Social Media Marketing Strategy
Nowadays, businesses using an effective social media marketing strategy are guaranteed to see an increase in traffic, calls, and sales. Regardless if you use social media in your personal life, social media for small business can constitute a significant amount of your overall traffic. A social media marketing strategy allows your company to communicate with prospective and current customers in real time. Even if your employees are not actively participating, users can still be talking about your brand on multiple channels in various parts of the world. That is the most powerful component in social media: its ability to reach a global audience in seconds is a factor a business should not easily overlook. However, a business must learn how to use social media effectively for it to play a significant role in your digital marketing campaigns.
Traditional marketing methods are also fusing with digital strategies. As such, marketers today must have a solid grasp of online technology and be knowledgeable in how to use these technologies correctly to target the desired audience. A social media marketing strategy is to achieve long-term results as traffic commonly don’t jump overnight. How to succeed in social media is to follow clear evidential best practices and choosing the strategy that best fits your goals. Your goals can be to increase brand awareness or link building. The possibilities of social media are endless, and they all have the ultimate goal of strengthening your company’s online presence.
Social Media for Small Business
Small businesses are on a budget and can’t afford the large social media services offered by large companies. As such, they have limited resources with a lot of accomplish. However, because social media marketing is at a low cost, you can achieve much more even without help from a company. We have compiled a list of social media marketing trends that will be helpful for small businesses in getting more sales. You will find the answers to these specific questions.
- Does social media really work for small businesses?
- How much time should be allocated to social media marketing?
- What kind and type of content should you create?
- Where are small business owners buying most of their ads?
A common mistake that small business owners make is not believing their audience is on social media which is true to some extent. Small business owners should determine where the majority if not all of their target audience is. For example, should you be putting in your efforts in advertising on Pinterest and Instagram versus Twitter and Facebook? Facebook is the most common platform for everyone. You can guarantee that a significant amount of your audience is already on Facebook. Therefore, it is never a bad idea to invest some dollars and time into Facebook advertising. But for other platforms such as Pinterest which is geared primarily toward women, you should make an informative decision whether your products are gender differentiated or gender neutral.
For B2B small businesses, they are finding it profitable to advertise on LinkedIn with Facebook coming in at a close second. Why? B2B businesses are often looking for professional connections who also rely on LinkedIn. And with Facebook, it contains just about every type of consumer in the world. Despite the majority of small business owners agreeing that social media is an effective way to advertise, they are uncertain of its results. This is why it is important to determine a goal and be able to measure them quantitatively.
Common strategies are inputting Google Analytics with your website design to track click-through rates, bounce rates, and much more. By seeing tangible results, you will get a much better representation if your efforts are paying off. Some businesses fail to measure their efforts which cause them to become wary whether or not they should continue to invest their time in or not.
Despite the majority of small business owners agreeing that social media is an effective way to advertise, they are uncertain of its results. This is why it is important to determine a goal and be able to measure them quantitatively. Common strategies are inputting Google Analytics with your website design to track click-through rates, bounce rates, and much more. By seeing tangible results, you will get a much better representation if your efforts are paying off. Some businesses fail to measure their efforts which cause them to become wary whether or not they should continue to invest their time in or not.
Some small businesses spend 6+ hours on weekly social media. However, with tools such as HootSuite that allow you to post to multiple social media channels at once, it helps in reducing the time cost. There is no magic number for small businesses to hit when using social media and varies person to person and company to company. In the event that you find that certain strategies are working, you may dedicate more of your time in curating better content for that platform. Or, if you discover some strategies aren’t working, you will adjust accordingly.
The type of content you put out for your audience varies on the platform. Naturally, you aren’t going to have paragraphs of text if you’re using Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter. Paragraphs of text are usually meant for your website, while social media can act as a window or teaser to the rest of your content. As humans are very visual creatures, it’s often important to pair your written content with a striking image or an attention grabbing thumbnail for your videos. The most common type of content businesses often put out first is written. Blogging is an easy and cost-effective way to get your business out on the web. Anyone and everyone can do it with many powerful blogging platforms such as WordPress and SquareSpace.
Facebook is the platform that dominates paid ads for social media. In smaller platforms, the potential for paid ads remain untested or do not have enough data to capture the profitable allure that small businesses are looking for. While this isn’t necessarily to say that it is futile to have paid ads on these platforms, take it as a precautionary measure. By consulting with an experienced digital strategist, you should get the answer you’re looking for.
How To Use Social Media For Marketing
To succeed in your social media marketing, you must have an effective social media marketing strategy. We’ve compiled a list of critical points that small businesses should pay attention to when planning on using social media. These points will properly direct you in coming with a great social media marketing strategy that will lead to a great campaign.
Similar to traditional marketing methods, you need to identify your target audience. By understanding your current and potential customers, you will know how to effectively market to them. To define your audience, we recommend in making customer or character profiles. Within these profiles will be information such as age, sex, interests, profession, and much more. Write down these details so they will not be forgotten. Based on your profiles, what is the common problem amongst them?
By identifying similarities you find between your customers, it will help you in curating a powerful message that will resonate with them. The most effective message is addressing a problem or concern that your company can help them solve. After outlining your customers and message, find out what social networks they prefer. If your audience is the younger generation, it’s likely you’re going to look into Instagram, SnapChat, and even Facebook.
In addition to knowing where your digital audience is, it’s even more important to coordinate your social channels. Your networks should work together to help achieve your goals. Social media platforms are rented land. In other words, anything can change at any given time. Your website is your home base and all of your media channels should be directing traffic back to your website. By having social icons located prominently in your header or sidebar, it allows for your readers to follow you immediately. At the end of blog posts, include a call-to-action to encourage readers to like you on Facebook or follow you on Twitter. By integrating social media feeds, your audience can see what you’re sharing which will prompt them to follow you.
Incorporating every social media platform in your social media marketing strategy is not ideal even if your target audience is on every channel. Our most important advice to all small business owners is to start small. Even if there are tools that help you a lot in your social media, it still takes significant time and energy which are always precious resources. By choosing one or two platforms to start with, you can allocate your time to doing well on those platforms.
Social media is about engaging and listening to conversations. By responding to all types of comments and listening to what people are saying about your brand, company, or product will motivate you to do better. Individuals in a social media position should be able to handle all types of people and have a keen eye for distinguishing negative comments from trolls. There are tools out there that allow you to schedule when to broadcast your content. You can use this to motivate you too. For example, by scheduling empty drafts on certain days will force you to get your thoughts together before that date and deliver quality content to your audience.
With that being said, it’s important to be organized. By planning ahead and knowing what type of content to post, you will succeed in your social media for small business. What is crucial for all businesses is to measure and analyze your results. Tracking performance data is the best and most effective way to know whether your social media marketing strategy is working or not. As most social media networks are equipped with tools to track and measure your performance, keep track of those that are driving the most traffic to your site and review metric reports regularly.
Looking For More Strategies?
The number of social media marketing strategies you can implement is endless, and there is no exact formula to succeed in social media marketing. These tips and tricks are meant to help you get a better grasp on how to use social media better. For an even better organization, there are worksheets that can help you outline your thoughts. For a further detailed guideline on creating your social media marketing strategy, we recommend giving Hootsuite’s blog a read on how to create a social media marketing plan that includes a social media audit template.