We all know what social media is and many of us even have our favorite platforms that we use daily. Do you use Facebook more or Twitter? Instagram or Snapchat? The list of social media websites is long and the number of social media users continues to grow.
At the end of 2016, there were roughly 2.8 billion people on social media, a 21% increase from 2015. Mobile social media use also grew in 2016, ending with over 2.5 billion mobile users. That’s a lot of potential customers you are missing out on if you don’t engage in social media marketing.
In fact, Hootsuite also reports that 48% of Americans have interacted with at least one brand on social media and that 41% of Americans think it’s important for the businesses they interact with to have a strong social media presence.
While what platform you focus on will depend on your business, being active on at least one social media platform is essential for business success. It gives you an excellent place for you to interact with your customers quickly and helps make you more transparent as a company.
If you are a social media beginner, getting your business pages set up can seem overwhelming. While this article won’t be able to cover everything about social media marketing in depth, following these few steps will help you hit the ground running.
Pick a Social Media Platform, Not All of Them
When you are just starting to try social media marketing, don’t focus on too many platforms at a time. Each individual platform takes a significant amount of time to run properly and trying to stay active on 3, 4, or even 5 networks at a time will burn you out.
Instead, figure out where your audience is. Define who your ideal customers are, figure out what social media platform they spend the most time on, and focus on that one. If it’s Facebook, then focus on Facebook. Twitter? Focus on Twitter. If you put all of your time into marketing on a platform but your audience isn’t there, then what was the point of marketing in the first place?
Fill Out Your Profile(s)
One of the worst things you can do in social media marketing is to leave your profiles empty or incomplete. Social media is all about connecting with people and if your profiles aren’t complete, it’s harder for people to trust you and your business. So make sure everything is filled out properly.
- Use a real photo. (Using a picture of your face will help you appear more trustworthy)
- Write an honest and engaging description of your business. (No one is going to know what you do simply by seeing your name)
- Include a link to your website etc. (After all, you want to convert customers from your social media marketing. Make it easy for your followers to do so)
Share Valuable Information
If you want your social media marketing to be effective, then only share valuable information with your followers. That doesn’t mean that you can only share lengthy text articles about your industry, but your followers don’t need to see every cat and dog video from YouTube either.
You can share articles, quotes, statistics, videos, images, and even jokes and humorous content every once in a while too. Just make sure it’s relevant to you and your audience. Also, make sure to keep it varied to keep your followers coming back.
Post Often But Not Too Much
Most social media posts have a very short lifespan. On Twitter, some even say that the visibility of a Tweet is only 18 minutes. With Facebook’s algorithm, it is hard to predict how long a post will stay relevant because it depends heavily on engagement levels.
Now, imagine if you only posted once a day on a social platform. How many people do you think would see your content? Maybe a few? What would happen if you posted more often though? More people would see your content. When and how often you post will depend on your target audience and when they are active.
Be careful though. If you post too many times in a single day, you will come across as spammy and you’ll actually start losing followers. So take the time to test and determine how often your followers want to hear from you.
When it comes to social media marketing, you often get what you put in. If you put in the time and effort required, you will likely get great results, but it won’t happen overnight. Like anything else in marketing, it will take some time to build up your social media accounts. Don’t be discouraged. Begin with these steps to start your social media marketing journey today.