If you are making your first step as a business into the online world, social media marketing is a fantastic place to start. With a large portion of the world’s population spending their time glued to their phones, social media allows you to interact with your audience on a personal level and create an online community based around your product. Done well, social media marketing can help your business flourish online and boost brand visibility massively. If you are getting started with social media marketing, take a look at our handy top tips for social media marketing.
Know Your Audience
One of our top tips for social media marketing for business is to know your audience. The success of any social media marketing you create will depend entirely on how your audience reacts to it. What type of customers are you looking to target? Professionals looking for a business solution? Young people who travel a lot? Families looking to buy a product to fit their needs? How marketers use social media to interact with their audiences and learn more about their audiences speaks volumes about their digital marketing strategy.
Before you get started with social media marketing, be sure to do some in-depth research on your customer base to find out as much as you can about them and how they use social media. If you will be marketing in another country or to a different type of demographic, it is worth doing some research into what those audiences value, any society or cultural influences and what types of things they value. This will help inform the type of social media marketing you use and how you target it. Using the right social media platforms and social media strategies can help instil trust in your brand online and form an online community based around your brand where customers speak positively about your business and their experiences.
Choose Your Platform Carefully
With a number of social media platforms to choose from, what is the best social media for marketing? If you are looking for the best social media for your business, your industry and audience are key. Take a look at some of your main competitors to see what social media platforms they are using and how. Are they seeing any success from these platforms? Whilst there are a number of social media platforms out there, not all will be suitable for your business and having a social media account that is not optimised will do nothing to promote your business or display it in the best light online.
For example, a B2B business that mainly deals with professionals looking for a service might see a lot of success on Linkedin but a Pinterest account may do nothing to boost their image or find new customers. On the other hand, an interior designer may find a lot of success on visual platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest but not much movement on platforms such as Twitter which favours more continuous, quick-fire interactions.
Take a look at how your target audience interacts online and how your competitors harness the various social media platforms successfully. If your company has previously been active on social media, see where you have seen successes or where posts have received little or no interactions. Use this to inform the types of social media marketing you use in the future.
Define Your Social Media Goals
So you have researched your audience and know what type of social media platforms they react best to. The next step in getting started with social media marketing is to define your goals. What do you hope to achieve through marketing your business on social media? Social media is a great way to boost brand recognition and perfect for interacting with your target audience on a personal level so one of your goals could be to boost brand recall, perhaps by extending your audience reach. Some social media marketing goals could initially be to hit a certain number of followers to your brand’s page. This could be followed by statistics such as number of comments or shares from posts added to your company’s page. Positive mentions and shares are also brilliant ways of extending your brand’s reach on social media.
If one of your goals is website traffic, tracking visitors going to your website from your social media pages or posts is a great way to monitor this, monitoring clicks on posts can help monitor how many people are reacting to your content in a proactive way. Work out what your business goals are and how social media marketing can help achieve them. This will help inform your social media strategy and make sure that everything your post to your page, tweet or share is aligned with your business goals.
Build a Social Media Strategy
When starting to use social media marketing for your business, it is important to have a clear plan of what you will be doing and how you will be achieving your goals. Use the above goal examples are a starting base to consider your company goals and set out a concrete plan of how you will achieve these goals through social media marketing. Use S.M.A.R.T goals to set realistic and measurable goals that will form the base of your social media strategy.
Some important things that should be included in your social media marketing strategy should be:
- Who you are planning to reach with your marketing
- Why you are using the platforms you have chosen
- What types of posts or content will you be sharing
- How this content is unique to your brand
Your social media marketing strategy should then be broken down further by platform. These sections should detail what you will be sharing on each different platform and be planned around the unique nature of each of the different types of social media. For example, which hashtags will you be using on Twitter or Instagram? Will you be sharing blog articles on Facebook? What sort of images will you be sharing on platforms such as Instagram? Will you be publishing articles directly on Linkedin or will you be creating infographics for sharing on the platform? Part of your social media marketing strategy may include a set posting schedule detailing what will be posted when. Be sure to leave room for variation as posts are often inspired by trends to stay current.
Keep an Eye on Trends
As detailed in the previous social media marketing tip, trends are something that can affect and enhance every social media business strategy. Remember the blue and white striped dress image that went viral? Many brands capitalised on this with their own versions of the viral post and keyed into what people were talking about on social media to push their own name into the spotlight. Keeping an eye on trends helps brands stay current and shows that they are aware of things away from their own brand. Getting involved in a trend and putting a unique spin on it can help grab the attention of people using social media as it is something they are familiar with that is current.
Whilst moving with the times and remaining is current to social media marketing success, you must ensure that your messaging and visuals remain consistent. In order to improve brand awareness and recall, that brand must appear in the same way consistently. As you will have formed a brand voice in your website’s copy, this voice and identity must also follow through on other platforms, including in your social media marketing. Brand colours, font styles and logos are all elements that should be uniform across all platforms, even after you have adapted content to suit the needs of each platform.
If you have highlighted information on your social media pages, you should also make sure that this same information is included on your website and in any communication with customers to avoid confusion. If you have a separate team answering enquiries in your social media inboxes, for example on Facebook, make sure that they are aware of the same information so that whether someone calls your business, visits your website or messages your company on social media, they will always receive the same answer. Doing this improves the amount of trust a consumer will have in your brand and keeps you looking professional however your customer accesses your brand.
Measure, Analyse and Reflect on Results
When getting started with social media marketing it is important to start as you mean to go on. Any good social media marketing agency will tell you that measuring the results of your campaigns is key to making the most of them. When running paid campaigns on social media, or setting out a content posting schedule, keep a running log of what has been posted when, what the goals were and what the results of those campaigns were. This will help you see how social media marketing works for your company.
By doing this you will be able to see where your efforts would best be focussed on and what past attempts have worked, or not worked. When researching how your audience reacts to different types of social media marketing, it is often useful to set up an A/B test. To do this, you can set up two different versions of the same post, for example, changing one element of the post to see how it performs. This can help you see common patterns in how your customers behave and react to your marketing and can help inform future campaigns and post types going forward. By doing this, you will also be able to set some benchmark figures of what your posts should be achieving at different times of the day, week or even year. For example, if you know that an average post will receive around 90 clicks and your most recent post receives only one, it might be worth looking into what went wrong with that particular post.
Getting the Help of a Social Media Marketing Agency
If you are looking to expand and improve how your business uses social media marketing, a social media marketing agency can be an ideal way to optimise this platform. As experts in social media, they will have past knowledge of the types of campaigns and styles of posts that do well. They will make informed decisions based on bespoke targeting and will be experienced in creating set ad groups that fit your target audience. With the help of a social media marketing agency, you will be able to work alongside the experts to map out what you would like to promote, what your end goals are and how you will reach your ideal audience.
If you are looking to get started promoting your business using social media marketing, why not take a look at our dedicated social media services? Alternatively, get in touch now online or by calling 0121 552 6500 to find out more about how we can help your business get started with social media marketing.