Social media is, undeniably, one of the biggest platforms on the web. So, are you using it effectively to market your business? Find out all you need to know, right here.
Social media – it’s one of the most used services on the internet. Everything from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat – we could go on, but we’d be here a while… Utilising social media as a business is vital due to the sheer number of users on each of the services. But, how much do you know about social media marketing?
Whether you choose to keep it in-house or use a digital marketing agency, it’s crucial to understand the importance of it as well as the basics. We’ve created a guide to social media marketing, to help you understand what it is, why it’s important and how you can get started. Let’s get into it, in this post.
What is Social Media Marketing?
Social media marketing is fairly self-explanatory – marketing on social media… But, we won’t patronise you. Marketing on social media involves everything from advertising through paid social, managing communities, growing following, measuring analytics and insights as well as frequently posting content to engage and grow your audience. Let’s break down each part, mentioned above:
Many of the large social media platforms allow businesses and brands to advertise to set demographics. This form of advertising is one of the most effective out there, as you can directly target a set audience, defining the exact demographic you want your ad to reach. It’s extremely effective for bringing in leads, generating sales, website traffic and gaining more followers too.
Managing Communities and Chat
One way that users reach out to businesses is through social media, so it’s key to make sure that you’re managing your messages and online ‘community’ – by this, we mean your following. It’s about monitoring messages and posts, to make sure that your audience are 1. Happy with your brand and 2. Not airing their grievances publicly. Customer service plays into to managing a community and messenger chat.
One key aspect of social media marketing is to make sure that you’re working on building your brand. That means gaining followers and likes, to help show that your business is reaching enough people. More followers = potentially more business.
Measuring Insights and Analytics
By monitoring insights on your social media accounts, you can see the success of ad campaigns, popularity of posts and more. It’s key to make sure that this is monitored and reported so you know where your business stands from the perspective of social media.
The audience you do have needs to be engaging and interacting with posts. So, making sure that you’re regularly posting is key. Interacting with users as much as possible is key in building your brand.
Why Social Media Marketing?
There’s no denying that social media is a huge platform – in the UK alone Facebook has over 32million active users. It’s a market that can’t be missed out on. For a start, it opens up a whole new pool of customers, that you can target directly through social advertising. Done properly, social media can be one of the most effective tools in your digital marketing arsenal. Making sure that your business has a presence on social media is the bare minimum you should be doing.
However, for brands to really expand, you need to be utilising everything we’ve mentioned above. Social media marketing isn’t about posting once a day and leaving it.
It needs to be monitored, checked, measured and refined to expand your audience and bring in more business. Through advertising, growing an audience and posting regularly, social media is one of the most effective form of digital marketing.
How to get started
So, whether you’re keeping your social media in-house or considering outsourcing to a digital marketing agency, it’s important to get yourself started on the basics before investing in social media marketing.
Because, like we said, the bare minimum you should be doing is posting fairly regularly. It’s not until you enlist a social media manager or outsource to an agency you’ll truly see the benefits of social media marketing.
However, here’s some tips to get you started:
Choosing your Socials
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram – there are so many social platforms out there to use, but you should be working on the ones that are right for you. That means, doing a little research.
Finding out which platform has the most users that match your target audience is key, because you’ll be hoping to bring in more business.
Social networks like Instagram and YouTube are primarily for ‘visual content’, so if your brand has products, this is key.
But, for businesses that offer a service, you may be better off using platforms like Facebook and Twitter, to captivate audiences through post and link to your website. Whilst getting on every social is good, working on the ones that will benefit your business more is key.
Don’t waste your time working on all of them if you’re not going to reap any benefits.
So, when you’re ready with your accounts set up, you need to make sure you’ve branded your social channels. Most social networks allow you to customise your display picture and header too, with images that are in line with your brand. Your social media is one of the first points of interaction online, so, like your website, it needs to look good and be on brand. Make sure you’re spreading your brand across your social media profiles.
One way to hit the ground running is to start getting a following. If you’re a new business, or new to social media, target your mailing list or even get friends or family to follow/like your pages and share them. The more followers the better, as long as they’re real users!
Social media is a vital part of digital marketing, so using it effectively can be the key to bringing in more business. Even better, social media is free to sign up to! So, there’s no excuse not to get started, right now.