Social media is emerging as an effective tool for digital marketing. To expand your business and improve brand awareness, you can use social media to your true advantage. It has several advantages and will allow you to promote your brand, increase traffic, sales and help you rank better for SEO.
To achieve that you’ll need to have a solid social media strategy to use social media for digital marketing. If you start without a clear goal or a concrete plan, your social media campaign will fail. In order to succeed, you need to understand who your audience is and make posts that will engage them.
What is social media marketing?
The essence of digital marketing is to reach potential customers or targeted audiences through various online channels. Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter have become an integral part of digital marketing campaigns. They offer a lot of benefits to businesses and help them to grow leads. Planning and publishing content on social media is called social media marketing.
It is important to create content and post it on social media channels, listen to what your followers or customers say, understand how to engage with them, and make changes to your marketing strategy according to how you’re trending online.
It may seem simple, but to become a successful business and get more leads through social media, you will need to create a solid and practical social media marketing plan and follow it through. Only then it’s possible to reach more potential customers and increase your traffic in the long-term.
Why Use Social Media for Marketing?
To understand social media marketing, you first need to understand why you should use it for your business and how it can make your business successful.
Get More Traffic & Sales
You can link your social media posts with your WordPress site where you sell products or services. You can also put links on images – for example on Pinterest or you can use hyperlinks in the text with call-to-action words.
However, for this to work, you need to share high-quality, helpful content for your audience.
Your content on social media needs to offer your targeted audience what they are looking for or answer a question that may has been plaguing them. If your content resonates with them, they will check out your sites or even purchase your products and services.
By marketing yourself on social media, you make yourself accessible to potential customers and other people. If you haven’t set up any social media account for your brand, it might be hard for potential customers to reach you. This means you will get fewer customers than a brand that is actively advertising on social media.
Expanding Your Brand with Marketing Goals
When you post something on social media platforms, you get likes and comments from your targeted audience. These comments will tell you what your customers are looking for if you pay attention to them. You can also use analytical tools to track comments.
In the long run, these comments, suggestions, or questions will help you to ramp up your marketing strategy; you can then post content and call-to-action posts that people want to see.
Knowing what your audience wants is beneficial for business and will help you improve – also for your email marketing.
Not only will you be able to market better, but you can also build your brand awareness and make people notice your brand on social media. Most buyers have the habit of looking through social media comments and likes to see if a product is the same as in the ad. They also trust the words of other customers who have purchased from the same brand. If you have a solid social media presence and loyal customers, people will buy from you. Moreover, your advertisement will reach more potential customers.
Better Ranking on Google
When you become a trusted brand on social media, it will make your brand credible and trustworthy. Moreover, search engines will be more liable to rank your website higher when people search for the products or services you offer.
Social media is one of the best methods to share content; it can indirectly help you rank better if you have a solid social media presence and people trust your brand.
Social Media Marketing Strategy
If you start posting content for your business or brand without actually investing in a social media marketing plan, you’re bound to fail after a while. To succeed and increase your brand awareness using social media, you need to understand how to plan and use it within your whole digital marketing strategy.
Before you begin your digital marketing through social media, you need to outline and plan your social media campaigns.
This social media strategy will help you follow a plan that is capable of getting you results. The simplest model for any concrete social media marketing strategy consists of 5 steps.
STEP 1: Have a Clear Goal in Mind
The first step of any good social media marketing strategy is to have a clear goal in mind. It can also be several goals. You will need to decide what you want to use social media for:
- To increase your brand awareness,
- Get more leads,
- Drive traffic to your websites for sales,
- For community engagement.
Social media can have many advantages for your brand. You can set it up to promote your brand, get more sales and even use it as customer support. It’s all up to you. However, success only comes from having a clear picture in mind.
The second part of the first step is to decide on which social media platforms you want to lay your focus on. Choosing a platform also depends on your brand/business and audience. If you run a skincare store, Instagram and Pinterest will all work for you since you can make a post with great images of your products and add a shop now link to your site on each post. You can also post ads for sales on Instagram and Pinterest where people click on a post/pin because of the images.
STEP 2: Understand Your Targeted Audience
This step affects the step for choosing the social media platforms for your brand.
You need to know who your audience before you decide on a platform to use. You need to look at your brand or business and understand who your brand's audience is. If you know who your audience is, you can create and post content that your targeted audience will like and share.
For your audience, you need to know their location, age, interests, the industry they might work in, etc. The most important ones here are the age and interests. If you run a baking class that teaches baking, your audience can be novice bakers or home cooks.
But, if you offer copywriting services, your audience will be companies, businesses, or other people looking for a copywriter. Your audience may differ depending on your brand. As a result, you need to think long and hard about who you want to attract on social media.
STEP 3: Choose Your Social Media Platforms
Instead of making assumptions in your marketing strategy, you can use social media analytics and demographics to know what type of audience visits a particular social media platform.
Knowing the audience that visits each social media platform will help you make your digital marketing strategy more bulletproof and practical.
The next step is to choose which platform to use for what purpose.
Some brands may prefer to use Instagram and Facebook for posts, updates on products, and advertisements. But, they want to use Twitter for customer support and to share their opinion on certain topics.
For each platform you want to use for your brand, you can write a marketing statement for that platform.
A sample marketing statement:
“For baking class tutorials, we’re going to use Instagram stories and for customer support, we choose Twitter.”
Instagram and Facebook are often used for advertisement and engaging with your customers and the community to improve brand awareness. On Facebook, Facebook Live is a great feature that Facebook offers where you can even hold live videos for selling or advertising your products or services. Facebook also has a large and diverse audience.
On the other hand, Instagram and Pinterest are both visual social media channels where images and videos mean more traffic than long posts. You can use Instagram stories, short videos, Instagram Live for long content, or vivid and high-quality posts with relevant images on and beautiful pins on Pinterest.
You don’t need to set up your business on every social media platform. Instead, you should choose the social media platform that your audience visits the most. Use one logo and the same style on all platforms so that people can recognize your brand with ease.
STEP 4: Creating Content to Engage Your Audience
Before you get down to creating content for your social media platforms, you need to plan what type of content you want to share with your audience.
Do you want simple posts, images, or videos? Do you want to add links to your site in the content?
When you have answers to these questions, planning and publishing content on social media becomes easy and punctual.
Instead of writing content spontaneously, you can write/create content for different social media platforms ahead of the publishing date.
With this, you can release posts/content consistently and increase your audience base. You can use tools such as SocialPilot for this.
Alternatively, you can also have the content ready in a Word document and the graphics in another and release them manually on the publishing date.
You can also make a schedule for the type of posts to publish. If you run a brand that promotes skincare and advertises brand products, in one week, you can start publishing an advice post with graphic slides that informs the audience about taking care of their skin. Then, add a post with 3-4 products that are trendy in a particular season, followed by one-image posts or a video that supports your brand.
You can’t just publish anything for your brand. Your brand’s social media should have a consistent theme and a consistent tone. If your posts switch continuously from business to semi-formal and entertaining, viewers will lose interest.
STEP 5: Monitoring Social Media Platforms Metrics
You can’t just publish something and wait for customers to come to you. You have to continuously monitor your social media for metrics – numbers that will tell if you are succeeding or failing.
You can’t just wing it to succeed. Monitoring and changing your social media marketing plan accordingly is key for your success.
You should also track the tags you use often and what hashtags are relevant to your brand. When you know what hashtags relate to your brand, you can add them to your posts.
Another obvious metric is the number of times people click on your account or post. If you track clicks per campaign or post, you will come to know what type of posts people like.
These are just two of the many metrics you need to look out for. You can further monitor the number of times distinct users have seen a post; this will allow you to estimate how far your content is reaching people.
Start with your social media strategy
With the correct knowledge and a solid plan, you can promote your brand using social media and get the results you want. All it takes is understanding who your audience is, making content that they will like, monitoring your social media, and making changes to your marketing plan according to the people’s reactions and comments.