There is no doubt that many businesses turn to social media marketing at some point. The advantages are numerous: you get to build brand awareness, grow your audience and engage with them more easily while generating and nurturing leads.
It’s only natural that you’d like to benefit from social media marketing as well.
Step 1. So, what is social media marketing and how does it work?
Social media marketing includes any form of using social media platform to market your products or services. It can be done via paid ad platforms or by simply posting content from your website or sharing images or videos of your products.
Companies of all types and sizes invest in this type of marketing – even big companies that can easily finance a brand-new website created by an agency for custom web design.
So, what is so special about social media marketing that makes everyone go crazy?
The answer is simple – it’s a boosted modern-day word-of-mouth marketing. Consumers on social media platforms share recommendations on different products with a large number of people and it is just a tap or a click away.
With different marketing techniques such as paid ads or a collaboration with an influencer, attracting new customers and selling a product is easier than ever.
Also, did you know that an average consumer spends around two and a half hours a day on social media? Including social media marketing into your marketing strategy is a great idea since people spend more time on these platforms than ever.
So, if you’d like to know how you can leverage social media for marketing, we advise you to follow these steps.
Step 2. Know what you aim for.
Creating a page on Facebook and posting content is free, is it? Wrong.
Time is money. If you’re not clear on what you expect to achieve, you’re going to end up losing a lot of time.
Ask yourself what do you expect to get out of social media. Do you want to build brand awareness? Or, maybe you wish you generate more direct sales?
Whatever it is, know your goals because they’ll impact the type of content you create and your entire social media presence.
We also advise you to get familiar with the SMART framework for setting specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound goals – which is what SMART stands for. Basically, your goals should be:
- Specific – clear and detailed
- Measurable – so that you can track your progress
- Attainable – realistic
- Relevant – your goals should complement each other and the needs of your company
- Time-bound – with a deadline.
Step 3. Know your target audience and leverage it.
A target audience consists of people that are most likely interested in your products.
Identifying and understanding your target audience is significant for quite a few reasons, but most importantly, because they determine the type of content you are going to post and the social media platforms you should be on.
There are a couple of ways that can help you define your target audience:
Creating a buyer persona.
Imagine your “perfect” customer down to the last detail. Is it a man or a woman? How old are they? What do they do for a living and where are they from? What are their interests? Try to be specific. If you’re already active on a certain platform, you can use analytics to fill in the gaps.
After that, try identifying customer goals and pain points. What is their endgame? Are there any particular obstacles they face when trying to achieve their goal?
At last, offer a solution. Ask yourself how you can help them and sum it up in one or two sentences.
Ask your customers.
While analytics can offer a lot of information, you can always ask your existing customers for their opinion. Is there a specific type of content they like? Can they name a couple of profiles they follow?
Step 4. Choose the right social media platform.
Your target audience most likely doesn’t use all social media platforms. By determining which platforms they participate on, you’ll be able to apply the right social media marketing strategy.
For instance, LinkedIn is mostly used by business persons, so if your target audience is teenagers, you should skip it. On the other hand, you can leverage the fact that seniors seem to be the fastest-growing age demographic on Facebook and create a social media marketing campaign that targets these people.
When you pick the platform, you should make sure to:
- Use a high-quality image as your profile picture and use it across all social media platforms
- Choose the username that matches your business name and use it consistently on all platforms
- Fill out the “Full Name” section
- Customize the URL for your account when possible so that your account ranks higher
- Fill out the description section with different content for each platform, depending on your audience
- Interlink your profiles and link your website to your social media account.
Either way, we advise you to pick one platform first and then move on to another. It can be very overwhelming to manage multiple profiles across different platforms in the beginning, since social media management can be time-consuming.
Step 5. Create a social media strategy.
After you have set your goals the right way, you should create a strategy. A social media strategy is a document that states your goals, how you plan on achieving them and how you will measure its effectiveness and success. It will help you:
- Build and maintain a strong online presence by forcing you to follow a posting schedule
- Create quality content because you’ll have more time to prepare it
- Track your progress since you’ll always know exactly where you’ve started.
If you want to create a good strategy, make sure it includes a detailed analysis of your starting point and target audience, as well as a posting schedule. If you plan on using multiple social media platforms, it’d be best if you created a separate strategy for each one.
It is just as Confucius said 2500 years ago – “A man who does not plan long ahead will find trouble at his door.”
Step 6. Engage with your audience.
Social media allows you to interact with your consumers, which proves to be extremely helpful and useful.
First things first, brand recognition and loyalty are built through relationships with your customers. If your customers are loyal, you can count on them repurchasing your products and spreading the good word about your business.
Depending on the platform, you can interact with and connect with your customers in different ways.
For instance, if you’re using Facebook, you can ask your customers a question by posting it on your profile, or you can create a Facebook group that will stimulate the discussion.
If Instagram is your thing, contact influencers with a matching target audience for collaboration, use polls and Q&A sections available on stories, and mention followers on your posts and stories.
Step 7. Get familiar with social media management tools.
Social media management tools can be of huge help, especially if you’re present on multiple social media platforms. You’ll be able to manage multiple profiles, schedule posting, and access analytics.
Some of these tools are available for free, but most still offer paid programs that are a great option if you plan to manage a lot of profiles simultaneously or if you want access to deeper analytics.
Some of the popular ones are Hootsuite, Sprout Social, MeetEdgar, Agorapulse, and many others.
Step 8. Follow the trends.
Indeed, quality content never goes out of style, but following the trends proves to be useful as well. Trends tell you what people on the platform are currently looking for and can help you adjust better to your customers’ needs.
On that note, this year is about to end and we advise you to look into 2022 social media marketing trends. We’ll share some of them with you to help you out a bit:
- TikTok will continue to grow and will most likely dominate among other social media platforms.
- Most social media marketing experts will make increasing brand awareness and reaching new audiences their top priority.
- Influencer marketing will thrive since consumers tend to trust rely on influencers’ opinions quite a lot.
- Social advertising will change because Google announced it will phase out third-party cookies.
- More businesses will leverage social selling that can be done without ever leaving a social media platform.
- Users will continue to love snackable content – for instance, Instagram reels, and Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat Stories
Step 9. Bring value and show a human side.
Social media is no different from any social gathering. If you want people to interact with you and if you want to win them over, you should get them to like you. For that reason, some companies choose to share personal information with their followers and show their human side.
However, some companies decide to stick to the business style in terms of social media content. Either can work, depending on your audience, so we advise you to experiment and then look at the analytics to see which worked better.
When we talk about bringing value, most companies think original content is a must. However, that’s not entirely true, especially in terms of content that directly promotes product sales.
You don’t want to come off as too promotional so try to balance out original content with someone else’s (but don’t forget to credit them when you borrow their content).
Step 10. Learn to use analytic tools.
Looking at the relevant parameters and analyzing data is the only way to check your progress and see what works and what doesn’t. Social media platforms have analytics features available, but if you want a deeper analysis or a cross-platform analysis, we advise you to use social media management tools.
In the analytics section, you’ll be able to track many different elements of social media design, and some of them include:
- Engagement – the number of times a consumer interacted with your company in the form of likes, favorites, shares, clicks, replies, and others.
- Visits – the number of people that visited your profile.
- Followers – the number of people that follow you.
- Percentile ranking – to tell you how your profile ranks.
Hopefully, after this blog, you no longer feel unprepared for the world of social media marketing. After all, 2022 is all about the new beginnings, and even though they are tough, it’ll most definitely pay off – just wait and see.