Long-term social media goals can pave the path for a successful future. In fact, according to Hubspot, social media marketing offers a 100% higher lead-to-close rate than outbound marketing. Even so, social media marketing can be intimidating.
Here are a few ways you can tame the social media beast while ensuring a successful future.
Tailor Your Social Media Marketing Plan to Your Business
The importance of selecting the right social media networks based on your brand cannot be stressed strongly enough. Too often, businesses make the mistake of trying to get started on every social media platform available. Unfortunately, not all social media networks may be suitable for your business. Regardless of how many users or followers a network might have, if your prospective customers don't comprise a large part of that site's user base, it won't benefit your brand to expend effort on that site.
In determining whether a social media network is right for your brand, consider the target age of your prospective audience and the nature of the services or products you provide. For instance, B2B companies should focus their efforts on LinkedIn, Twitter, and targeted Facebook Ads, while highly visual brands that are trying to attract women should include Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram in their social media marketing plans.
Giving Potential Fans and Followers a Map to Find You on Social Media
Making sure that potential fans can actually find you on social media is imperative. This means taking the time to ensure that your social media profiles are complete, consistent from network to network, and linked from your website. Avoid the temptation to skip over the optional items. Special care should also be given to completing contact details. Make sure to use the keyword phrases that your target audience would be most likely to enter when searching for your products and services as well.
Assessing the Competition
As a business owner, it's essential that you spend some time assessing the competition. While you've probably already done this in terms of analyzing products/services and market share, it's also important to spend some time assessing the competition in relation to social media marketing. Find your competition on social media to find out what is working for them. The insights you can gain from their accounts can help you skip ahead and avoid time consuming mistakes along the way.
Build From Within
Invite your existing customers and even family and friends to your social media accounts. Even if you invite people who don't really have a need for your products or services, making them aware of your social media presence - as well as what your business has to offer - gives them the opportunity to share your brand with others who might use your products/services.
Encouraging your existing customers, even if you only have a small customer base to begin with, to follow you on social media can be particularly important - you might be surprised at how many friends and family your current customers will bring with them.
This is actually a powerful form of free advertising, as it carries tremendous weight when your current customers act as ambassadors or even references for your brand. For a growing business, this could be just what you need to encourage others to take a chance on your brand.
Keep It Exclusive
Consider making exclusive offers that are only available on your social media channels. This could be a contest or just a special discount or coupon code. You could also choose to use your social media accounts for making special announcements about your brand. Whatever you choose, make sure the offer is only available to fans and followers of your social media accounts. If your fans and followers only see special announcements and promotions through your social media sites, this will encourage them to engage with you more often and help social media become a powerful marketing tool for you.
Regardless of the size or age of your business, it is possible to enjoy the benefits of social media marketing. Keep in mind that it takes time to build a strong social media presence - it doesn't happen overnight and you must be patient. You need to spend the time and the effort necessary to establish trust for your brand and your products/services. Avoid the tendency to panic or give up, and instead work to gain the confidence of consumers. It'll take time, but with the right combination of creativity and time, you'll begin to see your social media presence grow - as well as your ROI.
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