Everyone and their mom thinks they can be a social media marketing expert, but just because their kid has a Tik Tok, does that mean they should be running the social media marketing for your business? Let us put it differently— just because your kid brushes their teeth, does that mean you’ll trust them to do a root canal on you?
Our point: social media marketing takes skill, experience, and training. It takes money to make money, and if you know your business needs social media marketing but it’s not your area of expertise, give us a call and we’ll find a strategy that works best for your business.
In the meantime, here are eight aspects of social media marketing that are essential to the success of your business’s social media marketing presence…
1. Follower Engagement
Engaging with your followers is a huge aspect of social media marketing. No one wants to follow an account where they’re never noticed or appreciated. Have you ever noticed how many well-known content creators on various social media platforms regularly engage with their followers by liking or commenting back to them, posting appreciative posts for them, or making polls to get the opinions of their followers? This is a great way to make your followers feel important and relevant to you and they will be more likely to become loyal customers (and followers) if they feel engaged in this way.
Furthermore, it’s important to have a purpose tied into the content you post. The purpose or vision of your business should match up with what you post on social media. If your business is about volunteering, for example, you should try to show your volunteers in action and what they do to make a meaningful impact in the content you post! Be sure to explain more about it and how that content connects with your audience and customers in your caption. Stock photos do not perform well. Try your best to use real photos that you have taken of your business in action to create a more unique feel on your social media accounts.
2. Content Best Practices
What they say is true, “content is king.” The more content your business has on their social media platforms, the better! However, it’s important to remember when you’re posting content on social media that it is a social environment, so most people want to see social posts and not just business-related content in order to stay entertained and coming back for more. Therefore, the 80/20-rule is usually a safe bet when it comes to the ratio of social to business content you should be posting (80% social and 20% business-related).
Furthermore, content audits can be highly beneficial because they allow you to see where you are with your content currently versus where you need to be in terms of hitting your business goals and objectives. Content audits consist of keeping an “inventory” (as illustrated below) of the content on your website to provide yourself with some insight into which content you should be editing, re-writing, deleting, creating, or simply updating. These types of content audits on a business website also often include the analysis of KPIs (key performance indicators) that you should gather before you start your audit process.
3. How Often to Post
It’s key to find a happy medium in how frequently you should be posting on various social media platforms. Depending on the platform you’re using, one a day may be too much or not enough at all. Let’s take a look at the recommended frequency of posting for various platforms:
- Instagram- Twice per week
- Snapchat- Multiple times per day
- Facebook- Two to three times per week
- Twitter- Once a day
- Tik Tok- Once a day
- YouTube- Once or twice per week
- Pinterest- Multiple times per day
- Linkedin- Once a day
- Google My Business- Once per week
There is another aspect to posting on social media as a business owner, and that has to do with “boosting.” Social media boosting is when you pay to have your post seen by many more people, and the more you pay, the more people will see it. Therefore, when posting content that you plan on having boosted, you’ll want to make sure you’re getting the most for your money by ensuring the post has a clear CTA (call to action), an engaging background to catch the eyes of your audience (and potential customers), or you can boost a post that is already performing well.
4. Video Content
Video content is a key aspect of having a successful social media presence. This is because video content has been the most popular means of content consumption globally. 96% of people across the world have increased their video consumption and about 63% of digital marketers consider video to be their top engaging metric. Therefore, don’t leave videos out of the content you’re posting! But remember, keep it 80% social and 20% business to keep your followers engaged.
Additionally, here are some more reasons why video content is key to your business’s social media marketing presence:
- It helps to reach new audiences & demographics (Gen Z content consumers spend over 3 hours a day watching online videos)
- The opportunity to tell your story (this helps to build an emotional bond with your target audience and, in turn, increases customer retention)
- A great return on investment (88% of digital marketers who utilize video content report a positive ROI from their video marketing efforts)
- Builds trust with potential customers (show your business’s personality & define your voice to build trust amongst competitors)
- Data! (Use the data you can gather from your video campaigns for good to find what your audience likes, and then post more of that)
5. Hashtag Research
Hashtags are confusing to a lot of people. But here is a simple breakdown. A hashtag is like a “keyword” with a “#” before it. The keyword then becomes searchable for any post that has that hashtag attached to it in the description, comment, or caption. This can become a great tool to use when you want users to find your posts when they don’t already follow you, but they can look up a word associated with your business through the use of hashtags. Therefore, hashtags are a great way to find new clients online through the use of social media marketing.
Hashtag best practice is to be consistent with which hashtags you use. The more consistent you are with which hashtags you use for your industry, the wider range of an audience you’ll reach. Give your hashtag time to catch on, and if it doesn’t, don’t be afraid to get creative and change it to something you think your target audience would respond to more (but remember to keep it industry-related).
On the other hand, you don’t want to have a hashtag overload on all of your posts. Doing this makes your post look needy for attention, aesthetically displeasing, and unprofessional. Keep your hashtags organized, concise, and specific to how you want your new audience and potential customers to find you.
Remember, relevance and consistency are key when it comes to social media marketing strategy. Hashtags allow you to stay relevant in the minds of your audience and customers because it gives them the option to search for the keywords they’re interested in knowing more about, and it also allows your brand to stay consistent in the customer’s mind… as long as you stay consistent with your content.
6. Know What’s Trending
Trends are huge nowadays. However, they come and go extremely quickly. One day there can be a new sound everyone is using on Tik Tok, and the next day everyone has forgotten about it and moved on to a trending story on Instagram. Whatever the hot new trend may be for that day, take advantage of it, but don’t get too caught up in it because it can be here today and gone by tomorrow. When your viewers and readers see that your business is up-to-date on current trends, they’ll like that you’re trend-savvy and will be more likely to become loyal followers (and customers too)! People have a fear of missing out, so if by following your account(s), they’re able to stay current on what is trending today, they’ll stick around.
Lastly, with all these tips now at your fingertips, you’ll need to know which platforms to utilize these tips on according to the business/industry you’re in. It’s best to start with learning the demographics associated with each social media platform, and then you can see how those demographics match up with the pool of people you’re looking to target for your business.
As you can see above, YouTube, Instagram, and Snapchat are widely used by people in their 20’s. Facebook is used almost equally across the board regardless of age or gender. Linkedin is used mostly by men in their late 20’s, and Pinterest is used mostly by people who make a larger salary on average. Having this knowledge of who uses which platform so that you can match it up with the type of people you’re trying to target for your products and services will save you time and money so that you can utilize the platforms that make the most sense to post on for your business.
7. Paid Ads
Many social media platforms, namely Facebook, are beginning to transfer over into a “pay to play” environment in an effort to generate revenue from all the companies promoting their products and services on their platform. Here is where paid ads come into the picture. Paid ads allow a business to set up their campaigns for specific audiences by dividing them by various demographics such as age, income level, or area of residence. You can also target these ads to be seen by people who have demonstrated a particular behavior in the way that they have interacted with your previous online content. For example, you can target people who have bounced from your site, people that currently follow you, people that don’t yet follow you, previous customers, or current customers. Platforms set up for paid ads such as Facebook have many targeting options you can choose from when setting up your paid ad. These parameters include location, age, gender, language, interests, behaviors, and connections. Furthermore, Facebook actually has automated ads as well, which can do the “heavy lifting” for business owners when they’re choosing who to target their ads to and when to run the ads.
Another benefit of investing in paid advertising on various social media platforms has to do with the number of helpful insights you can gain from the analytics produced during this process. Metrics such as pay-per-click (PPC), conversion rate, click-through rate (CTR), traffic sources, the cost to acquire a lead, etc. can be tracked through the analytics of running just one paid ad. On top of all these metrics, you’ll also gain insight into how your ads are performing compared to your non-paid posts, what the demographics of your audience is like, and which kinds of ads and promos result in the most overall engagement (if you run more than one type of ad).
A few last tips on starting with paid ads on your social media: you’ll want to have a well-established following and a solid understanding of how the platform works that you choose to run your paid ads on. From there, you can plan a budget for your ads, but your budget will most likely be determined by the industry your business is in and how long you’ll be running the ads. Lastly, have your main goal/outcome in mind for what the paid ads will do for your business, and monitor your progress on meeting that goal for the length of time your ads are being run.
8. Job Finding Platforms
The last tip for creating a successful social media marketing presence for your business has to do with posting on job-finding platforms such as LinkedIn. Sites like these allow business owners and employees alike to network amongst each other. However, besides this, having a LinkedIn page also allows the business to define the mission of their business more clearly to others and promote themselves to other professionals. Another useful aspect of being an active LinkedIn user is that you’ll be able to connect with other companies and professionals who have similar profiles and/or interests as you and your business.
All in all, many people think they can be a social media marketing expert simply because they have an account on a social media platform and because they know how to post. This is simply not the case. After reading this blog, this fact should become more apparent. There are many skills that go into becoming a successful social media marketing professional ranging from knowing how to build a relationship with your audience to understanding the analytics of your campaigns.
That sums it up, folks! We hope you learned a lot and that your social media marketing stays at the top of its game.
Written by Seaira Galgerud