Social Media Marketing
Using social media for marketing enables small businesses looking to further their reach to more customers. Your customers are engaging with your competitors brands through social media. Therefore, having a strong social media marketing plan and presence on the web is the key to tap into their interest. Social media marketing is very effective when executed correctly.
What is Social Media Marketing?
Social media marketing is a form of internet marketing that uses social media networks to engage your brand with consumers. It involves sharing of content, videos, and images, as well as paid social media advertising.
Social Media and Marketing: Start With a Plan
Before you begin creating social media marketing campaigns, consider your business’ goals. Starting a social campaign without a social strategy in mind is like wandering through a forest without a map. You will only end up lost.
Create a social media marketing plan and brainstorm about your goals: what are you hoping to achieve through social media marketing? Who is your target audience? Where would your target audience hang out and how would they use social media? What message do you want to send to your audience with social media marketing?
Social Media for Marketing: Developing Your Goals
Marketing though social channels can help with a number of goals, such as:
- Increasing website traffic
- Building conversions
- Raising brand awareness
- Creating a brand identity and positive brand association
- Improving communication and interaction with key audiences
Only by establishing your goals can you measure your ROI.
Best Social Media Marketing Tips:
Here are some social media marketing tips to keep you on the right track across all your social media campaigns.
- Planning – As discussed previously, building a social media marketing plan is essential. Consider keyword research and brainstorm content ideas that will interest your target audience.
- Content is King — Consistent with other areas of online marketing, content is king. Make sure you are offering valuable information that your target customers will find interesting. Create a variety of content by implementing social media images, videos, and infographics in addition to classic text-based content.
- Consistent Brand Image — Using social media for marketing enables your business to project your brand image across a variety of different platforms. While each platform has its own unique environment and voice, your business’ core identity should stay consistent.
- Blog — Blogging is a great social media marketing tool that lets you share a wide array of information and content with readers. Your company blog can also serve as your social media marketing blog, in which you blog about your recent social media efforts, contests, and events.
- Links — Mix up the information you are sharing. In addition to your own content, share relevant articles your followers will fin interesting. If other sources provide great, valuable information you think your target audience will enjoy, don’t be shy about linking to them. Linking to outside sources improves trust and reliability, and you may even get some links in return.
- Track Competitors — It’s always important to keep an eye on competitors. Because they can provide valuable data for keyword research, industry-related links, and other marketing insight. If your competitors are using a certain marketing technique that is working for them, copy it, but do it better!
- Measure Success with Analytics —You can’t determine the success of your social media marketing strategies without tracking data. Google Analytics is a great measurement tool. It will help you measure your successes and show you what is working and what is not. Attach tracking tags to your social marketing campaigns so that you can properly monitor them.
How to Use Social Media for Marketing: Know Your Platform
<p.We’ve put together this brief overview, showing each platform’s unique environment. Various social media marketing sites will require different techniques, so develop a unique strategy tailored for each platform.
Facebook’s casual, friendly environment requires an active social media marketing strategy that begins with creating a Facebook Business Page. You will want to pay careful attention to layout, as the visual component is a key aspect of the Facebook experience. Social media marketing for business pages revolves around building and engaging your audience with relevant information. Keep your tone light and friendly.
Google+ tried to be the Facebook competitor, and it promotes the same fun, casual atmosphere. On Google+ you can upload and share photos, videos, links, and view all your +1s. Also take advantage of Google+ circles, which allow you to segment your followers into smaller groups. This enables you to share information with some followers while barring others. For example, you might create a “super-fan” circle, sharing special discounts and exclusive offers.
You can also try hosting video conferences with Hangouts and experiment using the Hangout feature in some fun, creative ways.
Pinterest’s image-centered platform is ideal for fashion food and beauty brands as well as retail. However anyone can benefit from using Pinterest for social media purposes.
Pinterest allows small businesses to showcase their own product offerings and their brand’s personality with some unique pinboards.
Twitter is the social media marketing tool that lets you broadcast your updates across the web. Follow tweeters in your industry or related fields, and you should gain a steady stream of followers in return.
Mix up your tweets about specials, discounts, and news updates with some fun and quirky tweets. Be sure to retweet when a customer has something nice to say about you. And don’t forget to answer people’s questions. Using Twitter as a social media marketing tool revolves around dialog and communication. Be sure to interact as much as possible and understand how to use hashtags correctly.
THis is one of the more professional social media marketing sites. LinkedIn Groups is a great venue for entering into a professional dialog with people in similar industries and provides a place to share content with like-minded individuals.
Encourage customers or clients to give your business a recommendation on your LinkedIn profile. Recommendations makes your business appear more credible and reliable for new customers. Also browse the Questions section of LinkedIn; providing answers helps you get established and earns trust.
YouTube is the number one place for creating video content, an incredibly powerful marketing tool. Many businesses try to create video content with the aim of having their video “go viral.” In reality, those chances are pretty slim. Instead, focus on creating useful, instructive “how-to” videos. These how-to videos also have the added benefit of ranking on the video search results of Google. So don’t under-estimate the power of video content!
Location-Based Social Media Tools
Social media platforms like Yelp, FourSquare, and Level Up are great for brick and mortar businesses looking to implement marketing social media. Register on these sites to claim your location spot. Then consider extra incentives such as check-in rewards or special discounts. These visitors will have their phones in hand so they will have access to providing reviews which for other users.
Reddit, or similar social media platforms such as Stumble Upon or Digg, are ideal for sharing compelling content. With over 2 billion page views a month, Reddit has incredible social media marketing potential. But marketers should be warned that only truly unique, interesting content will be welcomed. Posting on Reddit is playing with fire. Submit spammy or overly sales-focused content and your business could get berated by this extremely tech-savvy community.
If you have content you believe the Reddit community (majority is young, geeky, liberal, and internet-obsessed) would enjoy, you could reap tremendous benefits and earn valuable traffic.
Social media marketing does more than improve site traffic and help businesses reach more customers. It provides a valuable venue for better understanding and learning from your target audiences. Hopefully this has helped you better understand how using social media for marketing can improve your business.
Paid Social Media Marketing Tips
We love paid social advertising because it’s a highly cost-effective way to expand your reach. If you play your cards right, you can get your content and offers in front of a huge audience at a very low cost. Most social media platforms offer incredibly granular targeting capabilities. This allows you to focus your budget on exactly the types of people that are most likely to be interested in your business. Call us when you are ready to begin a paid social media strategy.