All of the best marketing strategies use social media in some form or another. More than half the world is on social media, so why would you not use this tool to your advantage.
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When used wisely, your brand can benefit enormously from social media marketing, and you can start seeing the benefits soon. Let’s talk about how to get started.
1. Develop a Social Media Marketing Strategy
Social media is different from the rest of your digital marketing strategy. You have to have killer content that fits into the guiding principles of specific platforms.
With SEO, a good website, backlinks, and the right keywords will be enough to start ranking. With a PPC campaign, all you need is a professional ad and a good landing page to make some conversions. So, what makes social media different?
With social media, you have to create content that not only draws users in but makes them want more so that they follow you to get it. However, you have to tread the fine line of following the trends, staying in touch with your audience, keeping them engaged, not alienating them, and not appearing like a “bot” account. That’s a much finer line than email marketing.
There are some general principles with social media. You want to post quality content, first and foremost. You don’t want to be overwhelming, you don’t want to seem like you’re trying too hard, and you want to reach your desired target audience.
This requires market research. Creating engaging content is a complex art form, and keeping it relevant to your business only adds an extra challenge.
Primarily, you want to establish your target audience, your desired tone of voice, your content uploading schedule, the platforms you intend to use, and the specific goals of the campaign. This is a good place to start and it lays a foundation that you can build upon over time.
Target Audience and Platform
Your target audience will also help determine the platforms and timing of the content, or the “when and where”. If your target audience is Gen Z, then Instagram and TikTok are going to be your best bet.
If your target audience is Millennials and Gen X, then Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter tend to be successful. Gen X and Boomers will mostly be on Facebook.
However, that isn’t a precise enough measure. If your business will rely heavily on visual imagery or text, this could help you choose the right platform as well. Certain niches will perform better on certain platforms.
Let’s say you run a video production business. Why wouldn’t you use TikTok or YouTube? If you run a blog, Twitter is likely your home along with Facebook or LinkedIn. A wedding photographer will belong on Instagram.
Consider how your business relates to each platform along with your target audience to help you choose. It’s great to use multiple platforms, but only if you have the resources to keep up with them.
Tone of Voice
Next, you want to determine how you will speak to your audience, and this includes a number of factors. Will you be speaking directly to them like in this article, using “you”, “your”, and “yours”? Third-person plural is another great option for informational content (they, their, theirs). Look at some examples of tones of voice to see what fits your brand the best.
Not only that, are there certain words or phrases you want to avoid? Is there a professional standard you want to maintain? Will you use humor in your content? These are important questions to ask.
Another part is whether you will be addressing your followers’ questions and comments directly. Many brands choose to do this, as it shows a human presence behind the brand and builds trust among your audience, but some choose to stick to simply posting content.
Are you trying to build ad revenue from your YouTube videos? Do you want to use this account for influencer marketing? Are you looking to draw people to your online store to buy your products? Whatever your goals are, write them down and make them as explicit as possible. This is arguably the most important part of your entire strategy.
2. Get Your Team on Board
Once you have a clear strategy developed, it’s very important to communicate this strategy with the team that will be involved. This will require a meeting for any team members who will be involved with the social media campaign, whether that’s content creators, marketers, managers, freelancers, or outsourced services.
During the meeting, it’s important to familiarize your team with the expectations on quality, language, and tone of voice. These are important to keep uniform for your brand.
Are you going to be commenting on customer posts? Will you be sharing follower material? If so, guidelines will need to be communicated for this. We can control what our staff says, but we can’t control what our customers say, so have clear guidelines in place about what is to be promoted.
Go over the schedule with your staff, discuss the objectives, where to link to, and more. Make sure that everybody is on the same page for the entire strategy, as this will only maximize your brand’s voice and the performance of the campaign.
3. Create Content in Advance
There is no reason to not prepare your content in advance. Why would you wait until the last minute, anyway?
Let’s say you’re planning on creating 10 posts, 2 stories, and 5 shares in a week. The posts will be the bulk of the trouble, especially if you’re looking to change them up.
For example, video content will take the most time to develop, and you may also be sharing content from your website that will take time. It would be a great idea to have 8 posts at the start of the week (every week) to prepare for this.
That way, if anything changes within the week, if a new promotion comes up, if you get a stellar review from a customer that you want to share, or if you want to highlight something new, you’ll still have the opportunity to do so.
However, having 10-12 posts prepared would not only allow you to improvise when necessary but also have leftovers for a headstart for the week after. If you aim a little higher and improvise when you can, you won’t have to worry about falling behind.
Try to make sure that a portion of this content is designed to generate business. Adding a link to a blog post with a good CTA, showing new products at your online store, or leading users to subscription buttons are great ways to promote business growth.
4. Post When the Time is Right
Make sure that you know the best time to post on social media for both your platform and your target audience. This is critical when it comes to maximizing your reach, and it’s such an easy way to get the most out of every post.
Assuming you have content created in advance, it’s simple to pick a schedule throughout the week that’s relatively consistent, set a timer, and drop it at the right time.
5. Optimize Your Account
If you’re just starting out your profiles or if you haven’t already optimized them, now is the time. We don’t just mean getting that blue checkmark (which you should aim to get), we mean optimizing your profile on every platform to get the most attention.
First, register as a business account. Then, you will want your title to be short and simple. Ideally, it will only contain your company name if it’s either instantly recognizable or contains the information needed.
For example, Apple doesn’t need to write “Apple – Global Tech Giant” in order to convey what it is. Neither does a local business called “Annie’s Pizzeria”. However, if your name is something obscure (like Apple) and you don’t have large-scale brand recognition, give the briefest possible identifier afterwards in the title.
Next, you need to upload your profile picture. This should only be your company logo or maybe a high-resolution image of your business’s physical location. Most people will be seeing these on mobile devices, so the image will need to be legible at a small scale.
Finally, your bio. This should be something short, sweet, and to the point, while offering a link to your website. Most often, users will only see two short lines before they have to click “read more”, so give them all of that information as briefly as possible. “Local plumbing company in Ashby, Massachusetts” is a great example, especially if followed by a link to your website or “Contact us at [email protected]”
That’s it. If you wanted to add a link to your other social media accounts, your e-commerce store, or anything else that is less relevant than your website or contact info, drop them after that.
6. Run Promotional Content
A great way to start building followers is to run promotional content. “Like, share, and follow for a chance to win” is a great way to start. People have nothing to lose and something to gain by doing it, so it can help people feel invested in your company before ever even using your products or services.
This doesn’t have to be something that breaks the bank, either. You can offer simple services in exchange for a share, or small giveaways periodically. Throwing out discounts and other promotional content with no strings attached is a great way to start generating direct sales, as well.
7. Engage with Viral Content
Of course, the best way to build an organic following is for a post to go viral. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t benefit from other people’s success.
If you run a pet shop, nothing goes viral faster than funny pet videos. If you’re able to reach top comment on a viral post, then your company’s name will be the first thing people see after the post when they check the comments. If people found it funny, they might follow you.
No matter what your industry is, there will be a niche for it on social media. A construction company might comment on viral worker fail videos, you name it. If you can find the trending content, consider interacting with it. It’s an easy way to show a human presence behind your brand, increase recognition, and potentially build followers. Also, you can have fun with it!
8. Use Hashtags Wisely
Don’t overdo your hashtags but definitely don’t limit yourself too much. This is another fine line to keep in the back of your head. Hashtags can be your best friend if you find viral trends that are relevant to your brand.
You should periodically check out what’s trending on your platform and see if you can make something out of it. Don’t try to do this every time, as it will only seem spammy, but choosing wisely could have enormous benefits for gaining attention.
Not only that, every post should have some hashtags. This is great for increasing the visibility of each post. Do your best to keep them relevant, on-topic, and not overwhelming.
9. Be Consistent
The truth is, social media marketing is all about consistency. This isn’t a “set it and forget it” strategy. You have to adapt to trends as they come, continue doing research, and keep posting killer content for your audience. The marketing industry is getting better and better at doing this, so keep up with your competition, and keep up to date with our latest marketing tips.
Read more trending article: Amazing Strategies To Boost Your Social Media Presence