It should come as no surprise to you that social media is a powerful tool in the marketing world. The vast majority of the population uses social media every day, making these platforms the ideal place to increase brand awareness and build trust with your audience.
That said, establishing a strong following on social media apps isn’t easy, and these platforms can be intimidating if you’re unfamiliar with how they work. In this blog post, we’ll provide you with a solid foundation of knowledge that will help you develop a social media strategy for your business based on best practices and proven results.
Why Social Media Matters for Your Business
Social media is the quickest and easiest way to reach a large audience. Regardless of your discomfort with social media, passing up this opportunity as a business owner is unwise. Platforms such as Facebook and Instagram offer a low-cost method of creating a strong identity for your brand and building a relatable personality that converts into sales.
You need to build a positive perception of your company to attract new customers, and social media provides you with the tools to do this. Not only will you be able to project a strong brand image to your intended audience, but you’ll also be able to receive valuable feedback and communicate directly with the people who keep you in business.
Now that we’ve established the importance of social media, let’s move on to some tips on maximizing the benefits you receive from these online platforms.
Important Social Media Terms
To demystify social media marketing and its role in your overall advertising campaign, it’s worth reviewing a few key terms related to these platforms. Not only will this assist you while reading the rest of this guide, but it will also be beneficial if you do further social media research in the future.
Here are some of the most common terms that pertain to social media:
- •Followers: These are the people that choose to subscribe to your account directly and will be the primary audience for everything you post. When someone chooses to “follow” you on a social media platform, it means they want to receive updates about your business.
- •Content: Anything you post on your social media channels is considered content. Quality content is the most relevant factor for achieving success on social media and can include everything from text to images to videos.
- •Engagement: This is the measurement of how many people interact with your social media posts. This can be in the form of likes, shares, comments, and more. When your social media content has good engagement, it means you’re connecting with your audience and expanding your reach.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of the relevant concepts for social media marketing, but it should be enough for you to start deepening your understanding of these platforms.
Focus on the Right Platforms
With so many social media apps—and new ones popping up seemingly all the time—determining where you should spend your time and effort isn’t always straightforward. When you’re just getting started, it’s generally recommended that you focus on one or two platforms to avoid spreading yourself too thin.
The platforms you choose can depend on several factors, including your industry, target audience, and local community. One way to help narrow down your selection is to look at leaders in your industry and note where they have the most followers and engagement for their content.
To help familiarize yourself with some of the major social media platforms, here is a brief introduction to the prominent marketing strategies for each one:
- •Facebook: This social media platform has the largest monthly user base, which makes it a great place to launch your marketing efforts. Facebook tends to skew toward an older audience and is a great place to increase brand awareness and promote paid advertisements.
- •Instagram: This platform primarily focuses on pictures and videos, making it ideal for behind-the-scenes content that makes your business appear more relatable. Instagram users are mostly millennials, but you can also reach older and younger audiences on this app.
- •LinkedIn: LinkedIn will likely be your platform of choice if your business targets other businesses as clients. LinkedIn focuses on business development and relationship building, which makes it a fantastic resource for B2B companies.
These three platforms are generally the best launching point for your social media campaign, but they’re not the only ones. Depending on the nature of your business, you may also want to consider YouTube, Twitter, and Snapchat.
Understand Your Audience
Like any form of advertising, marketing on social media requires some insight into the preferences and expectations of your target audience. Fortunately, one of the main benefits of social media is that it provides you with a direct communication channel to your clientele.
Most social media platforms include an analytics feature for businesses that can help you track the content with higher engagement. This gives you insight into what your potential clients are looking for so you can tailor your content to keep them engaged with your company.
Establish a Schedule
Staying active on social media is crucial. In the fast-moving world of the Internet, your business needs regular promotion to remain relevant.
Creating a posting schedule is one of the best ways to ensure you stay on top of your social media game. You should aim to post something at least once a week; however, posting three to five times per week will ensure you stay in front of your followers.
Many social media platforms allow you to schedule posts in advance, so you can create a week’s worth of posts all at once and have them roll out over the coming days.
You should also set aside time to reply to comments and answer questions promptly—after all, engagement and interactions can be a crucial part of your social media success.
Set Realistic Expectations
Although you may be enthusiastic about connecting with your target audience and gaining a following on social media, it’s important to understand that success doesn’t happen overnight. Although it isn’t uncommon to hear about viral sensations, most achievements on social media are earned through hard work and consistency.
While setting goals for your social media growth is helpful, it’s also worth noting that social media analytics won’t always tell the full story. Social media won’t always bring a rush of traffic straight to your website, but it will keep your business at the front of your audience’s mind for when they do choose to buy. In fact, 90% of people report buying things from brands they follow on social media.
Get Out There and Be Social
Participating in social media is no longer optional—it’s a part of nearly every winning marketing strategy. We hope we’ve helped clarify why social media is essential and how to maximize the benefits you receive from these platforms.
While we’ve only covered the basics today, it should be enough to help you get started. If you’re interested in a future blog post about the type of content you should be creating for your business and how to boost the quality of your posts, let us know in the comments.
At LinkNow, we’re your one-stop shop for social media management and more. If you would like to speak with industry professionals about overseeing your online presence, you can reach us at 1.888.667.7186 or firstname.lastname@example.org.