Social media marketing is a crucial part of your overall online marketing strategy. Neglect social media and you miss a whole lot of opportunities. Think about how many people use Facebook on a daily basis, how many millions regularly Tweet, and how many people post photos on Instagram, or update their CVs on LinkedIn. You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who has never used any form of social media.
But with great opportunities come great challenges. You are unlikely to have unlimited time or resources to spend on social media marketing. So you need to be strategic in your marketing efforts. Put the correct foundations in place before you blindly use social media to promote your business. You’ll save time and get better results – here’s how:
1) Choose Your Platform
You can’t target every social media platform, all the time. New social media sites spring up every week, and not every single one is relevant to you, and it is important to know where to direct the majority of your marketing efforts. This all depends on your target audience and where they interact and spend time online. Look at how different social media sites attract different people and choose the best fit for your business.
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2) Have a Long Term Goal
So many businesses seem to use social media so erratically their followers have no chance to build a proper relationship. Take a long term approach to your social media marketing so that you develop connections with people and turn them into regular customers and brand advocates. It usually takes many interactions with a brand before someone decides to buy or sign up. In order to reach your long term goal make measurable short term goals such as increasing the number of subscribers to your blog by X amount.
3) Get the Right Content
It’s not enough to be posting regularly on social media, your posts need to reflect your brand and invite people to respond to your brand positively. Look at what competitors post, see how people react to certain content, and decide how to structure your posts. Video is a rapidly expanding form of social media content – look into how video can help build your brand. It could make a big difference to the quality of interaction you get with your customers.
4) Make Sure You Test
As with any marketing strategy, you will not know the value or lack of unless you test. Effective, robust split testing is essential. Test and keep testing, even when you seem to be seeing good results. You will gain much greater insight into what is working and where you can improve. You should timetable a set amount of time each week to look at the analytics attached to your social media activity. Look at the figures and data that matter to your brand, as there are many statistics that will not be relevant. It helps when you can see markets that you are appealing to that you may not have otherwise considered. On the other hand, you will be able to identify when your social media strategy is not having the effect you desire.
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5) Keep Participating
Social media marketing is no easy task, but you should not give up too soon. All brands have ups and downs with their efforts on social media, and it is a constantly shifting field where you have to develop and change all the time in order to keep up. Don’t let this put you off – it is, after all, the same for everyone. It helps that you can stay positive about your strategy, be clear about the market you are targeting, stay on your own path in terms of brand development and interaction, and keep being persistent with your efforts. If something is not working, don’t be afraid to tweak and change until you get better results. An ongoing strategy often requires you to be creative in your methods and to let things go when they are not working. Look at your original goals and regularly check to see how your social media strategy is helping you meet them.
Once you set up these key foundations for social media marketing you are on the right path. Keep going forward and with some hard work you will see the results of your efforts.