With the continuing rise of social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and more, there are a variety of opportunities for marketers to connect with their customers where they spend the most time online. Understanding how to utilize social media marketing within your marketing budget properly will help you market your business effectively online.
Why Is Social So Important?
Marketers know that it’s not enough to simply create an excellent product in today’s saturated market — you must have a powerful online presence as well. To work toward achieving that goal, social media is a great way for your business to build brand awareness, increase visibility, and establish trust with your customers.
It’s important to note that your business’s social media accounts provide you a place to tell the story of your company, its culture, and the people behind it. That’s why social media is such a fantastic way to build brand awareness — you can reach a multitude of people within your target market with the story of your business. However, social media marketing isn’t as simple as sharing your origin story and a few fun promotions. Instead, it can be a challenge to get the most out of your efforts without having a comprehensive social media marketing plan in place.
Where Should You Start?
Your social media strategy depends entirely on your marketing budget and your marketing goals. Therefore, the best way to start with social media marketing is by answering these three questions:
- What are my goals? Social media can be used for a variety of different reasons. When it comes to your business, your goals will depend on what you are trying to accomplish. Is your goal to increase brand awareness? Promote a product launch or sale? Something else?
- Who am I targeting? Knowing exactly who you are targeting is key to determining how you will market your business on social media. Social marketing will only be effective if your target customer is active on social media. Conduct research regarding your target market, the platforms they frequent the most, and the types of posts that drive interaction.
- What do I want to achieve with my campaign? Once you have your goals and target customer in mind, it will be simpler to determine how to accomplish these things through social media.
Once you answer these three questions, it will be easier for you to create the perfect strategy. Your social media strategy will likely include two main subcategories: paid social media ads and organic social media marketing.
Organic Social Media Marketing Overview
Organic social media marketing is one of the most effective ways to create a loyal community of fans and engage with them regularly. One of the main draws for many businesses is that organic social media content is free and can be created by anyone — this type of content doesn’t rely on either paid social media ads or sponsored posts. Instead, organic content includes photos, videos, and blog posts posted on Facebook or Instagram without any compensation from your business.
In addition, you have the chance to earn user reviews of your business and user shares of the content you post, further extending your brand’s reach. Thus, the more organic followers you secure for your page, the better your chances of having your content spread to new users. You’ll gain new followers organically and drive more traffic to your site from the content they view and share.
Here are some tips to get you started:
- Post interesting content that relates to your business and ideally links back to a relevant page on your website.
- Post content on a regular basis (at least three times per week) and never underestimate the power of consistency.
- Vary your post types depending on your goals. You can conduct polls, photo contests, and other types of competitions to get your audience involved.
- Use social media analytics tools such as Hootsuite or Bufferapp so you can schedule posts ahead of time.
- Respond to questions or comments on your social media accounts as they come in. Your customers will appreciate the personal attention.
- Similarly, enable reviews and respond to all, both positive and negative. People want to feel connected to your brand — they want you to talk to them, especially when there’s a problem for you to solve.
- Use hashtags to be found by your target audience when they are searching for content related to the topics you want to cover.
Paid Social Media Marketing Overview
You don’t need an unlimited marketing budget to be successful, but you do need to know what works. Although organic social media is essential, paid advertising can be used to effectively target a particular demographic and see results quickly. Paid social can work one of two ways — you can pay to promote your content so more people will see it, or you can create ads that target your best demographics. Whether you choose one tactic or a combination of both, it is critical to track the results of your campaign so you can determine what’s working and what’s not.
Paid social media marketing can be highly effective because it’s targeted and data-rich, allowing you to track demographics, ad types, and more. Paid advertising allows you to take your organic social media strategy one step further and test new demographics to gain new potential customers. Once you determine the type of paid social marketing that works best for your goals, you scale your business’s social media strategy to reach more of your target audience.
Get started with these paid social tips:
- Use Facebook’s advanced targeting options to target the right demographics and increase your sales. If you have a limited budget, try using Facebook’s lookalike audience feature so that the people who see your ads are similar to your existing customers.
- Use paid ads to increase your reach to new demographics and former customers alike.
- Use tools such as Facebook Insights and Google Analytics to see how your paid ads are performing.
- Use split testing to try two different campaigns and find out what drives the best response.
- Use a tool like AdStage or Google Display Network so you can target people who are searching for similar things around the internet.
Where to Begin
Social media is a wonderful way to grow your brand and increase sales. However, it’s critical to develop a strategy before getting started. Social media marketing is an art, and it will take both planning and practice to perfect. If you’re feeling lost, don’t stress — reach out to your preferred digital marketing partner to begin building a strategy that works for your business. The best time to begin crafting your social media presence is today!
Alyssa Anderson is the Content Manager at Zero Gravity Marketing (ZGM), a digital marketing agency in Madison, CT. ZGM is known for developing overarching marketing strategies and specializes in Pay-Per-Click, SEO, content marketing, social media, development, design, and eCommerce services.