Social media holds significant opportunities for businesses to market themselves, get noticed, and keep their brand top-of-mind.
These highly dynamic social platforms have given brands and customers the chance to interact, engage, and do business.
While most brands were quick to include social media in their marketing plans, many are still struggling to make it work. No wonder there are so many businesses still looking for social media marketing tips.
That’s the thing with social media marketing – one needs to have a proper plan in place before executing, or creating, anything.
A plan gives your social media campaigns the right direction. This plan should include everything from which social platforms to use, what to say on each platform, and most importantly to the results you’re trying to achieve.
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Fifteen social media marketing tips to get started
Still looking for tips on social media marketing that work? Here are fifteen tips on social media marketing to help you kick off a strong understanding of how to drive desirable results across all of your brand’s social media accounts.
1. Set goals
When you’re making a marketing plan, for social media or any other medium, always start by setting goals. Marketing without set goals is highly unlikely to drive any results. You could have one single goal, like brand awareness, or set multiple goals, like lead generation and increasing your brand’s reach. Setting goals also helps you streamline your thought process, and makes it easier to create content for your social profiles.
2. Understand your target audience
Who are you speaking with through your social media marketing? That helps you know what you’re going to say. A target audience helps you find out the right kind of content to share, the perfect platforms to join, and the customer needs you will want to fulfill.
For example, if you’re targeting millennials, selling the latest high-speed drones, use language that is direct, but informal. You could also focus on creating short, but captivating video content to share on your social pages, instead of heavy text-based content.
3. Be consistent
Nurture a strong social media presence, and drive results, with consistency. You need to find out the best time to post content on social media, based on your target audience. Existing and potential customers only connect with brands who regularly share content that catches their attention. If you show up on social feeds rarely, or only when you’re pushing sales, your business is more likely to be ignored. Don’t be a fair-weather friend on social!
4. Be Relevant
While being consistent with your social content sharing is important, it only works when it’s also relevant. Don’t share simply for the sake of being consistent, but to connect with your social media followers. When you know your audience, you can provide content that they want.
For example, if your brand sells furniture and furnishings, you could share tips on interior decorating, not jewelry trends. You want your social media followers to turn to you for all-things furniture and furnishings, and not scroll past you because you seem to be spamming their social news feed with irrelevant information.
5. Create a social calendar
The best way to be consistent, and ensure that your social pages remain active, is to create a social media marketing calendar. Creating a social calendar helps your marketing campaign run smoothly, with no unnecessary gaps in your schedule, and keeps you well prepared in advance. You could create a weekly, or a monthly calendar to avoid any last minute chaos. Depending on the social media platform, and the kinds of posts you’re creating, schedule posts daily, weekly, or monthly.
It’s important to remember that every social platform works differently, and so should your posting schedule. For example, Twitter is all about instant communication that relies on minute-to-minute happenings, so prepare to post a few times a day to keep up. Whereas, for Instagram, you could schedule only a post a day, unless you have more to share, or something exciting comes up last minute.
6. Use social media management tools
Social media management tools help you streamline your scheduling, and posting. You can also use social media tools to automate your social media activities. These tools help you accurately measure, and analyze your campaigns, and some let you publish content across multiple social media platforms, all in one single dashboard.
7. Focus on visual marketing
Most people today browse through social media on-the-go. Using impactful visuals that have the power to catch one’s attention instantly can significantly improve your social media interactions. People are more likely to notice a powerful visual than read a blog post, or even a caption. However, once you capture the attention through a relevant visual, you can hold their attention with text. Use free photo resources to find powerful images, or capture real images, and learn basic photo editing tools.
8. Invest in paid social ads
Set aside a small budget to invest in paid social media ads. Social media platforms marginalize the possibility of organic visibility, giving brands with paid ads a boost in reach. Boosting or promoting your posts is comparatively less expensive than Google AdWords, making it an effective strategy for small businesses.
9. Build and join social communities
Social media platforms have many communities and forums where like-minded people, or people interested in a specific industry, ask questions, share feedback, and offer new ideas. Join such communities relevant to your business to know what people are talking about, and share your own opinions. If there aren’t many such communities for your industry, or they’re inactive, start building a social community yourself.
10. A/B test your campaigns
A/B testing, also known as split testing, allows you to create multiple options of each email or ad, and send it to different groups to see which works best with your audience.
For example, if you use Constant Contact for email marketing, you can create an email with two different subject lines. You then send the email to two different groups of contacts, and compare the open rate. The subject line that gets a higher open rate is definitely more effective.
In the future, you can use similar language to create catchy subject lines that you know your audience enjoys. In the same way, you can A/B test your social media posts to understand what works better, and improve your future posts.
11. Interact and engage
Social media marketing not only creates brand awareness, but it also creates a communication channel between your brand, and your customers. Interact with your existing customers, or potential ones, and keep a close eye on every comment, like, follow, and share to capitalize on the opportunity of giving the best timely response. This engagement also builds a sense of trust with your customers.
12. Collaborate with brands and influencers
Influencer marketing has given social media marketing a significant boost. Collaborating with the right influencer(s) gives your brand greater visibility to a relevant audience and provides you with incredible user-generated content to use across other digital marketing channels. Additionally, you could also collaborate with other brands that already enjoy a good social following, to the mutual benefit of both businesses.
13. Optimize for social media
Just like optimizing a website boosts its search engine ranking, optimizing social posts also increases the chances of ranking higher on social media platforms. Social platforms have search features, and using relevant keywords or hashtags helps new customers find your business. Research the popular hashtags that people are using to search for the products you offer on various social media channels.
14. Strike a balance between promotion and entertainment
While most social media marketing tips warn against promotional content, the key is to strike a balance. Let’s face it, even if your social media marketing goal is to increase brand awareness, the ultimate goal of every business is to drive conversions, and sales. When you create your social calendar, space out promotional content. Say, for every five posts you create that are entertaining, or informational, create one promotional post to drive sales. Don’t be pushy with your promotional content.
15. Get creative
Creativity is the way to ace social media marketing. Holding the attention of your social audience involves continuously coming up with new, and creative ways to keep them hooked. Explore different types of content to add variety, include gamification, add surveys and polls to boost interaction, and run with the trends to stay relevant.
Get started with a successful social media marketing strategy
Using all these tips for social media marketing are sure to help you achieve your goals and increase your online presence. If you’re already using social media, it’s time to build a stronger marketing plan, or start creating a new one.
Customers today turn to social media sites for entertainment, communication, information sharing, updates, finding new brands, and shopping. Cater to all their needs with your social media content, and make it impossible for people to scroll past you.
Remember, there’s a thin line between spammy and consistent; entertaining and pushy; creative and obnoxious.
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