Social media is a tool that we all learned to use and take advantage of, as it keeps us connected with everyone. However, marketers found it even more efficient, as it helps them remain connected to their audience in an easy manner.
With the rise of social media, everything is a click and a share away from reaching success. Social media allows you to grow your business and reach your audience much faster – at least compared to the methods of the past. You just need to understand how it works and how you may benefit from it.
Quick Overview for Social Media Marketing
When social media marketing first started taking wind, it was mostly about publishing. Entrepreneurs would take their content and share it over social media, in the hopes that it would eventually generate traffic for their business website. The hope here was that this traffic would generate sales, as it would increase the visibility of their brand.
Social media marketing today, while still similar, acts in a slightly different way. For instance, if a business wishes to see what other people are saying about the brand, they may use social media to monitor conversations and various responses to a particular product.
Plus, if a business wants to see how well it’s performing on social media, it may use this form of marketing to analyze the engagement, the reach, and the sales by using several analytics tools. Plus, if they had a certain audience in their mind that they wish to use, social media advertising can be quite efficient due to targeted ads.
Nowadays, social media marketing is changing. This is why most marketers advise that when you are just starting, you may want to go for the platforms that survived through the years. The longer it has been around, the more likely it is that it will stay around. With good content and choosing the right social media marketing platform, you’ll only need to make fewer adjustments in the future.
Monbi.com CEO Louie Ortiz makes some mentions in regard to choosing a good social media marketing platform:
“Some social media platforms have been there from the moment we learned how to use the Internet. Look at YouTube; it’s hard to imagine someone using the Internet and not accessing it to watch at least a video one day. This is one platform that is bound to last through the years – and it’s likely the same will apply to Facebook. On the other hand, there were platforms such as MySpace that went up only to fall shortly – becoming only a memory. This is why you need to choose a platform that is reliable and functional – one that you know people won’t get bored of easily.”
If you know how to use social media properly, then it will be a great tool to reach your audience. It is, after all, something that can get you much easier to your audience.
The Main Pillars for Good Social Media Marketing
For social media marketing to work, you need to learn all the pillars of it – and especially, how they connect. Publishing, for example, will not work without an effective strategy, and analytics cannot be used if you do not carefully listen to your audience. For your business marketing to be successful on social media, here are the steps that you will have to go through.
1. Effective Strategy
Before going right into publishing your content on social media, you have to take one step back and take one good look at the main problem – the big picture, so to speak. Think about your social media strategy, and how it can help your business grow.
First things first, you need to think about your goals. What do you want the result of your social media campaign to be? Do you use it for increasing the awareness of your brand, or do you want to drive your website sales and traffic? It might sound like it will be the same result, but in truth, every one of those aspects leads to a slightly different result.
Gary Vaynerchuk, CEO of VaynerMedia, stresses the importance of looking at the bigger picture – and working to make it happen:
“When I hear people debate the ROI of social media? It makes me remember why so many businesses fail. Most businesses are not playing the marathon. They’re playing the sprint. They’re not worried about lifetime value and retention. They’re worried about short-term goals.”
In the end, what you should focus on is not how your customers interact with you at the moment – but on the way you may keep them coming back to you. You need to learn how to turn them into lifelong customers. As Vaynerchuck adds further in his statement, “social media marketing is like going Beyoncé on your customers. You’ve got to put a ring on it.”
Next, when thinking about the social media strategy, you also have to think about the platforms you are going to use. Most people use the major ones such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube – but there are also some smaller up-and-comers that seem to be catching on popularity (e.g. TikTok, Tumblr that has been around for a while, and Anchor).
That being said, even if a certain platform seems to be very popular at one moment in time, you should not put all of your energies on that platform alone. Granted, you should not miss the opportunity to reach a new audience, but you should also go for the more reliable ones – the platforms that managed to survive time. This way, you will know that aside from the “experiment,” you will also have a reliable backup working for you.
When thinking about your marketing strategy, you also need to think about the type of content that you are planning to share. What do you believe will be most efficient in attracting your target audience? Should you do it through images, or would videos be more effective here?
At this point, you might want to think up a marketing persona or avatar. As Monbi’s Louie Ortiz states, creating a marketing persona is exactly what will make you get closer to your audience.
“In most cases, when you create a product, you have a certain set of features in mind. You think about what that product can do, and how it can be used by the person who buys it. However, instead of trying to sell a product you think may be found useful, try to create something you know it is actually sought. Give the people exactly what they need. Try to get in their head: what are their preferences, why would they benefit from it – and why would they choose your product over any other similar model? You’re selling to people, so you need to learn what makes them tick.”
Some people might prefer quick pictures or articles, whereas others might find it easier to follow educational videos. Based on the content that you are publishing, try to get into the head of your consumer and predict what they would want to find the most.
2. Thorough Planning and Publishing
Social media marketing is also about planning the way you publish every post. You may have amazing content – but if you end up posting chaotically, all you will end up doing is confusing all of those that are following you. If you post irregularly, they will not know what to expect, how to expect – and when to expect it. For this reason, your content might end up being unnoticed.
This is why you may want to post at regular intervals. It may be once a week, it may be once a month – but make sure that it’s a common date for you to upload content. If you usually post on Mondays and you have followers that check out your content regularly, they’ll be more likely to come to your page on Monday – mostly because they know that’s when you usually post.
If they don’t know when you are posting, they might just end up forgetting about your brand altogether – and that is how you lose a lot of faithful customers. Make an analysis of popular times for posting, and see when it is most suitable for you.
3. Careful Listening and Engagement
When you opt for social media marketing, you need to understand that listening to your audience plays one of the most important roles. As Amy Jo Martin, writer and podcast host states about social media marketing, “It’s a dialogue, not a monologue, and some people don’t understand that. Social media is more like a telephone than a television.”
In other words, when you are using social media, the purpose here is not to present a product and hope that it will catch on to the public. Instead, you need to release the product and see what other improvements it needs to make it even better. You share it – but you also get feedback. That feedback will help you improve and engage with your audience even more.
4. Correct Analytics
Aside from publishing and engaging with your customers, you may also want to keep track of the way your strategy is performing. Sure, you seem to be getting a lot of comments and likes – but are your conversion rates increasing? Do you seem to be reaching more people this month than you did last month? Do you seem to be getting more good reviews and mentions in comparison to last month?
There are quite a few social media analytics tools that can bring you all the basic information. This way, you will know whether your strategy needs a little bit of rethinking, or if the way you are engaging your audience is effective enough. These analytics will tell you exactly whether you are progressing, or if you are going straight down.
5. Proper Advertising
With everything said and done, if you have the funds to grow your social media marketing, you might want to consider investing in proper social media advertising. Platforms such as Facebook, for example, allow you to promote based on interests, demographics, and so on.
Social media advertising can also be automated to ensure that your content always reaches the right audience. This way, instead of paying to reach an audience that will not necessarily be interested in your content, you will be reaching the one that is actually bringing profit.
Using social media marketing is not at all difficult, particularly if you do a bit of basic research. In the end, it is mostly about connecting to your audience – and learning how to give them what they want. Once you have the data, it should be easy for you to come up with an effective social media campaign.