Social media is a powerful way for people to communicate and when it comes to your business, having a social media marketing strategy is an important investment of your time and resources. Using social media as a way to actively engage with customers and drive web traffic should be an essential part of your overall online marketing campaign. If you are considering a new social media strategy, before you dive in it is important to think about the best way to achieve your goals. Understanding the basics of social media marketing can help you get a head start in learning how to gain more followers and meet specific business goals. It can take the time to build up your social media base but the work you put into this type of marketing can be greatly beneficial for your company.
Almost every marketer in the business uses a social media campaign to increase brand awareness, find their key audience, create more leads and build relationships with customers. Social media can become a part of your customer service and community management so that you have a relationship with your customers throughout every step of their buying process. Social media marketing comes with many benefits including a better understanding of your audience through engagement and social interactions, the ability to quickly respond to customers, staying ahead of the competition, building a bigger following, increasing sales, representing your brand, and cutting costs through cheaper types of advertising. The majority of businesses using social media say that it has increased their exposure, site traffic and has given them a boost in sales. Once businesses learn how to develop and implement their social media plan they tend to quickly see a lot of positive results.
When you decide to begin a social media plan it is a good idea to research and consider the best methods to achieving your goals. The first step is to look into social channels and find out where your target audience hangs out the most. You can determine whether to focus most of your energy on Facebook or Instagram for example, depending on your particular audience and what they gravitate to the most. You need to understand each social channel, how they differ and figure out which ones the best complement your website’s sales techniques. Looking into and researching each channel can help you better achieve your goal of building a larger customer base and steady amount of buyers. You don’t necessarily need to use every social media channel to reach people. It is a better strategy to narrow your focus to a network that aligns more closely with your customer base. However, even if you focus on one major social media channel you can still sync up to other platforms to increase traffic.
As you look into different social media websites it will give you a chance to consider your social media goals and what strategies will work best to achieve them. It can be helpful to review your current position on social media and think about what you would like to change to improve your presence online. Your goals should go beyond simply getting more likes or retweets and should focus more on generating leads or increasing web traffic which ultimately help your business the most. One of your main goals in social media marketing should be to start the process of building a community for your customers. When you have a community of people who are interested in your content then they are more likely to convert. You can start building your fan base by asking people to become followers in order to read your content. The important thing is to build your following organically because fans will be more likely to engage with your brand on a regular basis if they choose to become a follower. You want to give people the option of becoming a follower or not so they don’t feel pressured to or forced into subscribing to your content. People that make the decision themselves to follow a brand are more likely to remain customers for a longer period of time.
Using social media can be a great way to developing different channels of communication with your customers. It can help build your email list and provide another outlet to publish content that your email followers might miss. There are plenty of things to consider when you add content to your social media sites. You need to make sure that everything you post is engaging enough that followers will react and leave comments or share the content with their friends. Interesting content might not always be simply selling products on social media. People use these kinds of websites to connect and be social and not necessarily to buy something. Instead of pushing products you should focus on building a relationship by sharing content that is funny, interesting or sparks an emotion for your followers. You can share more than your own content by reposting things from the community. In social media marketing, it is important to act more like a friend than a business so that people will want to stay connected to you. Another thing you should consider when posting content on social media is the timing of your message. There are peak times when people are more likely to read and respond to your post and researching the best times for your audience will help you get more reactions.
There a number of different tactics that marketers use to get the most out of social media. Some of the core tactics are ways to heighten success and allow your content to stay relevant. Hashtags can be an important tool in social media marketing because they act as a virtual filing system. It can be helpful to look through your competitors’ hashtags and start to create your own so that your followers can engage with you in a way you can easily track. Another useful tactic is to create conversations and ask questions to engage your followers. You can respond to questions in discussion groups, help solve problems and be active in the online community. Getting involved in discussions help create more brand awareness and shows that you genuinely care about your customers and their experience with your products. Using content as a way to ask questions of your audience is another great way to keep people engaged and create a conversation. Instead of always broadcasting messages, questions help you understand your customers and address their concerns directly. When you ask questions you can learn what people think about your products or your brand and get people to interact with your social media site. Your social media site can also be a way to provide answers to important questions if you share articles that include useful information or guides that your audience might appreciate. One of the key tactics that most businesses employ on their social media sites is using images as a way to capture attention. When people are scrolling through a social media page they may not take the time to read through a lot of text unless it is accompanied by an image. Content on social media should be easy to scan and attention grabbing with a lot of visual elements. You should make sure to be funny and creative even if some of your content doesn’t line up perfectly with your brand. The important thing is to keep people’s attention with the content they want to see.
As you share your content, make sure to keep track of the results so that you have a better idea of what works and what doesn’t with your specific audience. You can segment your data based on the type of post and measure metrics such as engagement including the number of visitors and page views, number of shares, conversion rates and leads as well as the value of each post based on customer acquisition cost. When you gather and analyze data from your social media efforts it will allow you to identify any opportunities for growth and also directly confront any problems that could hinder your success. Data analysis can help make your social media strategy as strong as possible because you can learnhow to develop more effective tactics over time. If you are not getting the results you want you can experiment with posting different kinds of content to see what will fuel the most comments and engagement. Once you get positive feedback you can begin to create custom, branded content that people will begin to recognize and share more often. The more frequently your content is shared the more likely you are to increase your following and build a loyal customer base.
The key to creating a successful social media strategy is being open-minded and listening to your customers. The more you understand your audience and what they want to see the better prepared you will be to generate the kind of content that will grab their attention. Reviewing all the results of your content strategy can help you make adjustments when necessary and avoid losing any existing followers. A successful social media channel can help establish your brand and create an online presence that will translate to more consistent and reliable buyers.
If you need help with strategy or monthly social media management give us a call. We’ve helped companies of all sizes succeed on social media. Call us today at 1-800-932-5421.