Running a business in the digital era means that your marketing efforts rely heavily on your ability to get your message in front of an online audience. Social media is a powerful platform for companies of all sizes to reach prospects and customers. If you haven’t focused your efforts on optimizing your social media strategy, now is the time to start. People discover companies on social media, learn about what they offer, and eventually make purchases.
Great marketing on social media can bring abundant success to your business, creating devoted brand advocates and driving leads and sales. ContentFirst Marketing is an excellent resource for developing a comprehensive, measurable, and successful social media marketing plan for your brand. Our experienced digital marketing team has the tools necessary to build a social media marketing strategy that you can be proud of, reaping the rewards in business growth.
What is Social Media Marketing?
Social media marketing is just one working component of a more extensive digital marketing strategy. Specifically, social media marketing aims to increase brand awareness and establish brand trust by building a solid social media presence for your brand.
A form of digital marketing, social media marketing leverages the power of popular social media networks to achieve your marketing and branding goals by increasing brand awareness. Additionally, it also helps build targeted followers, increasing website traffic, and ultimately boosting your sales.
When people think of social media, they usually think about networking only. However, social media marketing is so much more than that. It’s an ongoing strategy that involves a two-way line of communication and measurable goals that monitor the effectiveness of your social media campaign.
Social media marketing is about using your social media community to achieve your marketing and branding goals.
Why is Social Media Marketing Important for Business?
Social media has become the most influential and essential virtual space, ideal for digitally promoting and pushing your brand. Social media’s power lies in its ability to reach a large number of people within seconds of posting an ad. This ideally can help you reduce costs and make your ads reach out to your potential audience through social media advertisements.
Benefits of Social Media Marketing
- Develop Brand Awareness
- Your digital presence allows you to build your visual identity across vast audiences and improve brand awareness.
- Build Customer Relationships
- The more you engage with your target audience online, the more likely they will convert into customers. Social media platforms open direct and indirect communication lines with your audience. You can network, gather feedback, hold discussions, and connect directly with your customers.
- Increase Website Traffic
- Between ads, blog posts, and the link in your profile, social media is a top channel for increasing traffic to your website. Social media marketing strategies that drive high volumes of web traffic will directly influence leads and sales.
- Improve Your Credibility as a Brand
- Having a profile link, making posts, and interacting with your audience helps humanize your brand. This active participation helps form an approachable persona that your audience can connect with and trust.
- Attract a Targeted Audience
- You need to be able to sift through the enormous volume of people online to find your specific target audience. Each social media platform is different and therefore attracts different groups of people. With the right tools, you can match your followers to your typical customer’s demographics, interests, and behaviors.
- Direct Access to Your Customer
- Conversations and engagements are happening every second of every day on social media. One way that social media has proven to be especially effective for businesses is because it allows companies to engage with customers directly. Direct access to your customers will enable you to keep a pulse on your target audience’s likes and pain points. Furthermore, your customers feel that they have a direct line and connection to your brand, increasing their trust in your brand.
- Increase Your SEO Ranking
- Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of getting your website to rank higher on search engine results. One of the factors that are used to determine which websites rank first is social media. Your website will be found more significant if it has more backlinks from social media sites.
- Increase ROI (Return on Investment)
- You can generate leads and conversions directly from social media platforms. Shops, direct messaging, call-to-action-buttons, and appointment booking are all features that increase ROI.
Social Media Marketing Key Elements
- Profile optimization: This is how you make your social profiles appear appealing to curious and interested users or potential leads. Without maintaining an accurate, complete, and active profile, your web presence will look disjointed.
- Posting: Posting useful, entertaining, relevant information, pictures, videos, stories, and live videos.
- Engaging: Following customers and influencers and responding to comments, shares, and likes.
- Types of Social Media Marketing Advertising
- Organic: Content that picks up views naturally and you don’t pay for.
- Paid: Content that an organization sponsors and costs money to post.
- Earned: Content that has been given freely through shares, likes, and comments.
Much of social media marketing is free, but paid marketing features can also be very valuable to organizations. They can target your audience more specifically based on factors, including demographic information, retargeting, and behaviors.
- Measuring: Use platform and website analytics to see what’s working and what needs attention.
The Essentials of a Successful Social Media Marketing Strategy
Every business is unique and will measure the success of its social media marketing strategy differently, but they will have some essential elements in common.
- Know your audience: What content does your audience engage with, what platforms do they use, who else are they following, etc.
- Brand identity: Know the message you want to convey to your audience or how you want them to feel when viewing your content.
- Content strategy: Social media is meaningless without great content and without social media no one will know about your brand. This is known as the symbiotic relationship between content and social media. It is good to be specific and prioritize to create quality content consistently.
- Analytics: Measure and monitor your social media marketing, including whom you are reaching, what content is working, how soon they convert, etc.
- Regular activity: The communication among the social media community grows quickly. If you want to keep up with the conversation, you must post regularly, engage often, keep up with trends, and maintain accurate profiles.
- Inbound approach: Focus on adding value to your industry by making your brand valuable and interesting. This will organically promote business, and others will promote it for you.
Creating a Social Media Marketing Plan
- Choose Your Social Media Platforms
There are many social platforms available, but it doesn’t make sense for businesses to use them all. You need to understand your audience and choose the platform(s) that best fit your demographics.
- Set Goals and Objectives
Setting goals will guide how you will use social media marketing and provide a benchmark of data to measure against. You need to measure your current performance to understand how much your social media marketing efforts benefit your business.
- Report and Adjust Regularly
Building a successful social media marketing strategy includes having a way to measure what is working and what isn’t.
Social Media MarketingTips
- Create Diverse Content
Each social marketing channel has a unique way of distributing content- including video, imagery, links, and direct messaging. Identify which content your marketing persona is most likely to engage with.
- Stay Consistent
Each social media marketing platform has its own strategy, voice, and environment, but your business’s core identity should stay consistent across social media marketing channels.
- Interact With Your Audience
Don’t just post now and then and expect to engage with your community effectively. You need to pay attention to who’s interacting with your content and make an effort to engage back through comments, shares, likes, discussions, etc.
- Use Content Creation Tools
Make your content visually attractive with photos and illustrations to accompany your posts. You want to stand out on the platform while maintaining your brand’s identity.
- Repurpose, Repost, and Recycle
Posting great content regularly can be challenging. Using these strategies in moderation to recreate content can help you keep up with the fast pace of social media marketing.
- Measure Success with Analytics
Track data for all your social media advertising campaigns. This will help you determine which strategies are most effective and which need revamping or are better off forgotten.
Advertising on social media is highly cost-effective because you can get your content and offers in front of a massive audience at a very low cost. With the ability to target your audience, you can focus your budget on the people most likely to be interested in your business.
The Best Social Media Marketing Platforms for Business
Different social media networks offer different approaches to engaging with your audience. Here is a short list of the best social media channels for business and how you can use them to build brand awareness, loyalty, and conversions.
- Facebook: The largest of all social media platforms globally, this channel has a diverse range of age groups used to communicate with “friends,” participate in online forums, find businesses, and follow brands.
- Build relationships with current customers
- Make announcements, such as upcoming events
- Hold discussions and live streams
- YouTube: A social media marketing channel where you engage with your audience through interactions related to videos posted, viewed, or shared.
- Post tutorials, how-to, and explainer videos
- Offer shoppable YouTube live streams
- Advertise with video and display ads
- Increase SEO by matching “how to” search criteria
- Instagram: Surpassing Twitter and LinkedIn at one billion monthly active users by 2018, this is a popular platform for diverse content where you can follow influencers and brands.
- Social shopping
- Influencer marketing
- User-generated content
- Company culture
- LinkedIn: A professional network where you can build your personal brand parallel with your business brand.
- Attract top talent
- Network with partners, peers, and customers
- Share company culture
- Post industry news and insights
- Twitter: This is an all-encompassing network used for posting thoughts, useful information, and active discussions.
- Follow influencers to keep up with news and trends
- Share a story through a series of Tweets in one thread
- Make yourself available for customer service
- Snapchat: With 75% of its age group ranging from 13-34, you can build an audience and nurture relationships on this platform through funny images and short videos.
- Location-based marketing
- App marketing
- Feel-good content
- TikTok: Currently the most popular of all social media networks, primarily used as an entertainment channel. Also, it’s the fastest growing social media platform of all time. This social media platform took only five years to reach one billion monthly active users.
- Participate in trending challenges
- Post funny and inspiring videos
- Be relatable
Social Media Marketing Services
Your social media marketing efforts should be as effective as possible. Building your online presence effectively with a thought-out social media marketing plan starts with targeting the right people from the beginning and seeing it through. This can be a daunting task for new or small businesses. Luckily, social media marketing services can help your company focus on followers and engagement while keeping the end goal of ROI in mind.
- Social Media Management Software
Many software programs use proprietary technology to help social media marketers streamline their processes and get advanced analytics.
- Social Media Marketing Agencies
These agencies specialize solely in social media management, making their expertise and experience a valuable resource.
- Digital Marketing Agencies
These agencies can help you incorporate social media marketing into your broader digital marketing strategy, including email, website, SEO, and more.
Trust your Social Media Marketing with ContentFirst Marketing
By leveraging social media advertising solutions, a B2B marketing team can better identify their prospects. Additionally, companies can reach the decision-maker with the right message at the right time.
ContentFirst Marketing knows how to help you develop a social media marketing campaign that is measurable, reliable, and profitable. Together, we can transform your business’s social media marketing strategy into an optimal design and increase traffic. Contact us today.