Over 50 billion businesses are on social media channels. Many are on multiple social media sites.
But just how many of these social media accounts sit dormant with limited followers and engagement? It’s not hard to stumble upon these business pages if you try. These accounts simply don’t know how to do social media marketing strategy the right way.
That’s because just being on social networks doesn’t attract even existing customers to follow you or share your posts. They may love your staff, services, or products. But if you don’t give them a reason to engage online, they won’t do it.
Learn how to do social media marketing the right way. Delight these existing customers. Engage potential customers at the same time. Increase revenues and maximize profits. Achieve social media success.
Here’s what you need to know about how to do social media marketing and get results.
Step 1: Build a Quality Following
An effective social media marketing strategy all starts with who you’re attracting. If you have a low-quality following, one of two things happen.
One, you get very poor engagement. You only get 1-2 likes or shares on any given post, if that. You get very few comments, which are a key sign of a disengaged audience.
Two, you get the engagement. People seem to love your posts. But it’s not translating to increases in revenue.
Either way, you have an engagement problem. If either of these is the state of your social media profiles, then it will be hard to show that you’re getting any real business benefit from your social media campaign. The truth is that social media is just a hobby that you’re doing on your company time and budget.
But it doesn’t have to be this way if you know how to do social media marketing the right way.
How to Build a Quality Following
To get a quality social media following, get clear on who your target audience is. It’s not everyone on Facebook, YouTube, Tumblr, or Snapchat. It’s a relatively narrow group of people. Build each post with these people in mind.
Delight people by making quality content that feels very custom to their experiences and pain points. Keep them coming back for more.
Now that’s how to do social media marketing!
Do you want to know how to create a sound social media marketing plan and get results? Know how much you have to spend on your marketing efforts and where you need to spend it. Social media may feel like “free” advertising. But it’s far from that. There are costs. Understanding them will determine your success.
Otherwise, overspending is inevitable. On top of the overspending, social media marketers that don’t budget often fail to realize that something isn’t working. They keep throwing money at it.
And worst of all, without a budget, businesses find themselves treading water. Their own social media profile is performing so-so, which gives them hope. But it’s not getting any better.
Social media marketing is strategic. It’s not just random sharing posts or tweets and hoping for the best. It’s efficient and targeted. Create a social media budget for your marketing campaigns to know exactly where the money’s going and why.
What Goes into a Social Media Budget
Every social media budget will include some key elements, which you either pay for in time and/or money.
- Content Creation – Someone needs to create content. This should include comprehensive types of content such as videos, memes, free template, blog posts, infographics, webinars, slideshows, landing pages, etc.
- Research, Split Testing & Analytics – Someone needs to research what will be effective. They may need to run tests between two options to maximize results. They then need to measure the social media metrics and learn from them.
- Day-to-Day Social Media Management – A person will need to manage the posts, respond to comments and queries and deliver a consistent experience. You can use some of the best social media management tools for this such as HootSuite, Buffer, HubSpot, Sprout Social and more.
- Automation – Automation reduces repetitive, monotonous tasks. At the same time, it improves consistency. You can also utilize some social media tools for this task.
- Social Media Advertising – It’s nearly impossible to build a social media following or maximize your presence without paid advertising.
Get results by tracking your time and money expenses in each of these categories. If you’re unsure what these things cost, it’s easy to do some online research. Or get a quote from a social media marketing agency.
The more closely you track these expenses each month, the easier it will be to allot the appropriate money in each category.
That’s how to do social media marketing on a budget.
Step 3: Have Clear Goals
What do you want social media networks to do for you? “I want it to increase my profits”, you might say. But just like anything in business, you need a clear path to get there. To increase profits, you need to take some incremental steps. Here are the basic ones that social media addresses.
- Increase Reach Among Your Target Audience – Get your brand in front of more people who are likely customers. If no one is seeing your profile, website, or business online, you have to tackle this goal before you can proceed.
- Build Brand Awareness – How do you want to be known online? How will you get people to remember you? Do you want to be known as an influencer in your industry? What will make them think of your brand when they need what you offer?
- Increase Engagement – Social media only works if you get the audience engaged. This offers others “social proof”. Social proof is like a magnet attracting more potential customers.
- Lead Generation – If you sell a product/service that isn’t cheap, you may need to generate leads that you can nurture in a more personalized way through your salesperson or email marketing.
- Quick Sales/Signups – If you sell a product or service that takes a little less forethought, then you can go for the quick sale. But this will be most effective after you’ve done one and two.
- Increasing Customer Value (CLV) – Social media is a great place to re-engage existing customers to encourage them to spend more.
Take it step-by-step. Each step builds on the last. You’ll continually feed the pipeline by applying strategies to meet each of these 6 basic goals.
While social media may look like a free way to reach your audience, few companies find any success without putting some money into paid social media advertising.
Just like social media marketing, social media advertising helps you meet your major social media goals.
Use paid advertising to:
- Build Your Following
- Increase Engagement
- Generate Leads
- Make Quick Sales
- Re-engage Existing Customers
Step 5: Know that Engagement Is a Two-Way Street
Many businesses that are trying to figure out how to do social media marketing find themselves “talking at” people. “Check out our blog post”. “See our new products”. And so on.
While some of this is okay, it’s important to realize that social media is first and foremost a place where people come to be social. If they feel like your brand is “talking at them”, they’ll tune you out. You’ll lose followers or never gain them. You’ll have low engagement.
Instead, learn how to do social media marketing right and start a conversation between you and your target audience. Keep in mind that the ability to have interaction is what makes social media platforms popular among users worldwide. So you, as a social media marketer, shouldn’t wait for your followers to interact with your brand first. Take the initiative to create engagement by building a community for your audience. You can do this by ending your posts with either call-to-action or questions. Don’t forget to also respond to the comments and messages that you receive.
Here are some more things that you can do to start an interaction:
- Having conversational copy
- Interacting with followers. Follow back. Like. Share something when it aligns well with your brand.
- Answering messages promptly
- Responding to comments
- Incorporating images, videos, emojis and other more engaging posts
Step 6: Create Content Your Followers Love
What kind of content wows your audience? What makes them want to engage with you? How does this content further your business goals?
Creating a content calendar that people love and that aligns well with your brand isn’t that easy. It all starts by making sure you know who your customers are. Research who they engage with? How do they engage? Where do they engage? What kinds of content are they engaging with?
You’ll be building your content around what you find out. An Internet research firm GlobalWebIndex found that people use social media for these reasons.
Find ways to align these reasons with your target audience and brand. Build your content around these 3 components. That’s how you’ll create more social media content that your audience loves. Note that 29% of people are on social media to research brands and find things to buy. But this shouldn’t be your only angle.
How can you build content around some of these other reasons…?
- News/Events (41%)
- Filling spare time (39%)
- Sharing their own videos/pictures (32%)
Whatever you decide to do, make sure it can clearly relate back your brand. Creating and sharing funny memes that have little do with your brand may get a lot of likes. But are they furthering your brand goals? Are they taking another step toward a sale? That’s something you’ll need to figure out by reviewing your social media analytics.
Step 7: Automate to Maximize Your Time & Performance
A lot of businesses are running their social media management very inefficiently. They don’t even know it. You don’t have to be one of them. And that gives you the competitive advantage.
They don’t realize that there are automation tools that can cut hours or days off their work. Since time is money, this is costing them a lot more money that they could have spent on an automation tool.
Automation tools streamline social media management by:
- Making sure social media content posts at the best time. If you can only “do” social media one day a week, this allows you to schedule posts throughout the week. You still need to log on several times a day to engage with your audience. But it does automate a major function.
- Helping you curate ideas. You might be scouring the Internet to find things to post about. Automation lets you set parameters to bring the best ideas to use.
- Posting to multiple platforms at once. If you’re on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, you can share to all three at once, in real-time through automation. However, note that these platforms aren’t used the same way by users. You’ll need to use some discretion with how you post and what you post to all 3.
There are many other ways that automation helps you save time and engage the audience more consistently. The more advanced tools can be cost-prohibitive for small businesses so it’s important to do your research.
Commit to learning to use the software to get the most out of it. Or work with a digital marketing agency that will already have state-of-the-art automation and know-how to put it to work for you.
Step 8: Boost Posts to Maximize Returns
If you have a post that got a lot of engagement among your followers, you may be sitting on a gold mine. If you have a high-quality following, these followers are representative of your target audience. Make the most of this by boosting posts that your fans really liked.
If the post had 1,000 impressions and received 20 engagements, imagine what can happen if you boost it to 10,000 impressions!
Boosting is a great way to reach new potential customers. But follow some very important rules to get the best results.
- Don’t boost posts that only existing customers appreciate. For example, a bunch of customers liked and shared a post about your employees. It’s very likely that this engagement came from the fact that they knew the employee because they do business with you. This might not get the same engagement with strangers.
- Don’t boost posts that link to other people’s websites. It’s common for a business to share the content of others with their followers. But it doesn’t make sense to boost a post that drives traffic to someone else’s website..
- Do target narrowly. Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter let you decide who gets the boosted post. If you’re local, only target locally. The group that sees the ad should closely resemble your quality followers.
- Consider look-alike audiences. Facebook/Instagram can show the ad to people who have similarities to your followers. If you have very engaged followers, this is one of the best ways to boost a post.
Step 9: Be Consistent
Social media can seem overwhelming. There’s just so much content and so many people. Because of that, it feels like you can just get lost in the crowd. You may think people won’t really notice if you post a lot one week and then disappear for a couple weeks.
Plan your time accordingly. A study done by Vertical Response shows the varying pieces to social media marketing that are the most time consuming.
The fact is that they do notice how consistent you are. And the more consistent you are with posting times, frequency, branding and quality assurance the faster you’ll get results. If you treat your businesses social media management like a hobby that you just do in your spare time, it’s impossible to get traction.
Any time you do spend ends up being a waste of time.
Make social media a priority. Plan specific times to do various tasks and stick with it. Work to be consistent and start seeing returns on your investment.
Step 10: Increase Customer Lifetime Value
Image courtesy of Invesp
Where are you placing your focus? If you’re a brand new business it makes sense that you’d be spending more time and money acquiring new customers. But once you have begun to attract new customers, you need to know how to do social media marketing to retain those customers. You’ll want to explore how to get them to buy again sooner.
Existing customers are much more likely to buy new products and buy from you again. But if you’re not focused on retaining these customers and re-engaging them, they will likely go elsewhere.
How to Use Social Media to Re-engage Customers
In addition to consistently publishing content that people love, use Facebook to retarget customers and “almost” customers.
Facebook Ads Manager lets you show very targeted ads to these individuals on Facebook, Instagram and Facebook’s affiliate partner websites.
You can use this system to show ads to:
- Existing contacts. Securely upload your customer contact list to Facebook. Facebook will find that person on Facebook and show them your ad.
- People who visited your website. These may be customers or people who are “this close” to becoming customers. Because they recognize your brand, they’re more likely to see your ads and click them. And Adobe’s study found that they’re around 400X more likely to click. Retargeting individuals in this way can double your revenues.
- People who follow you. Sometimes people follow. Then they disappear. This is a way to re-engage followers who lost interest.
When targeting these individuals, keep in mind that they aren’t strangers. Approach them in a friendly way to build trust and earn that sale.
Some studies have shown that if you can increase customer retention by just 5%, it will increase profits by as much as 95%. Keeping these existing customers engaged and buying without feeling intrusive is how to do social media marketing at its best.
You have the following. You have great engagement. It’s important that you have clear strategies to turn this into actual revenues for your business. You should be able to clearly see how your social media contributes to revenues. If you’re having trouble proving social media ROI, that’s not how to do social media marketing.
To turn social media engagement into tangible revenues, some of your social media posts should lead back to your website. Once on your website, you can more easily turn a visitor into a paying customer.
- Add links to blog posts in your social media posts.
- Lead people back to a landing page with an offer.
- Run a contest to exchange contact information for a chance to win. 77% of people prefer email when businesses want to communicate with them. Once you have an email address you can nurture this lead in a more personalized way.
- Showcase new products or services.
Step 12: Use Analytics to Improve Your Performance
Google Analytics and the analytics on the social media platform will be your guide. They tell you what’s working and what’s a waste of time.
Every audience and industry is a little different. It’s important not to make assumptions. Blindly following online gurus who tout impressive results from doing “this one thing” isn’t how to do social media marketing. After applying any strategies you learn online, watch the results.
Analytics will quickly tell you if you’re on the right track. What should you be measuring?
In social media management, some of the important measurements to track include:
- Net followers increase – how many new followers are you attracting minus ones you’re losing. If you have a low-quality following, then you might see a downward trend as you try to improve the quality of your following.
- Impressions – how many people are seeing your posts
- Engagement rate
- Profile visits/views
In Google Analytics, you need to see:
- Where traffic is coming from – Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google Search, etc. This helps you understand where you’re doing things right with social media and which platform may be worth spending more time on.
- How much traffic comes from social media
- What people do when they reach your website – This is measured in Time on Page, Length of Session, and Bounce Rate. Bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who leave without clicking on anything on your web page. How people interact can help you learn if you’re attracting people who actually appreciate your website and business.
- What paths people take through your website. – What pages are people landing on? Are they going where you want them to go (e.g.,. contact page, booking page, sales page, etc.?
- Demographics – Are you attracting your target audience?
In a final bit of analytics, determine how much of your revenues are being generated through social media activity.
There’s a lot more to social media marketing than meets the eye. Learning how to do social media marketing effectively inevitably takes time and money as you’re figuring things out. But there are clear and proven strategies that you can apply to get results faster with less wasted time and money.
Make sure you have a budget and follow it. Set clear goals. Work through them step by step. Leverage paid advertising. And put an appropriate focus on retaining and re-engaging existing customers and fans.
Are you getting amazing results with social media like our clients? Can you clearly see how it contributes to increased revenues and customer retention? If not, it’s time to get serious about social media marketing. Get a return on your investment. Work with a proven social media management company that gets results for clients. Contact us to schedule a consultation today.