If you own a business, website or even a simple blog, then you already know how much of an impact social media marketing can have on the success of your business – if not, then you need to get on track as soon as possible, as there has never been a better time to get your business noticed by social media users. The number of people who have at least one social account has increased by 21% between 2015 and 2016, with more than 2.8 billion people utilizing social networks either for their personal use or for business purposes by December 2016. Social media is also one of the advancements in technology that has reached every end of the planet – with 83% of the population in American owning at least one social profile and 77% of the United Kingdom’s population.
Utilizing social media as part of a marketing strategy has become essential for any type of business – whether or not they have a physical location, and regardless of the products or services they have to offer. Dove (Almost 200,000 followers on their Twitter account), Oreo, GoPro (Over 11 million followers on Instagram), Royal Dutch Airlines and even Pampers are using social media as a way to promote their brand, and all of these companies offer different types of products and services. You too can increase brand awareness by simply harnessing the power of social media networks. We’ve compiled a list of eight strategies you can use to get the most out of your social media marketing campaign.
1. Define Your Target Audience First
Before you start posting random posts on your Facebook account or uploading a bunch of images on your Instagram profile, you should first define your target audience. This step is not only important when it comes to social media marketing, but should also be a vital part of your general internet marketing campaign. Knowing more about your target audience makes it easier to reach them – you need to know what they are talking about, solutions they are looking for and the tone they are more likely to respond to. Social Media Examiner recommends utilizing the audience targeting features of Facebook and Twitter’s ad platforms, as well as using LinkedIn advanced search functions to locate your target audience and to determine their size, tone, and other important details.
2. Prioritize The Networks Where Your Target Audience Hangs Out Most
Smart Insights report that Facebook (more than 1.8 billion users) is by far the most popular social network at the moment, followed by Instagram (600 million users), Twitter (317 million users), Snapchat (300 million users) and also Pinterest (150 million users). These are only five social networks that your business can utilize in a social networking strategy. While a lot of businesses prefer to target an audience on all of these popular social networks, it may be a better idea to start out with one or two that are more popular among your target audience. Thus, once you have determined your target audience, see where they are mostly active on – then prioritize these networks in your social media marketing strategy.
3. Work On Your Social Profiles
No matter how much you spend on your social media marketing campaign and how much effort you put into reaching your target audience, if your profile is not attractive to another user, they are not likely to click that “follower” or “like” button. Forbes recommends using a profile picture that stands out, optimizing your bio so that anyone who visits your profile knows immediately what you do and what you can offer them, and to complete as many profile fields as possible. They also recommend using keywords related to your business in the description and bio sections of your profile – this will make it easier for your target audience to find your profile.
4. Determine When It Is Best To Post On Social Media
If you want to reach more people, you need to post to your social media profiles at the right time. When you post at just the right time and use the right keywords, you have a much greater chance of being discovered. After reviewing 16 different studies, CoSchedule determined the best times to post on social media based on engagement rates. They report that posting on Saturdays and Sundays usually lead to a 32% increase in engagement, and posting on Thursday and Friday can also boost engagement rates by 18%. The best times are also reported to be 9 AM, 1 PM and 3 PM.
5. Create And Schedule Content In Advance
Posting on your social profiles regularly is important. If your profile looks deserted, then people will not be keen on pressing the “like” button. Unfortunately, you may not always have enough time to post content every day or the best time for posting content may be inconvenient. Thus, creating content in advance and scheduling them is often the best way to keep your social walls active without having to manually post to them all of the time. Dashburst recommends using TweetDeck for scheduling Twitter posts and HootSuite, SocialFlow or Buffer to schedule posts for other networks. If you are using micro-influencer marketing, you can also ask the influencer to schedule your posts to be published at specific dates and times.
6. Use Different Types Of Posts
Only sharing your blog posts on your social profiles all of the time can become boring and may cause your followers to become uninterested. You need to vary the type of posts you publish on your walls for best results. Share your blog posts, share links to other interesting content you’ve read, ask your followers engaging questions, reply to posts that were published by others and interact with your followers frequently. This will make your wall more interesting.
7. Utilize Tools And Opportunities Made Available By Social Networks
A lot of businesses and social media users only update their social wall and expect followers to build up automatically. This usually does not lead to the expected results. Every social network has some tools that provide the user with many opportunities for promoting their page and presence. For example, more than one billion Facebook users belong to at least one group. Becoming active in a Facebook group and posting links to your Facebook page can grow your page likes rapidly.
8. Monitor And Improve Your Social Networking Campaigns
Finally, after all of the effort you put into growing your social media presence, you should be monitoring and improve your campaigns continuously. Most social networks have implemented some kind of monitoring features into their business offerings. On Facebook pages, for examples, you can see how many people your posts have reached. You can also see how many shares and comments each post receives. You can also use special tools to add tracking ids to your links to you know when a visitor, lead or sale comes from a social media network.
Social media networks are becoming huge and they will only continue to grow. If you aren’t fully utilizing the power of these networks, then your business isn’t performing as well as it can. Even if you are currently running social media campaigns, you should be monitoring and improve your campaigns all the time to reach more users, gain more followers and land more sales.