Social media has helped businesses a great deal but there are many business owners, especially small business owners, who still do not know how exactly they could use social media for their business benefits.
Most of the people think that they will need to spend a lot of time and put in most of their efforts in marketing rather than in their business operation in order to make it successful. True as it is, marketing is not that difficult after all, provided you do it in the right way.
Every form of marketing involves a lot of money but when you compare the cost of social media marketing it is pretty less. With a large variety of social media sites available today, there are lots of options and avenues open to you. However, if you are new to it you may find it a bit difficult to:
- Choose the right platform to promote your brand and product
- Design the best marketing strategy
- Select and use the best social media marketing tools
- Find out your target audience and analyze their needs and demands to deliver what they want and
- Measure the performance of and returns from your social media marketing efforts.
For making the best decision and gaining the best results you should first know why social media is such an important marketing tool. Well, the secret is, social media is where your audiences are. According to Pew Research Center, 68% of adults in the US use Facebook and the number is growing on other social media channels as well.
Objectives and goals
Next, you must know your business goals, align it with your marketing objectives and track the performance so that your business growth graph moves to the desired direction: north.
Start by asking yourself a question: why do you want your business to be on social media? There could be many different reasons.
- Sometimes, business owners and marketers simply use social media networks of different kinds because they want to join the bandwagon and popularity contest.
- A few business owners also feel that social media platforms allow them to be creative to the hilt while showcasing their brand and product. For example, Instagram, the most popular photo and video sharing channels, you can gain Instagram auto like if you are creative.
Irrespective of the objectives, if the results do not align with your business goals and does not come from your ideal customers, then these metrics will hardly matter for your business growth. Therefore, make sure that you use social media in such a way that it will help your business to achieve the desired goals.
Be S.M.A.R.T with your goal’s framework. Meaning:
- Relevant and
This will help you to track the most relevant metrics. Ideally people are on social media for three specific things such as:
- Connection and
They are not certainly for shopping on social media. Therefore, generating leads and bookings from social media directly can really be difficult.
With this in mind, you must determine the metrics to track that may include:
- Follower growth
- Post reach
- Engagement rate
- Website click-through rate
- Action and
- Conversions rate.
There are lots of tools and social media analytics that will help you to measure the success of each of your social posts.
The social media tools
Tracking, analyzing and managing different metrics and your social presence can be really time-consuming and tedious if you do it manually. Fortunately, you have a lot of tools to automate the process and save a lot of time and hard work.
- There are tools for scheduling posts in advance. Tools like Buffer and Hootsuite are good to try out as these tools offer free plans. The basic idea behind using these tools is to post content at a fixed time including pre-defined captions, hashtags, and others.
- There are tools for editing images as well, if you intend to use Instagram as your marketing platform. All these tools come with useful features to make your photos pop. There are lots of free, cheap and premium editing tools for you to use.
- Finally, there are tools for building your audience as well. Well, these tools will not provide results overnight but will at least make you’re your job easier.
Interacting with your social followers in vital for growing audience and engagement. Therefore, make sure that you reply to the comments and messages on your social pots in addition to using these tools properly.
The networks to use
Now comes the most important question: which social networks you shoulduse? Well, there is no point in focusing on only one particular social network. Ideally, according to the experts, you should use all of these platforms, or at least a couple of these. This will ensure higher:
- Engagement and
Ideally, Facebook is a must for all types of businesses today. Then, depending on the specific niche of the industry, you should include other social media channels to your marketing efforts as well. These channels could be:
- Twitter and
- LinkedIn in addition to Facebook.
However, these are just suggestions and not the only ones to use. No matter of the type of social channel you use, make sure that you update your social pages on a regular basis.
Things to do
There are five things that you should surely do when you use social media for your business marketing purpose. These are:
- Make sure that you maximize your exposure
- Interact with your audience
- Drive more traffic to your portfolio
- Build brand awareness and
- Get inspired.
On the other side there are a few specific things that you should not do such as:
- Change your style
- Be obsessed with the numbers
- Spend all your time online and
- Stop enjoying.
Finally, and most importantly, if you find that your social media marketing efforts is creating a negative influence, take out some time to reconsider. Reflect on your strategy and even take help from professional marketers to redefine and recreate your social media strategy.