Is it just me or does it seem like everyone and their mother is interested in marketing some product or service on social media? From the constant self-promotion of multi-level marketing companies to the viral tweets of fast-food chains, all levels, sizes and types of businesses are taking advantage of social media. But why? How come some businesses thrive on social media while others flop? And do I really need to make accounts on all of the social media platforms for my business? Today we are going to cover these topics in our in-depth look at why and how to use social media for your business.
Why Social Media?
Some of you old-school marketers or business owners might be wondering: why should I use social media? Traditional marketing has worked just fine for me in the past, why fix what isn’t broken? The simple answer is because you need to be where your customers are. Just like the invention of the billboard marketing on social media is simply a creative way to meet your audience where they are.
When marketers discovered that people were spending a lot of time in their cars they started putting billboards on the side of the road. Now, people are spending a lot of their time on their phones and often that means scrolling through social media. This actually ends up being great news for marketers. First of all, social media is free which means you can use your marketing budget more effectively. Next, we have seen that people interact with brands online more than they do in any other media. For that reason, social media is a great way to build brand awareness and loyalty. It can also be an effective lead generation tool. What does this mean for you? It simply means that social media can have a significant impact on your bottom line.
Where do I start?
Just like any other marketing campaign the first thing that you need to do when you are creating your online presence is to set goals. I recommend using the acronym SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely) to help with this. It is important to think about what you want to achieve so that you can make a plan to achieve it. You wouldn’t pay for a TV commercial without knowing what you were going to put on it. You would create that commercial with an intentional message, audience and goal. The same thought and care needs to be put into crafting your company’s online presence.
Some good jumping off points for creating your marketing goals could be to examine your audience. Does your product do well with Gen Z? Millennials? Boomers? Are you more focused on females or males? Is your product one that needs to be shown or would talking about it be just as effective? If you are able to answer these types of questions you probably have a good handle on what your target demographic looks like. The next step in creating your goals would be to decide where to go from here? Are you looking to expand within your demographic? Appeal to a new audience? Launch a new product? Establishing this clear purpose for your marketing campaign will help you decide which social media platforms to use and how.
Your first instinct might be to make a social media page for your company on every platform that you can get your hands on and start posting like mad. Or maybe you have no idea which platform to choose so you don’t want to make any accounts. The good news is that you don’t need an account on every social media platform to have a good social media presence. And, you don’t need to post every day or multiple times per day. I know your time is precious so let’s talk about the best way to use it and to maximize your effectiveness on social media.
Remember those goals that we just talked about? Here is where they come in handy. Each platform is different and can help you to achieve your goals in different ways. For example, if you want to target Gen Z you might want to make a TikTok for your brand. Or maybe you are a company that depends on business to business relationships. For that, I would recommend making a LinkedIn account and networking there. No matter what your goal there is at least one social media site that will help you to reach your audience. You also do not need to make a social media account for all of the sites. If it doesn’t make sense for your brand to be on one of the sites then don’t do it. Quality is more important than quantity here.
As I mentioned before, each site requires different types of content. Let’s take a look at a few popular sites and discuss what to post and how often to do it. Now, the general rule that I want to give you as a business owner is to post at least once per week. For platforms like TikTok and Youtube that is probably a good pace. Other platforms might require posting more often than that. For instance, on Instagram or Facebook you might do well to post once per day. For a platform like Twitter posting multiple times per day might be the best strategy. The important thing to keep in mind is that you want your audience to be reminded of you often but you do not want to dominate their feed. The easiest way to have people stop following you is by bombarding their feed with advertisements. Speaking of, when creating content think 80-20. You want to “Use 80% of your content to inform, educate, or entertain your audience. Use the other 20% to promote your brand or sell your products” (Hootsuite Social Media Tips).
But how do I organize all of these posts that I am supposed to be doing? I have other things that I need to take care of! Well, it turns out that many social media platforms actually allow you to schedule your posts in advance. A great way to take care of your social media presence is to create a content calendar (basically a plan of what you will post and when). Once you have created that calendar you can pick on day per week to schedule all of your posts. Then you can sit back and relax! Or more likely you can go back to the other million things that you need to do in a day. A word of warning, don’t sit back too much. You need to be sure to respond to any customer who reaches out after seeing your posts. Afterall, the point of marketing is customer creation.
Social media can seem daunting to a new user. There are so many platforms and things you can do. But that is also the beauty of social media. You are free to create your brand in a way that truly expresses what you are all about. My biggest piece of advice is to just take a deep breath. No matter what platform(s) you choose or how often you decide to post you will still be taking a step toward brand awareness, customer creation and customer loyalty. That’s great! No matter what you are working toward your goals. It’s also okay to reach out and ask for help. Here at Jonajo we have an experienced marketing and design team who are happy to lead you in the right direction. All you have to do is ask!
Now get out there and start posting!