Fearless Social Media Marketing: A Complete Guide From Netmatters To Successful Social Media
Marketing on social media can be daunting, especially when you are new to it. There are so many questions and concerns, “How do I reach my audience?”, “How much should I be spending?” and “Which platform should I be advertising on?” are just a few we are asked frequently.
Everyone uses social media, so whether your business specialises in B2B or B2C offerings, you will be able to reach your audience through some form of social media marketing, both organically, and paid.
Drawing on our experience and expertise, we wanted to give you a snapshot as to what it is, how it can be beneficial and why you should consider using your social media to enhance your brand.
What is social media marketing?
Social media marketing is creating unique content to promote, engage and convert users through social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Instagram. Other platforms can be included - Snapchat, Pinterest and even TikTok have launched their advertising for businesses just recently… (https://bit.ly/2ZeCCEF) though these platforms tend to be secondary to the big five and are not necessarily suited to all types of business.
The idea behind social media marketing is that the user can interact with your brand, whilst browsing and interacting with their friendship circles. With the recent Coronavirus outbreak, social media has been more prevalent than ever before. If anything, it has been a wake-up call to brands and businesses not currently utilising social channels.
- Facebook – 1.73 billion daily users
- Twitter – 126 million daily users
- Instagram – 1 billion monthly users
- LinkedIn – 675 million monthly users
How can social media marketing benefit my brand?
Having a presence on social media can be beneficial for multiple reasons, here are our top 3.
1) Lead Generation - The primary focus for business owners and seniors is to see a clearly defined return on investment, no matter the channel. When you begin to generate physical business through your social media, whether paid or organically, you can calculate a return on investment.
Leads can be generated via social media through linking users back to content on your actual website, providing them with informative content and easy to contact points on your website.
Other ways you can generate leads through your social media platforms is through quirky content such as contests/competitions, hosting live videos/webinars and through physically paid for campaigns.
2) Brand Awareness - This is arguably the most underrated benefit. As mentioned above, the primary focus for business owners and seniors is to see a clearly defined return on investment. Whilst this is imperative to growing a brand and is very important in business as a whole, having a presence on social media will make others aware of your brand, especially if your content is fun, creative or educational.
If you can deliver social media content, that is exactly that, you capture the attention of future customers. What this means is that when these businesses have a genuine need for one of the product or services you offer, they will come back to you of their own accord.
Brand awareness is one of the hardest metrics to measure, however, when you consider in 2019, an estimated 2.95 billion people were using social media worldwide (source: https://bit.ly/38DuXmK) so long as your content is engaging, eye-catching and unique, you can be sure that a portion of this number will be seeing and remembering your brand for future reference.
3) Competitor Research - Social media allows you to compare your social presence against your competitors and comes in many forms. Whether you want to review their level of posting and customer interaction, or whether you simply want to review what products/services they are promoting and how, it is a great way to benchmark your business’ social presence.
Social media gives you the power of insight with regard to your competitors as it allows you to see what is and what isn’t working for their page, giving you the knowledge whether to run a certain campaign in a similar or different way from them. You can also determine whether your brand stands out enough in comparison to your competitors, a key factor when trying to solicit new customers.
How do I implement a social media strategy?
Before beginning to implement a social media strategy, you must clearly define who you are looking to target. Build a profile of your ideal customer. This will help you identify which platform would be best for you to begin advertising on.
It will likely come as no surprise to you that each social platform has a different type of audience. What may come as a surprise to you is it depends how you tailor your content to that platform as to how you get results.
When your audience has taken shape, you need to decide which platform your advertising will be best suited to. You can use our handy guide below:
- Demographic: Male & female primarily aged 24 - 60
- Audience: B2B & B2C
- Best for: Brand awareness, Advertising
- Demographic: Male & female primarily aged 24 - 40
- Audience: B2B and B2C
- Best for: PR, Customer Service
- Demographic: Male & female, maybe a female bias & aged 18 - 40
- Audience: B2C
- Best for: Portfolio, behind-the-scenes, Advertising
- Demographic: Male & female primarily aged 24 - 65
- Audience: B2B
- Best for: B2B relationships, Networking and Employment
Now you have confirmed your primary audience and platform, you then need to confirm what it is you are looking to achieve through your advertising. Are you looking to raise your brand profile? Are you looking to generate leads? Are you looking to display your work as a portfolio? Alternatively, are you simply looking to improve your social presence against your competitors?
Once you have a clearly defined objective, you can begin creating content. This can be paid or organic, or some combination of both. Alternatively, you can enlist the help of experienced social media marketers to help come up with content ideas and to manage your social media accounts.
Social media considerations
With your strategy now sorted and you’re beginning to utilise your social media to promote your business or brand, we have the following tips to bear in mind, to keep your social accounts running successfully.
1) Consistency - When you begin social media accounts, you must be consistent with them. What this means is that you cannot start and then stop. They need to be run on a consistent basis and posting needs to be frequent enough for you to be building a brand presence.
It is also bad practice to spam your potential clients with sales based posts; if anything, this will deter customers from using your business. Posting should be scheduled; a plan created at least a month in advance to decide what you are going to talk about on what days is the best way to communicate from a social media platform. Over time you will also be able to analyse when the best time to post is, and what content resonates best with your audience.
2) Authenticity - While it may be easy to find a competitor post and simply copy what they are doing, it is important to remember that the key to successful social media is unique content. This is not to say you cannot take inspiration from campaigns you like, but you should take the idea, build on it and make it your own.
Your communication must be authentic too. Don’t say something that isn’t true just to get engagement, business through the door, or for short term success, this will only end badly and will harm the business or brand in the long term.
3) Unhappy Customers - Finally, you have to consider what may happen if an unhappy customer finds your business, which is easy to do through social media.
If you have an unhappy customer, you must highlight you are doing everything in your power to rectify the issue, even if you do not agree with their argument. Comments and social media posts from unhappy customers can be damaging to your business or brand and you must act promptly and in a suitable manner to prevent these from getting out of hand. Any opinion or unnecessary comments in response to these sorts of posts from your business account we recommend against – in other words “don’t feed the trolls”.
Any response to these sorts of posts or comments must be carefully considered and show willing to resolve the issue experienced, equally, it might be the best course of action to say nothing. If you do engage with a user in this situation, we recommend that you ask the user/customer to contact you by phone to discuss in further detail so you can tailor a fix to their issue.
We hope that this article has given you lots to consider concerning your social media approach, especially as there is no better time than now to begin promoting your brand on social media.
However, if you feel you could do with some expert guidance on your social media accounts, or you have a need for someone to manage your socials, we’d love to help.
Get in touch with us by using the contact form below, or by calling one of our experts on 01603 515007.