Most business owners I know struggle to keep up to date with the latest tips on how to market on social media. Are you guilty of this?
If so, I’m sure you will want to get the best results from your social media marketing – right?
In 2014, over 80% of business executives identified social media as an integral part of their business. Recent adjustments made to Facebook algorithms have reduced the size of the audience for non-paying business pages (that have at least 500,000 “Likes”) from 16% in 2012 down to 2% in February 2014.
Brands are under tremendous pressure with marketing on social media. Many brands are facing an increasing decline in organic post reach and engagement on various social media sites.
Brands that cannot afford to pay a social media platform to boost their posts or social media profile to reach their target audience on the social web are being forced to abandon the communities they have worked so hard in growing over the years.The proper use of social media can help you discover the best ways to reach the right people in your target audience. Click To Tweet
Also, users readily unfollow a brand’s social media account they deem to be overly promotional. They also unfollow brands that share too much irrelevant content. So marketers are struggling to create quality content with consistency wherever they have a social media presence.
But it’s not all doom and gloom for brands with social media marketing.
Business retailers through their social media analytics have seen a 133% increase in their revenues from social media marketing.
Events that sell tickets directly on Facebook drive 2X more free registrations and 20% more purchased ticket sales on average than events that redirect to a ticketing page.
In fact, according to these social media metrics from MarketingSherpa, 95% of online adults aged 18 to 34 are likely to follow a brand on social networking websites.
What is Social Media Marketing?
Social media marketing comprises activities like posting text, photos and video updates and other forms of content that drives audience engagement. It also involves a kind of paid advertisement to reach their target social media user.
As a marketing consultant, I always advise clients that before you start any marketing campaign, consider your business goals.
Social Media Marketing Goals
For your social media efforts on a social media platform to yield positive results, you need to have a social media strategy. The following are the key questions you need to answer to identify your goals, engage audiences, and optimise your results:
- Is it your goal to increase your website traffic?
- Are you trying to build conversations with your target market?
- Do you want to raise your brand awareness?
- Are you trying to create a brand identity and positive brand association?
- Is it your goal to improve communication and interaction with your key target audiences?
Social media marketing can help with any of the things mentioned above.
Rather than tracking all these goals from the same social channel, you can try monitoring different objectives for different social media channels.
A successful social media marketing campaign that rests on a solid social media marketing strategy will help your brand tackle its goals with a sense of purpose.
Identify clear goals with benchmarks that allow you to determine whether your social content effort is paying off.
How to Create a Social Media Marketing Strategy
Use the goals you’ve identified above in crafting your social media mission statement and social strategy.
When creating a social media strategy, you need to determine who your buyer personas, loyal customer and audience are. So you can target their needs and interests.
You can then use the data you collect and analyse on your target audience to create relevant content or adjust your campaign to suit your customer base.
To do this, think about the average active user on social media i.e. the people you’re trying to reach, why you are trying to reach them and how you would classify them as a group.
The insights you collect from your marketing tools or social media management tools and blogging platforms can also provide a ton of valuable information about:
- who your followers are on the social media network
- where they live
- what languages do they speak
- And how they interact with your brand on social.
These insights allow you to refine your social posts, strategy and better target your social ads.
Social Media Advertising
As a business owner, you already know that marketing costs, whether it is traditional marketing or digital marketing.
These days, there is no successful social media campaign that will not include paid advertising or social advertising.
A successful marketing campaign must include user generated content, paid advertising, search advertising, search engine optimization or social advertising.
But even if you make paid ads on social media a significant part of your strategy, you still find that it is cost-effective compared with other traditional forms of marketing.
Depending on your goals and your campaign, it is inexpensive to run paid ads on Facebook, Instagram and other social accounts.
Therefore, you need to take all these into consideration when creating your marketing budget. No matter how small your budget for internet marketing is, you can still impact your marketing efforts on these social channels to reach your current customer or potential customer and convert new leads.
When planning a campaign strategy for your brand, you need to audit your social media followers to identify your key influencers. These are essential members of your online community.
Learn to listen to these key members of your audience because they can provide you with valuable information about your target audience.
Influencer marketing is not only about getting celebrities to mention your brand to their followers. Within your existing community of followers, there are key social influencers that can get you better results.
When you network with your social influencers, you open the door to other opportunities. It is what influencer marketing is all about. You need to identify them and build a good rapport with them. It will help you avoid scams by so-called influencers.Ninety per cent of your content should be sharing other people's content, and 10 per cent should be promotional. Click To Tweet
Getting social shares or mentions from influencers on your preferred marketing channel or at a social event will help to boost your brand image and attract potential customers.
Guide on How to Use Social Media for Marketing
With many companies planning to integrate further or begin integrating social media data into marketing campaigns, more and more companies are recognising the value of social media.
So if you’ve got someone on your team as your blogger or social media manager, you can ask them to produce video content, live video or post content to your company page.
When it comes to marketing on social media, according to this FastCompany article, the general rule of thumb is 90/10: 90% of your content should be sharing other people’s content, and 10% should be promotional.
As a marketing consultant, I tell my clients to go with the 80-20 rule: where 80% of your content informs, educates or entertains your target audience while the rest 20% is used to promote your brand.
Whichever strategy you choose, the most important thing is to not go overboard with self-promotion.
How Can You Use Social Media to Market Your Business?
Below are some of the critical things you need to do to use social media to market your business.
Audit Your Current Social Presence
Get access to all your accounts on the various social media platforms. If there are rouge accounts out there created by an enthusiastic staff without authorisation, shut them down. Note the profiles that are active or dormant.
Create Your Ideal Social Media Customer Persona
Document who your perfect customer is and what social networking site they hang out. Let your customer persona be as detailed as possible.
Don’t skimp on the demographics data. Let it be as detailed as possible. Include their:
- job titles,
- income levels
- type of mobile device they use, etc.
Use data from your Facebook Insights, Twitter Analytics, Instagram Analytics and LinkedIn analytics.
Get to know your ideal customer’s pain points and how your product or service provides a solution to their pain points. Get to know if they prefer short-form content over long-form content and so on.
Define Your Benchmarks
Target goals that tell you how to get to your desired destination with your campaigns. Define any interim steps needed to reach your planned goals.
Choose the Right Tools
To succeed in online marketing you need to use the right marketing tool to grow and manage your social following. Build your social media marketing stack. You can do remarkable things on social media if you use the right marketing tool.
You also need to realise that the marketing tool by itself is just a tool. It can’t do anything on its own. It is the skill of the person using it that matters. So get to know your tools inside out.
But, please be careful when selecting and using a marketing tool. These days a lot of social networks are clamping down on apps that could fringe on their user’s privacy or that could spread fake news.
Create or Curate Content
Now that you’ve known your ideal customer’s pain points, create or curate social media content that will help your customers and, promote your product or service on the social platform. Decide the content you will use, such as blog posts, visual content (infographic, video content) and audio content based on the social platform.
Be Personable and Relatable
It is all about building relationships. Your brand has a personality of its own, which you should display through your business profile.
According to an App Institute article, when you have to tweet about the business proper, keep the spotlight on customers and topical subjects. For instance, advertising 10% off everything for a day won’t be as effective as 10% off a specific item that only Twitter followers have access.
If someone on your team is comfortable in front of a camera, get the person to create videos for YouTube. That person can be the face of your brand for social marketing. Or if the person is more comfortable with writing, you can get them to guest post on other relevant blogs in your industry.
Get as many members of your team as possible to create a piece of content each or several posts in advance. Having a wide variety of content might help in improving your conversion rate.
But, if you don’t have any team member comfortable on social media, yet you discover that your target audience is on Twitter or Instagram, then you must outsource your social media marketing.
How to Use Social Media as a Market Research Tool
According to this article in SocialMediaToday, a 2011 report by Nielson on the state of social media claims that approximately 80% of people with Internet access utilise social media.
So, as a business owner, what you need to understand is that using it in your business is not for ‘play’. Instead, it is an essential tool for lead generation, market research, data mining and as a news source.
The proper use of social media can help you discover the best ways to reach the right people in your target audience.
According to this article, social media is a source of honest consumer opinion: 80% of social media posts are about ourselves, and those opinions and beliefs-expressed individually and within a community-are not interrupted or biased by participation in a formal study or company-run focus group.
As you have seen from the above, your marketing is not complete without social marketing. Gone are the days of treating different aspects of marketing in silos.
These days you have to be thinking of digital marketing as integrated marketing campaigns whereby you consider integrating social marketing, content marketing, influencer marketing and search marketing.
Would you like to discuss this further? Schedule a meeting with me. I will be glad to help.
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