Social Media Marketing For Local Business [2018 Guide] – Digital Logic
The number of social media marketing platforms someone can join today seems almost endless. There are new social media marketing companies that are created every day, and it seems like there is a new social media website to figure out every few weeks!
This post aims to help you navigate which social media marketing platforms to use, as well as guide you through the process so you get set up for success with social media marketing.
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
- 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, or awareness).
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.
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 the wide array of social media marketing networking tools.
Long gone are the days where users weren’t already familiar with the common platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, and Snapchat. Social media has even proven to be a viable and lucrative marketing channel for both B2B and B2C oriented businesses across the world.
How Can You interact With These Users?
Your company’s success in social media marketing will require a deep understanding of your customers’ needs, as well as the journey they will 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 company’s brand and help you grow rapidly.
Social media marketing can also help drive new customers to your products and services, both online and offline. But you’ll need to make sure that you’re producing high-quality content that actually helps your potential clients solve the problems they have and answer the questions they’re already asking.
A successful social media marketing strategy will seek to align existing business goals with current technologies to boost your brand’s impact on your target audience. You should even be reaching out directly to your target customers to get instant feedback, respond to your customer service requests, or provide additional information to promote events and sales.
Who Is Using Social Media?
So, just how many daily social media users are there in the United States? Surprisingly, at least 81% of people age 12 and older are on social media!
For example, Facebook now has over 2 billion monthly active users, and their growth doesn’t show any signs of slowing down soon:
The other top Social Media sites (as of 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.
Not All Users Are Equal
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.
- 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.
- 51% of Instagram users access the platform daily, and 35% say they look at the platform several times per day.
- 93% of Pinterest users use the platform to plan or make purchases.
- 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.
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, Instagram and more. It’s important to customize the approach for each social media channel, which will allow the messaging to impact each targeted audience member more effectively, 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 will typically have and use more than one social media account.
Listening to what your customers are saying online should also be a huge component of your social media strategy. It’s important to set initial goals and objectives as a starting point to steadily increase your social media following and, most importantly, your company’s 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. Content needs to target the right audience, so they have a connection to the message and feel compelled to engage. 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 mindset 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 instead of any competitors.
Create Ideal Customer Personas
Developing model “personas” which fit a few different types of customers that have common needs or fit a common demographic will be able to help you translate company messaging effectively when it comes to reaching 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 a unique sales offer to the audience that’s most likely to respond to your ad.
Whether it’s a video testimonial of an ideal customer, or a really sharp, clean design that catches your target audience’s eye, with social media marketing, you’ll be able to adjust your ads to target those that do respond positively.
And Keep Track Of Them, Too
This granular approach to your social media messaging allows you to create an engaging customer experience that feels natural, while providing added value to your consumers. Make sure to review your analytics data for your ads and website to see which types of content and offers worked the best with certain target audiences, then cut out the ads 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, follow, and share your social media profiles, or to join a group that provides exclusive membership benefits and direct sales opportunities from your business.
How Social Media Marketing Can Actually Help Grow Your Business
Social media marketing helps to get the word out, directly to your consumer’s favorite devices, where your brand is trusted and valued.
Social media is a place where people go to find the things that they enjoy. 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.
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.
How to Get your Message Out With Social Media Marketing
Why would it matter how good your content is if no one actually sees it? 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.
It’s important to approach social media marketing campaigns with an integrated mix of earned media and paid media marketing tactics. This can ensure a best fit for both the company and audience needs.
Use Everything You Can
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. How 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 content marketing strategy, it’s important that once the content is created to push it everywhere you possibly can.
Our approach to social media marketing amplification includes strategy, content, plus paid advertising. This provides ample opportunities for your target audience to engage with your social media marketing campaign.
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.
Measure Your Performance
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. Then increase the personalization that’s available through these channels to enhance your brand’s image online.
How To Build A Social Media Community
There are many ways to build your own online community so that it is highly engaged with your brand and promotes your content for free. The first step is creating great content that is worthy of being shared by your target audience.
Figure out what types of content your audience already engages with online. This can be a good indicator of how you should craft your own social media marketing campaign. After you develop some amazing content, then attach an incentive like a discount, giveaway, or freebie for liking, sharing, or commenting. This way, your content will be seen by friends of your target audience, who trust them for their recommendations.
Social media contests can also engage many types of audience members and build participation in your online community. Whether your social media contests are stand-alone, or 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 other new potential customers.
What Types Of Content Should You Post?
Some business owners believe that they can achieve some positive results for their business just by sharing status updates on their 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.
Simply increasing the number of page likes for your brand will not provide social media marketing success. You’ve still got to provide something of value to your fans and followers. It’s important to focus on nurturing your social media audience’s engagement to make it stronger, larger, and more valuable.
What Do Users Consume?
Here are some interesting recent statistics to highlight some of the trends of social media content consumption and engagement:
- 100 million hours of video content are watched on Facebook daily.
- Tweets with images receive 18% more clicks than tweets without images.
- On LinkedIn, 98% of posts with images receive more comments and posts with links have a 200% higher engagement rate.
- Instagram earns $595 million in mobile ad revenue per year, a rapidly increasing number.
- 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.
- Pinterest drives 25% of all retail website referral traffic.
- Blogging continues to grow, with over 409 million people viewing more than 23.6 billion pages each month on WordPress alone.
Should You Do It Yourself, Or Hire Someone Else?
As you can tell, there are many reasons to start using social media marketing to promote your business online. 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. This can help you achieve your business goals on the platforms that your potential customers are already using. Professional services can also improve metrics while reducing the risk of error.
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.
If you are interested in working with social media marketing professionals, feel free to reach out to us at Digital Logic!
How To Plan and Schedule Posts
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 did you account for gaps in time zones, or for 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 and more can be easily discovered by looking at your website and socal media 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. You’ll definitely want to optimize your conversions to avoid unnecessary expense. But you could, theoretically, advertise to your target audience and get sales at all hours as well.
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 provides you with three options: Schedule, Backdate and Save Draft. Select Schedule from the drop-down, as seen below:
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.
Remember Not to Don’t Overdo It
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.
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 Not To Deal With Negative Social Media Reviews and Posts
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, and Snapchat. It’s expected by consumers that your social media presence be engaging and provide value to keep them interested and buying.
The worst thing you can do on social media when responding to a negative review is to 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. And if you’re wrong, then work to fix it by doing the right thing for the client and apologize. It’s easy to overreact and become a keyboard warrior, but it’s not going to help your business online.
Bad Social Media Etiquette Matters
Below 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, which caused a backlash by several online audiences.
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. Don’t make the same mistake when your company’s reputation (and profitability) is on the line.
Final 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.
- Analyze your data and improve your efforts over time