Is Social Media Marketing Effective?
Social media marketing is effective when executed properly. You can’t simply create a social media account for your business and forget about it. Running a successful social media campaign takes time, creativity, and consistency. Even if you have an entire inventory of content to publish, you will fail if you set it and forget it. It may turn out that the content you are publishing is not resonating with your audience and you’re just wasting your (and your followers’) time. It’s important to stay up-to-date on trends and adjust your content accordingly. Additionally, gathering analytics data for each social platform will help you make beneficial changes moving forward.
How Social Media Helps Businesses
Nearly half of the world’s population is using at least one social media platform, with 37 percent of them finding purchase inspiration through their online channels. Businesses are taking advantage of the sheer volume of people active on these networks, putting their brands in front of current and potential customers. Social media is not only a great way to raise brand awareness and keep followers up-to-date, but it acts as a great avenue for engagement. You can start a conversation, answer questions, or ask questions. Forty-five percent of consumers use social media as their first channel for asking questions or articulating brand or product issues. Whether your company sells products or services, social media is a great way to raise brand awareness, establish the credibility of your brand and engage with consumers. The type of content you post and how you interact with people online is, of course, dependent on your industry and brand voice.
Social Media Strategy Tips
At its foundation, social media is fairly simple, but when you use it for business, it becomes a bit more complex. Consider these tried-and-true social media marketing tips to help you make the most of your efforts: Know your audience, publish relevant content, be consistent, plan and schedule in bulk, engage, and explore targeted advertising.
Know Your Audience
Before you start actively publishing content, you need to gain a real understanding of the consumers who already interact with your brand as well as those you are targeting. You may find that you need to target an entirely new demographic on your social media platforms than you target in your email campaigns. Either way, you must know your audience so that you can create content that is relevant to them.
Publish Relevant Content
Now that you know your audience, you need to create and share content that appeals to them. You could post 100 times a day, but if none of that content is what your audience is looking for, it won’t do you or them any good. Do your research, check out trends, see what people who fit your target audience are liking and sharing. You can use social media to publish your own unique posts, but it is also great for sharing content from reputable sources and your own website such as blog posts, webinars, or downloadable content.
It pays off to be consistent. Once you gain a following, they will appreciate knowing what to expect from you and when. For example, if you publish a new blog post and promote it every Thursday, your followers will catch on to the schedule and check for updates. Due to the fleeting nature of social media posts, it’s important to post multiple times a week. It’s extremely time-consuming to create high-quality and ultra-relevant content. If you have the resources to publish content every day, that’s great and you should absolutely do so. But if you have more limited resources, allocate your time to publishing 2-3 strong pieces of content a week for each platform.
Plan and Schedule in Bulk
Planning and scheduling your social media posts weeks, even a month ahead of time will alleviate the stress of coming up with content each day. Create a plan for what types of content you will post on what days and on what platforms, and draft your posts around that plan. My favorite way to organize my social media strategies and posts ahead of time is using a social media content calendar. A content calendar helps you map out a plan and stay organized. You can write any ideas you have and go back later to perfect them for posting. It also makes scheduling posts easier because you have them living all in one place.
One of the best benefits of social media is the ability to engage with your audience and other thought leaders. Nearly half of social media users reach out to brands to ask questions, voice concerns, and leave reviews. It will help your brand image if you are prompt in responding to good and bad feedback. After all, transparency goes a long way in establishing trust with your followers. When it comes to engaging with other thought leaders, you can get a conversation going to express your expertise and knowledge. This is another great way to engage online and establish your own credibility. For example, if an industry leader shared a blog post on social media marketing, you could engage in a conversation and add your own thoughts. You could possibly even share your own blog post about social media marketing.
Explore Targeted Advertising
Once you feel like you’ve mastered social media, you can take it one step further. Paid advertisements are a great way to reach your target audience, including people who are already familiar with your brand and those who aren’t. Every social platform has its own way of conducting paid ads, and they have become increasingly advanced. Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram are some of my favorite platforms for paid advertisements. They are sophisticated in how granularly you can target the ads. Two of my favorite targets are “look-a-like audiences” and “retargeting”. Look-a-like audiences are built to target consumers who match your ideal buyer persona, and retargeting sends ads to people who have previously visited your website. There is power in both methods, but there are so many other ways to target your ads. You could target ads based on geographic location or focused on your audience’s interests, for example.
Put Your Social Media Strategy Into Action
If you aren’t actively using social media for your business, you’re missing out on daily opportunities to raise brand awareness, promote your products and/or services, and engage with your audience and other industry leaders. A lack of social media presence is a missed opportunity to gain credibility, create and nurture relationships, and make sales. With that being said, establishing an effective social media strategy takes time. You have to be patient and willing to analyze data to gain an understanding of what is working for you and what isn’t. Hopefully these social media marketing tips will help you streamline your strategy and get you on your way to creating an engaging and credible social media presence that drives results.
If you find that it’s too hard to bring together the resources to execute an effective strategy, we would love to help! We specialize in social media marketing and would like to learn more about how we can help, so let’s chat!