Serial entrepreneur, best-selling author, and founder / CEO of SEO and top 5 digital marketing agency LSEO.
I don’t need to tell this audience about the importance of SEO for your business. However, one area of the digital marketing realm that I do feel could use some building up is social media marketing. Social media can accomplish so many things for your business if you leverage it in the right ways.
From building your brand to generating cold, hard sales, social media has a lot going for it. Here are some tips for optimizing your social media marketing strategy.
Just as in SEO, you will need to know what you want to accomplish from the outset of your social media marketing campaigns. Your goals will determine how you should approach everything going forward.
For instance, your goals might be one or any combination of the following:
• Grow brand awareness.
• Drive new leads.
• Increase website traffic.
• Make new sales.
• Boost customer relations.
Which goal will be right for your business will depend on where you are in your growth. A new business will probably want to focus first on building brand awareness before devoting too many resources to the other goals.
Once you have a good foothold in that, you will of course want to go after leads and sales, and when you’ve done that, keeping your social media-based customer relations on track will be vital.
Find Your Audience
Your chances of getting conversions from social media marketing increase with every interaction with a potential or existing customer. Communicating directly with people on social media helps you find and grow your audience. Through that process, you will learn what people want and how you can give it to them.
One way to do it is to take a look at your social media analytics and other data that indicates which types of audiences tend to use which platforms. For instance, slightly more men than women use YouTube, while you will find a much larger female audience on Pinterest. You can then tailor your social media outreach based on who you are targeting.
Knowing your audience will primarily help you accomplish your next goal.
Target Your Content
The numbers and analytics are obviously important parts of the planning stage of your social media marketing strategy. Once you know who you’re targeting and what you want them to do, you will need to devise a content strategy that matches that.
Instagram, for instance, is a visual platform used primarily by teenagers and those in their 20s, 30s and 40s. If you want to reach people on Instagram, your content should feature eye-popping visuals that really stick out in a user’s feed.
If you struggle with creating visuals, particularly when you need daily content, you may want to make it less challenging by keeping to a theme or series of themes. Those themes could focus on color schemes or certain post types, but the revolving nature of themed posts should keep your content scope from getting out of control.
Whether it’s Instagram or any other social platform, your content can take more than one approach. You can convert quite a number of leads with infographics, well-written copy, interactive content, blog posts or professionally shot video. People tend to like content that appeals to emotions, features information in lists or contains a number of images and videos.
Social posts that can be digested quickly while still communicating vital information about your brand are going to be a win basically always. Know your audience, and this part should actually be fun.
Promote Your Content
Your analytics research is done, you know your audience and you’ve crafted the perfect content. But guess what? So has every other business on social media.
What I’m saying is that you now need to stand out on social media, and you can do that with the right kind of content promotion. Your industry and the type of content you have will determine where you spend money on pay-per-click advertising.
The good news is that you have a ton of options. Facebook ads allow advertisers to get quite granular with audience targeting. You can use all you learned previously about your audience to laser-target your Facebook ads. Some patience and a willingness to learn from mistakes will be required here, but it will likely be worth it to promote your content on the largest social media network in the world.
YouTube and Instagram should be up next for you. Each enjoys huge audiences for whom you can run video ads, as in the case of YouTube, or sponsor a recent post, as with Instagram. PPC advertising obviously costs you money with every click, but you will likely more than make up for what you spend on ads when your social media marketing starts picking up and earning you those elusive conversions.
Winning the social media marketing game is no easy feat, just like SEO. It takes time, research, patience and trial and error to get everything right. Even when you’ve optimized your campaigns, you must always keep up with audience changes and tweak your advertising accordingly. Social media is a branch of your digital marketing that should never be neglected, but once you have it down, the rewards can be incredible.
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Author: Kristopher Jones, Forbes Councils Member