How important is social media marketing to business growth? As we mentioned in our last post, according to Hubspot, 92% of all marketers indicated that their social media efforts have generated more exposure for their businesses, while 80% of marketers indicated that their social media efforts increased traffic. With these types of statistics, the benefits of social media marketing can no longer be ignored. While many businesses have some level of social media involvement very few are maximizing its use. Social media is perhaps one of the best means of marketing you can have.
Here are our 5 best tips to make social media marketing work.
1 – Post when your audience is active
There isn’t a single answer for every business regarding the best times to post on social media. CoSchedule compiled a few studies on this subject that can help you get started with your timing, but you shouldn’t rely on it as fact for your business. For example, Facebook posting at 1pm on Wednesdays may work for business X, but posting at 5pm on Thursdays may work better for business Y. The single most important tip to remember is that you need to be active when your target audience is.
2- Choose The Right Platform For Your Business
Every social media platform favors certain kind of businesses more, this fact is trite. If for instance, you run a photo editing and photography business or any business that can be sold with quality pictures, then it goes without saying that Instagram is worth a million bucks in its benefits to your business.
Facebook on the other hand also has an open platform for all kinds of businesses, but it gives more room for text, Facebook Pages are beginning to show equal engagement as websites and more engagement in many cases. Basically, it gives you room to explain yourself better and with the addition of Live streaming, Facebook has stepped up in its importance for literally every business type.
Twitter limits you to 140 characters. It can be quite difficult creating something meaningful in that small space, but it can create a huge and relevant audience quickly. But without the ability to target a group of people, it sometimes feels like you are throwing a message out to a big silent world. Twitter is great at making initial connections which can lead to reliable reach on another platform like a blog or podcast.
3 – Collect Email Addresses
No, e-mails are not old school. According to a survey by Exact Target (now a part of Salesforce) 91 percent of consumers reported that they checked their email every day. Emails are still the preferred channel for customers especially if you are providing value. When you have their emails, then you can almost certainly count on being able to reach them when you need to as opposed to trying to guess when they will be available.
4 – Capitalize On Your Favorite Vocal Customers
People generally trust peer recommendations over branded messaging. When a customer raves over your product or service, ask for a reviews or for them to share their experience on your social media page. There’s a lot more credibility in peer reviews than self promotion.
5 – Connect First, Sell Second
If you truly want to get the most out of social media marketing, you need to be there to communicate in real-time. “It’s one thing to fill up your social media feed with posts, but it’s another thing to actively engage with your audience and turn them into satisfied customers. I see a lot of small business owners posting a couple times a day, thinking that they are doing the right thing when it comes to social media marketing. You can’t just post and walk away. If you do that, you are missing prime opportunities to engage with your audience and convert them. This means engaging 1-on-1 to assist with complaints or show gratitude for praise.
Social media doesn’t have to be a mystery. It’s a chance to engage with your audience and hear what they want so you can adapt your sales cycle. It’s nearly impossible — and almost always ineffective — to be active on every single social media platform. It’s better to start with two or three social media platforms where your target audience is active. Master those, and then expand your social reach as the business grows and more effort can be allocated to additional social platforms. Lastly, make sure you are tracking and measuring everything. The data you collect and analyze can then be used to make changes to your campaign. You must be willing to constantly optimize and test your efforts if you want to develop a truly successful social media marketing campaign