Integrating a comprehensive social media strategy into your digital marketing endeavours is vital in today’s internet age when it comes to reaching the right audience for your products or services, and showcasing your offerings to them in a way that they can relate to and that will interest them.
Once you have got this up and running, it should ultimately become self-perpetuating, and require only a little ongoing maintenance and fine tuning, as well as of course regular posting and updating to keep your content fresh, and keep people returning to view it.
In this blog post, we will cover the basics of how to set up a good social media marketing strategy, what platforms to use, and some mistakes to avoid.
Which social media platforms should you use?
There are a huge range of social media platforms out there on the internet today, and it can be hard to establish which ones are the most valuable and profitable when it comes to dedicating your time and efforts into putting them to work. Exactly which platforms are right for you will depend to a large extent on what you are offering and what type of audience you wish to reach, but at a minimum, you should set up and maintain strong profiles on “The Big Four;” Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.
Creating good profiles
Each of your social media profiles should be created with your viewers and users in mind, and be tailored to match both the main demographics of that site’s users, and also your specific target audience. Make sure that your profile stands out for all of the right reasons, and fine-tune your keywords and bio to match the tone and style widely used across each individual site.
Identifying your target audience
You should already have a clear idea of who your target audience are when you begin to set up your social media profiles, and creating content that is designed to appeal to these people is the key. Check out the most popular search terms, hashtags and types of content that relate to your own offerings, and emulate and compliment these to encourage your target audience to get on board.
Creating valuable, shareable content
Creating content that is highly technical, long and verbose, hard to understand or just plain boring is the fastest way to turn people off and ensure that they avoid your pages! View your content from the perspective of what your readers and followers want to see, hear and learn, rather than what you want to tell them, and approach your content creation as a response to this.
Fit in with the general tone and style of the sites that you are using, and tailor all of your posts, videos or offerings to appeal to what people want to see, share and find out.
Make sure that everything that you post provides value to your audience, and keeps them coming back for more, as well as wanting to share and spread the word about what you do.
Share links to blog posts on your own website in order to drive traffic outwards to sites where you can capture viable leads, and also, make sure that you incorporate “like” and “follow” buttons for all of your core social media and social sharing sites into your own website and blog as well.
Don’t be afraid to link out to other people’s websites, blogs and content too, unless they are in direct competition with you, as this too provides value to your readers, and can increase the chances of reciprocal backlinks.
Getting followers and fans
Getting followers, fans and likes for your content is the key to success on social media, and is also one of the hardest things to achieve! If your content is on point, highly sharable and interesting to a wide demographic of people, they are exponentially more likely to share it and spread the word to others, but getting those first fans in place at the stary can be very hard.
Concentrate your initial efforts on promoting your new social media profiles with blog posts, shares across other sites and valuable content, and consider giving yourself a head start by buying a bulk set of fans or followers on the most popular platforms to get you going.
Offer value and exclusive content
Success on social media comes back to value every time, in terms of what your social media offerings provide that cannot be found elsewhere. Using your social media profiles to provide this helps them to perform well, and channels people through your social pages, which they may then wish to share or return to later.
Offering exclusive content like sneak peeks at new products, free trials and special offers via your social media platforms all encourage your potential fan base to keep returning to them time and time again.
Mistakes to avoid
Avoid dull, dry and boring content, as social media users simply don’t respond to it! Also, it is vitally important to avoid being perceived as overly pushy or sales-oriented too, as social media site users do not respond well to in-your-face advertising or the hard sell approach.
Tailor your posts and content to provide interesting information, shareable content and things that entertain, amuse or engage the viewer, integrating details of your products, services or brand into these naturally, rather than as the core focus of your endeavours. If the people who visit your pages only find sales-y content or blatant marketing when they get there, they will begin to feel disillusioned and disappointed or even hostile towards your brand, which of course, quickly backfires and can be very hard to recover from later on.
Use your social media channels to build up a positive brand image and perception of who you are and what you do among your audience, and ensure that your pages offer value by being helpful, informative, interesting and entertaining. Ensure that any promotions and direct marketing endeavours on your pages are fine-tuned to enhance and compliment the social value of your page, rather than detracting from it in the eyes of your potential viewers.