this influencer? How can you connect with this individual and ask them to promote your product or service?
Instagram influencers often make upwards of $1,000 a post. The micro-influencers assist in establishing brand trust and do not cost as much as the more significant influencers.
Make It Visual
The world today is centered around color. Compelling visuals make for a great way to catch the eye of your target audience. People have come to expect things to be visual and often ignore the posts that are not. Social media networks are all visually-driven. Take a moment to review the top five posts on your feed, how many of those are compelling enough to look at?
Memes are a great way to gain some visual attraction. Start by testing visual posts with older posts by updating them with a new image and seeing how many unique views they receive. The more you watch these trends, the easier it is to see how vital visual posting is for social media.
Use photos to tell a story to your customers. Share the stories of your employees hard at work. Giving your customers a face to connect to names they interact with builds stronger customer relationships.
Social Media Focus Must Be Engaging
Do not just post to post; always look for ways to post something that engages your audience. Do the posts offer value to your customers? If you only post to sell something, you aren’t going to keep your audience motivated. Social media platforms are built upon the foundation of relationships. Look to social media to foster new relationships and strengthen the relationships you already have with your target audience. Posting great content is key to winning on social media.
Respond to Comments and Messages
People have come to expect companies to use social media as their direct source to speak to the company. You must acknowledge when people are commenting and when they send you messages. Respond to comments in the right way and when it is appropriate. Social listening is one of the most critical elements of social media users.
Use Content Scheduling Tools
A great way to free up your time is to use tools like Hootsuite to manage social media. On Hootsuite, you can manage several channels at the same time by planning using the content calendar. A content calendar automates social media marketing and will post the information on the day you choose and with the image and content, you create.
Review and Change Often
Just like the search engine algorithms, social media is always changing. It is important to keep up with the latest information on how to manage social media correctly. Understand how to use new and emerging social media platforms. TikTok is one of the hottest social media platforms in 2020, but not too many small businesses can understand how to use it within their social media marketing tools. Hiring someone with the knowledge and experience with TikTok and emerging apps and tools can help keep your business in the know when it comes to social media.
Social media can drastically alter the way your company connects with your audience. Join Performance Driven Marketing on Tuesday, September 2 to find out how you can empower yourself to drive social media forward for your business!