In theory, social media marketing sounds easy enough. Create social media accounts. Post content. Gain followers. Watch sales increase as your followers share your posts. Enjoy lifetime customers and profit.
But in reality, social media marketing is a lot more involved than that. How do you get those ever-important followers? What magic is required to make them want to share your posts? When do we get to the profit part?
Social media marketing is very important for businesses in this day and age, but it does require a lot of time, thought, and creativity that might not come intuitively to every business owner. Here’s how to make social media marketing work for you.
A Quick Look at the Very Wide World of Social Media
When you hear the term social media what do you think of? Chances are good that your mind automatically wanders to the type of social media you use most frequently in your own life. For marketing purposes, it’s always a great idea to start what you know best, but with billions of global users tapping into social media outlets each day, it’s not a great idea to limit yourself to just one outlet. Consider the following options:
Each of these types of social media follows a different format, and each plays a slightly unique role in marketing for business owners. Instagram is image driven. Twitter involves short snippets of text. LinkedIn appeals to the B2B crowd. YouTube and TikTok allow you to reach your audience with videos (learn more about video marketing here), but the length and format differ between the two.
Do you need to be involved in every possible social media outlet? No. In fact, experts agree that establishing a solid presence with many followers on one or two platforms can be sufficient. But how do you make that decision?
Making Social Media Marketing Benefit Your Business
Before you make any split-second decisions on where you want to put your marketing energy, time, and money, there are a few things you should consider, and some research that will help you get a good foothold on your new marketing campaign.
First, what is it that you plan to do with your social media accounts?
For this purpose, it is useful to ask yourself a few questions, such as:
- Do you want to increase brand awareness?
- Are you specifically interested in increasing conversions? Or,
- Are you looking for a way to connect meaningfully with your audience?
Most business owners want to do a little bit of each of these, but the seasoned marketing expert will tell you that trying to split your focus in three directions can be a very daunting task.
Therefore, your main goal will be to stay focused and deliberate as you begin your journey into social media marketing.
First, check out the competition. You may think you know everything there is to know about your social media platform of choice, but your outlook may change a bit when posting through the lens of your business. You’ll want to use your business’s voice when you post. You’ll want to ensure that your posts are equally informative, entertaining, and brand-focused. Take a look at what others in your niche are posting to get a feel for what your potential audience members are expecting and enjoying already.
Consider also your buyer persona. If your audience is wacky, independent, and creative, they may never notice what you post on LinkedIn. Conversely, if you’re looking to do some hardcore B2B marketing, your Snapchat efforts might be in vain. Help your audience find you by appearing where they would expect and appreciate your presence.
Next comes creating and scheduling content for your new business social media accounts. This is another step wherein doing your research ahead of time can help you come out on top.
Take a look at a variety of social media accounts for businesses you admire. What type of content are they posting? What type of reactions does their content receive? What motivates likes and shares? Unfortunately, there is no one perfect recipe for social media marketing success, but knowing what the public likes can certainly set you off on the right foot.
You may also be interested in automating your social media marketing strategy. You can learn how to achieve this in this article.
Practice Makes Perfect… and So Do Analytics
Once you’ve established your social media account, how do you determine whether you’re “doing it right?”
As mentioned, there’s not a perfect recipe for making massive profits with your social media accounts, but the good news is that you can keep track of how people are reacting. Social media platforms offer analytic tools to business owners that can help them gauge how each post is performing.
Check Your Popularity
Take a look at how often your posts are being liked, commented on, re-pinned, or saved, depending on the platform:
- What does your reach look like?
- How many followers do you have?
- How many people click through your links to your landing pages?
- How many views have your videos had?
Profile visits, page visits, shares, reposts, and mentions are all something to pay attention to with each post you make. These metrics can tell you when the best time to post is, the best type of content, and how engaging your audience finds things like contests and hashtags.
Read also: What is a Social Media Influencer?
Consider to Buy Paid-Ads
It may seem like a lot to keep track of, but many social media sites include their own analytic tools. Additionally, platforms such as Facebook/Meta and Instagram allow business owners to purchase and publish ads, which can help build traction for followers on those platforms.
Take advantage of all the free tools available to you through the platform, and experiment with different variables, such as links that lead to different landing pages, featuring user content, or adding contests and games to encourage interaction with your audience (more here). The more people who come in contact with your brand’s social media page, the more likely you are to gain followers.
Recommended Tools and Services for Social Media Marketing
Additionally, take a look at some of the social media marketing tools available online, should you find yourself in need of direction or inspiration. Sites like Hubspot and Hootsuite offer a variety of resources to educate, inspire, and help juggle multiple social media platforms. You can use contracting sites such as Upwork or Fiverr to connect with a social media expert to get you started on the right path:
You can also explore social media marketing courses and certifications, as well, to help you open as many doors as you need to allow you to feel confident in your social media marketing efforts.
Social media marketing can become confusing, especially if you’re not familiar with creating an interactive marketing campaign. However, by doing some careful research before you get started, staying true to your brand image and goals, and posting aesthetically pleasing, educational, and entertaining content regularly, you are well on your way to making a splash on the social media outlets of your choice.