Social media can be a great way for small business owners to connect with prospects and customers. It is very likely that your company uses social media in some form. However, to get the most out of these resources, you need to use social media properly.
Social media marketing can only benefit your business if you understand the issues and audience of each platform and then develop and implement an effective strategy. Read what constitutes social media marketing and get to know the 25 best tips.
Definition of social media marketing
Social media communication is the transmission of a message to others through a platform. Marketers use this type of communication to create and share content on social networks in what is known as social media marketing. By leveraging the social aspect of the web, social media marketing is able to create a much more personal and dynamic level of communication than traditional marketing. This includes activities such as posting updates to text and images, videos, and other content that engages viewers, as well as paid advertising on social media.
There are many advantages of using social media marketing in local businesses. Social media advertising has been shown to increase brand awareness. Regular publication on social media platforms enables companies to communicate with customers in a familiar manner.
This constant interaction creates an image of credibility and a willingness to listen to what customers have to say. Advertising on social media also creates an open service platform on which customers can express their views and feelings about the services and products offered. By hearing consumer opinions, customer satisfaction increases exponentially and it is with them that you build loyalty to your brand. Compared to traditional marketing, social media marketing doesn’t need a lot of money.
With an internet connection and computers, a company can significantly reduce its marketing costs.
Below are some methods of social media marketing that you can use:
1. Social Media Brand Management
This is the most common technique that the “experts” promise. This includes creating and maintaining a blog and a Twitter account, involving interested parties, sharing valuable things from your industry and finally collecting followers, visitors and trust.
2. Social media targeting
Social media targeting is where you find individuals on social media platforms and let them know about your services. This includes finding and tweeting people on Twitter based on their description or keyword tweets, contacting someone directly on LinkedIn for a B2B sale, or commenting on a blogger post. Social media targeting is probably the most straightforward way of social media marketing.
In a way, it’s like selling. If someone tweeted: “I need a painter in Berlin …”, then you immediately tweeted “We are in Berlin and would like to help you!” If someone complains about your competitor, tweet them and introduce yourself. Twitter is usually the best social media targeting tool for B2C businesses.
If you’re selling business solutions, you should use LinkedIn to find and approach the decision makers. This can lead to short-term and effective results, depending on how much time you put in.
3. Viral Marketing
When creating your own viral content, you are usually promoting your brand or service indirectly. This includes making a viral video, hosting a competition, or creating a new website just for the purpose of getting people’s attention. It has the potential to reach millions of people and creates more excitement than other techniques.
The familiarity of social media networks and advertisers who want to communicate with customers on them, in turn, has spawned many social media agencies that specialize exclusively in providing marketing messages in the social media sector. These points include social media advice / support: Social media publishing, checking social media, competitive analysis, developing social media strategies and profiles, social media campaigns and support with SEO.
25 best tips and tricks for social media marketing
1. Identify your goals
It is smart business practice to start with goal setting before making any new plans, and social media marketing is no different.
Use the SMART goal setting strategy to lay the foundations for successful social media marketing:
- Specific / specific. Vague goals such as “Do more business” do not help companies determine their goals and set the benchmarks for success. Goals must specify exactly what is expected of the initiative.
- Measurable. The answer “Yes, we hit the target” or “We missed the target by 20%” is a good guide.
- Attainable. Out-of-reach goals are demoralizing and frustrating. Stretching to hit a goal is productive, but don’t expect something that you can’t achieve.
- Relevant . A social media marketing goal needs to be tied to the overall marketing goal. Is it supposed to build an audience? Are You Increasing Website Traffic? Strengthen branding? Make sure the goal relates to the bigger picture.
- Timely. A company’s goals should be measurable over time. Stay on track by breaking a large project into mini-goals, each with their own deadline.
2. Identify your target market
Your message will only be effective if it is specifically designed for the target audience. Developing a relevant buyer personality is essential for successful social media marketing.
Three pieces of information provide an insight into the audience:
- Check out happy customers. Customers who are satisfied with a company’s product or service are the first starting points for building a buyer role. Study your industries and demographics.
- Solve the ailments. What question does your product answer? How does it make things easier for your buyer?
- Survey customer support. Talk to the people who are on the front lines. What questions do you hear most often?
3. Choose the best platforms!
It is usually a mistake to try to reach followers on half a dozen social media channels. The person managing the social media efforts becomes overwhelmed, derailed, and the results become disappointing.
Here are some of the best platforms to choose for your business:
YouTube continues to be the most important audiovisual search engine and platform for the use of social media. In terms of SEO (Search Engine Optimization), YouTube offers maximum traction and plenty of behind-the-scenes opportunities to optimize content to improve your company’s rankings online. YouTube features like retargeting and remarketing initiatives are extremely effective ways to increase your presence on social media platforms.
A picture is worth a thousand words and this ever-popular photo-sharing platform always delivers. Customers, delegates, and attendees routinely post pictures of their experiences on Instagram. On the one hand there is the useful Hastag function and on the other hand customers can receive incentives with raffles, giveaways, prizes and other promotional offers.
businesses that have high quality (HD) images will see Pinterest as one of the most useful professional marketing channels for social media sharing. With Pinterest, your marketing message can reach millions of users in no time. Adding URLs to your images can serve as the perfect redirect to your website or online stores to increase sales and customer engagement.
LinkedIn is ideal for business-to-business or B2C marketing. It is a social media platform where you can post professional content about your company’s performance and goals. Since you will be competing with a pool of skilled professionals, it all starts with building connections.
As the world’s largest social media platform, Facebook offers its customers a variety of marketing functions, including the Facebook feed, on which updates can be published. Dynamic video retargeting campaigns are very effective on Facebook, and paid advertising is routinely used by thousands of businesses around the world. With billions of users, Facebook is the most effective social media marketing channel of all, and it’s growing all the time.
remains one of the most popular social media platforms with 328 million monthly active users. Unlike Facebook, Twitter is still a viable network for real engagement. Brands don’t have to pay to reach their followers. This adds value to the platform even when running paid ads. Ecommerce stores today use Twitter ads primarily to increase brand awareness and promote certain products for direct conversions.
Snapchat is one of the newer platforms emerging on the marketing scene. According to Hootsuite, Snapchat has over 100 million daily active users and is the most widely used platform among 12- to 24-year-olds. If your target audience is a younger audience, you can use Snapchat for business to increase your social media presence.
WhatsApp is an app solution that eliminates the need for expensive SMS fees. Instead of paying data fees, you can use WhatsApp and send messages to anyone in the world for free. WhatsApp has almost no format restrictions. With the help of WhatsApp you can send files, pictures, short video clips about your products and services and add welcome texts that contain a short description. Chatting via WhatsApp is much faster than mailing and your customers are more willing to chat there.
According to a report by the Hamburg-based PR agency Faktenkontor, Xing is Germany’s most trustworthy social media platform. 62 percent of all Xing users trust the information they find here.
Google+ is a powerful search engine marketing tool for companies, influencers and your personal branding. The content you post on Google+ is more likely to appear in search results than other pages, websites, articles, and content posted on other social networks because Google rates its social network higher.
4. Research your competitors
Before you start creating any content, it’s really better to research your competitors. We put this before the content creation process because you often find new ways to look at content by analyzing what makes your competitors successful.
Start by making a list of at least 3-5 main competitors. Find what social networks they use and analyze their content strategy. Look at the number of fans or followers and indicate frequency and time of day.
Also, pay attention to the type of content they post and their context (humorous, promotional, etc.) and how they react to their fans. The most important activity to watch is interaction. Interaction activities include likes, comments, shares, and more.
5. Create a content strategy
Content and social media have a symbiotic relationship: without great content, social media is meaningless; and without social media, no one will know about your content. Use them together to reach and convert your prospects.
A successful social media content strategy has three main components:
- Type of content
- Time of posting
- Posting frequency
The type of content you should post on any social network depends on its form and context. Form is how you present this information – just text, images, links, video, etc. The context fits the trends of your company, voice and platform. Should your content be funny, serious, very detailed and educational or something else? Always keep an eye on your target customers. High quality SEO content will help you reach the right customers at the right time. Aside from its ability to attract an organic audience, a good content marketing strategy can be implemented for free. Make sure you create a relevant hashtag strategy along with your streamlined and comprehensive content.
6. Use influencers
Research from Twitter shows that 49% of consumers rely on influencers to make purchasing decisions. Create relationships with these people in order to achieve more goals and further expand the branding message. Be ready to answer the question “What’s in it for me?” to answer. Maybe they could join you at a trade show or promote in one of your webinars.
It’s important to show how you value them while nurturing these relationships. Watch what the influencer is writing about your brand and make sure it’s good for your image. For example, if they tried your product and didn’t like it, it is best to know beforehand. Always communicate with influencers and pay attention to what they say, so there are no nasty surprises.
7. Reach more audiences
Make sure that currently satisfied customers are following your social media. Product updates, new content, and industry information are valuable to customers. It’s also important that you encourage your readers to follow your blog and make it easy for them to follow your future updates. Contests are great ways to get followers.
Additionally, some companies are opting for paid advertising to increase their follower volume. Ads are great ways to reach buyers who would otherwise never be exposed to your message.
8. Post constant
You should develop a routine posting schedule and be consistent. Keep in mind that your followers are likely to be following hundreds or even thousands of other people. If you don’t post new content as often as the other accounts, it’s easy to be forgotten.
Also, research the best times to post on each platform. According to a study, the best airtime on Twitter is Monday through Friday between noon and 1pm. For Facebook it is between 12 p.m. and 3 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and on weekends 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. Of course, that varies depending on the industry!
9. Use live video or live streaming
Companies use live video to build a stronger brand personality and engage with their customers in real time. Live streaming is one of the hottest social media trends in 2017 and this is why more and more brands are choosing to use it as a marketing tool. In addition, live videos are viewed up to three times longer than normal videos.
It’s authentic and doesn’t require post-production. This gives a brand a raw and humanized look and that is exactly what viewers want. Try to think about how you can be approachable and create a one-on-one connection with your target audience.
10. Social media marketing tools
The most important criteria when looking for a social media management tool is whether it makes you more productive and efficient. Can you manage multiple social media accounts on all major platforms? Can multiple team members work on the same accounts? Can you assign tasks to team members?
Do you get detailed analytical reports on your social media activity? Can you monitor keywords, other accounts, hashtags, etc.? Can you post for the time you can’t get online?
Here are some social media marketing tools you can use:
- Agorapulse – The Agorapulse dashboard is very simple. Switching through all of your accounts is easy as they are all listed on the left side of the dashboard. All functions, like the social media inbox, monitoring and publishing, are all easily accessible at the top of the dashboard. When it comes to reporting, Agorapulse has created some of the nicest and most detailed analytical reports among social media marketing tools. The reports focus on your audience, engagement, and brand awareness – some of the most important metrics, especially for customers.
- Postplanner – Postplanner used to be the tool to plan Facebook updates. With Postplanner, you can easily identify the top performing content for any hashtag, topic, or social media account based on its virality. With this information you can more easily create updates that increase your interaction, reach and ultimately your traffic. PostPlanner is the perfect tool for anyone who wants to increase their commitment and publish more targeted, engaging content from one place. That means, for those who want more monitoring and reporting, maybe looking elsewhere.
- Hootsuite – It’s probably the most popular social media marketing tool out there. You can connect your account to over 35 different social networks, which many other dashboards definitely don’t. Another great feature is monitoring as you can easily set up streams for monitoring keywords, hashtags, mentions, etc.
11. Focus on interaction
One thing to understand is that people are scrolling through social dashboards for entertainment, not purchases or sending emails. Therefore, it is advisable to put more focus on interaction. Start with your industry-related entertainment images and videos. Boost these posts to reach your target audience. Start with just € 5 per post and use it for the high performing content.
You will be surprised to see how quickly you will have a healthy base of fans and followers waiting to read your posts. This is the time to talk smartly about your business and convert them.
12. Monitor ad performance to keep campaigns fresh as possible
The older a tweet is promoted, the less effective it will be. So the longer you wait between updating the ad creative or any other element, the lower your overall return on investment will be. When campaigning on Twitter, you need to plan and execute a strategy that takes multiple flavors of the same ad into account so that you can keep your campaign content up to date. The fresher your ads are, the more followers you’re likely to get.
13. Provide the best in customer service
If a visitor tweets or posts on your Facebook page and doesn’t get a response, trust will be lost. Because of your lack of communication, the dissatisfied potential now turns to your competitors to find answers to their questions.
On the other hand, the visitor will be flattered and fascinated by your brand if you deliver a thoughtful response in a timely manner. Take the time to respond to a personal request and it will build your authority. Negative feedback must also be addressed, preferably with patience and respect. But think of your social channels as an opportunity to show how well you treat your customers.
14. Measure your results and brainstorm new ideas
Tracking is often perceived as tedious and time-consuming. It can be, but it only takes a few hours a month. Take the time to review the metrics important to your business on a monthly basis (preferably on the first day of the month).
Here are some stats to focus on:
- Number of posts
- Follower growth
- Clicks on your website / products
- Post likes or shares
Take a look at each channel individually and compare the match against your biggest competitors. Share your results and set monthly strategy meetings with your various marketing staff in your company to plan for the future. Use other departments in your company as well. Different teams, like customer services and sales, may have great ideas for socializing because they are the people who communicate with prospects and customers on a daily basis.
15. Communicate with your target audience
You have to show your audience that you are not just a robot. Incorporate personality into your posts through humor and emotions so that your target audience can identify with your brand. If your customers keep seeing the same types of posts over and over again, they’ll lose interest. Make your communication interactive by:
- Ask your audience questions
- Collect opinions on specific topics
- Share newsworthy information, not just information about your products or services
- Share some of their posts and not just the other way around
- Ask them to interact directly with your posts via “Likes” and “Shares”
- Run competitions and give out giveaways
16. Create a social media budget
Social media platforms are one of the most important, if not the most important, forms of marketing. Allocating the right budget to your social media activities is critical to your success. Not only that, using that budget with the right strategy will be the most cost effective way to reach your chosen audience.
17. Run cross-channel campaigns
To get your customers even more involved, run cross-channel campaigns across all of your social media channels. Keep in mind that these campaigns are run by virtually every business today. Therefore, you need to gain an edge in order to stand out from the crowd. Add an emotional component to your social media campaigns so that your target audience can identify with your cause. For example, an efficient cross-channel social media campaign could be:
Tell a compelling story, associate a specific landing page with your target audience to get more information about your campaign. Have a unique and memorable name with relevant hashtags
18. Start competitions
Creating a successful social media contest is one of the most useful tactics you can use. It will increase your online visibility, followers, and engagement. There are a number of tools you can use to create a great giveaway or competition. The key to successful competition is to offer something of tremendous value. Something that is irresistible to your audience. First, discover your goals.
Do you want more likes on the Facebook page? Instagram followers? Decide which social media channel you are hosting the competition on. Think about where and when the winner will receive their prize. Look at different types of contests and choose the right one for your audience.
19. Minimize sales tactics
People don’t want you to sell anything to them. You want to build real contacts and relationships with yourself. This is the secret ingredient to getting your audience or customers to trust you. And if they trust you – they will buy from you. Consumers find it inappropriate for brands and companies to post too many promotions. According to a study, 57.5% of people find it annoying when too many offers are posted.
Create good content that will get people to buy from you without being intrusive.
20. Create stunning images
Unsurprisingly, creating stunning images for social media is a top priority. You don’t have to be a graphic designer to create stunning graphics for your brand. You can use tools like Canva or Picmonkey to create seductive imagery to wow your audience. Another option is outsourcing. Lots of business owners and bloggers do this – and their money is well spent.
You’ll need to create graphics for:
- Cover photos for any social media platform you use
- Images for your giveaways and competitions
- Facebook and Twitter posts
- Instagram Images – (You can use copyrighted images or use Canva or PicMonkey to create a graphic.)
- Pinterest graphics
21. Mobile social media marketing
You should also target your social media marketing to cellphones. Here are the three keys to a mobile social media strategy: Spend additional time with a fantastic header image. In any social media app, the header image on your profile is very large and important. It’s the first thing people see, and it’s your first and best opportunity to make an amazing impression.
Share pictures and videos. Mobile is a visual medium, so use pictures and videos to emphasize your Twitter and Facebook profile. Write an excellent bio. The bio is what is looked at right after the header.
22. Reach website visitors with social ads
It takes a lot of time and effort to attract visitors to your website. If you are attracting relevant visitors, it is important to maximize the potential of that visit even after they have left your website. There are great retargeting options that you can use to take your website visitors to other sites like Twitter and Facebook and encourage them to take further action.
For example, to target your website visitors on Facebook, display “page-like” ads and encourage them to become fans. That currently costs 15 cents per fan. In return, you get a relevant fan and another place to reach your audience.
23. Use the right hashtag #
If you spend a lot of time on Twitter or Instagram, you already know the hashtag (#). Make sure that you use the right hashtags, which are used a lot, in your environment.
A social media monitoring tool like Hootsuite can help you find, retweet, and reply to posts under multiple hashtags. You can use a tool like Hashtagify to find other hashtags related to the ones you want to find. Be careful not to treat hashtags the same on all channels. Here are some general methods:
- Twitter posts with a single well-placed hashtag tend to generate more engagements than tweets with three or more hashtags;
- Instagram posts, get the most engagement when using multiple hashtags, even 10+ in a single post;
- Facebook posts work better without a hastag
If you know of a high profile event, you can work with hashtags there too. The more targeted, the better. For example, if you’re a fashion brand, think of live tweets or coverage of high profile events and commenting on what celebrities are wearing. Most events are accompanied by hashtags that you can use. Instead of using the hashtags to sell your product, you’re trying to contribute to the conversation in a meaningful, natural way.
24. Messaging apps in business
A survey conducted by Facebook found that consumers prefer companies that use messaging apps because of their fast response times. Messaging apps and chatbots offer the ability to communicate one-to-one with consumers and use them more meaningfully than is the case with typical broadcast or one-to-many channels.
Messaging apps can help brands build deeper relationships with customers through interactions that are comfortable, helpful, and emotionally connected. A number of brands also use messaging platforms to give personalized recommendations or special discounts that lead to direct sales of the branded goods.
A brand could also create digital content such as stickers or games that could be sold directly through an app.
25. Create micro content for social feeds
Take into account the situations when most users browse social media. Maybe they’re on a mobile device during their drive, pausing for a quick pause on their desktop at work, or killing time waiting for their series to reappear after the commercials.
These scenarios have one thing in common: Social media users often scroll between other tasks. That’s why micro-content is an effective way to engage your audience. This social media marketing strategy works especially well on platforms like Snapchat that are specifically designed for quick experiences.
Let’s say you sell products for soccer players. On your blog, you wrote an article entitled “7 Training Exercises to Improve Your Soccer Skills”. You then break that content down into seven pieces of micro content for social media use – one for each exercise. That would work a lot better than posting an entire article.