Social media marketing is a powerful strategy for businesses of all sizes to reach prospective and existing customers/clients. People discover, learn about, follow, and adopt (shop or buy) brands on social media. If you are not active or even on any of the platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn, you’re missing out! Great marketing is now going on social media and if properly harnessed, can bring remarkable success to a brand or business. It will help you create devoted brand advocates and thus drive quality leads that can be nurtured to become customers/businesses.
What is social media marketing?
Social media marketing is a form of digital marketing that leverages the power of popular social media networks to achieve your marketing and branding goals. But it’s not just about creating business accounts and posting when you feel like it. Social media marketing requires an evolving strategy with measurable goals which include:
- Maintaining and optimizing your brand/business profiles.
- Posting pictures, videos, stories, and live videos that represent your brand and appeal to your core and relevant audiences.
- Responding to comments, shares, and likes and monitoring your reputation.
- Following and engaging with followers, customers, and influencers to build a community around your brand.
Social media marketing also includes paid social media advertising, where you can pay to have your business appear in front of huge targeted users.
Benefits of social media marketing
With widespread usage and versatility, social media has become one of the most effective free channels for marketing your business/brand today. Here are some of the specific benefits social media marketing presents:
- Humanize your business:Social media enables you to turn your business into an active participant in your market. Your profile, posts, and interactions with users form an approachable persona that your audience can familiarize and connect with, and come to trust.
- Drive traffic:Between the link in your profile, blog post links in your posts, and your ads, social media is a top channel for increasing traffic to your website where you can convert visitors into customers. Plus, social signals are an indirect SEO factor.
- Generate leads and customers:You can also generate leads and conversions directly on these platforms, through features like Instagram/Facebook shops, direct messaging, call-to-action buttons on profiles, and appointment booking capabilities.
- Increase brand awareness:The visual nature of social media platforms allows you to build your visual identity across vast audiences and improve brand awareness. And better brand awareness means better results with all your other campaigns.
- Build relationships:These platforms open up both direct and indirect lines of communication with your followers through which you can network, gather feedback, hold discussions, and connect directly with individuals.
Essentials of a successful social media marketing strategy
A successful social media marketing strategy will look different for every business, but here are the things they will all have in common:
- Knowledge of your audience:What platforms they use, when they go on them and why, what content they like, who else they’re following, and more.
- Brand identity:What is the message you want to convey to your audience? How do you want them to feel when viewing your content?
- Content strategy: While there is a level of spontaneity on social, you’ll need a structured content strategyto be able to have a consistent voice and produce quality content regularly.
- Analytics: Quantifiable insights will inform your strategy, including who you’re reaching, the right content to share, the best times to post, and more.
- Regular activity: Social media is a real-time platform. If you want to use it to grow your business, you need to post regularly, stay on top of engagements with your business, engage back, keep up with trends, and maintain accurate profiles.
- Inbound approach:Don’t use social media to pitch your business. Focus on adding value through useful and interesting content and building up those around you. This, in turn, will organically promote your business and others will promote it for you.
Prioritizing your social media marketing strategy
Social media as a marketing tool does more than improve traffic to your website or blogs and increase your reach. It turns your business into a personality that your audience can communicate and connect with on a deeper level.
Regardless of which platforms you use or how you use them, the most important thing to remember is that social media is not a platform to pitch your business. It’s a community for you to express your personality, demonstrate your values, share useful information, and build up those around you.
Your customers/audience wants you to engage and communicate with me, add value to my business, solve problems, create opportunities, educate and inform me etc. But don’t try and sell to them – it won’t work.
With people naturally following you and promoting your content, pitching will not be necessary. And with this approach, you’ll achieve not just your business goals but all of the other intangibles that translate to gratification and fulfilment.
This is an article from Customer Passion Point Limited (CPPL). We are a consulting firm that provides advertising, training and consulting solutions to small, medium and large corporations across industries and sectors. Call or WhatsApp on 07011962027 or visit www.cppl.com.ng for enquiries.