Putting your business out there for the world to see can be intimidating, but to be successful, you’ll need to connect with your target audience effectively. Social media is the best way to do this, and setting your social media marketing initiatives is an essential part of that process. But where do you begin?
There are seemingly countless social platforms to consider and endless ways of connecting with different audiences. Current marketing tactics can quickly send your head spinning into oblivion between the modern-day lingo and the ever-changing consumer landscape. How can you even think about navigating the complicated world of social media marketing when you don’t know the first thing about how to use it effectively?
This post will discuss social media marketing fundamentals and offer insights into what each social platform brings to your small business. We’ll also look at the role of social influencers, helping you see why social media is one of the most beneficial tools a business can use to grow its brand. All you need is a plan and a willingness to learn. Are you ready to learn about the compelling world of social media marketing?
Let’s dive in!
What Is Social Media Marketing?
Social media marketing, often referred to as SMM, uses social media to market services and products to the target audience. Using social media as a marketing tool often targets more potential clients and customers who would be otherwise unreachable.
Some examples of social media marketing include:
- Social networking
- Video and photo sharing
- Blog posting
Making connections with people and sharing information has never been easier than it is today with social media marketing.
What Are the Benefits of Setting Your Social Media Marketing Initiatives?
Social media marketing allows the user to achieve a farther reach than has ever been possible. Not only can one instantly communicate with the target audience, but businesses have the ability to market to potential new audience members in a convincing, strategic way.
Each social platform offers a unique way to market the business and is an incredible opportunity to pull in new clients who may otherwise be unavailable. You can also quickly respond to questions and concerns from customers.
Social influencers make it easy to grab viewers’ attention in a new and exciting way. They can help you gain honest reviews from real users to boost your brand quicker than ever! A few other essential benefits include:
- Boosting brand awareness
- Generating leads and driving traffic to your website
- Building relationships with customers and clients
- Studying and learning from competitors
Let’s take a closer look at how each element plays into setting your social media marketing initiatives most effectively.
Boost Your Brand Awareness
A great way to increase brand awareness when advertising through social media is to make your posts pop! Choose a color scheme that wows and create posts that grab the attention of the audience you are trying to attract. Pay attention to similar brands and their colors, and ask yourself what these colors convey to target audience members.
Use trending hashtags, which some platforms even display for you (Twitter, TikTok, etc.), or google “trending hashtags” that pertain to your brand if you are unsure where to start.
Partnering with influencers to review your brand or create content for your pages is another great way to increase brand awareness and reach new audience members. You can easily reach out directly via Twitter, TikTok, or Instagram to offer partnerships with influencers. These personalities can have millions of viewers or cater to a certain type of viewer you are also trying to reach.
People are more likely to use your skincare line or purchase your cleaning product if they see their favorite “celebrities” raving about it.
Social media platforms offer paid ad plans to help you get your name out there. Posting your digital fliers or photos to places like Facebook or TikTok can help pull in sales that will far outweigh the cost of the advertising.
Generate Leads and Drive Traffic to Your Website
The first step in generating leads and increasing traffic is to decide who your target audience will be. What types of people are you trying to promote or sell to? Research what these people are looking for by paying attention to competitors with the same target audience and looking up sales statistics for this specific product type.
Create ads and promotions that target these people. A great idea when launching is to hold events that draw people in for the first time! Come up with a compelling offer or two that will be hard for a first-time customer to refuse. This will create positive reviews from first-time customers and allow you to use those testimonials in future campaigns.
Social media sponsorships can be a great tool for increasing website traffic and generating new leads. TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube are great platforms for your products to be video-reviewed and praised. Drawing in new leads via Facebook ads is also a great option, especially for small businesses and boutiques looking to target people outside their local area.
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Build Relationships With Customers and Clients
Building relationships with customers and clients is important in social media marketing. Luckily, it is a fairly easy process. The easiest thing you can do to make your audience feel heard and communicated with is to be active on social media by responding to comments, concerns, and e-mails, promptly.
Ensure your tone is friendly, relatable, and professional when dealing with concerns or unhappy customers. Having a social media manager can be helpful in this department.
Finding an influencer to promote your brand or review your products is a great way to make customers and clients feel heard. When people see their favorite person promoting their favorite product, they are more likely to feel a sense of familiarity with it.
Another great way to build relationships and gain trust with your target audience is to utilize social media to host giveaways and contests!
People are more likely to interact with your page if you have something to offer them, and in turn, you are more likely to show up on their feeds regularly. If they interact with you and your brand frequently, you are not only bringing in frequent customers but building a relationship with them that makes them feel special and keeps them coming back.
The atmosphere is just as important as the product you provide, so be sure to make people feel as though you value them when building relationships!
Study and Learn From Competitors
Learning from competitors is another perk of setting your social media marketing initiatives. By studying how a similar company draws its audience, you can model how to do the same while putting your own twist on it.
Figure out what it is that sets you apart from them and make that your focal point so as not to be completely making a copy of their marketing strategy. Be careful to pay attention to what does and does not work for competitors.
If you see another brand make a mistake first, you can avoid doing the same. Read comments and reviews to see how the audience responds to certain strategies, even if the business is not exactly the same as yours! If your target audience does not respond well to how a business communicates with them, you know to change your tone or approach.
Make sure you are paying attention to the types of influencers that are successfully drawing in the clientele you would like to achieve. Consider hiring them or someone similar to review your brand or product to do the same.
Setting Your Social Media Marketing Initiatives
Creating a plan is important in the success of marketing yourself or your brand on social media. Utilizing calendars, pre-planned posts, and hiring a content writer or social media manager are great ways to ensure success in social media marketing. Doing research is the first step to ensuring your hard work pays off!
Research Your Target Audience
Researching your target audience is a great way to begin setting up a plan for how you will approach social media marketing. Reading comments and reviews and learning how to respond to competitors’ social media marketing initiatives can go a long way.
You can avoid making the same mistakes if you pay attention to what others have done before you! Researching what is popular and trending within the audience you are trying to target, and using keywords, can help broaden your reach.
For example, if you are trying to market a fitness clothing brand to a specific audience of people, be mindful of who is purchasing these types of products from other companies and research what they want to see.
What types of models do they want to see wearing your clothes before they purchase them? What color palette is coming into style for the next season? Who is a popular influencer watched by this target audience, and are they willing to review your clothing on their page?
Pay attention to what the target audience is asking for and appease them.
Decide Which Social Platforms To Utilize
Deciding what posts correlate with which social media platforms is crucial. For example, Instagram reels are short and often captioned video clips that can be the perfect tool to grab the attention of Instagram users scrolling through the feed.
However, captioned video clips might not go over as well on Facebook or TikTok, where you will have to click a link or go outside of your normal scrolling pattern to view the video.
Ads that are simple pictures or digital fliers will do better on Instagram than on Facebook.
Twitter is a great way to communicate with hashtags that might not be as successful on Facebook.
Research what makes each social media platform unique, and tailor your posts to correlate with those features.
Understand and Get To Know Your Competitors
Once you have researched your competitors and done a little social media marketing planning yourself, it is always a good idea to revisit and try to better understand what works for them and what doesn’t.
Getting to know your competition and what they stand for is essential. Focus on what can set you apart from them while still noting what works for their brand. You can translate their successes to your business but always be sure to make yourself and your brand unique.
Creating Authentic and Appealing Content
Creating appealing content goes hand in hand with ensuring you set yourself apart and focus on what makes you unique. Appealing ideas can come from those before you or similar to you, but make sure you have your own twist!
Starting with a template can help kick off your creative journey (for example, when creating posts in Canva), but try to change as much as possible so that your posts come off as uniquely yours. Ensure your brand’s content has its own color scheme, fonts, and graphics, and use a consistent tone when communicating with your audience so that you always appear authentic.
Develop a Posting Schedule
Having a posting schedule is essential to setting your social media marketing initiatives. At first, you might have time to create content every day, but when you get big on social media and become busy, having a posting schedule to fall back on can save the day.
Posting schedules are easy to create via Canva or other platforms. You can set them up like a calendar to help you maintain regularity and consistency with your posts.
Deciding which platforms you will post to on which days is very important. Understanding the best times to post is essential to achieving the best responses and drawing in the most traffic!
You can set up a pre-scheduled post via the platform and have it go out without clicking send. Pre-scheduled posts are very helpful in staying organized and detailed, especially when you do not have a social media manager doing the work for you.
What Social Media Platform Is Right for Your Small Business?
Setting your social media marketing initiatives, deciding which social media platforms you want to use, and understanding which will gain the most reach for your business are crucial. Don’t overwhelm yourself by doing too much at once. Decide which platform is most beneficial and start there!
Create a page for yourself and perhaps experiment with paid advertising. Build your campaign based on what works best for you and your product or service.
Best For: Product-based businesses such as clothing, fashion accessories, self-care products, electronic devices, pet accessories, baby products, home furnishings, and health & fitness products.
Facebook is a great place to establish a presence for your business via “Pages.” Most businesses we are familiar with in our communities have a Facebook Page which allows users to “like” and follow what they are up to in day-to-day activities.
Facebook is also a great place to utilize paid advertisements and organic posts, simultaneously reaching many of your target audience! You can advertise to your community regarding events you might have coming up, whether it be in-person or online, with the “events” feature. This allows people to say whether or not they will be attending and makes planning easier for you.
Customers or clients can message your business via Facebook, making communication a breeze. Facebook is a wonderful platform to communicate with users of all ages, as it has been around a long time and many internet users have an active Facebook page.
A 2019 survey conducted by Insider Intelligence found that 15% of Facebook users browse the platform for shopping purposes (a distant second from the 47% of Pinterest users looking to make online purchases).
Best For: Graphics, images, visually-appealing digital fliers, service-based businesses, and new businesses looking to grow their audience.
Instagram is another incredibly popular platform and a great place to post videos and photos. Visually appealing ads are easier to see on Instagram because wordy posts are not as prevalent.
However, Reels are a good place to add text, such as short captions. You can also create polls where your audience can vote on things, making it easier to collect opinions. Instagram is also a great place to have influencers rate, review, and promote your product.
Best For: Businesses that want to quickly and directly communicate with their target audience.
Twitter is a wonderful platform for almost instant communication. Tweets utilize hashtags and can go viral very quickly! Getting a message out there is easy via Twitter, as it is one of the most highly utilized mobile apps.
You can easily add links to your tweets, which is great for redirecting users to your products!
Best For: Businesses looking for influencers to rate or review their products.
TikTok is one of the most highly utilized video platforms and is very beneficial if you are looking to have influencers review your products or services.
Companies often send influencers free products in exchange for their reviews or promotions. Unboxing videos are a popular part of the platform, where users watch their favorite “celebrity” influencers try on or demonstrate what is sent to them.
TikTok also utilizes hashtags, so researching what is popular and including these hashtags in your captions can help your videos gain traction. This is a great place to form community connections and get your brand out there, as it is newer and very popular.
Best For: Crafty businesses looking to drive website traffic and sell their products.
Pinterest has been around a while and shows no signs of slowing down! It is a great place to advertise because users can save “pins” and come back and look at them for years to come.
The user’s ability to save and reference pins make Pinterest a great place to increase brand awareness on a large scale. The platform is also a great way to drive traffic to your website, as clicking on pins re-directs users wherever your link leads.
People on Pinterest usually have high intent to purchase, so this platform is essential if you are trying to get people to buy your product.
Best For: Business professionals, freelancers, and networking.
Knowing your target audience is important regarding social media marketing via LinkedIn. Having an active company page and sharing engaging, useful content can drive traffic to your brand and make it appealing to potential clients, customers, and employees. This is not the place for sales pitches but rather the platform to use to drive leads and increase traffic.
Best For: Businesses that want to make more detailed videos for their clients or customers.
Youtube is unique in that it is the most popular place for people to come to watch videos that are longer than a quick minute. This allows brands to dive into what they are trying to promote or sell on a larger scale.
Creating videos alongside blog posts or reviews is a great way to add something to your website. The ability to comment on videos is another great way to connect customers with your company or brand, making communication easier.
Best For: Businesses that want to learn who is engaging with their ad campaigns
Snapchat ads are another option when it comes to marketing via social media. Videos are temporary and short but can provide a fun, engaging way to communicate with your target audience.
Localized campaigns can benefit from Snapchat ads, making it easy to connect with the audience in real-time. This app provides geofilters and lets you see who is watching your snaps.
To set up your social media marketing initiatives, always remember to prioritize organic content and consistent communication with your audience!
Remember to do your research and learn from other’s mistakes. It’s also essential to consider quality tips offered by those who walked the path before you.
Did you find this article helpful as you begin to develop your social media marketing campaign?
Have any of these social media strategies worked for your business? What tactics were less effective? We would love for you to share your experience in the comments below!
Do you need unique and engaging content to start sharing on your social media marketing campaigns? Word Allies can help craft unique content and extend your brand’s reach Reach out and get started today!
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