Social Media Marketing For Business [2018 Guide] – Digital Logic
What you will learn:
- What is Social Media Marketing?
- Introduction To Social Media Marketing
- What Is A Social Media Marketing Strategy?
- How To Determine Your Target Audience for Social Media Marketing
- How to Build a Social Media Community
- How to Get Your Message Out With Social Media Marketing
- Social Media Measurement & Optimization
- What Types Of Social Media Content Should You Create and Publish?
- Planning And Scheduling Social Media Posts
- How to Schedule a Post on Facebook
- How Social Media Marketing Can Grow Your Business
- Tips For Creating A Successful Social Media Marketing Strategy
- How Not to Deal with Negative Social Media Reviews
What is Social Media Marketing?
Social media marketing is the process of creating, publishing and promoting content (links, video, text, images or audio) across social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, SnapChat and YouTube to drive the desired outcome (traffic, engagement, awareness).
Introduction To Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing for businesses is not going anywhere, at least anytime soon. This post will provide you with social media marketing tips and practical takeaways to help your business grow using social media marketing.
Long gone are the days where users weren’t familiar with the common platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter and SnapChat. Social media has proven to be a viable and lucrative marketing channel for both B2B and B2C businesses across the world. Since businesses have moved strongly to attract social media users to their events, products, and services, it’s important to consider what your business is doing in the of social media marketing and how to leverage it to your benefit.
Facebook has over 2 Billion users and their growth isn’t slowing down
The other top Social Media sites (Nov 2017):
- Youtube has 2 billion monthly active users
- WeChat has 900 million monthly active users
- Instagram has 800 million monthly active users
- Twitter has 328 million monthly active users
- Snapchat has an estimated 300 million monthly active users
Your company’s success in social media marketing will require a deep understanding of your customers’ needs and the journey they take as a customer. Like a well-built website, social media channels can provide your business with a steady stream of high-quality website traffic or customer engagement that will boost your business’s brand and help you grow.
Social media marketing can drive new customers to your products and services both online and offline. You need to make sure that you’re producing, high-quality content that helps your potential clients solve the problems they have and answer the questions they’re asking.
A successful social media marketing strategy aligns business goals with current technologies to boost your brand’s impact on your target audience. You can reach out directly to your customers and get instant feedback, respond to customer service requests, or provide additional information to promote events and sales.
Just how many social media are there in the United States? Well, 81% of people 12 and older are on social media.
What Is A Social Media Marketing Strategy?
A social media marketing strategy is what your brand will need to build awareness and engagement across social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and more. We learn how to customize the approach for each customer, allowing the messaging to impact each targeted audience member, guided by the needs of your happiest customers, to ensure social media marketing success. It’s important to publish across multiple social media channels because social media users have more than one social media account.
Listening to what your customers are saying online is a huge component of your social media strategy. It’s important to set goals and objectives as a starting point to increase your social media following and most importantly social media engagement.
How To Determine Your Target Audience
Your social media marketing success can partially be determined by user engagement, reach and new business lift. Your content needs to target the right audience with that content. You’ll need to first look at who your past customers are, and think about who your ideal customer is, the build content for those targets.
One great way to understand the target audience in a broad, social media marketing environment is to very deeply consider the persona of the customers who already buy your company’s products and/or services. This might mean asking your sales team or other employees who work directly with your customers to understand what motivates their purchases, and what makes them want to purchase from your company over your competitors.
Developing model “personas” which fit a few different types of customers that have common needs or fit a common demographic will be able to translate effectively when it comes to messaging your target audience online. Since social media marketing allows you to target individuals based on their collective purchasing and demographic information, you can send a very specific message or sales offer to an audience which is most likely to respond to your ad. Whether it’s a video testimonial of a similar customer, or a really sharp, clean design that catches your target audience’s eye, you’ll be able to adjust your ads to target those that do respond positively.
This granular approach to your social media messaging allows you to create an appealing customer experience that feels natural and provides added value to your consumers. Make sure to review your analytics data through your ads and website to see which types of content and offers worked well with certain target audiences, and cut out the ones that are running out your budget. If you really want to build a target audience that will keep coming back to buy your products and services, a great idea is to invite customers to like and follow your profiles or join a group that provides exclusive membership benefits and a direct sales opportunity for your business.
How To Build A Social Media Community
Simply increasing the number of page likes for your brand does not provide social media marketing success, you’ve got to provide something of value to your fans and followers. It’s important to focus on working to nurture your audience to make it stronger, larger and more engaged. Social media contests can engage many types of audiences and build participation within your online community. Whether your social media contests are stand-alone or a part of your larger content marketing strategy, they can be a great way to encourage user-generated content that will enhance your brand’s image and reputation for potential customers.
There are many ways to build your own online community that is highly engaged with your brand and promotes your content for free. The first step is having great content that is worthy of being shared by your target audience, so figuring out what types of content they already engage with is a good indicator of how you should inform your own social media marketing campaign. After you develop some amazing content, attach an incentive like a discount, giveaway, or freebie for liking, sharing, or commenting – this is a great way to get your content seen by friends of your target audience, friends that trust your audience for their recommendations.
How to Get Your Message Out With Social Media Marketing
An essential but commonly overlooked element of creating a successful digital marketing campaign is the amplification of the content that you produce on your website or other online properties. Why would it matter how good your content is if no one actually sees it? It’s important to approach social media marketing campaigns with an integrated mix of earned media and paid media marketing tactics that best fit both the company and audience needs. Our approach to social media marketing amplification includes strategy and content + paid advertising to provide ample opportunities for your target audience to engage with your campaign.
The content you produce for social media must be relevant to your target audience and valuable to them in order to make a lasting impression and drive sales. The way that a brand distributes their content to potential customers is crucial to reaching the right audiences in the right places, and in the right ways. Just as with any other social media or content marketing strategy, it’s important that once the content is created you push it everywhere you possibly can.
To illustrate the differences in audience usage across different social media platforms, we’ve compiled some recent statistics about how users engage with different channels online:
- Facebook continues to be the most widely used social media platform, with 79% of American internet users. Instagram receives the silver medal with 32% of users, Pinterest comes in a close third with 31%, and LinkedIn and Twitter at 29% and 24% respectively. [Source: Pew Research Group]
- 76% of Facebook users visited the site daily during 2016, with over 1.6 billion daily visitors, compared to 70% of daily usage in 2015. [Source: WordStream]
- 51% of Instagram users access the platform daily, and 35% say they look at the platform several times per day. [Source: WordStream]
- 93% of Pinterest users use the platform to plan or make purchases. [Source: Pintrest]
- 59% of Americans with social media accounts think that customer service through social media has made it easier to get questions answered and issues resolved. [Source: Hootsuite]
Social Media Measurement & Optimization
Social media marketing metrics act as the proof of performance. Without measurement, it would be nearly impossible to understand what’s working, what’s not and how to change your approach and optimize the conversion rate on ads to achieve better results. You need to understand the metrics your company will need for social media platforms and are able to easily review these results on a regular basis. Using the data you collect, you can determine what worked and where future opportunities lie, then determine suggestions on how to improve the campaign in later messaging.
Having an understanding the correct KPIs (key performance indicators) such as follower count, engagement rate, campaign clicks, or signups and track them constantly.
As you learn more about how your target audience is responding to your social media messaging you’ll be able to optimize the posts and ads to achieve the highest engagement rate at the lowest cost.
This can be done by eliminating unnecessary targeting to users who are not likely to purchase your products and services, and increasing the personalization that’s available through these channels to enhance your brand’s image online.
What Types Of Content Should You Post?
Some business owners who take care of their own social media marketing believe that they can achieve some positive results for their business by sharing status updates on their company profile page regularly. While this idea holds some truth, there may be far better ways to leverage these social media platforms to get your message across to more people, with more effectiveness.
We’ve compiled some interesting recent statistics to highlight some of the trends regarding types of social media content consumption and engagement:
- 100 million hours of video content are watched on Facebook daily. [Source: Facebook]
- Tweets with images receive 18% more clicks than tweets without images. [Source: WordStream]
- On LinkedIn, 98% of posts with images receive more comments and posts with links have a 200% higher engagement rate. [Source: SocialPilot]
- Instagram earns $595 million in mobile ad revenue per year, a rapidly increasing number. [Source: WordStream]
- YouTube overall, and even YouTube on mobile alone reaches more 18-34 and 18-49 year-olds than any cable network in the U.S. [Source: YouTube]
- Pinterest drives 25% of all retail website referral traffic. [Source: MeltWater]
- Blogging continues to grow, with over 409 million people viewing more than 23.6 billion pages each month on WordPress alone. [Source: WordPress]
As you can tell, there are many reasons to start using social media marketing to promote your business online, but there are also many specific ways to use each platform that takes time and experience to learn. You can do this by doing it yourself, or work with a team of digital marketing professionals. If you go with the option of working with professionals, you can leverage years of experience driving traffic through social media to achieve your business goals on the platforms that your potential customers are already using. It doesn’t have to cost a fortune to “boost” your presence on social media if done correctly and can become one of the most engaging and profitable channels for small businesses to reach out to their target audience.
How To Plan and Schedule Posts on Social Media
Sticking to a schedule is already important when it comes to operating your business, but you’ll have to understand the environment you’re advertising in when it comes to your social media marketing. It may be true that your target audience is shopping for your products or services while during business hours – but have you accounted for any gaps in time zone or different work shifts? Perhaps your target customers simply don’t use social media during the day, and they’re most likely to purchase during the evening or late night hours. All of this can be discovered by looking at your analytics and performance metrics to understand how the ideal customer behaves when it comes to buying online from your company.
Since the internet is “open 24/7,” you’ll really have to think about how you spend your advertising budget if you want to optimize your conversions and avoid unnecessary expense. This means that you could, theoretically, advertise to your target audience and get sales at all hours as well. But would every one of your followers want to see 50 posts per day on your social media account? It’s best to understand what types of content are most engaging for your audience and how much they require before making a purchasing decision. This is where targeting your advertisements can become extremely effective, as you connect with each person in an optimal environment chosen by you.
Social media marketing is still about quality over quantity, including the size of your audience. It is best to have a highly planned and organized schedule of posts or ads which can be relied on when it comes to your metrics, rather than just jumping into space and potentially damaging your brand’s reputation online. The best way to figure out what type of content your audience is most interested in is to test it out. If you find something that works, don’t be afraid to try it again, or even on a different audience and learn how they respond to it. Keep an eye on your key engagement metrics (likes, comments, shares, retweets, clicks, etc). Over time, you can define the optimal posting schedule for your company’s social media content and your customers will rejoice again and again.
How to Schedule a Post on Facebook
To schedule a post on Facebook, navigate to your Facebook business page, then write your post, add your links, then next to the Publish button there is a drop down that gives you three options; Schedule, Backdate and Save Draft. Select Schedule from the drop-down.
Once you select Schedule, you’ll enter the day and time that you’d like the post to be pushed live. And that’s all you need to do.
How Social Media Marketing Can Grow Your Business
Social media marketing helps get the word out, directly to your consumer’s favorite devices, where your brand is trusted and valued. It’s important to protect and promote that positive reputation online, and since 82% of small business owners are using Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pintrest, Instagram, Snapchat, and more to grow their businesses [source: Constant Contact], it’s expected by consumers that your social media presence be engaging and provide value to keep them interested and buying. But that’s no mistake since 65% of American adults use social networks, you’ll be able to reach almost any target audience imaginable in one network or another [source: Pew].
Social media is a place where people go to find the things that they enjoy, so by using a targeted approach to your company’s social media messaging, you can meet them directly through your marketing and influence sales much easier than through cold calling or most other methods today. You can even get responses from your customers directly through social media, in the form of feedback or direct messages. This feedback is essential to figuring out what makes your audience “tick” and be able to create a better experience for them when engaging with your brand online. With the two-way communication that social media provides, it also offers a great opportunity to step up your customer service and provide instant gratification to your target audience.
Tips For Creating A Successful Social Media Marketing Strategy:
- Align digital marketing goals with company goals to solve challenges.
- Extend participation in your organization.
- Focus on the platforms that add value to your brand.
- Create high-quality engaging content.
- Identify new business opportunities.
- Engage your customers instead of ignoring them.
- Track your data and improve your efforts over time
How Not To Deal With Negative Social Media Reviews and Posts
The worst thing you can do on social media when responding to a negative review is be a jerk. If you’re a good business owner, then you need to deal with negative comments head-on and accept blame if there is blame and do the right thing. If you’re wrong, then make it right and do the right thing by the client. It’s easy to react and be a keyboard warrior, but it’s not going to help your business.
Here is an example of a local modeling agency in Shreveport, LA where the owner of the modeling agency made a negative comment on a photo that another local magazine owner posted on Facebook. The modeling agency owner continued to insult the other business owner as well as one of the models in the photo. By the end of the next day, the business who went negative and into attack mode was decimated by negative reviews on Google and will most likely never be able to recover from it.