While an individual can thrive quite happily without any ties to social media, the same cannot be said for businesses. Even companies with little digital dependence need a digital presence. The reason is simple: social media is one of the first places people look for businesses. What’s more, through the power of social media marketing, it’s one of the first places people become acquainted with a brand —and you know what they say about the importance of first impressions.
Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest are invaluable when it comes to creating and nurturing brand awareness, advocacy and of course, leads and sales.
So, what exactly is Social Media Marketing?
Also known by its acronym SMM, Social media marketing refers to marketing on social media networks. SMM can involve using text posts, images and videos or paid social media ads to promote audience engagement and drive sales.
Simple as that. What’s not so simple is taking traditional marketing methods and adapting them to the constantly evolving and, let’s face it, often temperamental terrain of social media. It’s harrowing at times. However, with a little help, your business can enjoy a robust and healthy presence on social media that will significantly improve your brand’s visibility, and as a result, bottomline.
Read on. Here’s how you’re going to start — or improve — your business’ social media marketing strategy.
Begin with a Plan
Identify your business’ goals before you start putting time and money into your social media marketing. This will help you narrow your focus for messaging, so you can determine what you’re trying to accomplish and who you are trying to attract. Because this is social media marketing, you also need to get into your target client’s head. Ask yourself: who would this person hang out with? How would they engage with social media?
Once you have nailed down the answers to these questions, refining your strategy becomes infinitely easier.
Identify the Social Media You Want to Use
Your business may not need to have a social presence across all platforms. For instance, if your a fitness centre, you could benefit immensely from Facebook, Instagram and even Pinterest, since the nature of your service is largely visual. However, if you’re a publishing house for academic books, then LinkedIn and Twitter would be your prefered platforms, since they allow you to communicate with other businesses and your clients more rhetorically.
Invest in Your Content
Contrary to common tongue wagging, people do still read and in fact, in the world of social media, content is king. However, the way people consume content has changed. Visuals and copy often combine, often with the pseudo-language of emojis, to create messaging that resonates. This means you have to invest in creating content that really engages your audience. Inspirational messaging, informative tips, videos, infographics, how-to-guides; these are all powerful ways you can interact with your audience through social media marketing. Just make sure you post regularly. In the eyes of the socially saturated client, a company that doesn’t post at least once a week is basically considered dead.
Keep Your Brand Intact
Don’t assume another ‘image’ on social media. The brand image you’ve cultivated off social media should be your image on social media. If you’re a personal injury law firm that prides itself on speaking empathetically and frankly with their clients, you don’t want your social presence to be overly verbose. Keep your content compendious, but compassionate. A Facebook account is not a reason to start peppering your audience with cat-face emojis and clips of embarrassing stunt-bloopers.
Share Your Existing Content
Your social presence can help you capitalize on the content you’ve already created for your website. Whether it’s a blog, video, ebooks or guides, use social media to share that content, gain more followers and further solidify your brand presence.
Here’s a social media marketing hack that doesn’t require you create any unique content of your own: share it from others. Known as content curation, you simply share relevant links from other reputable sources on your account. For instance, you’re a vegan bakery and a new study has come out extolling the virtues of a plant-based diet to promote healthier people and a healthy planet. Share the link to that study across your social media! It’s news that validates not only your business, but also, your client’s lifestyle choice — and validation is always valuable.
Keep Your Eye on the Other Guy
See what your competition is up to. There’s a lot to be learned from the triumphs and mistakes of others. Take notes of where they’ve hit a goldmine, and, if they take a less than ideal tact, make sure to avoid that approach yourself. Let their hardknock be your learning opportunity.
Successful social media marketing hinges on numbers. Your analytic tools, like Google Analytics, to measure the success of your campaigns and techniques. You can see where a strategy has really resonated with your audience, and where it hasn’t. People aren’t always (or even often) going to tell you if they aren’t liking your posts: they’ll just ignore them and/or unfollow you — neither of which you want.
Have Crisis Management
Sometimes, businesses really step in it. You’re dealing with your customers, en masse, and everyone is talking at once. Tensions can get high and feelings hurt. Set out a policy for dealing with these minor or major snafus. You can’t always make everyone happy, but you can always know what to do when you’ve made people upset.
Get Professional Help
Finally, one of the best things you can do to really nail your social media marketing is invest in professional assistance. Hiring social media marketing experts means you’re enlisting the services of people who know what they’re doing, and who have a track record of helping businesses just like you make the most of their social presence.
Want to jumpstart your social media marketing efforts, accelerate your company’s growth and extend its reach? Contact our social media marketing experts now.