Insights and strategies for social media marketing.
When I tell people I do social media marketing as a job, most of the interactions are get are: “Oh that sounds interesting”, followed with a half-smile and a head nod,” How is that a job? Anybody can make a post.”, or my favorite, “So you just troll people on the internet all day, I wish my job was that simple”
My general response to everything just to shed some light on my job is: “Social media is a great outlet to experiment with new branding messages and it gives the company the chance to interact with the audience.”
So Why Do Businesses Use Social Media?
The short answer: Some benefits of social media for business are:
- Increased Exposure/Brand Awareness: Exposure to new eyes and to people you may not have thought about reaching
- Learn About Your Audience/Target Consumer: Insights on who your audience is and how they are reacting
- Feedback: Social media allows you to get instant good or bad feedback
- Competitive Analysis: Allows you to keep an eye on the competition
Also, studies have shown that:
- 37% of internet users follow their favorite brands on social media
- 30% of internet users use social networks to research products
Based on that alone, why wouldn’t a business use social media? It’s an easy way to get people to see your product.
What Goes Into Social Media Marketing?
It’s not just a post people…it’s strategy. It is more about engagement and providing solutions to problems rather than selling.
Create Goals That Solve Problems or Questions
Be S.M.A.R.T (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely) when thinking of goal. Ask yourself what are you trying to accomplish or what do you want to see in the long run? Setting goals for social media marketing are the same as setting goals for business strategies.
Some common social media goals to consider are:
- Increase brand awareness: The average person spends at least two hours on social media every day, therefore brand awareness is one of the top reasons marketers use social media. Create authentic and meaningful content to provide a strong brand personality through your social channels.
- Drive Traffic To Your Website: A social brand presence can drive visitors to your website, who then can turn into potential customers. Website traffic is important to all businesses, especially e-commerce sites. The more traffic you have on your site, the more chances you have with people engaging with your content.
- Drive-In-Person Sales: Some brands choose to use social media to drive traffic to the stores by alerting customers of what’s going on in the stores.
- Create A Fanbase: Brand loyalty is one of the most important factors in a long-term goal. With social media, businesses no longer have to just rely on word of mouth. Now businesses can use social media as a new way where brand loyalty can easily be shared with others.
Photo by William Iven on Unsplash
Research, Research, Research
Make research your best friend.
First and foremost research your audience. Who buys your products, how old are they, what income level are they in? Your audience demographics are going to be vital to your social channels. Make sure your goals and the content that you are producing go hand-in-hand with your target audience.
Research Your Competitors
Find out what your competitors are doing. Is the work you plan going to stand out? Do a quick Google search to look up your competitors with valuable keywords, phrases, and industry terms to see who shows up.
Don’t steal their ideas…use this information to see what they are putting out and how well it is working for them.
Create Engaging Social Media Content
This is the fun part but it’s also extremely important that it’s executed well. Create content that fits your brand’s identity and creates a brand voice through your content.
Consider using photos and videos to make your content stand out. And consider creating a theme for your content. This helps your audience recognize your brand and know right away it’s an image or video from you.
Plan and Schedule
More research but it’s fun! Research the best times to post on each social media channel. Plan your content and have it ready so you aren’t coming up with ideas last minute. I generally have my content planned and ready a month in advance and scheduled to post during peak times. Websites like Hootsuite or CoSchedule are great places to plan and schedule your content.
Photo by Daniele Riggi on Unsplash
Don’t Forget to Engage With Your Audience
The best part about social media is it’s a network. The main purpose isn’t just to dump a bunch of content out there and that’s it. It’s important to engage with your audience. This helps build your brand loyalty and increases audience awareness.
Plus people love it when their brand retweets them or responds to a comment.
Track Your Efforts
Again you didn’t put in all of that research and content building just to leave it out there. Make sure you track your interactions and conversions. Some social channels have analytics built into them but my favorite to help track website traffic is Google Analytics. Not only can I track how many interactions each post got but I can also see if the content worked and brought people to the website.
Once you have gathered your insights, use this to improve your social media marketing efforts. Just because your content is doing good doesn’t mean there isn’t room for improvement. Use your research to learn and grow.