In today’s modern multimedia world, it’s easier than ever for companies to market and promote themselves to a wider audience. The web and, in particular, social media have democratized publishing and allowed firms to reach a global audience at a fraction of the cost of traditional media channels.
Once marketers were limited to just four primary vehicles for advertising and promotion (TV, radio, print, billboards), with the advent of websites and social channels, there are more routes for marketing than ever.
While there’s certainly no denying that the social channels have opened previously unimaginable opportunities for extending your market and finding new business, to get the best from social media requires having a structured plan of attack. There’s little point in just aiming to increase your audience without first knowing who they are and what channels they’re most likely to use.
The first step in any marketing plan should be to consider what your business offers and the typical demographic of your customers. By understanding how your customers think, the social media channels they’re most likely to use, and the best ways to reach them, you’ll be in a stronger position to design a cohesive marketing plan that will have the most significant benefit for your firm.
One of the best ways to understand your target market is to study how your rivals reach out to their clients. These days, having a presence on major channels like Facebook and Instagram should almost be a prerequisite, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t multiple other routes you could consider – tactics that may have a more significant impact depending on your market.
Rule 101 of social media marketing – choose the proper channels that are likely to have the most significant impact.
As mentioned above, the leading social media channels like Facebook should be on your list, but many other platforms could bring you better results. For example, suppose your company primarily sells goods of interest to women.
In that case, you may well find Pinterest, with its primarily female user base (estimated to be around 77% women), could be a more valuable asset for your firm. It’s also worth noting that, as Pinterest features mostly photo and video content, if you have particularly attractive or striking media to showcase, this platform could also work well.
Likewise, millennials have been moving in their droves from Facebook to Instagram in recent years. Ironically, these two channels are owned by the same company – the newly named Meta (previously Facebook) – but that still hasn’t stopped the near-constant move to the platform. Consequently, if you a run a firm that offers goods or services to the younger market, you should think about engaging more on Instagram.
Once you’ve selected how you’re going to reach and engage with your audience, the next step is to develop a strategy. Some aspects of social media marketing you should consider include:
Most social media marketing experts suggest certain times are more effective than others to post – and these typically vary from channel to channel. By creating a schedule and calendar, you’ll be more likely to hit these target points – plus, you will be able to monitor the effectiveness of your posts.
With that in mind, you should also think about understanding how well your posts have been received by monitoring likes, shares, comments, etc. For example, using Facebook analysis tactics will help you hone your content and time of posting better.
One of the most common mistakes firms make when promoting themselves on social media is to think that they should post as often as possible. As with so many other aspects of life, less is often more when it comes to social media promotion, so think carefully about what you publish – and how often. Limiting your posts to only the most engaging subjects will likely generate a positive reaction.
Of all social media posts, video has a proven track record of having the highest engagement rate and is most likely to generate interest. However, unless you have skills in producing video in-house, you should enlist the help of a professional video and editing company.
The underlying premise of social media is that it should be social – and by that, marketing specialists suggest you should try to post content that encourages a reply from your viewers. This could be as simple as posing a question or running a survey. Anything that helps your viewers interact with your content will help build your following and generate a stronger relationship with your business.
It’s also worth remembering that if one of your followers (or even just a casual visitor) likes, shares, or comments, it’s highly likely that their followers will also see your post. Research suggests the average Facebook user has 338 friends – meaning if just one user engages with your content, that same post will likely reach most of those 338 users (and so on if another user engages).
Again, in the interests of being social on social media, you should reply to comments quickly and address any potentially negative problems with what you post. It’s doubtful you’re going to get your content posts right 100% of the time – but making sure you reply to negative feedback (and even positive feedback) is essential for making your audience feel involved and giving that all-important impression that your company is listening.
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