Needless to say, social media is growing. Fast. As social media quickly expands and becomes a more used tool, it’s important to fully understand the fundamentals behind operating your social media pages. From identifying your audience to analyzing your efforts, we’ll break down the keys to run a successful social media marketing campaign.
Identify your audience
The first step toward an effective and efficient social media strategy is identifying your target audience. Much like traditional marketing outlets, each social media platform garners a unique audience with vastly different intentions and interests. For example; statistics show the average Instagram user is much younger than the average LinkedIn member, while women are significantly more active on Pinterest than males. From this data, we can gather insight on user preferences and use it to cater our brand voice on each individual platform.
With the abundance of social media channels available today, small businesses are faced with the increasingly challenging task of juggling many accounts. This can quickly lead to forgetting to post or falling behind on posting. To avoid this, invest in some scheduling tools to help plan and organize your posts. These editorial calendars provide a clear, visual layout of each platform’s posting schedule, thus eliminating the need to stress over scattered campaigns and stray deadlines. Traktek Partners loves using Buffer, because it’s super user-friendly. Other scheduling tools such as Sprout Social, HootSuite, and Tailwind are widely popular, but there are countless options to match your unique needs and preferences.
Lawyers don’t use Snapchat
This may not be entirely true, but here’s the rule; you must find the social media platforms that fit your business, its image, and target audience. Rather than managing six different accounts that don’t apply to your audience, backtrack to Tip #1 - and identify the platforms most commonly used by your users. Limiting your account count portrays a better understanding of your target audience and allows you to focus your talents on developing and managing 3 or 4 social media accounts.
Optimize your accounts & Stay in front of your audience
Much like traditional search engine optimization, there are tactics to help your social media pages stand out from the competition. You’ll first want to ensure that you’ve included any relevant company information (name, logo, address, services, etc). Once your description fields have been filled out, focus on utilizing keywords, researching trending topics, and posting industry-related content. With a newly renovated and curated profile, your successful optimization strategy can benefit both your social and search presence. Traktek recommends posing at least one time a day to each of your social media accounts at times when posts will receive the most visibility. Some common times are when people first wake up, lunch time, dinner, and later in the evening. Looking into your analytics will also allow you to see times your audience is most active.
“Social” media has its name for a reason! With every social media platform, you have the capability to easily interact with your follower base. Instead of just providing your audience with promotions and helpful information, take advantage of building a relationship by responding to the tweets, comments, posts you get tagged in, and direct messages of your followers. Aside from helping you better understand the wants and needs of your customers, this direct communication can build your brand image and establish trust with your audience.
Leverage your audience
The power of social media lies in the magnitude of its network. As social media continues to expand and acquire more users, its network effects become exponentially more valuable. By engaging your audience through a call-to-action, you can unlock their networks and widely expand the reach of your content.
Encourage followers to retweet or share your content. For instance, on Instagram come up with a clever and unique hashtag to let users tag you. The act not only provides you with additional content for your social media channels but boosts your content to an entirely new audience in an authentic manner. Additionally, posting content generated and submitted by the other user boosts engagement and encourages more users to follow suit.
Mix organic & paid
You may be reluctant to spend additional money on a service that essentially allows you to market for free. Studies, however, have shown that the most common and effective social media marketing strategies utilize a combination of the two. On their own, the individual methods both boast their own distinct advantages. For instance, organic social helps to build your brand image, develop relationships with your followers, and keep your costs low. Paid social, on the other hand, directly promotes the product, reaches a wider audience, and provides more easily measurable campaign results. By finding a healthy mix of the two, the social media pages will build organic relationships with followers while directly promoting your business to a wide audience.
Track your progress
Now that you’re investing more time and effort into growing your social media, it’s essential to track and analyze your success metrics. Most platforms offer built-in analytic tools, such as Facebook Insights, Twitter & Pinterest Analytics, and YouTube’s Analytics Dashboard. These tools break down a range of in-depth metrics such as views, likes, net follows, conversions, and engagement. It also provides demographic and preferential data on followers, allowing you to further cater your posts and language toward a specific market.
With clear and simple tools, these data tracking tools make it easy to track the growth and progress of your social media sites.
The 80/20 rule
We’d like to introduce what was once considered the “Golden rule” of social media marketing; the 80/20 Rule. This rule states that 80% of your social media content should intend to entertain and inform the audience while building a brand image, while the remaining fifth should promote and sell your business or product.
The exact proportions of this principle have since been challenged, as many argue that each unique goals, brands, and industries requires a unique mix of the two. The core message of the principle, however, remains the same; social media should be used primarily to entertain, inform, and interact with the audience while further developing your brand personality.
Social media is a rapidly growing and ever-changing digital marketing channel. As the platforms continue to evolve and grow, so do its most effective marketing techniques. What works today may not guarantee results tomorrow. Luckily, Traktek Partners—a website design and digital marketing agency—is keeping up with these trends and discovering the solutions that work best. To find out how you can take your social media marketing to the next level, contact us today.