Social media marketing has quickly become a pillar in marketing strategies for many businesses.
But for those not yet utilising what social media has to offer, it can be a huge task working out where to start, or how it can even benefit your business.
We’re taking a look at why social media campaigns are beneficial and will provide you with some tips to get started.
Social media marketing campaigns: where to start?
The best place to start for a social media marketing campaign is to align your activity with your business goals.
If you’re looking to generate revenue through online orders, what steps should you be taking to grow this? Where are you at currently, and what would constitute a successful return?
If you’re looking to raise awareness of your website or brand, how will you measure this? Through website visits, likes, follows, enquiries?
Before posting anything, make sure you set clear goals. Align these with tangible objectives that you can carry out. Then, ensure that you’re able to measure and tweak your approach if necessary.
It may be that planning out your campaigns in this way will highlight what content you’ll require. Or what channels you need to appear on and how much time you’ll need to invest.
What should you avoid?
If you’re just starting out creating a social media strategy or campaign, it can be tempting to instantly start a presence across all available channels and start posting straight away.
Ideally, you should carry out some initial research. Pick one or two channels where you think you can provide valuable and engaging content for your audience; this will ultimately benefit your company.
You should also avoid the temptation to pull the plug early. Create a long term plan and commit to it. This ensures that you’re giving yourself enough time to experiment with content and channels.
One major point that you should avoid is chasing likes and followers for the sake of it. It’s incredibly easy (and against the terms of most social media channels) to purchase likes and followers.
However, all this will likely do is dilute your relevant audience down and create a large segment of an irrelevant audience.
How do you determine which social media platforms you should use for your business?
To find the perfect fit for your business, you should ask yourself a few investigatory questions such as:
Where does your main audience spend their time online?
You can ascertain this through customer surveys or demographic research.
If your audience spends time on Instagram, make sure you have compelling content that resonates with them on that platform.
If you’re posting the same content across platforms where your audience is not present, then you’re likely just adding extra work for little return.
Is your business type suited for these platforms?
Although not an exact science, B2C companies tend to find that channels such as Instagram, Facebook and emerging channels like Snapchat and TikTok offer the best return and engagement with their audience.
For B2B companies, utilising LinkedIn, Twitter or YouTube can be particularly useful for generating leads, expanding your network and joining relevant conversations.
What kind of content do you, or can you produce?
If you’re able to produce highly visual and engaging content such as imagery or video then Instagram, Snapchat or TikTok would be ideal. We’ve recently discussed how you can use Instagram reels for business.
If not and you rely more on text based communication, then perhaps those channels aren’t for you. Although, tools such as Canva can help you easily turn quotes or text into appealing graphics.
What are the best ways to gain followers on social media?
Sometimes building a sustainable following starts with building a sustainable presence online. This can be posting at regular intervals so that your followers know when to check back in with you for more content or updates.
Having a messy, inconsistent scheduling pattern or posting very infrequently can turn many off from following your channel.
Finding the right times to post when your audience is the most engaged is also crucial. You can find this out by looking at your social media analytics, where you can adjust your post times.
Once you’ve started to establish your pages, reach out to similar or complementary users or influencers within the same niche to share audiences. This could be through a channel takeover, competition or a shared live stream.
What are your best tips for increasing engagement?
People will only be interested in what your brand is saying on social media is if it’s interesting and engaging.
Creating engaging content is important across every social media channel. However, this doesn’t just need to revolve around the creation of long-form article content. It can also include videos, infographics, blogs, podcasts, quizzes, quotes, images and even GIFs.
Social media content also extends to the other content you post on your channels and on your website. Supporting content is just as or perhaps even more important than the main content you’re trying to promote.
It’s what the audience will most likely see first. It’s the bait content and it has to be on brand, on tone and enticing enough to ensure that they click through to your website.
What are the most important components of a social media marketing campaign?
None of us use social media to interact with brands and companies and allow them to sell to us.
This has just evolved over the years and we have become more and more accepting of it. We’re now used to seeing these types of messages interspersed with updates of our family, friends and other interests.
As such, it’s crucial that if you’re looking to integrate with your audience’s social media use then you should be creating and distributing content that is relevant, valuable and engaging to them. Going in with a hard sell approach is likely to be ignored.
By providing value to your audience and positioning your brand or business as a solution to their needs will help your messaging to resonate more.
Why is social media marketing beneficial?
The relationship between companies and their audience now is almost unrecognisable. With less of a blurred line between the two and a more collaborative relationship compared to a few years ago.
Audiences want to be in the know for the latest product releases, discounts or offers from companies and build their online presence around their favourite brands.
For some, this is almost akin to following sports teams. They become brand evangelists building out their reputation and aligning themselves with the brands in an almost tribal way.
By identifying your key customer or audience types and creating content that resonates with them, brands can reach an almost infinite audience base.
This audience are already much further down the purchasing funnel, as they have the approval of peers in their social networks.
Are there any drawbacks to social media marketing?
The down side of social media marketing, is that its effectiveness is not always measured correctly. Vanity metrics such as likes and followers can be sought after rather than engagement, sentiment or assisted conversions.
That’s why it’s so crucial to plan your campaigns ahead of time. Allow plenty of time for experimenting and make sure that you set targets, goals and objectives to push your brand forward.
If you get it right, the benefits of social media marketing is that your networks and audience do most of the work for you.