Today we’re going over all things social media when it comes down to using it to level up your business. Social media is today’s version of marketing in many ways! You might think social media marketing is stupid, or perhaps full of fake “pay to play” influencer scams. While some of this can be true in some situations, if you know how to take the right approach to social media platforms, you can create a positive set of tools to effortlessly gain new marketing leads.
What is Social Media Marketing?
Social media marketing is self-explanatory: using social media to market to an audience so they want to buy your goods and services. Social media marketing (also known as SMM) is a type of marketing campaign that creates content to share on social media networks. Brand awareness is key these days, so fulfilling a strong platform of consistent social media content can boost your sales and branding goals.
It’s not enough to simply post some pictures and flood your posts with hashtags, though. Other things are involved in social media marketing strategy, such as:
- Engagement with followers: comments, Direct Messages (DMs), etc.
- Creating video content
- Image updates
- Posts to stories (clips that last 24 hours separate from your actual newsfeed)
- Paid ads (such as Facebook advertising)
How Can SMM Help Your Business?
Especially in today’s tech world, social media marketing holds much influence in marketing. The majority of people from all walks of life are already on social media on a regular basis. Therefore it’s easy for them to find you in a way that builds brand equity and trust with your audience. If you haven’t established a presence on social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest, you could be missing your full potential when it comes to digital marketing for your business.
Below we list a few of the many ways social media can help your brand:
- Develop high levels of brand awareness in a positive way
- Increase traffic to the company website
- Super affordable ads on most platforms compared to Google but a little more commitment than Email Marketing
- Represent the personality of your company– an audience feels more comfortable with business owners they feel they can relate to
- Create an easy way for prospective clients to start a conversation through a simple DM
How Can A Company Start Social Media Marketing?
Before your team actually starts benefiting from the boost to increase brand awareness, you need to create a social media marketing plan. Without a plan, you’re likely to post random photos with quotes or copy that doesn’t actually convert.
When sitting down to form a plan, you first need to evaluate your specific business goals. What do you want from social media? What do you want to give– in the form of quality content– to your target audience?
Maybe start by asking yourself some questions:
- Who exactly are we trying to sell to?
- Where would our potential buyers hang out on social media?
- What social media platform is the best for our typical demographic?
- What overall message do we want to present to anyone who finds our page(s)?
- What do we want to see improvement through our social media marketing efforts? Do we want more leads, higher sales, brand identities, promote a product or service?
Different “niche” companies will thrive on different networks. Let’s look at two different examples:
- A makeup brand wants to grow its brand awareness and share upcoming discounts for featured products to young adults. Social apps like Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter would be their most suitable strategy because their target audience is all over all three of those platforms. Also, the use of popular #hashtags and the ability to share fun, colorful, video content through paid ads gives them a huge advantage.
- Two small businesses made a new medical device. They want to connect with like-minded investors and medical professionals to sell their high-cost new devices that could help patients with a specific disease. They will want to go for more professionally network-based social platforms, such as LinkedIn and Facebook. These two social networks thrive off of direct messenger, referrals, and community recommendations.
The more you reach a wider audience, the better you’ll get at marketing your services through social media to reach your business growth goals.
What You Need to Know About Content
When you start your social media campaigns, there are a few things you should know about creating content.
Know Your Audience
Not only do you need to know exactly who your audience, but you might also want to do a little bit of research as well. Who are the main people who book your service? Are they male or female? What age range? What general area are they located in?
Plan Your Content
Planning your content can include topic and keyword research, strategizing a photo layout, and hashtag strategy. The more detail you have mapped out four your weekly or even monthly social media posts, the better your engagement can become. Competitive analysis is crucial, as well– what are other businesses in your field doing that is working for them? Maybe take some inspiration and run with it in a new (or even better!) way.
There are various types of content to work with, so use a bit of everything, but make sure it’s consistent. Many brands on social media think it’s “safer” to only stick with one type of media they’ve seen work really well– but you want to actually have a little bit for everyone. Blog post one day, Live IG story the next, and Youtube video about your blog post? Solid.
Great, Consistent Content is Key
Obviously, if you want to be engaging and reaching your audience, it has to be all with some good content. If your pages have trash content with little to no value, nobody will want to take your company seriously. Hiring a social media manager can actually be a great investment, especially if you plan on using many or all social media platforms. Consistency is key. Posting every day might not be necessary, but definitely shoot for 3-5 times per week if you can!
Observe Your Competition
As mentioned briefly above, make sure you are observing your competition. There’s nothing wrong with looking at the others in your industry. In fact, it could actually benefit your company. What do you love about your competitors’ social media? And what don’t you like about it? What can you do differently, better, or more integral to the exact community you want to attract?
Have a Theme
This might seem sort of lame, but having a consistent, aesthetic theme in your social media and website can be a huge green light for a customer to trust and admire your brand. Of course, the theme isn’t everything, but it sets the tone for the overall first-impression vibe of your brand. The theme includes colors, layout, types of photos, photo quality (important!), story shares, logos, fonts, and overall “voice” of your copywriting.
Make Analytics Your Friend
Luckily, many platforms have built-in social media analytics systems you and your team can review to see how your social media marketing plan is actually helping or hurting. Depending on the platform, you can see what people like, comment, or enjoy the most. Facebook and Instagram are always updating their user-friendly analytics; YouTuvbe will even show you when viewers click out of the video or get bored. It’s an important aspect of marketing, so make sure your team has someone who loves to delve into the data aspect of both content and ads.