Social media is the fastest-growing trend in the history of the world. This sector has grown faster than the Internet itself.
But why is social media marketing so important? Why should you spend time creating social media accounts for your business? And how do you actually build a social media marketing strategy that’ll work for your specific type of business?
In this guide, we’ll cover the answers to all of these questions – but first, let’s define social media marketing.
What Is Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is the use of social media platforms to connect with your audience to build your brand, increase sales, and drive website traffic. This involves publishing great content on your social media profiles, listening to and engaging your followers, analyzing your results, and running social media advertisements.
Social media itself is a catch-all term for apps and sites that may provide radically different social actions. For instance, Twitter is a social site designed to let people share short messages and media links with others. Facebook, meanwhile, is a full-blown social networking site that allows for sharing updates, photos, joining events, groups, and a variety of other activities.
Benefits of Social Media Marketing
There are a variety of reasons why your company should use social media marketing. Here are the 4 most beneficial reasons to consider:
Increase Brand Awareness
Due to the sheer amount of people on social media, you can see why ensuring your business is sharing content related to your products as well as details about your company via a platform or two has the potential to help you improve brand awareness.
Social media has been proven to boost brand awareness by driving up engagement. Social engagement includes things like comments, likes, shares, and re-posts. Social media also helps you increase brand awareness by directing traffic straight to your site. You can do this by including direct links to your website in your profile, bio, and posts.
Generate Leads and Increase Conversions
Promoting and sharing your products on social media is a simple way to improve lead generation, boost conversions, and increase sales because you’re advertising to people who have opted to engage with you by following your account.
Here are a few examples of how you can use social media to generate more leads:
- Create contests for your visitors and followers to participate in on your social media profiles.
- Include links to your website and offers in the bio sections of your profiles.
- Host live videos to make announcements about products and provide updates or details about exciting news at your company.
- Implement a social media marketing campaign on one of your channels.
- Sell your products through your social profiles. For example, you can enable Facebook’s Shop Section or Instagram’s Shopping feature on your profiles. These features allow your visitors and followers to click on products you’ve shared in posts to view information such as price, material, and size. Then, visitors can easily proceed to checkout through the platform and buy the product directly from you.
Build Relationships With Customers
By connecting and engaging with your social media followers, you’ll be able to build lasting relationships between them and your business. You can do this by interacting with them on your posts, responding to their questions and comments, and providing them with any help they may need.
You can also ask your followers questions about your products, their pain points, or create giveaways to help you build trust and show them how much you value their input and support.
Learn From Competitors
Social media is a great way to keep tabs on your competitors — whether that’s in reference to their social media tactics, the products they’re promoting, the campaigns they’re implementing, or their level of interaction with followers.
Social media allows you to get a look at what is and isn’t working for your competition, and therefore helps you decide what should or shouldn’t change in terms of your company’s approach.
Lastly, reviewing the social accounts of your competitors can help you make sure your marketing stands out and is unique to your brand.
How to Create a Social Media Marketing Strategy
Research your buyer personas and audience
The first step to creating a social media marketing strategy is to determine who your buyer personas and audience are so you can target their needs and interests appropriately. To do this, think about the people you’re trying to reach and why, and how you would classify them as a group.
By considering your buyer personas and audience, you’ll then be able to determine what content will attract the type followers and customers you hope to gain and how you can create engaging content to keep your followers interested.
Determine which social platforms you’ll market on
As a social media marketer, it’s crucial you determine which platforms you’re going to share your content on. There’s not necessarily a right or wrong answer when it comes to which social channels your business should use – it’s more about the needs of your target audience and where they tend to spend their time.
Create unique and engaging content
With the billions of social media users around the globe, there’s no question that at least some of your followers – or the people browsing your profile — have also seen your competitor’s content or that of other businesses in your industry. That’s why you must have engaging social media content that stands out and provides viewers with a reason to click that “Follow” button and interact with your brand.
To help you get creative, consider the content your competitors are sharing and how you can uniquely promote your products. Also, take advantage of the features offered by the platform you’re using. For example, you can create live videos on Facebook to share the latest details about a product launch or conduct a giveaway.
Lastly, use your current customers and promoters to help you generate content. You can do this by re-posting their content or encouraging them to use a hashtag to share their own experiences and pictures with your products.
Organize a schedule for your posts
One of the easiest ways to ensure your content is shared as planned is to use a social media management solution. These tools allow you to write captions, prepare pictures and videos, and schedule posts in advance. They also automatically share your content on schedule and monitor all post interactions and engagement for you. Social media management solutions save you time and allow you to focus on your other tasks.
Now, you might be wondering how often you should post content on your social media channels.
You should only post on social when you have quality content to share. Meaning, there’s a reason you’re posting the content. This is how you’ll strike the right balance when it comes to your posting frequency. If you post too infrequently, you’re bound to be forgotten by your followers. If you post too frequently, you’ll likely become annoying to your followers. Both situations could potentially lead to a loss in followers and a decrease in engagement.
Every business is different, so find what works for your audience. Then, you can begin experimenting with more or fewer posts, as well as other factors such as the time of day you’re posting on social, to determine what provides the highest level of engagement.
Analyze your impact and results
One of the most important aspects of social media marketing is ensuring your efforts are successful in helping you meet your goals. To determine this, you’ll need to keep track of all of your posts, on every channel. You can do this by reviewing and managing your social media metrics.
Social Media Metrics
Social media metrics are data related to the success of your posts and your impact on your audience and customers on various platforms. These metrics may include data about your level of engagement, likes, follows, shares, and all other interactions on each platform.
Here are 10 metrics you need to track:
- Engagement: This includes clicks, comments, likes, and replies on your social media posts. There are also platform-specific types of engagement such as “Saved” posts on Instagram and “Pinned” posts on Pinterest.
- Reach: The number of people who have seen any content associated with your page or profile is your reach.
- Followers: This is the number of people you have on your profile who have clicked your “Follow” button and see your content in their feeds regularly.
- Impressions: This is the number of times a post from your profile or page is seen, whether or not your audience members click on it. This is often what happens when someone is scrolling through their newsfeed, but not clicking on anything.
- Video views: On Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, or any other social channel with video capabilities, this is the number of views each gets.
- Profile visits: The number of people who have opened your social media page is your number of profile visits.
- Mentions: This is the number of times your profile has been mentioned by audience members in their posts.
- Tags: This is when your audience adds the name of your company’s profile or your hashtag to another post.
- Reposts: This is when a member of your audience posts a piece of your content on their profile.
- Shares: These are the posts your followers and audience take from your profile and share with their network.
You can influence all of these metrics, increase your social following, and improve overall engagement on your profile by using the same tactics you would to generate leads and boost conversions. You can also interact with your followers more frequently by talking to them, tagging them in content, responding to their questions, liking their posts, encouraging them to use your hashtags, and share your content (and you can also repost user-generated content).
How to Choose the Best Social Media Platform for Marketing
While social media marketing as a whole is incredibly valuable and beneficial to your business growth, your strategy will differ based on which social networks your audience spends their time on.
Here are the major social media platforms at the moment:
Instagram is a great way to reach your audience with images and graphics and videos. It’s essential in a comprehensive social media strategy with over 1+ billion active users each month. It’s primarily a mobile-based social media platform, but there are tons of powerful features you can utilize to reach your ideal audience.
Facebook’s casual, friendly environment requires an active social media marketing strategy. Start by creating a Facebook Business Fan Page. You will want to pay careful attention to layout, as the visual component is a key aspect of the Facebook experience.
Facebook is a place people go to relax and chat with friends, so keep your tone light and friendly.
Pinterest is one of the fastest-growing social media marketing trends. Pinterest’s image-centered platform is ideal for retail, but anyone can benefit from using Pinterest for social media purposes or sales-driving ads.
Pinterest allows businesses to showcase their product offerings while also developing brand personality with eye-catching, unique pinboards. When developing your Pinterest strategy, remember that the social network’s primary audience is female. If that’s your demographic, you need a presence on Pinterest!
Twitter is the social media marketing tool that lets you broadcast your updates across the web. Follow tweeters in your industry or related fields, and you should gain a steady stream of followers in return.
Mix up your official tweets about specials, discounts, and news with fun, brand-building tweets. Be sure to retweet when a customer has something nice to say about you, and don’t forget to answer people’s questions when possible. Using Twitter as a social media marketing tool revolves around dialog and communication, so be sure to interact as much as possible to nurture and build your following.
LinkedIn is one of the more professional social media marketing sites. LinkedIn Groups is a great venue for entering into a professional dialog with people in similar industries and provides a place to share content with like-minded individuals. It’s also great for posting jobs and general employee networking.
Encourage customers or clients to give your business a recommendation on your LinkedIn profile. Recommendations make your business appear more credible and reliable for new customers. Also, browse the Questions section of LinkedIn; providing answers helps you get established as a thought leader and earns trust.
YouTube is the number one place for creating and sharing video content, and it can also be an incredibly powerful social media marketing tool. Many businesses try to create video content with the aim of having their video “go viral,” but in reality, those chances are pretty slim. Instead, focus on creating useful, instructive “how-to” videos. These how-to videos also have the added benefit of ranking on the video search results of Google, so don’t under-estimate the power of video content!
Determining your company’s social media course of action may seem daunting, you can avoid feeling overwhelmed by understanding social media marketing trends and using some of the many resources available about the topic. You may also contact our experts at Avamia to discuss your business and come up with a strategy for you.
Start working on your business’ social media marketing strategy today to increase your followers, improve engagement, and boost conversions – and be ready to get your business to the next level!