Social media is an essential weapon any company needs in its marketing arsenal. Contrary to popular belief, social media is not an entity separate from marketing. It falls under the marketing umbrella and should be a central role player in this invaluable business function.
Any sound marketing campaign aims to attract new customers and retain existing ones. Since most people spend a lot of time on social media, it is the ideal place to get their attention.
Still not sure where to start? Here is some advice:
Know your target audience
Before launching a marketing campaign online, you must research your target audience. This is the group of people most likely to buy your product or service. How you segment them depends on your business.
For example, if you are a plumber, you want to attract people from one area. Therefore, you will base your target market on location. Other businesses need to segment their target markets by age or gender. Fortunately, social media platforms have access to this data, and using them makes marketing easier.
Some additional research determines which social media platforms your target market uses. The most common are Facebook and Twitter. Instagram and Snapchat primarily remain the province of younger users. Using campaign attribution solutions from LeanData, you can see which platforms you are drawing customers from and strengthen your presence there.
Set a budget
Some social media marketing activities bear minimal costs but boosting your posts or paying for advertising can become expensive, especially when there is little or no investment return. Therefore, you need to quickly establish what platforms are best, what approaches you should take, and when or how often to post.
This requires a high degree of expertise, and you might not have time to learn by trial and error by handling everything yourself. Instead, you could outsource your social media marketing to an expert.
Many social media marketers work as freelancers, and several agencies assist companies with their marketing needs. Factor the cost of these services into your budget as it will likely be your most expensive line item.
You might worry about entrusting your company and brand to an outsider. Avoid this by creating a collaborative relationship with a social media marketer to ensure you work in concert.
Prepare for stormy seas
No social media marketing strategy can be perfect as the way users interact with these platforms keeps changing. Therefore, social media marketing efforts might not have the desired effect right away.
There is a learning curve involved that you must travel to make the most of this effective marketing tool. Learn from mistakes by putting interventions in place to ensure they are unlikely to recur.
Many businesses make the mistake of using social media purely for sales. Users find this pushy approach undesirable, preferring posts that offer information about products and trends instead of constant aggressive sales pitches. This is a tightrope walk that you will need to learn if you are to succeed.
When it rains
All social media marketing posts aim to get users onto your website. Ensure that it is ready, user-friendly, navigable, and functional. Once you have a successful post, traffic to the site will increase. After that hard work, you cannot afford to have the site crash. It is challenging to know which posts will go viral but vital to be prepared for what will happen afterward.
Use these success stories to plan future social media marketing activities. However, always remember that this is not a static process as trends evolve quickly, leaving unprepared companies scrambling to keep up with their competitors.
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