Social media is here to stay. This means that practically all businesses need to have a social media presence. And they need to have a social media marketing plan. In today’s digital world, those who fail to do this may even see their businesses start to flop.
Consumers are used to being able to shop online, and they’re also used to interacting with their favourite brands on social networks. So there’s no excuse for not having a social media presence.
But it isn’t enough to muddle along posting random content at random times. In order to make social media work for you – and work for you it can! – you need to approach social media seriously and strategically.
To do this, you need to make sure that you set yourself specific business objectives – increasing sales, increasing exposure to your brand, increasing customer experience, etc.. And you need to think in advance about how you can make these objectives a reality.
Social media does not have to be expensive, and, done properly, is incredibly effective. The Internet affords organisations a variety of fantastic ways to develop their business. So make sure that you’re making the most of them.
Unfortunately, the truth is, you may not be.
It’s incredibly easy to get trapped in a social media routine. But what was effective six months ago may not work now. Social media evolves at a very quick pace. In order to make sure your social media marketing campaign remains effective, you need to keep up with the latest trends, and dedicate a significant amount of time and energy each week to managing and maintaining your social channels.
To do this, it’s absolutely crucial that you measure the effects that your social media campaign is having. Some key metrics to measure, according to a favourite social media scheduling tool of ours, Buffer, are: consumption metrics (how many people viewed, read, downloaded, listened to, etc. a piece of content); sharing metrics (how many people shared a piece of content and how they did this); lead generation metrics (how often does consumption result in a new lead); and sales metrics (how much money did a piece of content generate).
Do all this, and you’ll start to see results. But, just in case you’re still not sold, here are our top five reasons why your business needs a social media marketing strategy.
It Gives You Direction
Taking the time to think about your social media marketing strategy will help you figure out what your overarching business goals are.
You need to identify your weaknesses, and think about how social media may be able to help you overcome them. You also need to think about your strengths, and how social media will help you make these areas even better.
A great way to set objectives is using the SMART criteria:
Specific – make sure the area you want to develop is very precise
Measurable – make sure that you can quantify or monitor progress
Assignable – make sure that you can specify who will do what
Realistic – make sure your objective is achievable (taking into account budget and time considerations)
Time-related – make sure you can specify when results should be achieved
Social media can help you in a huge variety of ways, and, using the SMART criteria, you should be able to capitalise on these.
It Helps You Get to Know Your Customers
After even a few months of good social media management, you’ll start to think about your social following like an old friend. You’ll have a good idea about what it likes, what it doesn’t, what it’s interested in, and what it’s passionate about.
And, since most platforms give incredibly detailed analytics reports, these insights don’t have to be based on your gut feeling alone.
The more time you put into maintaining and managing a quality social media marketing campaign, the more effective your campaign will be moving forward.
It’s a process of constant evolution and refinement. And eventually you’ll reach a point where nearly every post you put out will (thanks to it being sent at the right time, focusing on the right subject, being posted on the right network, and being presented in the right way) make a splash with your followers. And that’s a great place to be.
It Keeps You Competitive
You may not be pursuing a social media marketing campaign, but one (or, more likely, more than one) of your rivals almost certainly is. And they’re probably more than happy to soak up as much of the existing online market share as they can.
The truth is that social media marketing has already proven its worth, and most companies have already started to take it seriously. If you’re not, then you may be shooting yourself in the foot.
It Improves Customer Service and Communication
The instantaneous nature of social media means that its one on the best places to get feedback about your business in real time. Your followers will talk about you with others, message you directly, and take part in conversations with other followers.
Following and responding to these developments will do wonders for your brand – since you appear (as I’m sure you in fact are) caring and responsible – and customers will start to form a positive image of you.
This is good, since a positive image means repeat custom and lots of word-of-mouth exposure. But be warned, depending on the size of your following (and how vocal they are) keeping up with these developments can be practically a full-time job.
This means that you will have to set aside a considerable amount of time each day to responding to followers. It’s not time wasted. It’s time spent on your brand.
It’s Cost Effective
Although the monetisation of social media has begun, social media marketing is still incredibly cost effective when compared to traditional marketing methods. And, in fact, the monetisation of social media has led to platforms offering marketers a whole host of incredibly powerful tools in order to justify the cost.
Facebook, for example, is now one of the world’s largest advertising networks, and allows marketers to target very specific demographics in a variety of customisable ways. And Twitter recently introduced the incredibly powerful Audience Insights. But these are just a couple of developments amongst many. The social media marketing industry is fast-growing and extremely competitive, meaning that consumers get great products at a great price – a trend that will be around for a little while yet.
It’s clear, then, that the fees social media sites charge justify the services they provide – and then some! Missing out on probably the best and most powerful marketing tools that have ever been available is just plain silly.
We hope we’ve managed to convince you that pursuing a social media marketing campaign is worth it. However, if you’re worried that you don’t have the expertise or time required to make a success of yours, you may want to check out our social media marketing services.
We provide a full suite of social media services tailored to you specific business goals.
Are you pursuing a social media marketing campaign? If so, why do you think it’s important? And have you seen the results you want? Let us know with a comment.
When Lilach isn’t working she enjoys spending time with her family and is an avid fan of Zumba.
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