There are two scenarios that lead to this question being posed. The first is when you’ve never approached the concept of social media marketing before, but are realising it’s seriously worth a try. As for the second, that’s when you’ve dabbled in it a little already, but don’t know how to make it successful.
So, if you’re looking to make your mark in social media marketing for business, the following information will help you to get started and strategise effectively.
If you open any social media platform right now, take a look at the first post you see. While it may be something completely irrelevant or even a little risqué, each post serves a purpose – to share information from one person to another and cause a reaction.
Social media marketing works exactly the same way. Businesses of any size have the ability to reach a large number of customers who are already engaging with an abundance of brands, products and services across various platforms. So, how do you get started on this fantastic opportunity?
Who Do You Want To Reach?
First of all, choosing who you want to reach via social media is essential. By defining your target audience, you stand a better chance of not adopting a ‘scattergun’ approach to social media marketing, whereby you simply try – and fail – to appeal to everyone.
You’ll already have an idea of who your customers are in terms of age, location and perhaps interests and goals, and social media marketing can help you to use this knowledge to your advantage. When defining your audience, also ask yourself if there are any other people in different locations that you’d like to reach.
Where Are They (online)?
Answering this question helps you to decide which platforms to use in your social marketing efforts. For instance, while Facebook remains the most popular platform in the world for both social and business use (2.8 billion users and 60 million+ business pages), it’s not considered to be the best platform for business-to-business (B2B) marketing.
In fact, 93% of B2B marketers believe LinkedIn to be the most effective platform for generating business leads, and more than 60% of corporate visits from social media channels actually originate on LinkedIn.
Beyond these two platforms, Twitter can be a great place to interact with an existing audience, while Instagram naturally suits a business that can regularly publish short videos and images of their products, services and operations.
How Will You Manage Your Platforms?
Once you’ve decided which platform(s) you’re going to use, it’s worthwhile choosing a tool that allows you to plan and publish posts. The likes of Hootsuite, Grum and Buffer are good ones to consider first, with free packages available for scheduling the posts and creating a practical content calendar you can adapt over time.
Adopting SMART Goals
This simple (not to mention clever) acronym can really help you to stay focused. First of all, be Specific in your targets and goals, and decide how you will Measure your success over time. Social media platforms come with a whole host of tools for tracking progress – and we’ll cover these in more detail in an upcoming post.
And remember, your goals also need to be Achievable and Realistic. This could be as straightforward as starting with a small target audience and putting some money into your efforts with paid-for advertising, or focusing on organic reach and getting a few more followers on your social media profiles to begin with.
Finally, you need to decide on a Timeline to achieve them. Choose a date to begin, and define a date it should end. This may initially make things feel urgent, but it will also keep your mind on your goals, and how close you are to reaching them in time.
Engaging With Your Audience
Crucially, once your strategy is put to work and your posts are being published every day, this is your time to add personality to the campaign. If someone follows your page, send them a welcome message. If they leave a positive comment, make sure you reciprocate. However, if they leave something negative, ensure you react as tactfully and strategically as possible.
Remember: once your business is on social media, you’ve not only got a new platform for marketing but a customer service channel, too.
In the next few weeks, we’ll be helping you to create an effective social media marketing strategy, and teaching you the key tips and tricks that will help your business to stand out on social media.
In the meantime, though, for any more expert advice on social media marketing for business, please get in touch with us by calling 01455 367 100. And yes, you can find us on social media, too!