Why is social media still a powerful tool to promote your business? The answer is simple, it’s all about efficiency. There’s no more efficient way to engage with your customers, keep your brand in their awareness, and begin that all important top of the funnel marketing process. Content marketing plays the long game and it’s very good at it, but social media is there, in your face, day in-day out, hammering home your brand message. The appeal of social media transcends generations as well. 70% of Generation X are likely to purchase something from a brand they follow, 30% of Millennials engage with a brand on social media at least once a month, and 60% of Baby Boomers are scouring their feeds searching for special offers and other promotions.
(Image source: sproutsocial.com)
Facebook is still very much king of the castle when it comes to userbase, but Millennials are using the platform far less than their Gen X and Baby Boomer peers. The younger generations are gravitating far more towards image-based platforms such as Instagram and Snapchat, instead of more informational networks such as Facebook and Twitter. As we’re sure you’ve realised by now, social media marketing isn’t just something you can make up on the fly. You need to make sure you have a careful strategy in place and are flexible enough to move and shift with your audience.
When starting out with social media marketing, the landscape can seem quite intimidating. You’ll see other brands in your industry which already have large followings and are enjoying regular engagement, and it can seem like a mighty big hill to climb. Remember, all these brands were sitting in your chair at one point, and the reason they are now seeing good results is because they got the basics right in those early days. Build your foundation by being online frequently and engaging with the people you follow. Then, when people start seeing your handle popping up in discussions regularly, they are more likely to come and check your page out. When they do, make sure they are greeted with lots of content instead of a barren wasteland. Even (some might say, especially) when you don’t have many followers, you want to make sure you are posting and engaging on a regular basis. It simply makes your page look more attractive. The people you get on board in those early days are likely to become your best promotors further down the line, so treat them well.
Don’t feel you have to spread yourself over every social media platform out there. Find the ones which best empower you to get your message across, and the ones where your ideal customers are likely to be hanging out, and focus your attention there. If you run an accountancy or law firm, then you may wish to prioritise Linkedin over Snapchat, whereas if you are a purveyor of beautiful clothing or jewellery, Instagram is likely to become your best friend. There are also lots of niche social platforms out there which are more specific in the types of people they attract. The audiences on these platforms will be a lot smaller than those on the more well-known networks, but will be much more keenly focussed, so have a search around and see if there’s one for your niche. That said, Facebook and Twitter are still very powerful tools for engaging with audiences, so we would recommend using them, alongside any others your employ.
Writing a blog for your website is a great way to generate fresh content to share on your social media platforms. Nobody wants to follow a brand which only uses their social platforms to overtly promote their business, so you need to mix up your posts. With a blog, you can share content which isn’t about directly selling people your product or service, but instead gives them something enjoyable and valuable to read. The nice side effect of this is, to read the content, they must click onto your website. Getting people to visit your website for the first time is one of the biggest hurdles of digital marketing, so getting them there by sharing content on social media increases the probability of them having a look around at the same time.
There’s more to social media than just followers and likes. You need to know whether those engagements are converting into real business. Thankfully all the major social players have built-in data packages which enable you to see just how successful your efforts are. Think about what you want to achieve with your social media marketing and then use your metrics to help craft posts towards that goal. If a certain type of post or hashtag isn’t working, then change it up and try something else. It’s easy to become complacent with social media, and just run it on autopilot, but with intelligent use of metrics, it becomes a powerful tool.
If it stays true to your brand identity, don’t be afraid to have fun with your social media. Post polls, surveys, games, puzzles and other activities for your followers to engage with.
(Image source: thechive.com)
Those maths puzzles you see on Facebook which claim only geniuses can solve them may seem ridiculous to an intelligent mind, but just look at the number of comments and likes they get. People love engaging with stuff like that on social media, so come up with fun things for your followers to do. Like/comment/share competitions are a fantastic way to have some fun on social media, and get your page promoted. Offer a small discount or a product as a prize and let your followers do the hard work of sharing your page on your behalf.
Running social media for your business can seem like a full-time job, which is why so many big brands have entire departments dedicated to running theirs. If you don’t find you have the time to keep on top of your social media accounts, markITwrite has years of experience growing followers, posting engaging content, and building brand reputations on social media. Please get in touch today for more information.
18-03-2019 - Gary Smith