It should be no surprise that social media is considered an essential part of any digital marketing strategy. Almost 40% of social media users are following their favorite brands on social media, and social media is an irreplaceable tool for boosting brand awareness, especially for businesses that market locally.
If your business isn’t active on social media yet, or if you haven’t touched your company profile pages in a long time, you may not know where to start.
Here’s everything you need to know about using social media to market your business.
Building a Social Media Strategy
Too often, businesses post on social media as an afterthought. Instead, you should have a documented strategy for what you post on social media, how often you post, and what channels you prioritize. You should also engage in social media marketing with a purpose: to reach a specific set of business goals.
Most social media marketing strategies are defined by the following:
- Understanding your audience and its needs
- Identifying the most viable social media platforms
- Setting definitive goals
- Creating and curating content
- Defining a schedule for posting and engagement
- Analysis and measurement
Depending on the nature of your business, your goals can vary. But they should always be clearly defined and time sensitive. For example, you could set a goal to generate a certain number of leads through social media each month, to increase your follower count to a certain level by a certain time, or even to generate a specific amount of revenue through social selling.
To reach your goals, you must have a schedule and a timeline for how you’ll engage your audience on social media. This could include which types of content you intend to post, how often you intend to post, how much you’ll spend on advertising, and which best practices are necessary for responding to inquiries on social media.
You can’t have a social media strategy without content. Even if you intend to lean into social media advertising, you’ll need your ads to link to something, such as a landing page.
In general, there are two types of content you can leverage on social media:
- Original content
- Third-party content
Original content is content you create yourself. This could include blog posts, how-to guides, eBooks, analytical reports, or even custom-created infographics or memes. News updates and company statements also fall under this category.
Ideally, your original content will be linked to your larger marketing strategy. For example, you could post a series of articles that lead up to a much larger report, which your audience could download by filling out a content form. Or, if you sell products to consumers, you could create a series of custom-built images that lead up to a special sale at your online store.
Meanwhile, third-party content is content created by others that you share on your page. You may not be able to trace leads and sales directly to this content, but they help you establish a community on social media by attracting interest in your page. Third-party content is useful for obtaining more followers and building your customer base.
Communicating with Leads and Customers
Social media isn’t a one-way conversation. Your audience may wish to comment on your content, ask questions, or contact you directly.
You’ll need a set of best practices for managing these interactions, as they are a key part of establishing your online brand. If you want to engage in social selling, you can equip your salespeople with scripts, templates, and other tools to improve their success rates. You can also use automation, AI-powered, chatbots, and a knowledge base to answer FAQs.
Running Social Media Ad Campaigns
It’s easy to launch a social media ad campaign. However, launching a successful one is complicated.
Social media platforms use proprietary algorithms to target relevant users with your ads, but you need to specify which interest categories and demographics to use in your targeting. This requires an extensive understanding of your customers and what they like to browse online.
Furthermore, managing your ad spend can be precarious if you don’t have much experience in doing so. It’s easy to sink hundreds or even thousands of dollars into social media ads. But without the right timeline and targeting parameters, you may not see a significant ROI.
There are also several different types of social media ads to choose from, including the following:
- Photo ads
- Video ads
- “Stories” ads (on Facebook and Instagram)
- Carousel and slideshow ads
- Messaging ads
- Lead generation ads (contact forms)
You should first consider which types of ads your audience will respond to. You can also experiment with small-budget ads to determine which types are most effective.
Measuring Success with Analytics
Finally, you need a system for measuring the success of your social media strategy. You need to be able to attribute leads, customers, and sales to specific social media channels, or even specific campaigns. The only way you can improve your social ROI is by analyzing the data from these campaigns and focusing on what works.
There are a few different tools you could use to do this. Some comprehensive CRMs include a social media marketing component that has analytics. You can also use separate software for your social media campaigns, then aggregate that data into your CRM.
Whichever path you choose, you need to be able to visualize your data, so you can draw actionable insights.
Jumpstart Your Social Media Marketing Strategy
It only takes a few small steps to get started on social media, but things get complicated quickly. If you’re ready to start seeing a real return on investment from your social media campaigns, try partnering with social media marketing experts to make it happen.
Contact Synchronicity today to start creating unique social media experiences for your customers.