5 Essential Tips for Social Media Marketing

Posted by Matt

social media marketing

Most business owners understand the importance of having a presence on social media these days, but not so many of them actually use their social profiles to good effect. It’s easy enough to throw together a Facebook page for your company, churn out a few tweets or take part in a random LinkedIn discussion, but do you know what it is you actually want to achieve? Do you have a plan for how you’re going about your social media marketing?

Take a peek at these essential tips to help you formulate a marketing plan that works for your business.

1. Clearly define your goals

You’ve got to have an objective before you dive into the world of social media marketing and it’s important that you have one that’s clear, measurable and attainable. If yours is simply “Get more customers” then I’d suggest you need to sit down and think it through a little more.

Ask yourself this. How will you know which customers came about as a result of your social media activity? And how many more is “more”? You could hardly claim that your social media marketing was a success if you picked up just one customer after spending hours and hours shooting the breeze on Twitter.

Define your goals in terms of engagement, the number of visitors driven to your website or the amount of blog or email subscribers gained and you’ll be able to apply more of an analytical approach when judging the success of your efforts.

2. Know your customers

Before you can really launch any online marketing campaign, you must know your audience first. Do you have a good idea of what they use social media for, what they are interested in and what kind of content makes them tick? Students have different desires and interests to professionals, who are different again to athletes or retired pensioners. Define exactly who your audience is and build your marketing strategy around them.

3. Understand your competition

Take a look at what your competitors are doing and consider whether or not they’re getting any success from it. If what they’re doing seems to be working, think about how you can incorporate their ideas into your own marketing strategy. But don’t just copy what they’re doing (if you only ever copy your competition you’ll only ever be a poor imitation.) Instead, take inspiration from it and make it your own. If you can see areas where they are failing, differentiate yourself and turn your own social media savvy into a selling point.

4. Use the right channels for your audience

Every social media channel has a core audience and has some people who prefer not to use it. There will be some cross-over, but there are always some networks that are “trendy” and some that are not. Some networks attract more women, while others are more popular with young men or professionals of both genders or people over a certain age. You wouldn’t find professionals doing their networking on Instagram and you certainly wouldn’t find teenagers on Mumsnet. So register your brand names on those networks that you think are important, but focus the majority of your efforts on the networks that matter the most.

5. Remember, it’s not free!

A lot of people jump all over social media as a way to promote their business because they think of it as a cheaper alternative to other forms of marketing. Whilst there is some truth in that, it is certainly not free! The time you spend on social media marketing is a cost to your business, and because it’s so easy to get engrossed in the infinite conversations and other activities that are going on in the social space, you might find you’re spending an absolute fortune!

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