Social media marketing is a powerful means for businesses of all types and dimensions to reach their target audiences. Your customers already happen to be interacting with brands through different platforms. If you’re not in direct contact with your audience through social media networks like LinkedIn, Facebook, TikTok, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest, you’re missing out an opportunity to actually connect with them, and letting a free path to your competitors!
Great marketing in social media can bring outstanding success to your company or organization, building a loyal audience for your brand and even driving more leads and sales. These are some of the reasons why brands develop a social media marketing strategy inside their campaigns, and why you should start doing it.
Marketing through social media is one of the most versatile and cost-effective strategies that small businesses can use to reach their target audience and boost sales over time. That’s why 97% of marketers are using social media to reach their audiences.
What Does Social Media Marketing Really Mean For a Small Business?
Social media marketing (SMM) is really a form of online marketing which involves creating and sharing content in networking communities to pursue your advertising branding goals. SMM uses diverse tools, both paid and unpaid, such as sharing posts and information, images, videos and other content to drive audiences engagement, as well as paid social media advertising.
Usually brands develop a broad strategy in several platforms, adapting the content to each platform, as they work differently and usually attract different audiences. This is called multi-platform strategy, and can also adopt the form of trans-media content by telling a story across different channels.
We’ve developed this guide to offer you an introduction to social media marketing. We also included some beginner tips and coaching to boost your organization’s presence on these platforms.
How To Use Social Media Marketing To Reach Your Goals
Social media marketing can help with a number of goals, such as:
- Increasing website traffic
- Building conversions
- Raising brand awareness
- Creating a brand identity and positive brand image
- Improving communication and interaction with key audiences
The bigger and more engaged your audience is on social media networks, the easier it will be for you to achieve every other marketing goal on your list.
Why Should Small Businesses Be Using Marketing Via Social Media?
- First of all, social media is where your customers are. Don’t wait for your audience to look for you, you go to them!
- And it’s also where your competitors are! So you must be there.
- Consumers are more receptive on social media than in any other platform.
- More conversational and interactive than other types of advertising.
- It can be a cheap option. Although it requires time and knowledge, sharing content on social media is free, and there are inexpensive advertising options if you are a small business.
- Marketing on social media improves brand recognition and visibility in a less intrusive way.
- You can target and reach specific audiences with social media marketing.
- You can easily adapt your message on each channel, as each audience uses a different platform.
- You can drive a conversation directly with your customer.
- It can help you to be found on search engines (SEO). A well developed and active account can be recognized as valuable content and thus, help you to be shown on searches.
- You can increase more hot leads on social media than any other outbound marketing tactics, according to Hubspot.
- Find new audiences and markets.
- Finally, you can learn directly from your customers’ and your competitors. What your customers’ needs are, their concerns, their way of thinking, etc. What the competition is doing, their strengths, their weaknesses, their approach, and most important: their reputation!
Social Media and Marketing: There’s No Plan Without Strategy
You need to first define your business’s objectives before jumping on the social media marketing campaign. Considering your goals, target audience, the industry you are in and your brand strengths and weaknesses is vital. Jumping on a campaign without a defined strategy is likely to fail, or get lost when something doesn’t work.
Some of the things you should bear in mind when defining your objectives for your social media marketing plan can be:
- Who is your target audience?
- What are you hoping to achieve through social media marketing?
- What kind of content does each platform require? Video, article, etc.
- What message do you want to deliver with social media marketing? How can you adapt it to your audience?
- Last but not least, what is your business like? Which approach will work better for you? How much time can you invest?
Best Social Media Marketing Tips
Once you have defined your social media strategy, you can start planning your actions, choosing the style you are going to use and thinking on your content ideas. Here are some tips to consider in the process:
- Ensure you deliver good quality SM content. There is so much content on SM, that in order to draw people’s attention you need to offer valuable and appealing pieces. The content that people look for on SM is quite different from what is found in blogs and webs.
- Set up a content planning. organize your content depending on topics, key dates.
- Keep it consistent. not only design-wise but also follow a regular posting schedule and guarantee that you remain loyal to your message.
- Sharing links to outside content. Find other sources that could provide valuable content to your audience (articles, videos, blogs). They will appreciate it.
- Keep track of your competitors’ actions. By this way you can gain useful insights for your campaigns and your business. You can learn both what to do and what to avoid.
- Measure your campaign results with Analytics.
- Promote your site and blog contents. Include a link to your pages to expand on the information you share on social media. This will also make you gain website traffic.
- Corporate communication channel. handle crisis, communicate changes and releases, share information (dates, schedules, contact information, FAQ)
More Social Media Marketing Help
Once you are into it, just start developing your strategy. There are a lot of solutions to help you improve your performance and help you optimize your marketing efforts. For more information on how to develop your social media marketing plan, check these articles:
- Develop your Instagram Stories Strategy
- Content Ideas for Instagram Stories
- How to get verified on Instagram
- 15 Social Media Marketing & scheduling Tools