Social Media Marketing: some tips for beginners
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Social Media Marketing is an effective strategy for companies of all sizes that want to promote their product or service and reach more customers. In fact, Social Media Marketing offers the following benefits:
- Increased brand awareness
- Improved search engine rankings
- Higher conversion rates
- Better customer satisfaction
- Improved brand loyalty
Social media allow people to connect, interact, share, and exchange information. In a short time, they have become something we can no longer do without. There are literally millions of people who connect and share content on social media every day and, exactly for this reason, you can’t miss the opportunity to reach them.
In this article, we will deeply analyse the field of Social Media Marketing to give you a complete overview on this subject. Let’s get started!
How many times did you find an advertising of a product you were just thinking of buying on a social media? And how many times did you search for a particular company or product before deciding if buying that product? This is exactly what Social Media Marketing is about.
Social media let you to:
- Share multimedia content
- Reach more and more people, increasing your sphere of influence
- Speak directly to your existing and potential customers
- Participate in conversations
- Understand your customers better
- Build trust
In addition, don’t forget that each member of your social network also has its own network and sharing is the key to social media. Therefore, you need to add photos and posts and take part in conversations. If you do so, it will be easy for people to connect with you and that means more eyes on your business.
However, to reach these results, you need to understand who your target audience is and what they like before anything else. In this way, deciding which social network suits you best will be much easier.
How to choose the best social media for your business
When you start dealing with Social Media Marketing, it can be useful to divide the different social networks into categories, to understand where you need to focus your attention. In fact, beyond the biggest social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.), you will also find niche or sector realities, dedicated to specific topics or to a specific audience, which is very experienced and is looking for more detailed or specialized content. And while the number of people on these websites may be small, it could be exactly the circle of users you are trying to attract.
How to set the goals of your Social Media Marketing strategy
Before you start signing up and posting everywhere, ask yourself a simple question: what do you hope to achieve with social media? Maybe you are looking for a faster way to respond to your customers’ inquiries. Perhaps social media is the vehicle for reaching your current customers and encouraging them to make more frequent purchases. Or maybe you are looking to grow your business by targeting new people who could become new customers.
These were all good examples of goals to achieve in a Social Media Marketing strategy, but before thinking big you need to achieve the most fundamental goal: to make your business known. With this goal in mind, it will be easier to decide the next steps to take on social media. But how can you do it?
First, you could start by adding a group of loyal customers or even your friends and family and ask them to get in touch. As the shares between your networks increase, your contacts will grow, and you will reach your commercial goals! Don’t forget that social media isn’t a one-way street. You also need to participate and give something back to your new network of friends and followers. For example, you could share some of their contents or leave a comment.
The last thing you will need to plan is how to speak to different audiences on the different networks you are using. If you are looking to attract more people to your network or business, be sure to use an engaging tone of voice. If, on the other hand, you are looking to engage your established customers, don’t forget to show gratitude for their loyalty.
How to get started on social media
Once you have decided what your commercial goals are and how you want to integrate social activities into your Social Media Marketing strategy, you will need to sign up and establish your presence on the chosen social networks.
In general, it is always better to use a company email address, to keep personal and professional accounts separate. Once this is done, start uploading information. Despite the differences, in every social network there is data that does not change, such as the name of your business, the description of who you are and what you do, your address, email address and telephone number. This is standard information, and you might even upload an image of your company logo. Many networks will use this information to create your profile, your company page, which will be a kind of home page within the network itself.
Finally, many social networks offer opportunities for advertising or special paid features. For example, you might decide to pay to see which network users have viewed your page or to have your content appear on the page of specific groups of people on that network.
Let’s deepen the topic of advertising a little bit more.
Advertising and measurement of campaigns on social media
Many social networks offer you the possibility to advertise for a fee to have access to a very specific audience to address your message to. How is it possible? Each one of us puts relevant information on social media, such as our age, our geographical position, our interests, etc. This information is then used by social media when you decide to advertise a specific group of people. In this way, you not only can address your message to a specific audience, but you can also gain visibility in a faster way.
However, advertising alone is not enough in a Social Media Marketing strategy. You need to measure the results of your advertising campaigns to understand if you are proceeding in the right way or need to change something.
First, by looking at the information and reports available on many social networks, you can learn a lot about your contacts: who they are, how they behave and how they use or interact with the content you are providing.
However, these reports usually only measure the activities that take place within the social networks themselves. How do you know what happens after someone has decided to click on a link you have shared or a piece of content you have posted, and it has landed on your website? For this, you will need another tool dedicated to monitoring what happens on websites, such as Google Analytics. You will be able to build various reports and obtain information on which are the most effective social networks and the contents that lead people to visit your website, to visit your pages more carefully and finally to make conversions.
The importance of planning
If you’ve already started to experiment with Social Media Marketing, you have probably noticed how much work it takes to get things right. The secret is to come up with a plan that defines what you want to publish, when to do it, and where it makes the most sense to do so, and even who within your company should oversee it.
So, what should a social media plan look like? Consider the next 6-12 months and start creating a calendar. Put down some ideas, such as the kinds of topics you think it would make sense to publish. Then, you should start thinking when it makes sense to publish posts on those topics you selected.
At this point, you have to choose “where”. For example, if you want to share some photos with your customers, you could publish them on Instagram or Pinterest.
The last step is “why”. Why are you posting all these updates? What goals do you set yourself with these posts? If social media is mainly to increase your notoriety, make sure that the posts are designed for the purpose. If, on the other hand, they are more of a way to deepen relationships with established fans and customers, your posts will have to be very different. There is no right or wrong approach, but it is important that you know why you are sharing what you are sharing.
Although planning a Social Media Marketing strategy might look like a lot of work, we have good news! There are social media management tools (like Hootsuite, Buffer and Everypost), where you can create the content, you want to publish and upload in advance, ready to be shared. You can decide on which networks to share them, and you can collaborate with your colleagues, so that they accompany you on the path that will lead you to success on social media. You can also use tools like these to hear what people are saying about you on social media.
Social Media Marketing tips
We talked about what you should do on social media and how to do it, but there are also many things that you should never do in your Social Media Marketing strategy. Here is a list of the most common mistakes:
- Sharing boring contents
- Spamming your products or services everywhere
- Not sharing updates and news with your followers
- Not listening to what people say to you or about you on social media
- Not answering to you followers’ comments
- Being rude when you receive negative feedbacks
- Not publishing contents in a constant way
- Not measuring the results of your Social Media Marketing strategy
Avoiding a social media disaster is easy. Stay true to your line, respond to comments, focus on the right sites, be consistent and measure your results. By doing so, your social media efforts will pay off.
Create an effective social media plan
If you want to learn more, please click on this link where you will find further guidelines on the following topics:
- Understanding the benefits so you can set goals
- Choosing the right platform(s) and getting started on them
- Prepping engaging content to post regularly
- Responding to feedback to keep the conversation lively
- Measuring success and optimizing your plan
Now you have all the information you need to start building your Social Media Marketing strategy! By making practical experience in this field, you will become a real expert and you will find out the best way to reach new customers and establish a good relationship with the already existing ones.