Contributed by James Rose
James Rose is the co-founder of Content Snare. Content Snare helps you collect content and files from clients on time without email by using automated client reminders.
Social media is an incredibly powerful tool. Whether it’s used in a casual or professional capacity, the ability to distribute information through social media channels is extraordinary. From a business perspective, it’s the ultimate marketing tool.
But how do you know how to use social media to your advantage?
Thankfully, it’s not as hard as it seems to get started. You just need a Zapier tutorial, the right mindset, and the following seven strategies to get started.
1. Decide Your Social Marketing Goals
The first thing you need to do before employing any tactic is to decide what goals you hope to achieve. The three following goals are just examples, and you may decide to focus on one or a mixture of the three.
Whatever you pursue, decide which of the following goals is most important to your business:
A common reason for businesses to adopt a social media marketing scheme is to promote their brand. The more people that are aware of your company, the more likely they are to make a purchase.
Visual media in particular, as seen on Instagram, can be a highly effective way to quickly promote your business to thousands of people.
The more people that know about your company, the more likely they are to invest in your services. This all circles back to how much web traffic you’re receiving. Tweeting links to your site or promoting yourself on Facebook can dramatically increase how many people engage with your business.
Leads and Sales
If your business is more product based than subscription, you may want to prioritize physical sales. Social media helps not only through exposure but also via a variety of special offers to your followers.
Enticing customers to engage with your brand is beneficial both for building a following and generating higher profit revenue.
2. Determine Your Target Audience
Now that you know what your aim is with your social media strategy, who are you aiming for? There are a couple of ways to decide on your target audience.
Review who is engaging with your site the most. Consider the following factors when reviewing your data:
- Age range
- Geographic location
- Brand affinity
By understanding your audience, you will learn what they are most likely to respond to. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to any demographic, but by narrowing your scope, you will learn who is most likely to invest in your products/services.
Social Media Analytics Tools
If you already have an established social media presence, pay attention to which groups are most likely to engage with your posts. Your marketing should appeal to these people the most. This builds on your present audience, while also encouraging loyalty from your past customers.
3. Establish Social Media Metrics
When launching any marketing campaign, you need to know how effective your tactics are. Social media metrics and video marketing metrics allow you to measure the efficacy of your strategy.
Essentially, metrics provide you with continuous updates on how well your audience is receiving your tactics. This is information you need.
Most social media platforms have built-in metric recorders that you can easily access. Opening a business Instagram, for instance, allows you to see how many have shared or saved your posts.
4. Who Are Your Competitors and What Do They Do?
While you shouldn’t spend time obsessing over the competition, it’s important to keep an eye on their strategies. Study their tactics and copy models that are suited to your business. This isn’t about plagiarism; it’s about knowing what you’re up against.
The first thing you should do is figure out who your competition is in your specific niche. Google is the best tool for this. Search for terms relating to your business focus and see who pops up. Examine how they’re operating and see if you can apply any of the same techniques to your marketing.
You can also use SEMrush to scope out your direct competitors. Simply input your domain into SEMrush and the tool will show you who your direct competitors are. Then you can examine them with SEMrush to uncover their marketing strategies.
Competition’s Social Channels
Your next layer of research needs to be an analysis of how your competitors use social media. There’s nothing wrong with getting a little inspiration.
Of course, don’t make your strategy identical, but ask the following questions:
- Do they offer prizes through competitions?
- How do they encourage user engagement?
- Are there certain tactics used that attract higher user engagement than others?
- Is their social media presence heavier on a particular site?
- Do they utilize visual or written media most often?
- Is their presence informational or attention-grabbing? Do they strike a balance between the two?
- What does their website look like? What calls to action (CTAs) do they use?
- Are they using repeated keywords to draw in their audience?
Get your notepad out and start jotting down ideas.
5. Create Content
One of the best ways to entice a new audience is with the content you’ve created yourself. It adds a personalized air of professionalism to your brand.
Here’s how to make content for your target audience:
Target Your Ideal Customer
Whether you’re sharing relevant business graphics on your Instagram, or blog posts on Facebook, you need to have a clear idea of how to target your audience.
- What information do they want from you?
- What is going to encourage them to respond to what you’re posting?
A lot of this is trial and error. Experiment with several different types of posts, aesthetics, etc. Run with what gets you the most engagement.
Choose Content Themes
A great way to capture interest is through content themes. Rather than throwing out random content you think is going to stick, compile numerous posts into a theme. By linking posts together, you create a visual scheme that will generate ongoing interest for returning customers.
For some great examples of content themes check out MoeAssist and Chewy. They both utilize a similar theme format via their Instagram pages despite offering completely different services. There’s a balance of informational and humorous content throughout.
This strategy keeps users engaged without overloading them.
Leverage User-Generated Content
There’s no better way to demonstrate to potential customers that you’re a reputable, engaged brand than by showing them content created by other customers about your brand.
It can be as simple as a repost from someone using one of your products or endorsing your business. Think of it as a form of testimonial.
For inspiration check out how beauty brands like Glossier or Gymshark are doing it. They both frequently post selfies of their customers utilizing their products. Sharing endorsements in this way can strongly encourage other social media users to get involved.
Diversify Your Content
Established brands may have the luxury of knowing exactly what types of content convert best for their customers. If you’re promoting a newer brand, you may need to experiment to find content that engages your target audience.
The best way to manage the heavy demands of content creation is to repurpose content. Here’s a quick look at how this works.
- First, you might research and write an in-depth blog post – one that truly shares compelling or valuable insights with your audience.
- Next, you can make new materials to summarize key ideas from your blog post. You might create an infographic, live video, animation, or slide presentation based on it. You can leverage popular photos from Freepik and other free stock image sites to efficiently create fresh content.
- From here, you can highlight key points from your blog post in a series of short social media posts. Often these can take the form of graphics, quotes, or memes.
- If a content piece you create is particularly successful, you might expand on it by offering a content extension or “lead magnet“, such as an e-learning course or online training manual. Content extensions can incentivize prospects to share their email addresses or opt-in to your newsletter.
If you could uses assistance creating these materials, you can turn to SEO focused writers on Semrush Marketplace, presentation experts like Presentation Geeks, repurposing pros like Repurpose House, and link-building specialists like Julian Goldie.
6. Analyze Results and Optimize Them
Staying on top of social media metrics and audience demographics is all well and good, but you need to apply what you find and revise. When you discover a particular element of your marketing strategy is yielding strong results, use that element more. Discard what isn’t working. Business is ever-changing, you need to stay on top of your game.
Some of the most important metrics include impressions, engagements, and link clicks. How these metrics are titled varies between platforms, but they all show up in a similar way. Pay attention to which posts are bringing you the highest numbers in your marketing data reporting. These are the indicators of a successful strategy.
If you have only been using a particular content strategy for 3-5 posts and found no success, don’t feel pessimistic. This is especially true if you’re just starting out. If you don’t already have a reasonably sized following then you can’t adequately measure the quality of your posts.
If building an audience is your goal then you need to focus on grabbing attention. Take your most popular post and investigate why it got the traction it did. Analyze your own content in the same way you analyzed your competition in point 4 of our guide.
If you haven’t had a “popular” post yet, look to brands similar to your own. How have they achieved it? Which posts of theirs are the most popular? It’s perfectly acceptable to let your competition also be your inspiration in the beginning.
7. Launch Your Campaign
If you employ the above tactics, you’ll be prepared to launch a successful campaign.
There’s a lot of trial and error involved, so remember to be patient. You can’t ace social media strategies the first time around; you need time to learn about your target audience and establish a presence.
Make the most of these tips available to you and you’ll undoubtedly see benefits.
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