Social Media Marketing has quickly become one of the most important and versatile digital marketing strategies available to grow your business and brand awareness. If you are not including social media marketing as a way to reach and engage your customers and grow your business then you are missing out on an incredible marketing opportunity.
Engaging with customers and building brand loyalty is one of the most important goals of any business. Social media sites offer a unique way to grow brand awareness and loyalty while giving your customers a personable experience about who you are and what you have to offer. Over 91% of companies say that increasing their social media presence directly results in an increase in their brand awareness and consumer interactions.
After setting up their social media sites many businesses start looking for ways to navigate the different social platforms and often find that some social sites are a better fit then others for their brand. Understanding the best practices of the different sites and how to manage them as well as how each can uniquely target their demographics is imperative in growing your overall social media presence.
Here are a few reasons you should be using social media and some highlights on how to improve your overall social media marketing plan.
#1 - Easy on the Budget
Social media marketing is arguably one of the most cost effective marketing strategies to reach your customers and engage with them regularly. It's free to set up a business page and account on social sites and you can uniquely customize your account to represent your brand without spending a dime. Promoting your business on the different sites with paid advertising or promoted content can be easily managed and cost friendly and it can be very targeted thus giving you a manageable return on your investment that is not only budget friendly but measurable.
#2 - Brand Loyalty has Never Been so Interactive
It is easy to engage with customers and build brand loyalty when you manage your social sites regularly. Your customers can engage with your site, easily reach you and if managed well, you can respond to their needs and meet their wishes quickly all while building your brand and their loyalty to it. Timely responses to your customers inquires creates a loyalty and trust that is interactive and personable. You can also manage the social market and emotive and rational needs of your customers by monitoring their interactions with your sites. Following what people like and share is a good indicator to businesses about what their customers like about their brand and what is drawing their attention thus giving them more insight into who their customers are and what they need.
#3 - Keep it Social and Fresh and Have a Plan
Social media is only interactive and relevant if you interact. People spend hours skimming through their social sites and engaging with each other and with businesses, that's why it's called social media. But businesses must tend to their sites on a daily basis. This can become overwhelming for some and is often a good reason to hire a social media specialist to focus their time and energy on making sure that their content is fresh and monitored and interactions are prompt and personable. A good way to lose loyalty to your business and to lose traction on your social media marketing is to be unresponsive to your customers or have long periods of time between posts. Regularly posting content that is engaging and unique to your brand as well as monitoring responses and interaction is imperative to the effectiveness of your social media marketing. If this is something that you cannot manage and you don't plan to hire someone to help, it can often be pointless or even harmful to have social sites that are a poor reflection of the health of your business. People will start to question your brand authority and the overall vitality of your business if they see very little content or large gaps between posts and interactions. So make sure to keep it social and keep it fresh.
Plan for how you will manage your social media strategy in advance. Depending on the type of business you are running and the product or service you are selling the frequency of your posts may range from daily to weekly or even more. Just posting to post can be redundant and a deterrent to your audience, you don't want to bore people or over saturate their social feeds. . Building a plan and a schedule will help you to manage your unique content and allotment in your staffing and schedule to keep it relevant.
#4 - It Should be an Extension of your Overall Marketing Plan
The appearance of your social sites and the content that you share should be an extension of your overall well developed marketing plan and a direct representation of your brand. When you create a website, an advertisement, a social site or a post across any of your marketing strategies your customers should instantly recognize it as uniquely yours. Your social sites are a way to strengthen your brand story and message and create awareness about your brand and what you have to offer. Before you begin posting content you need to have a plan and make sure it aligns with your overall business goals.
# 5 - Increase Traffic to your Website and Enhanced SEO
Your social sites should obviously be linked to your website and the content you post should flow back to well designed landing pages. Integrating your site with not only your social media sites but also with all of the content you post and links associated will increase your SEO and improve your online presence overall. Your website is hopefully optimized to interact with all of your online content whether it is an advertisement on one of your social sites or a google ad, or even just content that you post in a blog or social feed, all of it should be utilized to increase your SEO ranking.
There are a variety of ways and great ideas for optimization when using social media marketing. Create ads that are very demographically and/or geographically targeted, use trending hashtags and keywords within your posts, and utilizing more complex graphics, videos, surveys or interactive forums are just a few of the ways you can increase traffic to your site and enhance your overall SEO.
There is no doubt that social media should be part of the online marketing strategy of every business.
Social media marketing increases your inbound traffic, can be used to target specific audiences, is a great way to engage with consumers, it can help improve your search engine records, is cost effective, and through the many different social media channels you can specifically target and re-target a particular audience.
Your social media sites are a big part of telling your brand's story and if creatively and efficiently managed they can and should be a key component of your marketing plan.
If building your social media marketing plan or managing it is overwhelming, hiring a social media consultant can be a great way to get started. If you need help getting social, I'd love to talk with you and help you find the best social media strategy for your business. email@example.com