Social media is everywhere taking many forms. While not all channels are right for every business, a social media strategy benefits every organization. In a 2014 study, researchers found that 88% of businesses use some form of social media to market themselves. With so many businesses on social channels, how do you stand out? Read below to discover why you need social media in your marketing plan, how to succeed on each platform, and how 434 Marketing can help you.
Why Do I Need Social Media?
Although social media is one of the most powerful and effective marketing tools available many organizations struggle to use it well. A few of the benefits of having a presence on social media include:
- Increased brand awareness. According to eMarketer, 41% of consumers use social media to learn about new brands.
- Nurturing a relationship. Social platforms give you the ability to answer customer questions quickly and effectively. They also allow for the reposting of user created content. Both of these foster a relationship between your brand and your customer.
- Humanizing your brand. Social media posts often take on a more casual tone than your website, allowing you to develop a social media personality. This not only engages users, but can help you stand out from the competition.
- Learning about your audience. Many social media platforms provide some level of analytics that allow you to monitor the behavior of your users. From this, you can determine which types of content perform best, what time of day your audience is most engaged, how old they are, and more.
- Increased web traffic. Not only does social media help you direct people to your website, but the more social media shares you receive, the higher your search ranking will be.
The best part? Creating and maintaining social channels require no setup costs. There are paid advertising options, but using the platform is completely free.
Facebook is currently the largest social platform, with 1.9 billion unique monthly users. The platform is constantly adding new features and abilities to assist business pages in engaging their customers.Facebook even runs a blog on best practices to give users ideas for content creation. Below are some tips to keep in mind when crafting Facebook posts:
- Users love visual content. In a study of 100 million articles on social platforms, OKDork found that users are more than twice as likely to share a post if it contains at least one image. Facebook users especially love to share famous quotes, memes, fun facts, and comics.
- Videos do well. In 2015, video views on Facebook increased 75%. Videos posted to Facebook don’t need to be complicated, they just need to be engaging. In fact, Facebook Live videos are three times more likely to be viewed than pre-recorded videos, and often require little setup.
- Keep it short and sweet. 40-character Facebook posts receive 86% more engagement over others.
- Ask questions. Users love to answer questions from brands. Their answers may also provide some unique insights.
- Post frequently. Suggested post frequency can vary depending on the size of your following. However, going too long between posts can lead to users forgetting about you between interactions.
Facebook continues to be a powerful platform for a variety of industries. Since it allows text, link, photo, and video posts, it is an extremely versatile tool.
Twitter is currently the most oversaturated social channel. In fact, 53% of users never post any updates, and the average user only spends 2.7 minutes a day on the app. Here are some ways to stand out in the sea of tweets:
- Use relevant hashtags, and use them well. Hashtags should be placed within the text where appropriate and to help the text flow naturally.
- Check spelling. Twitter does not have an edit feature, so once your tweet has been posted, you will need to delete it and start over to fix any errors.
- Include visuals. Twitter supports videos, images, and gifs, providing a wide variety of posting options. Uploading a video straight to Twitter can generate 2.5 times more replies, 2.8 times more Retweets, and 1.9 times more likes as opposed to linking to a third party site.
- Conduct polls. These are a great way to conduct fast market research, get product feedback, and start conversations with your followers. Plus, people find them fun to answer.
While Twitter may seem to be fading away from the spotlight, there are still opportunities to engage your audience. You may just need to experiment with your audience to find what works for them.
53% of Instagram users follow brands, making it prime real estate for your social media content. However, being successful on Instagram involves more than just uploading photos and videos. Here are a few tips to succeed:
- Use high quality images. On such a photo-centric platform, bad photography can cause users to lose trust in your brand.
- Regram. Users love to have their content featured. If a user has a great image involving your company or product, share it on your own account (with permission). This not only improves your relationship with followers, it helps you keep content fresh on your account.
- Engage with your fans. Follow established and active fans, like photos that you are tagged in, and comment on the ones that stand out. If they comment with a question, answer it. These interactions make users feel valued and unique.
- Use hashtags. Create specific hashtags relating to your brand, your event, your products, or your promotion. Promotion-specific hashtags are a powerful tool for measuring the ROI of your campaign while also encouraging engagement.
Instagram is currently the fastest growing social media channel, and should not be ignored in your marketing efforts.
Pinterest is the social channel with the best longevity- the average half life of a pin is 151,200 minutes. Pinterest can be a very helpful tool if used correctly. Below are a few ways to have a successful Pinterest experience:
- Make sure your website is Pinterest friendly. You can integrate a “Pin it” button into posts, and make sure that content has visually engaging images.
- Create engaging boards. No one wants to see a board full of stock product images from your website. Try showing off your products in an engaging way, like Bath & Body Works does.
- Pin other’s pins. While it may seem tempting to only pin things from your website, your boards will tell a better story if they include content from multiple curators.
Pinterest is not for every business, but for highly visual and fashion-related businesses, it should not be ignored.
Can’t I Do This Myself?
Some businesses choose to create and maintain their social media presence on their own. However, creating engaging content, monitoring customer comments and questions, scheduling posts ahead of time, and brainstorming new ideas can take up large amounts of time. Many businesses choose to hire a social media manager to take care of these things for you. At 434 Marketing, you don’t get just a social media manager, you get a team of designers, data analysts, content creators, and project managers to help keep watch over your social channels.
Want to integrate social media into your marketing strategy? We can help! Request your free consultation today.