Examining your digital marketing assets – Social Media
Apart from a few very niche industries, it is crucial for most businesses to be active on social media. You can now have conversations with your customers, know exactly what they want, and cater and respond to those ever-changing needs. Simply posting randomly on social media is not an effective use of these platforms and can in fact do more harm to your brand than good. To be effective on social media it will require 1) time and 2) to some extent monetary investment (point 11). Like any investment social media must be planned and goals with time frames set. So what does a good strategy look like, how do you know if it is working and where do you even start? Here are a few handy guidelines to get you started:
1.Have a strategy / set some goals
A good social media strategy is one that structured around meeting your goals. A good start is to decide on your target audience, and what your goals are. Are you trying to drive traffic to your website, are you trying to sell directly or building brand awareness and loyalty? Once you have your goals set, you must set some time frames for achieving these and measure your progress continually against your goals (see point 9). Remember that social media is a powerful tool that connects with people in their personal (social) space. It can therefore be used to build deep trust and relationship with your potential client – and this is what sells in the short and long run. Your social media must create and build the desire for your product or service while instilling trust.
2.Use the right platforms
So what platform is right for my business? Not all services, companies or products necessarily suit all social media platforms. For example, Facebook and Instagram can be used for both B2B and B2C, but LinkedIn is predominantly a B2B platform. To decide you can look at what businesses in your industry is using in Sa and indeed abroad. Look at the age group, demographic and income level of your potential clients. Then look at which social media platforms that they predominantly use. Remember it takes time and monetary commitment to run a sustainably successful social media campaign – therefore also consider your resources and rather do one or two top platforms well than five only half good or bad.
3.Headlines are Key
Social Media is saturated with messages from all over the world, so how do you get noticed? People will spend maximum two-to-three seconds evaluating your content to decide whether or not to read more. Use eye-catching and engaging titles that would make you want to click through. A good way to do this is to put yourself in the reader’s shoes. What would your desired audience want to read?
4.Use Great Visuals
Use images and video content to increase your engagement. People respond to images and video more than they respond to blocks of text. The more visually appealing your content is, the more likely people are to interact with your social media post. Like stated before, put yourself in your target audience’s shoes – give them what they need to know, to the point and without waffle.
5.Make Use of Hash Tags
Hashtags are a great way to link your content to other similar content in the world. For example #Ballito will bring up great content by other content creators who are also involved in the Ballito are or lifestyle. Using hashtags is a great way to gain new followers by getting new people to see your content.
6.Be “On Brand”
Don’t just post anything that is trending, make sure the content you post is in line with your brand and speaks to the type of user you want to attract. Make sure you are constantly reinforcing your own brand by staying true to your identity.
7.Complete Your Profile
This may seem silly, but many companies have incomplete profiles and it doesn’t look good to your audience. Make sure your page is set up correctly and that you take advantage of all the available free features. Change your header image every month or so, make sure your call to actions buttons work, update your profile information and the introduction text. Having a good business page setup will make it easier for your audience to interact with your page.
8.Humanize Your Content
People buy from people, and that goes double for social media. According to Facebook, content that shows people is more widely viewed than content that doesn’t. Try creating content that shows your products and services being used out there in the real world by real people. This will be more effective than merely running specials.
9.Track your performance
It is always a good idea to know how you are performing. Most social platforms provide easy to use tools to track performance. This will tell you if you are reaching the right audience, how your following is growing and more.
- Click on the insights tool on Facebook or LinkedIn to view data of how well your social media is doing
- Facebook and LinkedIn will show you who your audience is and their demographics such as age, location, gender etc.
If the results are not what you thought, then try to alter your content to suit the desired audience. If it is on track, then keep doing what you are doing!
10.Engage with Your Audience Directly
Social Media platforms provide a unique opportunity to engage directly with your customers, or audience. Showing that you are a real person behind a brand will help to build trust. Use this to you advantage by engaging in positive conversations and using this space to go beyond what is expected and be creative.
(BONUS POINT) Spending on social media
Many businesses like the idea of social media because they see it as a free way to advertise their business. The simple truth is that all social media companies (Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Tik Tok etc) are also businesses and have shareholders wanting a return. For this reason, they severely limit the success you as a business can have advertising organically (without paying) on their platforms. On the other hand, they have a vested interest to make the campaigns of paying clients work on their platforms to bring them back next time. This is not to say you cannot run fairly successful campaigns organically but from our experience you will never be able to get as much from the platforms as when you invest monetarily into them. Like you would pay for a TV, newspaper or radio advert, view it as part of your marketing budget. There are also various ways to track the return on this investment (ROI) – as after all it is exactly that, an “investment”.
We at Wordsmiths Marketing can help you to set up effective marketing campaigns and create engaging content for any social media platform. We always work towards clients’ set goals and track progress against these and tracking ROI. Let us know if you have any questions – we are always happy to assist.