5 Things Your Business Needs to Know about Social Media Marketing

5 Things Your Business Needs to Know about Social Media Marketing

 

From the first social media site in 1997 allowing users to make new friends online, things have gotten a whole lot bigger. Now the term social media encompasses much more than social networking sites, meaning that sites that host user accounts and comment sections – Medium, Tumblr, YouTube, WordPress and Blogger etc. – are also seen as forms of social media.

 

With sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest being a huge driver of referral traffic on the web, social media has become a brilliant brand tool for businesses worldwide to promote growth and engage stronger customer relationships.

 

Still not convinced social media is for you? Have a look at these social media statistics highlighting the importance of using social media as a business:

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And these stats don’t only go to prove the popularity of puppy videos – studies prove that both consumer and B2B purchase decisions are influenced by content found on social media sites.  

Here we’ve put together a 5 point guide on choosing the right social media platforms for your business, how you can create the best social media experience to attract more interest in your brand.

#1 Deliver a more personal customer experience


There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to building the right social media following and awareness of your brand. So luckily you don’t have to spend the time on creating every social media profile there is – only the ones that will best appeal to your chosen target market. In order to decide what social sites your business should be using, you’ll need to develop your ideal buying personas and conduct research about how your target audience engage with social media channels. Considering buyer motivations in your social media marketing will help you better personalize your content, increase customer loyalty and improve sales for a greater ROI.

You may find that your buying personas will differ depending on the channel you’re using, as not all of your audience using Facebook will have the same attitudes and behaviors as those using Twitter. However, here’s what you should generally look at when forming buying personas for social media:

  1. How your buyers make purchase decisions and buy from you;
  2. their preferred ways of gaining industry knowledge;
  3. their attitudes towards new brands.

Your personalized buying personas for each of your selected channels should feed into all your social media content. All content should convey a clear message that compels action from your audience, whether that be a comment or a like, a click through to your website or a direct conversion. Keep these tips in mind when personalizing your social media experience for your target personas:

  • Use a consistent brand voice that uses the same language and tone as your target market.
  • Get creative and use images and video – think of content that your audience would want to share.
  • Address people’s concerns as well as promoting the benefits of your products and services. Be honest with your audience and use any issues as an opportunity to improve your offerings.
  • Are there any relevant influencers on your social media sites that would have a positive impact on your audience and brand’s message?

#2 Maintain a social media budget


By allowing you to reach customers on a one-to-one level, social media is a valuable marketing platform and should be treated as such. Regardless of how much money you have to spend, you need to invest in maintaining your social media profiles and reaching new customers through strategizing, content and advertising. With the right budget and strategy in place, it can be a pretty cost-effective way to connect with your target audience.

As well as hiring an employee or specialist to help you properly establish your online presence and create an effective social media strategy, here are some things you’ll need to look at when budgeting.

  • Content – how often will you create or share content and who will be in charge of this? What kind of content will this be? Will you need professional images or videos? Will you need creative software to develop more engaging posts?
  • Paid advertising – paid advertising should be balanced with organic posts to further the reach of your content. You’ll need to decide whether this will be a regular feature in your strategy or whether you will experiment by promoting the organic content that performs well.
  • Management – Who will manage your social media platforms and how much time will they need? Will they require training? What listening, analytical, automation, mobile or security tools etc. will you need to maximise your efficiency and campaign ROI?
  • Campaigns – will you create stand-alone promotions to grow your reach and awareness? How many will you run per year?

You may find that outsourcing your social media marketing to a digital marketing agency will be more efficient and cost-effective than carrying out the bulk of it yourself. They will already have the most appropriate tools and can provide you with the quality of expertise you need to make the most of your budget.

#3 Be there, be quick, be useful


Regardless of how many followers you have, people won’t necessarily trust your company until you can connect with them emotionally and on a personal level. This means creating a diverse spread of relatable and newsworthy posts that don’t simply push for sales. You can reach out to potential customers by posting about promotions and exclusive offers, or events that you’re hosting. Keep your profiles updated with company photos and customer reviews as this will show that you’re legit and will better inspire trust and brand loyalty. And finally, once you’ve built up a trust with your audience, you’ll need to maintain it – posts need to consistent, whether daily or weekly, to keep people coming back.

Social media is also about being able to respond to people’s needs. You may find that sharing a survey about new product ideas or asking for reviews on your services is a great way to understand your target market and get them engaged with your business. Don’t be afraid to directly ask people about ways that you could improve or respond to people’s mentions of your company, good or bad. If they know that you appreciated their comments or likes and shares, they’ll be more likely to positively do so again. Tools such as chatbots allow you to immediately respond and resolve problems without you even having to get involved. A 2016 report from Sprout Social found that the average number of social messages needing a response have grown 18% year over year. Chatbots allow you to automate your responses so you can create more personalized online customer service experiences. Chatbots for Facebook Messenger are currently growing in popularity for brands to increase communication and lower response times.

#4 Use content across channels

Many social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, allow you to share posts cross-channel. Although your content should ideally be tailored to each channel, posting some content cross-channel will mean that you can instantly reach the maximum number of people. This works well if you’re running promotional campaigns that are attention-grabbing and link to a dedicated landing page. You may even want to use unique hashtags which can be used across each social media platform to give your campaign an edge.

#5 Adapt with the latest online marketing trends


In order to stay relevant, you’ll need to keep your eye on trends such as video and live streaming, chatbots or trends in paid advertising. Consider how your business can use these trends to maximize your social media presence and drive engagement. However, choose wisely. Don’t go overboard by trying to adopt every trend. Instead, focus on using the ones that will offer most value for you and your audience. You may find it helpful to set aside a small portion of your budget to experiment with these trends and measuring their effectiveness before adopting them on a larger scale.

If you’d like to know more on being successful with your social media marketing, or to speak to an expert on managing your online presence, you can call us at BA Marketing on +1 855 422 6224 and we’ll be happy to help you.