Have you ever cringed when you viewed your average screen time on your phone?
If the bulk of that time was spent on social media, that might be a bad thing for your personal life. But, it’s a prime example of why social media marketing works for businesses.
Simply put, it’s where we spend the bulk of our lives, making it the best place to cast your marketing net.
From a sociological standpoint, there are probably implications to all our screen time. But, it’s a major selling point for businesses looking for a boost from a marketing perspective.
Below, we’re going to open up the world of social media marketing. We’ll provide a basic definition and reveal the integral elements of an effective social media marketing plan. Let’s get right to it.
What Is Social Media Marketing?
Social media marketing allows you to build your brand in a way that few other digital marketing tools can.
It harnesses platforms that exceed a billion users, like Facebook and Instagram; it also places you in contact with people all across the globe.
In some instances, it’s free advertising. In other instances, you pay per click. But, the analytics speak for themselves: it works.
At its core, social media management allows you to use social platforms to build your brand, draw in new leads, and increase sales.
Best of all, a social media strategy is multi-faceted and can be leveraged in several ways.
Social media generates organic growth, even if you’re investing in paid ads. It targets audience members who are likely to be interested in what you have to offer.
Here’s a straightforward example of social media marketing, using Instagram. Let’s say you’re beginning an organic beauty line.
Once you have your profile set up and ready to create your first post, what’s one thing you’re going to want to include? Hashtags!
Most of us do this anyway, even in our personal accounts. If you incorporate a few highly-trafficked keywords into your post, you’re bound to draw in new leads.
Most people follow hashtags. For example, if they’re interested in organic beauty, they will follow that hashtag and a couple of others such as #cleanbeauty or #organic.
If your post is engaging and lively enough, users might click through to your profile. From there, they’re only one more click away from your website, and, boom, you’ve drawn in new traffic.
How Social Media Works
That’s an oversimplified version of social media marketing for businesses. Let’s roll up our sleeves and put the magnifying glass to the elements of a strong strategy.
Account Setup and Profile Overview
The first thing to do, of course, is open up a few accounts. Start by considering which networks you’d like to work with.
Right now, the “big four” are Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.
Take a close look at your profile page. Be sure to upload an eye-catching profile picture, most likely your company logo.
Then, it’s onto your bio. Flex your creativity muscles a bit here because you’re going to want to be brief yet humorous and effective.
Tell people who you are, what you can do for them, and close with a call to action. Invite them to check out your organic essential oils, or simply visit your website.
Include a link to your website prominently in your profile, so there’s no fishing around when a new lead comes to town.
With your accounts gleaming and ready for attention, take some time to jot down your SMART goals. That is your specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound goals.
Herein, you might commit to post twice a week to each platform and return to engage in the comments section three times a week.
Or, you might vow to go live on Facebook every week. All your goals are going to have the same underlying premise, however.
That is, increase brand awareness, generate new leads, and boost your company website’s traffic.
While it’s important to know thyself, in the world of social media, it’s also wise to know thy competition.
Take a look around to see if anyone’s already doing what you’re about to do. Then, leverage your unique qualities and use your voice to shout from the digital rooftops.
For example, if your primary competitor is all over Facebook, but behind the times on Instagram, swoop in and start there.
See what kinds of posts they’ve made and which ones garnered the most likes and comments. This will help you see what the audience is drawn to and will want more of.
Social Media Algorithms
This stage always sounds scarier than it is. In truth, you don’t want to go too far down the rabbit hole here; it can prevent you from just being yourself (which should be the foundation of every post).
Algorithms exist to “give the people what they want.” From a marketing perspective, they’re a good thing because it allows topics of interest to show up in users’ feeds (i.e., hashtags they’re interested in).
Each platform employes different algorithms (and they’re constantly evolving). But, it’s a good idea to have a basic understanding of this hot-button item because it greatly affects who sees what on social media.
If you can do a lot of this for free, why do people invest in paid ads? Simply put, it broadens their reach.
Paid ads give you instant visibility. We’ve all seen them at the top of a Google search and across the headers on Facebook.
This instantly boosts brand awareness and allows you to target a specific audience. Best of all, they’re based on a pay-per-click model, which means you only pay for your advertisement if someone actually clicks on it.
You can test the waters by establishing a small budget and viewing your analytics to see if your paid ad boosted traffic to your site.
Once upon a time, blogs and websites did well to post quality images to their sites. Now, it’s all about video.
Websites, blogs, and social media platforms that leverage short videos outperform those that don’t.
This is why TikTok continues to beef up its user list. People enjoy swiping through to watch one silly video after another.
If you post a 20-second before-and-after from someone who’s utilized your organic face wash, you’re likely to stand tall above the crowd.
Stories are becoming more and more popular, especially on Instagram. One of the main reasons for this is the fact that they’re interactive.
Users can answer poll questions, type into question boxes, and click through to other pages.
They’re quick and, since they’re video-based, they’re highly effective. So, whether you’re leaning into Facebook or Instagram, don’t waste any time perfecting your story skills.
Anyone serious about their social media endeavor will establish a content calendar. Create a posting schedule with specific dates and times when you will post to your channels.
Keep in mind that not every post needs to be a blatant advertisement. Sometimes, you’ll want to educate or inform your audience.
If you’re about to launch an all-natural deodorant, try posting an infographic about the detriments of traditional deodorant.
Pinpointing the type of content you’d like to produce will help you build out a content calendar that you’ll be excited to commit to.
Social Media Marketing Done Right
Few people have stumbled upon social media marketing and launched to new heights overnight.
This endeavor requires a game plan, a toolkit, and a commitment to long-term goals.
Yet, it’s important to carve out space for yourself on the “big four” platforms because it creates a magnetism you won’t find any other way.
Of course, social media can’t push out your website and content creation strategies. But, if you’d like to outsource your content calendars and dedicated hours of your workday, then hand it over to us.
Here at Hays Digital Marketing Agency, we can handle all your digital marketing needs. We’ll manage your blog, update your website content, create compelling product descriptions, and more!
We’ve dissected SEO in every way possible, and we’re here to boost your online prominence in several ways. Let us take some of the work off your plate while you focus on other components of your business.
Feel free to contact us today. We’d be happy to meet with you and help you develop your own marketing plan and blow the competition out of the water.