(And What Every Business Needs to Make Social Media Successful)
To close out this segment on social media, we thought it would be helpful to really dive into why social media is so attractive for consumers. As a business owner looking to drive conversions and sales, you can’t devise a marketing strategy without social. And this is the road map of to-do steps and suggestions you’ll need to thoughtfully create yours.
Print this blog list of suggestions and take it to your next meeting with your marketing team. Go back and develop (or re-develop) your buyer personas. Have a clear understanding of your core buyer’s journey. And you’ll be set to make a huge splash on social media this year. Your bottom-line ROI will thank you, too.
If you’ve lost sight of the value of social media for business, allow us to offer a few friendly reminders.
- All of your customers are using it. Statista says 70% of the US population has at least one form of social media profile. Global social media usage measures at about 3.1 billion people.
- Your customers are more open to accepting your brand message on social media. MarketingSherpa says 95% of adults 18-34 are more likely to follow a brand on social media.
- Marketing via social media WILL increase your inbound traffic.
- Different social platforms help you reach specific and unique audiences.
- Social media marketing is known to be one of the most cost-effective forms of advertising out there. Cost per thousand impressions can be as affordable as $2.50. That’s half the cost of billboards per thousand impressions and 3x cheaper than television and other traditional media.
- Your competitors are already using social media.
- Social media earns higher conversion bragging rights. HubSpot says social media converts 100% more than outbound marketing.
We’ve said it before. You don’t absolutely have to be on every social platform all the time to experience a return on your investment. Of course, the more you post, the better your results. Ask us how we do 50 posts every day for our business model and clients! But don’t end up biting off more than you can chew. Instead, start with those platforms that make the most sense in reaching your intended targets and own them. Like, really dominate them. Here are some that are usually considered to be the most popular, based on affordability and results, that should make your shortlist.
You know who uses Facebook? Um, 2.7 billion active users are trolling their feeds. That’s a “b,” meaning Facebook is one of the most popular social media platforms businesses can use to reach the most people.
The best way to use your Facebook business page is by promoting your company offerings, pertinent brand info, business details and upcoming events. Make sure your Facebook for Business page includes easy-to-find EVERYTHING, including basic contact information, business hours, customer service details and CTAs. Build the followers and likes to grow your engagement opportunities.
Facebook stats are impressive. But don’t discount the value of Insta. Over one billion people use Instagram on a monthly basis, and an average of 90% of them follow at least one business religiously. This makes using Instagram for business a no-brainer. Remember, though, Insta is image and video-driven. So your focus here will be on those visual content elements.
YouTube is home to over 2 billion users worldwide and counting. In addition, YouTube drives more than 30 million daily visits, making it a ridiculously successful platform for small, mid and large businesses looking to market with video content.
Video can be the most engaging and useful for many types of businesses. Creating a YouTube channel for your company provides you with a centralized platform that your audience can visit to view and engage with your video content.
Twitter used to be the platform reserved only for witty punchlines or sharing your lunch details. But it has certainly grown into a social platform users can’t live without these days. Twitter users and activity are up 29 percent from the previous year and continue to swell. So if your business needs to reach a potential 187 million daily monetizable users, Twitter is the channel for you.
At first glance, a professional business owner might turn a nose up at the comedy sketches, dancing cats and parking lot Karens of TikTok. But the reach and engagement opportunities available to businesses using TikTok are super-juicy.
TikTok offers a truly unique (and fun) way to engage the nearly one billion monthly users surfing the popular platform. Now, TikTok has TikTok Shopping, too, making it an ideal fit for eCommerce companies and retailers. This social media forum isn’t going to be a great fit for every business. But don’t make the common mistake of discounting it altogether without measuring the data against your target audience metrics. Those short-form and high-energy videos might be just what you need.
If building credibility for your brand, developing meaningful networks and learning industry insights are important to your company bottom line, you can’t pass up a thriving presence on LinkedIn. There are over 30 million companies currently leveraging the many benefits of the professional platform right now. And it’s not just the place to go for recruiting and job posting anymore.
Current stats suggest there are roughly 690 million LinkedIn members perusing the feeds, articles and group conversations. It’s a great way to market to a specific network of individuals just as much as it is a ground-breaking platform to sell. And many businesses are using LinkedIn for strategic positioning efforts, driving their brands to be the most authoritative in their given spaces.
Yes, Pinterest is a great little social media platform for socializing and sharing recipes and crafts. But from a business owner’s perspective, it’s also a great little visual search engine with serious reach and frequency chops. Companies of all sizes and niches are exploring Pinterest. It’s where users go for inspiration, and it also drives incredible purchasing decisions. Meet your target audience when they’re looking for creative, fresh and new things. Your ROI metrics will thank you.
Once you’ve made the careful selections to choose the social media channels for your business, it’s time to get focused on your strategy to drive awareness and conversions. After all, you’re using social media because you want to make more money.
Social media provides buyers an opportunity to interact with brands in real-time while researching products/services before making a purchase. Social Media marketing is about using specific social networks to guide prospects through your series of steps and funnel them to take the desired action, e.g., becoming a new customer and buying the company’s product and services, with the end goal of turning new customers into loyal patrons.
Your social media strategy should play into and cater to your target customers’ behaviors. Know how they make purchasing decisions and use your social messaging to encourage more of it. Remember, too; your buyers will always be changing how they shop and buy things. So, keep a finger on the pulse of what matters to them most, with social media listening efforts ongoing.
Your customers have always had objections, regardless of how you were engaging them. Social media allows your business another unique platform to anticipate those objections and prepare ahead of time to combat them. Of course, social media marketing won’t necessarily eliminate challenges. But it will provide you with a new way to address them head-on and overcome them.
Meet Steph: Steph’s optometry business will face some of the same challenges in person as it will on social media. Steph already recognizes that one of the most significant hurdles she faces with her clients is insurance. So many times, she hears objections from potential patients who don’t have vision coverage and assume the visit itself will be too costly. But she’s prepared to combat that challenge with her in-house affordability service that allows patients to make payments, leverage discounts, and budget for eyecare based on their income. And that’s the very thing she’s preparing to promote on social media.
When we talk about your social media strategy, we mean the plan with which you determine the what, where and when about your social engagement. Be smart and choose the best options for all three categories for actual results.
Don’t waste your time trying to gain traction on a social platform that isn’t a good fit. Figure out which social channels make the most sense to your bottom line and your budget.
- Decide Who Your Target Customers Are.
- Know Your Brand and Industry.
- Analyze Your Existing Data Traffic Sources.
- Find Where Your Rivals Live on Social.
- Explore What Type of Content Resonates Best.
- Set Your Social Media Goals.
If you don’t have an army of employees to help you manage your social media posting schedules, creating content and responding to customers, don’t try to be all things across all channels. Instead, recognize what is realistic, based on a timeline of scheduling and availability you can accommodate.
- Choose your ideal social media channels.
- Decide what you need to track.
- Create a centralized content library for all of your assets.
- Develop and establish a realistic workflow.
- Begin crafting your content topics and posts.
- Invite your marketing teams to review and offer feedback.
To really know the what, where and when you’ll need for your social media strategy, you can always check out what your company competition is doing. Find loopholes in their efforts on which you can capitalize. See what they’re doing right and find unique ways to incorporate those best practices.
- Identify Your Competitors’ Social Media Strategy.
- Review Competitor Profiles.
- Analyze Your Competitors’ Content and Strategy.
- Monitor Your Competitors’ Changes.
Meet Austin: Austin’s always looking for new ways to promote his gym and supplements store on social media. So, to gain some inspiration, he starts looking up how his competitors are doing their social campaigns. After spending some quality time trolling his rivals, including the big ones like Gold’s Gym and GNC, he recognizes a few opportunities to leverage. Armed with the intel he needs, Austin has a new vision for his social media that will allow him to zig when everyone else is zagging. It’s just the edge he needs to improve his engagement traction.
Once you’re knee-deep into a social media campaign, it’s time to engage a little patience. And there are signs to reinforce that you are, in fact, on the right track. Look for these key results to know that you’re doing it right. Alternatively, any opposing variations of these results can be red flags that you’ll need to make some changes to your strategy.
Making One-on-One Connections: If your social media marketing efforts are helping your business make one-on-one connections with new potential customers, you’re doing something right.
Reaching Your Target Audience: You’re on the right track if those social media users who are liking, commenting and sharing your content align with your buyer personas and target market.
Growing Awareness of Your Brand: Your social media strategy is working if your brand awareness is growing into new audience segments. If more people are recognizing your brand, your social is working.
Seeing More Referral Business: One of the best advantages of social media are the referral conversions. If you’re seeing an increase in referral business, you’ll know you’re headed in the right direction.
Measuring Increases in Conversions: Obviously, a new social media campaign is doing well if you’re able to measure its performance in an increase of conversions.
Gaining Traction Against Competitors: Another metric that indicates you’re on the right track with your social media involves measuring traction against your competitors. If you’re outranking rivals or securing better engagement, you’re definitely ahead of the curve.
Don’t let social media be some mysterious unicorn your business can’t capture. Keep these execution tips and suggestions in mind to remove the veil of confusion. You can then build and grow a social media marketing strategy that actually works. Of course, if you’re still mystified, let the Awareness Business Group help you get organized for success!