Are you using social media to promote and grow your business?
If yes, then great, you obviously understand the incredible value of social media marketing for businesses.
If not, and it’s because you don’t see the value in social media marketing or you don’t think your business or industry is suited to it, you’re wrong.
Which is fine. But I recommend taking a look at The Top 15 Reasons Why Your Business NEEDS Social Media.
The number of businesses on social media is staggering.
96% of small and medium-sized businesses say they use social media in their marketing strategy.
Social Media Examiner
Unfortunately, a lot of these accounts are inactive, sitting dormant. They have a small number of followers and almost no engagement.
So, why is there so many accounts sitting inactive or abandoned altogether on social media?
It’s likely the people managing these accounts don’t know what they’re doing.
Just because you have a presence on social media, doesn’t mean your customers will follow you or share your content.
You may have very loyal customers, and that’s great.
But, if you don’t give them a reason to interact and engage online, they won’t.
It’s important that you take the time to learn how to do social media marketing the right way.
Interact and engage with current and prospective customers. Build a loyal following that promotes your business for you.
If you want to learn How to Do Social Media Marketing to Crush Your Competitors, read on.
Growing Your Social Media Following
This is easier said than done. If you’re attracting low-quality followers, you’ll likely experience one of two things.
1) Limited engagement – This will be obvious. Your posts will only be shared 1 or 2 times if at all. Furthermore, you won’t get any comments on your posts. If this sounds familiar, you have a disengaged audience.
2) Highly engaged audience – Your posts receive plenty of shares and comments. But they aren’t converting into paying customers.
If either of those two describes your experience with social media, you have an engagement problem.
Measuring the business benefits you’re receiving from social media will not be easy.
And continuing with your current social media marketing strategy is essentially a waste of time and resources.
But it doesn’t have to be! You just need to learn how to do social media marketing correctly.
How to Grow a Quality Following
To grow a quality following on social media, you must first get clear on who your target audience is.
I can tell you right now, it’s not everyone on social media. Your target audience is actually a relatively narrow group of people.
The first step to improving your social media marketing is to identify your ideal customer.
What problems do they have that your product or service solves?
Why would they choose your product or service over the countless other options available to them?
As you’re creating content for social media marketing:
- Create each post with your target audience in mind.
- Delight your audience with content that feels custom tailored to them.
- Build trust and relationships by engaging & interacting.
- Keep them coming back for more.
Keep in mind, social media marketing will not produce instant results.
It requires consistency, and commitment.
Be prepared to invest a good amount of time.
That’s the only way to develop and put in place a social media marketing strategy that delivers results.
Set a Social Media Marketing Budget
Ready to start seeing results from your social media marketing?
It may seem like social media is “free” advertising for your business. Unfortunately, this is not the case.
Facebook recently updated its algorithm to prioritize posts from friends and family.
Which means organic reach for businesses went down significantly.
88% of marketers are currently investing in Facebook. In the coming year, 66% plan to spend more.
State of Paid Social 2018 Report
So how do you get your posts to show up in the news feed of your target audience?
Simple, you pay for it. But before you can “pay to play,” you need to know how much you have to spend and where you’re going to spend it.
Ignoring this step will likely lead to overspending.
Additionally, not budgeting may make it difficult to recognize when something isn’t working.
This could lead to you throwing money at an ineffective strategy.
Which social media platforms are advertisers investing their budget?
The following image from the “State of Paid Social 2018” report illustrates where advertisers are spending their money.
Another interesting fact from that report is that only 1% of advertisers aren’t investing in social.
Worst-Case- Scenario, without a budget, you may find yourself treading water.
Your business’ social media profiles performing just well enough to give you a sliver of hope.
Social media marketing requires planning and strategy.
Randomly posting or sharing, and crossing your fingers hoping for results won’t work.
Marketing your business on social media needs to be done in a deliberate and strategic manner.
Develop a budget for social media so you know exactly where your money is going and why.
What Goes into a Social Media Budget?
Social media budgets vary widely. But, they all include some core elements.
Each of which will require time and/or money.
Daily Social Media Management – Assign someone to manage the day-to-day. Posting, interacting with people via comments or messages and maintaining a consistent presence.
Creating Content – Someone is going to have to create content. Try to create content that can be repurposed (used across multiple channels). Examples of content: Blog posts, videos, slideshows, memes, infographics, etc.
Research, Test, Measure, Analyze – Who will determine what strategy is most effective. This may include running split-tests to eliminate options. Use analytics to measure and track performance.
Social Media Advertising – Organic reach has declined significantly. Which means it’s increasingly difficult to grow a social media following without paid advertising.
Automation – There are several tools to help with automating repetitive and monotonous tasks. This also improves consistency.
Start tracking both time and monetary expenses in these categories.
Closely monitoring these expenses will make it easier to allot the appropriate amount to each category.
If you aren’t sure what each of these might cost, I’d recommend searching on Google.
Alternatively, you could get a quote from a social media marketing agency.
Set Social Media Marketing Goals
What are you trying to accomplish with social media marketing?
Perhaps you’d like to increase profits?
As with anything else in business, a clearly defined path will help you reach your goals.
You aren’t likely to increase your profits overnight, or with a single action.
However, breaking your desired result down into incremental steps will make it a lot easier to achieve.
Here are some common goals of social media marketing.
Build Brand Awareness – How do you want your business to be known online? What differentiates you from similar businesses? Why will people think of your brand when they need to solve a problem?
Generate New Leads – If your product or service is expensive, you have a much longer sales cycle. These leads need to be nurtured throughout the process in a personalized manner through a salesperson or e-mail marketing.
Increase Reach – Your aim should be to get your brand in front of your target audience. If your prospective customers aren’t seeing your website or social media profiles you need to find a way to get more eyes on your brand.
Increase Engagement – If your audience isn’t engaged, it’s going to inhibit the further growth of your following. A highly engaged audience will act as a social signal, attracting more potential customers.
Strengthen Relationships – Social media provides a great opportunity to engage with existing customers. Doing so will strengthen your relationship, develop greater trust, and encourage additional spending.
Social Media Advertising
If you aren’t willing to invest some money into advertising on social media, it’s unlikely you’ll see very much success.
Just as with social media marketing, social media advertising will help you reach your social media goals.
Social Media Advertising can:
- Grow Your Following
- Generate New Leads
- Increase Reach
- Boost Engagement
- Engage Existing Customers
- Drive Sales
Engagement Goes Both Ways
Social media is often used as a digital megaphone. Businesses often make the mistake of only sending messages out.
“Check out our new blog post.”
“Come buy our new widget!” Etc.
The occasional shameless self-promotion is acceptable.
But, try to remember that social media is, above all, SOCIAL.
Your audience doesn’t want to be bombarded with plugs to “Buy My Stuff” every time they look at their newsfeed.
This is a sure-fire way to lose followers and engagement.
Don’t be “That guy/gal.”
To do social media marketing the right way you should:
- Interact & Engage with followers (Follow back. Like. Comment. Share other people’s content)
- Respond to messages in a timely manner
- Lose the “Corporate Speak” and use conversational copy
- Use Images, Videos, Infographics, Emojis
- Humanize your brand
- Give, Give, Give…. Then ask for something
Deliver Content Your Followers Love
Take a look at your competitors’ social media profiles to see what content is performing best for them.
Is there a particular type of content that receives a ton of engagement?
Can you reverse engineer your competitors’ most popular posts, and then improve upon their strategy?
What will entice your audience to engage with you?
How can you leverage the most popular types of content to move your business forward?
Creating content that your audience loves, that is aligned with your brand.
Of course, it’s easier said than done. Start by identifying who your target customers are.
Answer the following questions.
What platforms are they on?
Is there a type of content they engage with most?
Who do they follow & interact with?
How are they engaging with people/content?
Once you’ve answered these questions, you’ll have a roadmap for creating content.
Internet research firm GlobalWebIndex found that people use social media for the following reasons.
How can you align these reasons with your target audience?
Notice that 29% of people are on social media to research/find products to buy.
Get your brand in front of these people.
When they are ready to buy, you’ll be top-of-mind.
What Type of Content Should You Create?
- Create content that informs your audience about breaking industry news in an original way.
- Like, comment, and share content created by your audience.
- Post engaging content that is funny and entertaining. It’s more likely that your audience will share it with their friends.
- Take your audience “behind the scenes” at your business. This is a very popular method for building brand awareness and humanizing your business.
Whatever you decide, make sure it relates to your brand.
Posting videos of puppies playing or angry cats may garner a lot of likes.
But, unless you’re in an animal related industry, they have nothing to do with your business.
Social Media Marketing Automation
Social media marketing can be very time-consuming.
The more time you can save on managing your social media, the more time you’ll have to invest in other areas of your business.
Luckily, there’s an abundance of tools you can take advantage of that will save you hours, if not days.
Use Automation Tools to:
Schedule Posts – If you are only able to manage your social media one day a week, using a tool like Buffer or Hootsuite allows you to schedule posts to multiple platforms. Instead of having to log into each of your social media accounts, you can schedule all your posts within a single dashboard. Some platforms will auto-post at times when your audience is most likely to engage.
Content Curation – Constantly coming up with ideas for content that your audience will find interesting takes time. A lot of time. Automation allows you to set interests and filters and then aggregates relevant content from around the web.
Reputation Management – Using a tool like Hootsuite, you can monitor certain keywords for mentions across social media channels. The results will display in a single feed. This allows you to join conversations about your industry or brand.
There are a number of ways automation tools help you save time and engage with your audience.
One caveat of more advanced tools is the price.
While there are some more cost-effective options, prices vary quite a bit.
Most automation tools offer a free one-month trial, though I recommend doing your due diligence to find the best option for you.
Once you decide on an automation tool, commit to learning it to ensure you’re taking advantage of all the features available to you.
Alternatively, you can work with an Arizona Digital Marketing Agency that already has access to this type of automation software and knows how to put it to work for you.
Boost Posts to Increase Reach
After publishing a post on your Facebook Page, you’ll often see a “Boost Post” button.
The Boost Post button enables you to create a Facebook Ad using that post.
You’re able to define the audience you’d like to show the Ad to, and it will appear in different places on Facebook.
Boosting a post allows you to quickly and easily get your content in front of people who might be interested in your industry, product or service.
Who Can Boost Posts?
Anyone can boost a post. You could be a page Admin, an advertiser who is new to Facebook Advertising, or an experienced advertiser that’s been running ads on Facebook for years.
Boosting Posts is a simple, yet effective way for businesses to reach their goals.
The best part is that you don’t need any advertising experience to give boosting posts a try.
Why You Should Boost Posts?
Facebook is massive.
With 1.49 billion daily active users and 2.27 billion monthly active users as of September 30th, 2018 it’s the largest social network by far.
Boosted posts are a great way to reach an entirely new audience who may be interested in your content, but don’t currently follow you on Facebook.
Also, boosting a post can increase the number of likes, comments, and shares your post receives.
When boosting a post, include a call-to-action button so that you can encourage people to take other actions such as:
- Booking an appointment
- Signing up for your Newsletter
- Contacting Your Business
- Visiting Your Website
Top Benefits of Boosting a Facebook Post
Recent changes to Facebook’s algorithm have led to a decline in organic reach.
Essentially, the number of people that will see your posts has gone down.
Facebook has made it clear that they are prioritizing content from friends and family.
Boosted posts are a great way to increase the reach of your posts.
Using Facebook’s boosted posts, you aren’t limited to people to who’ve already liked or followed your page.
You can set different parameters to target people most likely to engage with your content.
Insights & Analytics
Using Facebook Insights, you’re able to see detailed summaries of your boosted posts.
You’ll have access to a breakdown of each boosted posts’ performance – specifically, reach, clicks, likes, comments, shares.
The best part of Boosted Posts is their ease of use.
They offer a quick and simple way to get your feet wet with advertising on Facebook.
While the Facebook Ads Manager offers more targeting options, Boosted posts are much simpler and easier for people new to Facebook Ads.
After clicking “Boost Post” your content goes live almost instantly, following a quick review process.
Be careful not to boost posts that link to someone else’s website.
If you’re going to be paying to reach more people, you obviously don’t want to send them a website that isn’t yours.
What Posts Can I Boost?
The content you boost is up to you.
You can boost just about any of your posts.
This includes text, images, videos, carousels, infographics, etc.
When you’re boosting a post, target a local audience.
The best people to see your post will be similar to your current followers.
Use “Lookalike Audiences” on Facebook and Instagram to show the ad to people that resemble those who’ve already shown interest in your page.
This works very well if you have very engaged followers.
Consistency is Key on Social Media
Social media can get pretty overwhelming.
There’s so much to do.
Create content, post it at the right times, share other people’s content, interact and engage with people.
With so many people and so much content, how do you stand out, or even get noticed?
You may think people aren’t going to notice if you post a bunch one week, and then fall off for a few weeks.
People will notice how consistent you are.
And not just regarding the volume of content you produce, or what time you post it at.
While those are important, also consider the frequency, and maintaining consistent branding throughout your content.
The more consistent you are, the faster you’ll begin to see results.
Social Media isn’t something you ‘Have’ to do for your business.
It’s something you ‘Get’ to do.
Done correctly, social media marketing will be one of the most powerful weapons in your marketing arsenal.
However, if you treat social media marketing like a hobby, relegated to your spare time, you’ll never succeed.
Social Media Management should be one of your Top priorities.
Set aside specific times each day or week to complete various tasks.
Be consistent, and you’ll begin to see a return on the time you’ve invested.
Customer Retention & Repeat Purchases
If you’re a brand new business, your primary focus will be on acquiring new customers.
But once you’ve attracted a few customers, you need to know how to do social media marketing to retain them.
Furthermore, you should explore how to get them to buy again sooner.
Existing customers are far more likely to purchase new products, as well as buy from you again.
To keep those customers coming back for more, it’s important that you re-engage them.
Otherwise, they may go elsewhere.
Use Social Media to Re-Engage Customers
Publishing content that your audience loves consistently is only one aspect of an effective social media marketing strategy.
You can use Facebook to retarget existing customers, as well as those “near misses.”
For example, someone who began purchasing a product on your site, but abandoned their cart before placing an order.
Facebook Ads Manager allows you to show highly targeted ads to individuals on Instagram, Facebook, and Facebook’s affiliate partner websites.
This system allows you to show ads to:
Website Visitors – These may be existing customers or people who are extremely close to buying. Having been on your website, it’s likely they’ll recognize your brand, increasing the likelihood they’ll click on your ads.
Existing Contacts – You can upload a list of your customer contacts to Facebook. Facebook will then locate the individuals on your list and show them your ad.
Your Followers – With the sheer volume of content on social media, your followers will sometimes lose touch. This allows you to re-engage any followers who may have lost interest.
Keep in mind, these people you’re retargeting already know your brand.
Use a friendly approach to build trust and hopefully land a sale.
Drive Sales With Social Media Engagement
While you should limit the number of sales related posts, you can certainly use social media to drive sales and increase revenue for your business.
After all, what’s the point of spending so much time building an active and engaged audience if you’re not going to get some sales out of it.
Turning social media engagement into actual revenue is relatively simple.
Most of your posts should be informative, funny, educational, interesting etc.
Some of your posts should lead back to your website.
Hopefully, your small business’ website was built to lead customers down the sales path.
Once they’re on your website, it’s much easier to turn them from a visitor into paying customer.
Here’s how to increase revenue through social media engagement:
- Showcase new products or services
- Run contests (Exchange contact info for a chance to win)
- Lead people back to a landing page with a powerful offer
- Include links to blog posts in your social media posts
Measure and Track Performance Using Analytics
Use Google Analytics and Facebook’s Insights (or other social media analytics) to guide you.
Don’t make assumptions.
Every industry and audience is different.
Analytics will tell you what’s working and what isn’t.
The only way to become proficient using these tools is to use them.
There is a lot of shotty advice out there from “Gurus” who claim amazing results from some hidden secret.
Don’t listen to them.
If you find yourself getting stuck or confused, the best place to find help is on the social media platforms themselves.
Sites like Facebook make their money through advertising.
Therefore it’s in their best interest to help you succeed.
Because of the better results, you see from your ads, the more you’re going to invest in advertising.
Implement, and then sit back and monitor the analytics.
What should you be measuring?
The important metrics to monitor in social media marketing are:
Impressions – How many people are seeing your posts
Engagement Rate – The level of engagement a piece of content receives from your audience
Profile Visits/Views – Number of people that visited your profile
Net Follower Increase – This tells you how many new followers you attracted, minus any you’ve lost.
Important Metrics for Google Analytics
How Much Traffic is Coming From Social Media
Traffic Source – Where is your traffic coming from? Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Organic Search, etc. This can indicate where you’re content is performing best, clarifying which platform is worth investing more time on.
Demographics – Are you attracting your target audience?
Time on Page – How long visitors stay on the page they arrived on
Length of Session – Total time spent on your site
Bounce Rate – Percentage of visitors that leave without clicking on anything
What Path People Take Through Your Site – After landing on your site, are people going where you want them to go? (If not, why? How can you improve your site)
How to Do Social Media Marketing to Crush Competitors
Social media marketing is a lot more involved than most people anticipate.
It’s well worth the investment of time and money to learn how to do it right.
The best way to learn how to do social media marketing is by doing it.
You need to get your hands dirty and experience the platforms first-hand.
Make sure you set a budget and stick to it. Set goals, and stick to them.
Take advantage of the enormous opportunity that is social media advertising.
Remember to put some effort into retaining and re-engaging with existing customers.
If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed by the mere thought of social media marketing, I understand completely!
The good news is that you don’t have to take on social media by yourself.
A lot of businesses that understand the immense value of social media, but don’t have time to do it themselves simply leave it to the professionals.
What are your favorite Social Media Marketing Strategies?
How has Social Media helped you connect with your customers and grow your business?
Let us know in the comments below!