As a digital marketer and business professional, you’re likely going to want ways to up the ante when it comes to your marketing strategies, and a good way to do this is through focusing on your social media platforms. Not a lot of marketers understand that tapping into your audience through social media marketing can be quite the formidable tool in securing engagements, prospects, leads, and even conversions. Given the right tools and the right approach, your brand can be a powerhouse with a unique social media presence. This social media marketing review for your business will teach you exactly how to get started with this journey.
Perhaps it might help if we backtrack with a few statistics. Did you know that there are a total of 3.196-billion social media users as of early 2018? This means 42-percent of the global population actually has access to social media websites, and in turn have a huge impact on businesses. This is because brands can actually very well rely on social networking to increase their appeal. Adults up to 34 years old are actually expected use social networking to follow brands, with 71-percent of them likely to recommend a brand to others if they had good experience with them in social media.
Social Media Marketing: Getting Started
With the above into consideration, it’s important to understand that social media marketing can be in fact quite the worthwhile investment – especially if you know how you’ll proceed with your social media marketing campaign. You may read journalreview.org marketing guides in order to get more specifics on how social media marketing can be integrated with other tools and channels, but below is a quick review on exactly how to get your socials game going:
- Make sure you’re aware of what you want to do: When you decide to go with a social media campaign, all can be well and good – except the part where you actually explain what you want to do. If you want to pursue a social media marketing strategy, be sure you’ve decided on what you want to achieve. Do you want more sales? Do you want more brand recognition? Do you want engagements? These things have different approaches, and it’s best you decide on one of them first before transitioning to multiple objectives. Choosing one first allows you to zero in on your campaign’s needs, and can help you focus your budget and resources on things that actually matter.
- Do your research on your audience, branding: When you want to pursue a social media marketing campaign, people will often tell you to research on the kind of audience you want to appeal to. This much is true – but along with this process is research on your brand as well. Remember, if your preferred audience isn’t “attracted” to the kind of branding you want to have, then you’re likely going to have a bad day. Find the balance that allows you to engage with your preferred audience with the kind of tone you want your brand to have. Remember, a social media marketing campaign will allow your brand to develop a “personality” online, so decisions this early on in the planning stage need to be precise.
- Develop a social media marketing team: It’s one thing to have a marketing team in charge of your overall marketing efforts, but another thing entirely to have a team dedicated to your socials. Remember, social media marketing is about developing relationships and not just planning and scheduling posts. As such, you need a team that can dedicate themselves to building relationships with your audiences and partners as well.
- Choose a platform or platforms you want to focus on: Given the vast number of platforms available for social media, you can’t be blamed for wanting to be a part of everything. If you’re just starting out, however, it might help to start small and on what you can focus on for an extended period of time. Decide on what platform works best for your niche, and then expand when you have the budget for it.
- Focus on a single dashboard: When you’ve decided on your preferred platform/s of choice, remember that you’re not always required to depend on the social media application itself to do your posts. If you want to have more versatility and ease of access, it might help to get a dedicated dashboard that links multiple social media platforms at once. There are dashboards that actually get you access to an account that “links” all your social media platforms, and allows you to view your respective feeds, mentions, inboxes, and even schedule posts. This is extremely helpful if you want a handy interface to direct all your social media efforts towards.
- Focus on engagement more than your posts: Remember that your audience controls the feed in social media, and as such you can’t exactly “force” them to like your own feed. Make sure you start dedicating posts and your social media to actually form relationships with your audience. Engage them in their own posts, develop quirky and interesting “events” or hashtags for people to participate in, and make sure they see you as a relatable figure they can actually “add” to their lives. Try to gather their appeal using sophistication, or trends, or even memes – depending on your brand voice. When you engage with them, you develop meaning relationships with them. Even if they don’t buy your products, them “recognizing” you can be enough marketing to have them recommend you to friends.
- Link your platforms and their content: When you have a social media campaign, make sure you coordinate your efforts throughout the sites you want to focus on. Make sure your platforms don’t lag behind one another but rather develop in a smooth pace. Think of your brand as a single “entity,” and an entity develops a personality through consistency and tone.
- Try to save the budget for advertisements and premium social media offerings: Premium or paid social media offerings such as advertisements can actually work provided you have both the funding and the thrust you want to focus on. Facebook and Twitter, like other social media platforms, actually offer you the means to expand your reach by making your posts available to a wider demographic for a short fee. Subscribing to these programs generally allow you to direct your posts to a particular demographic, too, giving you much greater control over who you’re trying to appeal to. If you have a limited budget, try to make sure you focus on people you want to pay attention to in the meantime. Or, alternatively…
- Jumpstart paid programs through social media: If your brand offers a wide range of services and products, try to generate appeal by providing offers exclusive to your platforms. For instance, you can provide free resources or discount promos when people follow or interact or click a particular link in your platform. This might seem a bit “off” the budget from the start, but you’re likely going to be able to use these quirky “programs” to motivate your audience to actually buy from you by using the appeal of your social media platforms.
- Make sure you have a streamlined means to evaluate your performance: While you plan for your social media marketing strategy, you need to be able to find a way of tracking your performance as well. Depending on the platforms you choose to focus on, you need the right kind of tool to get you data on things such as views, engagement, likes, etc. When you have the kind of metrics you want to base your returns on, get an equally-powerful analytics software that can streamline evaluation for you. That way, not only do you save budget – as everything is centralized in a dashboard – but you also have a quick means to get yourself evaluation on your social media campaign.
- Always leave room for improvement, evolution: When you build yourself a team and a campaign, make sure you remember to remind everyone to be open to improvements and evolution. You can’t just “stick” to a campaign forever. You need to condition your team to be prepared for sudden shifts and changes in direction should it be needed. Adjustments to these can be made easier if you use a streamlined tool for social media management, and with enough training on staff on how to handle social media affairs in a pinch.
The Takeaway: Social Media Marketing Focuses On Building Relevance, Engagement
It’s important to understand as early as now that social media marketing isn’t just about being “active” and making “a lot of posts.” The most effective social media marketing campaigns tap into their audience’s interests in order to make engagement and build their relevance. As mentioned before, social media marketing makes use of social currency, as in building the impression that you’re important in their social media feed because you help make their journey in social media worthwhile. Tapping into this factor and making use of it for your benefit is the core of a lot of social media marketing principles.