Social media marketing has become an invaluable asset to any digital marketing strategy. Different social media platforms can offer different opportunities for social media promotion but using them correctly is essential for getting good results in the end. Here is how to use social media effectively to promote your business.
#1 Choosing the Platforms
First and foremost, you need to choose the best social media platforms for your business. The difficult part is that not every platform will be appropriate for you. While choosing to create accounts on all the platforms at once will not be beneficial either. This is why you need to think this through very carefully before creating accounts for your business.
Obviously, you need to consider your target audience. What are its characteristics like gender, age, nationality, location, education, occupation, etc.? If your customers are mainly teenagers and young people, then you will want to get onto Instagram, but if they are older people, then Facebook is the social media platform for you.
Another aspect you should think about is the kind of content you usually create. If you have a visual brand (e.g. you sell home décor or apparel), then you will most likely have to post many photographs and videos. This is why a social media platform like Instagram or Pinterest will be ideal for your business.
#2 Creating a Posting Schedule
Once you have created your social media accounts (by the way, make sure to fill out as much information as possible), you will need to create a posting schedule that you will then follow very closely. This is important in order to maintain a steady pace and publish content regularly and grow your following gradually.
Try to base your posting schedule on the kind of content you create, when you would prefer posting it, and how often you would prefer posting it. For example, you might want to publish twice a day, in the morning and in the evening, but also live stream every Friday evening. Put all of that in your posting schedule.
#3 Balancing the Promotion
Speaking of the content you publish, you need to balance the amount of promotion you post as opposed to the value you provide. You can’t just constantly keep asking your followers to buy your new product or subscribe to your newsletter – you need to provide them with valuable content that will keep them subscribed to your account.
You need to think about this balance and decide what percentage of the content you publish will contain some kind of promotion. There is no particular number, so it’s really up to you, but you still need to keep this lower than 50%. Otherwise, your promotions will overtake your account and any value you offer will be lost amidst these promotions.
On the other hand, you still need to remember that adding a call to action at the end of an article is not the same as making an Instagram post that consists solely of asking your followers to buy your products. That call to action is short and simple, so it won’t outweigh all the useful information in the article itself.
#4 Providing Value
One of the best ways to determine what exactly you consider to be valuable content is by creating a compilation of rules and requirements for your content. Then, this guide can be used both by you and by your content creators and marketers to monitor whether or not your content meets a certain level of quality.
This set of requirements will also ensure that your content is consistent in every way. For example, the photographs you post on social media could have such requirements as 1) being cut to a square, 2) having high-resolution, 3) corresponding to a specific theme or color palette, and 4) having your brand logo in the corner.
When putting together your content requirements, keep in mind all the content formats you will be using. You can also update your content guide later on if the circumstances require it at some point.
#5 Encouraging Engagement
Engagement on social media is critical for the success of your social media marketing campaign. If you don’t get enough engagement, your content will not appear high in social media search results, fewer people will see it, and fewer will actually follow your account. In the end, how many people follow your account also influences your engagement…
There are different tactics you can use to increase engagement, and if you combine them, you can reach even a better result. Here are just some you can try:
- Live Streams: This will be discussed in more detail in another section, but it’s important to know that live streams are known to improve engagement.
- Questions: Questions show that you care about the opinions of your followers and want to hear what they think. This can increase the number of comments under your posts.
- Polls and Quizzes: Polls and quizzes, especially on Instagram Stories, often get many replies and give your followers a sense of community.
#6 Selecting the Hashtags
Selecting the hashtags you will be using when you post your content is essential for the success of your social media marketing campaign. To choose the right hashtags for you, do some research and see what other brands like yours are using. Here are the types of hashtags you need to use:
- General: These are the hashtags used by everyone on social media (e.g. #love, #throwback, #news, #update).
- Industry: These are the hashtags used only in your industry (e.g. #redmattelipstick, #blackminidress, #handmadeglutenfreecupcakes).
- Branded: These are the hashtags you create specifically for your brand (e.g. #Nike, #JustDoIt).
- Trending: These are the hashtags that you see trending every day, week, month, or year. They can be divided into different subcategories based on the occasion (e.g. #NewYearResolutions, #WorldCup, #ArianaGrande).
So, how do you tie your website to your social media marketing? The answer is cross-promotion. Cross-promotion is all about marketing your channels… on your own channels. For example, you can promote your website and social media in your emails, promote your social media and email newsletter on your website, and promote your website on your social media and in your emails.
To promote your website on your social media, you will need to do two things. First, you will need to link your website on all your social media accounts. More often than not, there will be a separate blank for a website URL. Second, you will need to promote and mention your website in the content you post on your social media accounts.
For instance, when you publish a new article on your website, you can tweet about it with a link or make a post on Instagram directing your followers to check out the link in your bio. Both of these work perfectly for cross-promotion.
#8 Offering Exclusive Discounts
You need to treat social media as one of the channels which you can use for offering exclusive discounts. Think about your email marketing. Returning customers often get special discounts from brands delivered exceptionally via email. But you can actually use social media platforms in the same way!
On Instagram, you can start a live stream and provide the viewers with a discount at the end. This way, it will be used only by those who tuned in. You can also create private chats for your selected followers and share discount codes there. In other words, there are multiple ways you can make these offers truly exclusive. Some things you can also consider are offers limited in time or discounts limited in the number of times they can be used.
#9 Hosting Contests and Giveaways
Speaking of exclusivity, contests and giveaways can also be used to select the users that will get your discounts. On the other hand, you can use them separately from discounts – of course, in this case, you will need to have certain prizes or gifts for the winners. Here are some things to consider when hosting either of these:
- Contests: Contests will need to have both rules and requirements. Rules will tell participants what they need to submit and what else they need to do to enter the contest (e.g. post their artwork, follow you, and like the post with the contest announcement). Requirements will help you to judge the entries and select the winners easier (e.g. the quality of the artwork, its originality, art style, etc.)
- Giveaways: Giveaways will probably have way more entrants because they don’t require as much commitment as contests. You will need to provide your audience with a set of rules to enter (e.g. like your post, follow you, repost your post, and leave a comment tagging three friends).
#10 Live Streaming
As mentioned earlier, live streaming is a great way to improve engagement. However, you can use live streams in many other ways too (e.g. announcements, updates, contest and giveaway results, Q&A sessions, discussions, seminars, webinars, podcasts, etc.) Here are some things to keep in mind when hosting live streams:
- Make sure to post an announcement about the time when you will be going live so that your followers are aware of the live stream.
- Consider whether or not you can have regular live streams. Going live every Monday evening is more effective than going live whenever you feel like it.
- Always create a plan for your live stream. You should know what topics you want to cover and in what order.
#11 Collaborating with Others
Collaborations and partnerships are mostly considered as a way to get better integrated into your community of like-minded people. This is your chance to connect with other business owners and entrepreneurs like you, grow long-term relationships with them, and maybe even find new friends who will support you in the future.
But collaborations can also help you get exposure and attract more potential customers. When you give a shoutout to another brand that gives a shoutout to you, both of you let your respective audiences know of each other. This means that you “exchange” potential customers which help both of you grow your audiences.
#12 Finding Tools to Use
Social media marketing can be relatively difficult for those who don’t have a lot of experience with social media platforms. This is why many business owners and marketers love using different tools to help them improve their content, post more regularly, get in touch with followers easier, and so on.
For your content, you can use such apps as Canva and Giphy for editing illustrations, photographs, and GIFs. You can also use Grammarly to edit your text. For your posting schedule, you can use TimeTree. For getting in touch with followers, you can use chatbots that can be integrated with Facebook Messenger and other messaging apps.
#13 Building a Community
An important thing to remember about social media marketing is that you need to build a community and give your followers a sense that they are appreciated, and their opinions are valued. To build a community, you will need to interact with your followers more, maintain a friendly tone, organize activities where they can get to know you better, and so on.
But you also need to remember that building a community will require time. You will also need to tie your social media to your website if you want to make this community interested in your business even more than it already is.
#14 Tracking Performance
Last but not least, remember to track your performance. The only way you can improve your content and your strategy is by analyzing how well your content performs and adjusting it in a way that will improve these metrics.
On social media, the most valuable metrics you need to track include your followers count, likes and comments, reposts and shares, and other forms of interactions and engagement. Also, consider dividing these into the ones you get from other brands or public figures and the ones you get from regular users.
All in all, using social media to promote your business can be very effective if you do it correctly. Follow the tips in this article and you will be able to create a strong social media marketing strategy.
About The Author:
Mary Byrd is a self-driven specialist who currently works in the company Best Writers Online and enhances her blogging skills. She is not looking for easy ways, she is always developing and looking for new ideas. Professional development is an important part of her life. Marie always improves her skills and her main goal is to inspire people.