Whether it’s checking up on your friends, desperately trying to get more likes on your latest selfie or seeing what’s trending in the world, we’re all using it daily, sometimes without even realising it.
Having technically been around since 1979 with the invention of the newsgroup Usenet, nowadays it isn’t a question of if social media affects our lives day to day, but how much. With these websites and apps such a massive part of our time spent online, ignoring them as a marketing platform could have you missing out on huge audiences for your product/service.
While most companies do have social pages, that’s only step one. It’s not just having the physical profiles, but also how well you are using them and what information you are taking from them.
Wondering how to get the most from your social media platforms? Keep reading!
Choosing the Right Channels
Every social media platform is different, so naturally some are more suited for certain businesses than others.
Make sure to research which ones could work best for you. For example, if you mostly focus on building b2b relations, then LinkedIn is the way to go for social networking. If you’re a company that produces very visually appealing products, then an Instagram page is a great place to showcase them. If you’re trying to appeal to a younger demographic with something fun and dynamic, then Snapchat could work very well for you. Perhaps you’re a fan of wordier content, in which case there are many blogging platforms for you to try.
Despite the mountain of bad press it got last year, Facebook is still king when it comes to having the most registered users: almost 2.3 billion. It can work as a good base for your social media with many people looking at a company’s Facebook page to either check opening hours, find a phone number or send messages to them.
While many of the larger companies out there have taken advantage of every social media platform that they can, a better strategy is to choose which ones would be most effective for you. After all, there’s no point putting time and money into a particular profile if it’s not going to get you a good ROI.
Crafting Good Content
Once you have your pages set up, the next step is making sure you fill them with entertaining and informative content.
The bare minimum you should be doing is posting organic content, and said content needs to be good. While people do go on social media to look at businesses and to find products, no one wants to be advertised to 100% of the time. No one is going to want to follow a page that only posts ads. A good tip is to have a 50/50 split of posts that promote your business and more personable updates. Consumers like to see the humanity behind businesses, so posts about employees, office spaces, events etc always do well, especially if it’s photo and video content.
It’s also a good idea to try and take advantage of current trends as well. Since organic posts have no money behind them to boost them to a larger audience, one of the best ways to get them seen by more people is by utilising relevant hashtags. Almost every social media platform uses hashtags in one form or another with the main ones being: Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn. If you want to find trending hashtags, there are plenty of online tools that keep tabs on which hashtags are gaining traction as well as which ones could work best for you. Twitter always displays your most relevant hashtags in the sidebar of the website.
While organic posting is a crucial part of any social media strategy, the benefits of paid social media campaigns can’t be ignored, especially if you’re a newer business.
All social media platforms have the option for paid advertising and it’s one of the most effective ways to grow your following. Thanks to analytics tools embedded in these websites, you can target particular audiences and so narrow your adverts, so they’re only shown to the specific demographic you want. It goes beyond just age, sex and location, with these tools able to target people exhibiting certain shopping behaviours, who have visited certain areas or who use certain products. Many social media platforms have a code you can embed on your website that keeps track of the people who have visited. This means you can retarget them on social media and tailor your message accordingly.
If you have an existing list of customer details, like email addresses, you can use these to create customer lists to advertise to. While this can be a great way to generate more personal adverts, remember to gain the relevant permissions to use the data. After all, while having adverts tailored to you can be great, some people do not like having their details stored.
Monitoring your Social Media Platforms
Once you’ve set everything up, the final step is to make sure you’re monitoring all your pages and campaigns to see how effective they are.
Most business accounts on social media have tools to track your pages. This is something you should be checking regularly as you want to make sure you’re spending your money wisely, as well as what is resonating with your target audience best. You can keep tabs on how many followers you have gained over a certain period, how much your page has grown, which demographics of people are responding the best to your posts etc. it’s a goldmine of information that you shouldn’t ignore. After all, we can’t see the future, but we can look at the data from our past and learn from it.
Ultimately, what you do with your social media is your choice, but with literally billions of people scrolling, searching and swiping every day, social media sites are too good of a marketing opportunity to ignore.