For small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), social media is one of the most effective digital marketing platforms available. In fact, an estimated 81% of small businesses use social media as a part of their digital marketing strategy. In addition to being low-cost and easily accessible to nearly all marketers, social media also has the potential to draw a huge number of customers to your company.
If you’re not already using social media to market your company, here are some tips to help you get started, and if you are, here are some tips to help you do it better than ever before.
Pay attention to the most effective networks
According to a 2015 Social Media Examiner Report, the most effective networks for social media marketing are as follows:
- Google Plus
The report goes on to state that the reason that these platforms are so effective is because they offer increased exposure, huge levels of traffic, and the opportunity for companies to build loyal fan bases.
For companies that have never used social media to market their business before, the best way to begin is generally by choosing 1-2 social media networks and building those profiles first. If you start with all 7, it’s easy to get overwhelmed.
If you’re having trouble deciding which platforms to use, opt first for Facebook and Twitter. These two networks offer millions of users between them and a fantastic platform for distributing different types of content. Facebook, for example, is ideal for long-form content, giveaways, and promotions, while Twitter is ideal for polling users, gaining ideas for topics, and offering flash-sales. Once you’ve built a fan base on both of these networks, you can expand your company’s presence out into other platforms.
Consider your goals
To make an effective trek through the social media universe, you first need to develop a roadmap you can follow. To do this, it’s important to define your goals. Developing a social media strategy is a helpful way to define your company’s objective. For example, some social media marketing strategies are focused on driving awareness while others aim to promote action from customers or build engagement. By writing down what purpose, exactly, you want your social media marketing to fulfill, you stand a better chance of reaching your goals.
Consider your audience
There are over 1 billion worldwide social media users, so it’s important to define which ones you’re trying to reach. In order to do this, it’s wise to create a target audience profile or a marketing persona.
The marketing persona should be detailed – the more detailed the better – but at the very least, it should include information like location, income, education, career, interest, and age of your target persona. By filling out these details to the best of your ability and making sure that everything you do on social media is designed to cater to this target persona, you can ensure that your social media marketing efforts are fruitful for your business.
Use a social media management tool
Unless you’re a large, established company, it’s likely that you don’t have a dedicated social media management team. This may be manageable while you’re only using 1-2 social media platforms, but as soon as you extend out into 3, 5, or 10, it’s going to be tough to stay on top of creating content and updating each platform.
This is why it’s important to streamline the process by using a designated social media management tool. Hootsuite is ideal for this and allows companies to manage all of their social media platforms from one convenient dashboards. Sprout Social is also fantastic, and allows companies to update and share content across all of their networks easily while also having access to detailed reports and tracking mentions around the web.
Automate your content
Automation is the marketer’s friend and when done correctly it can go a long way toward making your content creation and social media marketing pursuits easy and effortless. The first step to automation is to create an editorial calendar. This calendar will give you a roadmap to create content and, once you’ve created that content (either in-house or through a team of freelancers), you can schedule it for posting in advance.
You can do this through an RSS scheduler or through the “schedule” feature on your blog dashboard. Additionally, you can link these services with social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter to ensure that all of your social media accounts update simultaneously.
Track your results
By tracking your results, you can give yourself an accurate idea of where you’ve been and where you’re going. The analytics you should be tracking depend upon the sites you’re using. For example, Facebook users will likely want to track page likes, impressions, engagement, unlikes, and post reach, while Twitter users will opt to track Tweet impressions, followers, linked tweets and retweets. These can be tracked using social media metrics and can offer companies an accurate representation of what they’re doing well and what they could be doing better.
Social media is a fantastic digital marketing platform for small businesses and these tips can help new marketers get started or improve their existing social media networking game. In some cases, social media marketing can be confusing and it can be helpful to have a skilled, experienced company to guide you through it. If you need help with your social media marketing strategy, , contact Bigfoot Media. Bigfoot Media is here for all of your digital marketing needs and would love to help your business create a game-winning strategy.
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