If social media is a country, it will be the biggest one in the world with over 2.2 billion active users. It has become a phenomenon and has grown more than anyone could imagine. In a snap of a finger, you will be connected with just about anybody across the globe.
Hence it is no surprise how online marketers and businesses are investing time and money on social media. Undoubtedly, it has become the most effective way to market products and services. It has lambasted other advertising medium in terms of reach and results.
How can you then maximize the power of social media when you are just starting? Consider our guide for you!
1. Define your audience
No social media campaign has been successful without online marketers understanding their audience. Knowing your target market is critical to your strategy. They are basically you’re focal point. Who are they? Profiling them by gender, age, profession and interest will help you in creating an effective and relatable marketing message. You also have to distinguish their concerns and needs that you can address.
2. Decide which social media to use
While there are several social media out there, don’t confuse yourself by using all of them. If truth be told, you cannot manage several social media accounts and update them all at the same time. Besides, not all social media will work on your favor. For a start, focus on two social networks — Facebook (1.59 billion monthly active users) and Twitter (310 million monthly active users). Concentrate on these platforms and test if your marketing materials and strategies are effective or not. Moving forward, you can sign up to other networks that you find necessary for your business.
3. Be consistent with your branding
Consistency is not only a key but a critical part of your social media marketing. With internet users always wary and suspicious of bogus online businesses, you cannot afford to miss a beat. From your marketing message to your contact and business information, you have to be consistent. This will build trust and will help you gain confidence from potential customers.
4. Optimize your social media accounts
It is not only websites that need optimization but also social media accounts. It will help you in gaining more followers and increasing your visibility both in social networks and major search engines. First, you need to use a real photo or the official logo of your business for branding. You need to show to people who they are dealing with. You also have to provide a good description of your company, your background and your expertise. If you are running a website, which actually is a must for online marketers, you can include your web link in the “about” section of the social media you have signed up for.
5. Share contents but never overdo
You probably have heard that “content is king” and it is true when it comes to social media. Texts, photos and videos are your ticket to getting the attention of the internet users. Your materials need to be interesting and useful enough for your audience to click, share and consider what you have to offer.
However, do not overdo in sharing contents to the point that you appear aggressive and desperate. While there are some studies that would tell you the ideal number of posts per day, it is best to test the market yourself. On your Facebook page, try posting two or three contents per day with the right time interval and analyze the result you will be getting.
6. Connect with your audience
Your social media strategy should not end merely in posting marketing materials. Social media is about interaction and connection. Read and respond to inquiries, feedback and comments. Negative statements from online users are normal; it happens to all businesses. You just need to respond accordingly and try to turn it into a positive one. What is important is you are engaging and you make your customers feel that they can reach you any time.
7. Follow the influencers in your industry
As an online marketer, you need to build connections not only with your target market but also with the influencers in your niche. Find and follow them because they are a big influence to the buying decision of your target market. While there is no guarantee that they will follow you back, you have to make the first move — that is how you get notice. Commenting on their posts and blogs relevant to your business will also increase your chance of building a relationship with them.
8. Follow Back
One mistake every social media marketers commit is not following back. While I’m not telling you to follow back all those who follow your social media pages, you should somehow develop a habit of checking the profiles of your followers at least twice a week and decide who to follow. Once you take this for granted, you will most likely notice a decline in the number of your followers. You have to make your audience feel that you are interested on what they are sharing in social media.
9. It doesn’t hurt to pay
Social media is business and they make money just like other businesses. Facebook, for instance, offers advertising solutions that will help you gain more traffic, brand exposure, sales and even audience engagement. Another good thing is you get assurance that your products or services are visible to the right audience — your potential customers. Social media advertisements doesn’t mean you need to have a big budget, you just need to develop an effective strategy that will give you good results.
10. Analyze and improve
You have to track, measure and analyze your social media campaign. Identify which strategies work and which are giving you poor performance in terms of sharing and engagement. All social networks give metrics for ad campaigns for you to analyze. It is your call to give the best judgement and make an improvement on your campaign.
Social media marketing is a game you need to play where staying on top is only paramount. Thus, doing your homework first before going into the battlefield will help a lot. On the same note, you have to be very flexible considering that the world of social media changes from time to time with the shortest notice you can get. Not to mention that it revolves around people who are smart enough to identify when someone is just trying to make a sale. Be smart!