THE WHYS AND HOWS OF SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING

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The benefits are undeniable and the numbers don't lie...

Over the last few years, social media has transformed from merely a business add-on, to a necessity. If you aren’t using social media to reach customers and generate leads, you're missing out on some great opportunities.

Social media platforms have a huge and growing impact. By sharing content that drives customer engagement on social media, your business can more successfully meet its marketing goals. The benefits of social media marketing include:

  • More website visitors
  • More conversions
  • Greater brand awareness
  • A stronger brand identity
  • More interaction with customers

The numbers don’t lie

For those of you that still think social media is a passing fad, here are some eye-opening statistics from The Content Factory and We Are Social.

  • 2.80 billion global social media users in 2017 (37% penetration)
  • Active social media users increased by 21% (2016 vs. 2015)
  • 84% of CEOs and VPs say they use social media to help make purchasing decisions
  • 70% of B2C marketers have acquired customers through Facebook
  • Brands with active social media profiles have more loyal customers
  • 84% of B2B marketers use social media in some form
  • Social media marketing has a 100% higher lead-to-close rate than outbound marketing
  • 91% of brands are using more than one social media platform

The SEO advantage

Another reason to increase your involvement in social media activities is because greater involvement in social networks improves search engine rankings. The more your content gets shared socially, the more it picks ups links, increases engagement and improves your website’s SEO ranking. 

Look before you leap

If you start your social marketing efforts blindly and depend on trial and error, you will almost surely waste lots of time and energy. So it’s better to consider options beforehand and develop a plan that matches your company’s character and goals. Here are some tips for developing a social media marketing plan and improving your social presence.

Ask yourself the right questions

Before developing your social media plan, be sure to answer the following basic questions to get your planning efforts rolling in the right direction.

  • What are our goals?
  • Who should we target?
  • What social media platforms do they use?
  • What kind of content do they like?
  • What style of content matches our brand?
  • How are competitors using social media?
  • How should we create the content?

Plan out your strategy

Once you’ve answered the above questions, you’re ready to craft your social media marketing plan. It may be tempting to rush through this stage, but going to the effort of making an effective social media strategy will pay off in the end. Here are some tips from Moz that apply equally to content marketing and social media marketing:

  • Distill your core social marketing strategy into a single sentence
  • Determine the main themes and messages of your content
  • Create a rough outline of your plan
  • Create rules that will help your plan succeed
  • Review your workflow for content creation and publication

Some pointers from professionals

Here are some pointers from professionals for optimizing your social marketing campaign to provide value that pleases current customers, attracts potential customers and encourages purchases.

Share high-quality content

Create social media content that your intended audience will find useful, entertaining, interesting or informative and lead them to a desired action such as providing contact information. By providing such content, you can gain attention, trust and higher sales. Be sure to regularly share the content on their favorite social media platforms to raise trust and keep them coming back for more. The content can include anything from short messages, articles, images, videos and infographics to the best content from your website and blog.

Maintain a consistent brand image

Consistency is important because people want to buy from brands they feel they know. In the excellent article Social Media Marketing for Businesses, the marketers recommend making sure the style of your content always complements the personality of your brand. If your brand image is colorful and high-tech with a great sense of humor, get that feeling across consistently in your content. 

Use links and hashtags

In addition to sharing high-quality content with a consistent style, you can help people find your content and website more easily by using links in visuals and easy-to-remember hashtags that link the content in your campaign, according to Peg Fizpatrick and Donna Moritz in “20 Social Media Marketing Tips From the Pros.” 

Measure your success

Once you’ve launched your social media marketing campaign, you’ll want feedback on your efforts to know which approaches have succeeded and where improvements can be made. The writers at WordStream recommend measuring the success of your social marketing efforts by using Google Analytics and the analytics tools available through each social media platform. BuzzSumo is another great tool for gaining valuable insight into which content is performing best. 

Once you have your feedback, by all means adjust your efforts accordingly to increase your success!

The potential is undeniable

With 2.8 billion active social media users worldwide, every brand and business should have a social marketing plan. By doing it right, with a little smart planning, marketing with social media can bring your business greater success!

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An-yal develops social media and content marketing campaigns for brands worldwide, find out more here. We’d love to hear from you!

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