Social Media has changed marketing forever. It has shifted the way customers make their buying decisions and how they interact with the companies they buy from.
Today’s consumers expect companies to be engaged and accessible. They want to know that they are dealing with a company that cares and responds to its customers and are shown to be 85% more likely to shop with a business they have interacted with online.
70% of the U.S. population has a profile on at least 1 social media site.
Over a billion people use Facebook each month. YouTube has over 2 billion monthly users. LinkedIn brings in over 675 million monthly users and Twitter draws 500,000 users each month
Therefore, every business might want to consider taking advantage of social media marketing. Not to mention that buying behavior has significantly shifted. Now customers are using the internet for research on both you and your products. That’s where the majority of buying decisions are made.
In other words before the customer comes in or contacts your business, they’ve already made their minds most of the way up regarding what they want and whether or not they want to purchase it from you.
This means you have to be online to be part of that decisioning process.
Follow this simple plan to get started putting together a strategy for your social media marketing:
- What are your goals? Are you trying to drive more customers to your website? Do you want to boost the presence of your brand? Are you trying to share coupons and special offers? Do you want to communicate more with your customers? Are you trying to market and sell products directly?
- Set specific, measurable goals, then decide on how you want to prioritize them. Goals tied to income generation should take priority and remember to set deadlines for each goal.
- Know your audience. One of the worst thing a business can do is talk to their audience in the wrong way or focus on the wrong subjects. You have to know who you’re talking to and what they’re interested in.
- Be where your ideal customers are. For example, you can join home owners groups in your area on Facebook or if you’re more focused on commercial accounts join the groups on LinkedIn that the ideal businesses owners are members.
2. Know the different social media platforms. Become an expert and learn about the available platforms. Figure out which platforms will reach the audience you are seeking. Choose wisely to maximize the use of your time and money.
- Facebook. Facebook is big with Seniors, younger adults, and women. A Facebook profile is free and easy to set up. However, the ad space can be expensive.
- LinkedIn. You’ll mostly find business professionals and entrepreneurs here. Again, it’s free to join. This is a great place to do some networking, but you might consider a Sales Navigator membership if you plan to use it as a lead generation platform.
- YouTube. YouTube is not only the primary destination for video content, it’s also the second most visited site on Google. This is a great platform for instructional videos for homeowners which build trust and establish you as an authority.
- Twitter. Although originally targeted at everyone, Twitter tends to draw celebrities or those with a big following. However, the audience is expanding. Twitter users are mostly educated, young adults, and there are slightly more female users than males.
- Everything else. The point is to become aware of the many platforms and the groups who use them. Places like public forums and discussion boards can be a virtual treasure trove for savvy marketers. Do some research!
3. Plan out your content strategically. Develop a plan for your content. Figure out the type of content you’ll use and how frequently you’ll post it.
- What type of content will you post? The best social media strategy will include a diverse group of formats and subjects. It will include articles, videos, and images. This allows you to reach people in the medium they are most receptive to.
- Set a content schedule and be consistent with it. The more valuable content you post content the better. Provided the information that is relevant to your customers. Random posting can make you look unprofessional.
4. Create an inviting social media profile. After choosing your platforms and creating your content plan, it’s time to get busy building your online presence. Make sure your focus is on your ideal customers and what they will find the most useful.
- Only create profiles that you will use. Maximize your time by only choosing platforms where you’ll regularly add content. It’s easy to get overwhelmed if you’re spreading yourself too thin and you can expand into other platforms as you are able.
- Fill out every social profile completely. Take the time to make your company look professional and use the profiles as an opportunity to showcase information about you that would be most helpful and attractive to your ideal customers. Remember to include links to your website!
- It’s called social media for a reason. Get out there and be social. Never set up an account and forget about it. Customers like dealing with a brand that engages. Participate in the online communities. If you want people to follow you, follow them first.
- Be reactive. If someone makes a comment or asks a question, make sure you respond! This shows them that you care about the people that interact with your business and also improves the organic reach of your posts regardless of what platform it is on.
5. Maintain your social media profiles consistently. It’s important to stay on top of social media.
- Block off time every day to go on the platforms you’re on and engage. One of the keys to your post getting distributed to as many people as possible is the type of edge rank you have on the platform. Part of that is how interactive you are on the platform.
- Follow a few new people and comment on a few posts. The key to social media is that it’s social and you have to be as well. Your followers want to see you interact and taking part online.
- Ensure your content is posted on schedule. Consistency is a huge part of your followers continuing to watch for your content. If you’re not consistent they aren’t going to consistently watch for your content.
Creating a social media presence isn’t difficult, but it takes some time and planning. Complete the necessary research before you begin building your presence. Your time will be well spent, and the results can be significant.
Consistency is key when it comes to a successful social media strategy.
Followers forget about dead profiles. Give them meaningful content on a regular basis and engage with them.
Use social media to your advantage and watch your business grow. Don’t and watch yourself get left behind by your competition.