If you’re an entrepreneur looking to grow your business, social media marketing is a natural choice. Not only can it help to raise awareness, but it’s a great way to keep existing customers engaged with your brand for little to no cost.
But, if you’re unsure where to start or aren’t seeing results, you may feel like giving up. If that sounds like you, here are some top tips to help you supercharge your social media marketing.
Set your Objectives
Before you wade into social media marketing and start posting, it’s important to define your goals. If you’re setting up accounts because you think you should, you’re never going to achieve success because you won’t know what success looks like.
Your goal could be anything from increasing brand awareness to increasing sales or driving traffic to your website. The important thing is to pick one or two and then set some specific targets so you have something to work towards.
A word of caution: avoid vanity metrics. These may give the impression of success, but if they’re not tied to your objectives, they’re meaningless. For instance, if you want to increase sales, setting a target number of followers is unlikely to help. Instead, aim to increase the amount of traffic driven to your e-commerce site by social media.
Pick your Platforms
Our biggest social media marketing tip? Don’t take on too much.
With hundreds of different platforms to choose from, it can be easy for social media to take over your life. From Facebook and Instagram to LinkedIn and more, you could spend every waking hour managing your accounts.
Instead, direct your efforts towards the platforms most likely to support your goals. For example, if your clients are other businesses, focus your time on LinkedIn rather than Snapchat.
Do your Research
Research is a must for all types of marketing and social media is no different.Start with your customer personas. Dig into the types of content your ideal customers are engaging with.
- Are they using your chosen platform at all?
- Which hashtags are they using?
- Which accounts are they engaging with?
- When are they active?
- Do they follow any influencers?
- Do they prefer photos or videos?
You could then follow up with some research into your competitors’ activity and the levels of engagement they’re getting.
All this research will give you a steer on what to post.
This might seem contrary to the advice given by business coaches, but make time to focus on building your social media channels.
Schedule it in your calendar and stick to those times. This should stop you from endlessly scrolling, so you use the time productively.
Try to batch-schedule your social media updates at the beginning of the week too. If you get busy, you won’t have to think of something on the fly.
Ask for Engagement
Calls to action are the easiest way to drive engagement and sharing.
For instance, if you’re looking to grow brand awareness, ask your followers to share your posts. If you want your audience to convert into customers, ask them to buy now.
After all, if you don’t ask, you don’t get.
Comment and Engage
One of the most effective ways to grow an audience (without using bots) is to comment on other people’s posts. Whether your core focus is Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, or TikTok, this is one of the most powerful ways to get your brand in front of relevant audiences.
If you’re a marketing agency that wants to support small business owners, find and engage with accounts that have “small business” in their profiles.
Check which hashtags your ideal customers are using and comment on relevant updates. Continuing with the example above, seek out accounts using #smallbiz.
Be sure to add something meaningful and valuable that the account owner and their followers will want to engage with.
Tag Other Users
Looking for ways to grow your audience? Try tagging other accounts in your updates.
Most social media platforms allow you to loop others into your posts, often with an ‘@’ symbol. Tag people that you think will find your updates relevant and useful – or quote them.
Remember: Your social media posts are a reflection of your brand. Your imagery and tone of voice should follow the same guidelines as your other marketing activity.
To achieve visual consistency, use the same colour palette or preset filter for every image you share, so your feed looks attractive.
Every post should sound like it comes from one consistent person/profile too. So if you’re chatty and conversational on your blog, make sure that comes through on social media. If you’re formal and stilted on social media, your audience may question whether they found the right account. The jarring effect may mean that they don’t follow you.
And of course, make sure you’re posting regularly. If there are long periods between posts, your audience may wonder whether your accounts are active and unfollow you.
As with any marketing activity, it’s vital to keep an eye on your performance. Only then will you know whether you are achieving your objectives, as set out in point one.
If you are achieving your objective, great – do more of the same.
If you’re falling short, how could you improve performance? Could you post at different times of day? Or share different types of content?
Of course, that’s the beauty of marketing; you can test and learn as you go, picking up valuable experience along the way.
Social media marketing is similar to other types of promotional activity. Your objectives and audience must be your core focus. Without that, you can’t share engaging updates that drive results.
About the Author
I’m Lucy Mowatt, a writer, editor, and marketer based in the UK. Over the years, I’ve worked with businesses in a wide range of sectors, which has given me great insight into marketing best practices. You can read more of my insights and articles on the Method Marketing website.
IMAGE SOURCE: https://unsplash.com/photos/FVtG38Cjc_k