If you have a business, big or small, you will always be looking for ways to make it known to as many people as possible. There is a big potential market on social media. There are now 4.70 billion active users of social media. The average time spent by users on social media channels is 2 h 29 min. This is a huge opportunity for growth, sales and building customer loyalty. Below are eight social media marketing tips.
Have a solid plan, objectives and goals
When it comes to social media marketing, it is approached as an art or science. As an art, marketing is understanding human behavior and how to make emotional connections with customers. On the other hand, as a science, the data guides marketers on what strategies to adopt. An outcome-centric approach. Research, technical aspects, hard data. Thinking like a scientist, helps you experiment with a variety of ideas and approaches, and helps you separate facts from feelings.
Get crystal clear on the goals you want to achieve. Imagine you have a business account that has 100,000 followers. Yet these people are not your loyal customers. You need to know exactly what outcome you expect from your marketing efforts.
Examples of marketing goals
- Acquire new customers
- Increase website traffic
- Boost brand engagement
- Generate leads
- Become a thought leader
- Increase brand awareness
A marketing goal should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timely. Easily communicate what social media success looks like for your business.
Measurable goals will help you track over a specific period of time to help you map your business’ success. Key performance indicators. Some examples of marketing KPI include conversion rate, sales leads, follower growth, website visits and others.
Social media channels are usually used at the top of a business’s funnel strategy. This is how users will discover your business through posts. You will have users who stick around to the bottom of the funnel, where a conversion is made, and brand loyalty is observed.
Decide which platforms are right for you
Ask a question. Why do you want your business to be on social media? After going through the objectives, goals and marketing plan, we need to make them a reality. You now need to decide which platform is best for your business. Some of the most popular platforms include:
A platform may perform greatly for one business and poorly for another. Choosing one that’s the best fit is essential. You need to find out where your customers are. Therefore, questions to ask yourself include:
- Who is my ideal customer, or what is my target market?
- Are you a B2B or B2C company?
- What’s your goal? You will definitely always have more than one goal. If you are a small business, it’s best to focus on just a few, 2 or 3. If you have a team, though, go ahead and take on different goals.
Know your audience
Conduct market research. Knowing who your target audience is will enable you to create an effective marketing strategy. Research can be done in different forms:
- Surveys and polls.
- Organizing focus groups.
- Engaging and listening.
- Scheduling phone interviews with your target demographic.
- Lurking online forums where they’re already hanging out.
Your customer is the main character in this research phase. This is an opportunity for you to get inside their head. You can gather as much original information about them as possible to create very relatable content. What brings joy to your audience? What makes them angry? And so forth.
You need to find emotional drivers that cause your audience to say things like, “This is so relatable, or I was today years old when I found this out!”. The best marketing is emotional marketing. In fact, research shows that 95% of our purchases are emotionally driven.
Understanding your audience is mainly about finding answers to the following questions.
- Who are they? (E.g. Occupation, age, gender, income level, nationality, etc.)
- What are they interested in, and what can I teach them? (E.g. entertainment, educational content, case studies, information on new products, DIYs, etc.)
- Where do they usually hang out online? (E.g. Facebook, Instagram, etc.)
- When do they look for the type of content you can provide? (E.g. weekends, mornings, evenings, etc.)
- Why do they consume the content? (E.g. for inspiration, to keep up with trends, to get better at their job, to become healthy, etc.)
- How do they consume the content? (E.g. posts, videos, etc.)
Craft social your social media content carefully
You can now construct a hypothesis. Your main purpose for social media is to increase engagement with your customer. More people engaging with your brand shows that your product/service is adding value to their lives. You can test different channels; Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, etc, by;
- Crafting captivating copy to post
- Remember to keep sales tactics to a minimum
- Creating more video content in your strategy
- Creating mind-blowing images.
A social media channel will prove its effectiveness through customer engagement. You post quality content, which brings more customer engagement. If a customer’s life is improved by your content, they will want to come back to your pages more. Also, if they frequently visit your social media pages, they are more likely to engage with it. Furthermore, these people are more likely to buy from your company as they begin to trust your product/service.
Test that hypothesis with an experiment. Create and publish content. For example, Post a video on Instagram daily. You can also repurpose it and post it on other channels. Then, gather information on how users will respond to the same content on multiple platforms. This will help you know what kind of content to post on which platform. See how it goes.
Analyze your data and draw conclusions. Did your experiment meet your expectations? Are there areas where your content did not perform well?
Now you have plenty of data to work with. Report on these conclusions and consider if your hypothesis was correct. If the experiment worked, then you can repeat the process to increase profits for your business. However, if it didn’t work, you can use the knowledge to make a useful judgement and avoid waste of time and money in the future. The data will steer you towards your goal.
Expand your audience
To expand your audience, you can run social media contests and giveaways. There are several apps and tools that you can use to run these giveaways and competitions. Give something of value to your audience.
How To run a contest or giveaway online
-Have a goal. What do you hope to achieve through the contest or giveaway?
-Choose a platform. You already have an idea of which platforms work best for your brand. Also, you understand your audience better.
-Prepare a budget and a timeline for your contest/giveaway. Set a date for when the winner(s) will receive their prices.
-Choose a contest/giveaway for your audience.
-Run ads and promote your contest/giveaway.
-Measure your results.
You need to connect with your audience. Your audience is just a number. However, you need to make them feel like they matter. Start developing a relationship with your customer. Customize your marketing messages. It makes a customer feel like you are marketing to them one on one.
Social media offers a space where businesses can engage and interact with their customers. You’ve set up your preferred social media pages and are now putting up interesting content. Make sure you have quality content. Provide content that adds value to people’s lives.
Consistency is key. Produce fresh content regularly. There are always new trends and challenges on social media. You can use them creatively to produce content. Posts and videos that add value to people’s lives. Your audience will begin to trust the brand. They will get excited whenever they see your posts. Post between 2 and 4 times a day. I know. It is a lot of work. But, if you need to succeed, you’ve got to work.
Connect with other social media users by engaging with other people’s posts. Garry Vee on Youtube talks about a $1.80 rule. Where ‘’You should be leaving your .02 cents on the top trending Instagram posts for 10 different hashtags that are relevant to your brand or business every single day’’.
Comment on people’s posts, and leave feedback. Interact with posts that are related to your brand. Remember, be genuine with your comments and feedback. People will find you relatable and approachable.
- Interact in Twitter chats
- Reply to comments and direct messages
- Engage with Facebook groups
- Offer rewards and incentives.
- Share user-generated content.
Finding and using the right tools will ensure your strategy works well. Social media management software, social media monitoring tools and analytics tools.
Facebook has a Business Suite which is a free complete social media management tool for Instagram and Facebook. You can do quite a lot with it. Engage with your audience, monitor analytics, create and schedule content and more.
Consider the latest trends and changes.
Always approach your social media strategy as an ongoing experiment, and ensure you are always seeking better ways of doing things. You will need to do your research regularly. Look up statistics to find out what’s happening on the social media streets.
Some new social media trends for 2022 include the following
- Paid advertising is becoming a necessity.
- Local targeting is becoming more popular.
- Smaller networks, (LinkedIn, Pinterest, Telegram, TikTok) are becoming better for ads.
These will keep changing. Your strategy should be flexible enough to incorporate these changes. We know that what was working last year may not be working this year. You can always go back and do the whole process of finding what works and what doesn’t.