Social marketing is critical for establishing your brand, advertising your products and building an online community.
Channels like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and Google+ all deliver direct access to a wide range of demographics.
With a well-planned social strategy, even the smallest brands can cultivate an international following, growing their businesses well beyond the limitations of a local market. Want to be one of them? Our in-house experts have put together four invaluable insights to help get you started.
1. Know your audience
According to a study by Pew, 48% of internet users over 65 years of age have a Facebook account. Women use Instagram slightly more than men, 37% of 18−29-year-olds use Pinterest, and LinkedIn is most popular with the 30−49-year-old crowd.
In other words, every channel has a unique user-base that provides marketers with a fantastic opportunity to target content at specific individuals. The best social marketing campaigns understand their audience, tailoring posts to both the platform they’re using and the specific needs of their followers (or a section of those followers).
2. Quality is King
Posting content frequently is critical. Weekly posts on Facebook have been shown to be next to useless, whereas twice-daily posts risk annoying your audience (the sweet spot is between five and 10 posts a week). By contrast, two posts a day on Twitter is key to optimizing engagement, while a YouTube audience is happy with two in a month.
Good strategies meet these demands, posting content regularly to ensure brands stay connected to their followers. Great social strategies understand the importance of quality.
Sharing content simply to make up the numbers is as damaging as not posting at all. Quality content is valuable to your audience; it delivers information and insights they can’t get anywhere else and should form the cornerstone of your social strategy.
3. Stay true to your brand
For many boutique businesses, social media offers the opportunity to expand their following and connect with customers all over the world. It’s important to remember that, for this portion of your audience, your social media content is the only connection they have with your brand.
Branding is about more than logo design and smart marketing. It’s about controlling the public perception of your business, encouraging loyalty and establishing the quality of your products and services. Your social strategy needs to align with your wider marketing and branding activities. All posts, comments and interactions must complement your brand image.
4. Timing matters
Even the best content can fly under the radar if it’s posted at the wrong time. Forbes recently cited early afternoon (between 1 and 3 p.m.) as the peak time for engagement on Facebook, while content posted at 5 p.m. on Twitter was most likely to get retweeted. Not surprisingly, interactions on LinkedIn occurred mostly during business hours.
When you are scheduling content, consider your audience and the response you are hoping to generate with your post. If you’re presenting cutting-edge industry data, don’t post it at 4.30 p.m. on a Friday afternoon when everyone is winding up to go home. Instead, opt for humorous posts and light-hearted imagery that plays to the collective mood.
Winning social media marketing
Creating top-of-mind awareness and generating actionable sales leads is about more than frequent posts and funny memes. Brands have to establish clear objectives and provide unique content that delivers value to their audience and fulfils their business goals. Social media might be an easy platform on which to broadcast, but if you want to master social marketing, you need to have a well-defined strategy in place.