People purchase products or services from a business because they trust the name or respect the value offered. Social media marketing enables you to establish the credibility needed to create conversions in both areas.
Building a successful and respected brand name must be a priority for a business of any size.
Social media is the best starting point to begin reaching your targeted demographics. There is no better place where you can start interacting with consumers because you’ll find there are always opinions available about brands and business interactions.
Up to 80% of the people who are thinking about buying something right now are evaluating the solutions provided by the companies they follow on social media.
That means you need to improve your social media marketing efforts today to reach those potential customers. You can start that process by implementing these ideas.
Idea #1: Be Consistent Across Every Channel
Nothing is worse for the first impression of your business than to have a different description of what you do across all of the social networks.
This lack of consistency creates confusion for the potential customer. A confused individual is less likely to engage with your products and services, reducing the chance of creating a positive association.
Over 60% of young consumers expect a consistent experience when working with a company online, over the phone, or in person.
Having a consistent image for your profile is only the beginning of this process. You must also create a tone of voice with your introduction that covers some specific attributes.
That means some choices need to get made right away.
Do you want the persona of your brand to be friendly, inspiring, or authoritative?
Should the tone of your content be direct, scientific, or personal?
Does the language you use need to be funny, complicated, filled with jargon, or serious?
Once you answer those questions, the purpose of your social media marketing efforts must influence your approach. Engagement can come from entertainment, education, information, or amplification.
Idea #2: Show Off Your Human Side
Most brands fail at social media marketing because they make one of these two mistakes.
- Everything got automated and simultaneously updated on every active platform, eliminating the human side of the content.
- Nothing got automated, causing someone to update each operating platform manually – and it caused burnout.
The pattern goes something like this.
You find something interesting that another person created. You share that data with your social media platforms, hoping to generate some engagements. Once you get a few interactions, the sales pitch comes out.
Automating and batching repetitive tasks can save time, but it also robs you of authenticity.
The Internet allows us to connect with each other in ways that were never possible before. It also gives everyone a measure of anonymity as they interact with others behind a screen. If anyone can say anything and pretend it is true, the one asset that you always have as a brand is authenticity.
You cannot become an authentic brand if people don’t get a chance to see who you are.
One of the fastest ways to accomplish that goal is to respond to each comment that comes your way. When you have people who frequently post on your page, provide them with similar courtesy.
You would not believe how influential it can be to go to someone’s social media profile to thank them for commenting, buying something, or resolving an issue with your company. It only takes a few seconds of work, but the effort can create a lifetime of loyalty.
Idea #3: Personalize Each Social Media Platform
You should have consistent information on each social media platform. The content you share with consumers is what should be different.
A lot of companies post the same content on every social channel. It is an effective way to save time, but the effort also comes across as lazy.
Instagram is a place where imagery and creativity shine. Twitter is a micro-blogging platform with a limited number of characters to use. Companies on Snapchat tend to use a behind-the-scenes, raw information vibe to connect with people.
Facebook is the place where you can find lots of advertisers, brand saturation, and clickbait content.
That doesn’t mean you can’t repurpose your content to save time.
Let’s say that you have a video of your CEO speaking at a public event. You could post the entire content to YouTube so that people could feel like they were there. Snippets of relevant information could get uploaded as native Facebook videos, while stills could become the background for inspirational quotes posted on Instagram.
One video creates three unique social media marketing opportunities that use different approaches.
Does that effort take more time than posting a YouTube link to the long-form video? Yes – and that’s why a professional social media marketing agency can be a tremendous asset to your brand and business.
Idea #4: Work From a Content Calendar
Research on the number of websites available to access shows that 1.71 billion URLs are out there right now. That figure is down a little from the 2017 peak of 1.76 billion sites.
That figure represents the total amount of content generated for public consumption since 1991, when the World Wide Web project posted the first publicly accessible website.
The number of websites that are active right now is only 200 million. The remainder of the URLs are parked, inactive, or abandoned.
Social media marketing relies on consistent posts of engaging content. Creating a profile and an initial update is a great start. Inviting your family and friends to like the new page is a fantastic second step – and that’s where most people disappear.
Following a content calendar creates a sense of accountability for your marketing campaign. It enforces a deadline that you feel compelled to follow.
It is much easier to procrastinate when you don’t have a schedule to follow.
A content calendar is rather simple to put together. You should create a deadline for the post, give it a topic or title, and then briefly describe the details you want to share in the body of the text.
Do you have keywords to target? Include them in your content calendar so that no information gets lost.
It is a best practice to include your call-to-action or whatever offer you plan to give with each post.
When you have a content calendar available to use, it is easier to maintain your schedule because the writing and updates can happen when you have free time.
Instead of rushing through a blog post or status update to meet your deadline, you can schedule items in advance after completing the work. Several apps, software options, and blogging platforms give you this structure to use.
Start with a simple schedule. Facebook benefits from a couple of updates daily, while Instagram is more of a one-and-done option each day. You can be as active on Twitter as you want to be, while LinkedIn can be a once-per-week structure.
Idea #5: Get Your Tactics Right
Social media marketing for a small business can be a one-person show. Once your brand starts growing, you need tools and a team to keep up with the scalability.
It is better to keep things simple and straightforward. Create a process where people always know what their responsibilities are. Someone should be choosing the updates, another individual can design the content calendar, and you can have people engaging with others on your behalf.
Creating lanes for people reduces conflict within your social media marketing efforts.
A decision about how to handle criticism needs to happen once you get that initial structure in place.
Over 2 million negative comments got listed in 2015 – and that trend has been building over the past five years. What are you going to do about an angry customer who leaves adverse information about your company?
Some brands call out people who leave false information, but it is essential to remember that mishandling criticism can destroy your brand through consumer backlash.
Honesty is always the best policy here. If your company made a mistake, own up to it! This interaction on social media is an opportunity to prove that you can make things right.
Transparency is another factor of authenticity that people crave when interacting with brands.
Idea #6: Focus on Providing Help Instead of Creating a Sale
Social selling is on the rise. Most of those efforts come from a soft sales approach that comes from a focus on helping instead of profits.
You should offer exclusive discounts and push offers to followers when it makes sense. It is more important to provide answers to the questions that people have.
When you answer questions on a public forum like Facebook or Twitter, thousands of other people can view the same information. If someone had the same concern, you just provided help without needing to do anything else!
You may start noticing some trends develop around specific issues or a particular problem with your products or services. This feedback is an excellent opportunity to create some content that can address those concerns.
When you speak directly to an issue in proactive ways, it creates three positive outcomes.
- You show that you’re paying attention to what your community says, which is a critical component of building relationships.
- You provide value to people who are dealing with a specific issue by offering a resolution.
- Your content can give your marketing efforts a boost.
Pitching products is an essential component of social media marketing. The goal in doing so is to prove that you are an authority in your industry who can provide solutions that don’t always involve profits.
People who see your brand as being valuable are the most likely to become lifelong customers.
Idea #7: Visualize Your Information
The average human has an attention span that is less potent than that of a goldfish. That means you have less than eight seconds to convey meaningful information about your brand on social media.
One of the easiest ways to connect with people is to turn your text-based content into a visual post.
Live videos on Facebook earn six times the engagement of any other content that companies post. Profiles on Twitter have more followers when videos and graphics provide the bulk of the information presented to consumers.
Simple graphics can be enough to take advantage of this trend. You can make bar graphs, pie charts, or even memes to create more engagement on social media.
Several companies use infographics or team photos to convey specific information items.
You can even use an inspirational quote image to create a moment of thought for your followers.
Long-form information still has a place online because it is educational, reference-based content that serves a specific purpose. A 2,000-word blog post can be useful, but it doesn’t capture the imagination as quickly as a single image that summarizes the data it contains.
Are You Ready to Start the Social Media Marketing Journey?
Social media is an essential component of brand building today. With access to billions of people and potentially millions of engaged individuals, you can find new customers quickly without a significant expense.
Time is your most critical asset when designing a social media marketing strategy. You must have a place in your daily schedule to update your profiles, respond to comments, and post valuable content.
When you can create a consistent schedule and stick to it, the value that you give to others can position your company as an expert in your industry.
If you are unable to keep up with your content calendar, the competition is going to pass you.
Is it possible to find success without having a presence on social media? Possibly, but you may never achieve the full potential of your brand!
A social media marketing agency can help you with all of these ideas to improve your overall strategy. You can get the help needed to put in the tons of effort to stay consistent with each profile and platform.
The benefits are worth the investment.