This article won’t tell you how to use hashtags, how to analyze data from your posts, or how to optimize social media for search engines. However, what we will tell you is so much more than that. Before you dive straight into social marketing for your business, there are some essentials that you should remember.
1. Find Platforms That Work For Your Business
There are more social media platforms in existence than you have time to keep up with. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Linkedin and Google+ are used the most by businesses, but others such as Youtube, Vine and Snapchat can also be important or helpful. It all depends on your business, target audience, time to invest and type(s) of content. Not only should you learn about the differences in these platforms, but you should invest time into only the few that fit your needs the best.
2. Create a Social Media Marketing Strategy
Don’t go in blind. Have an idea of what you will be posting for the next few days, or preferably have an even longer period of time planned out. This in no way means that you should allow your account to become robotic, but it saves you a lot of time, effort and daily stress. You should still check the accounts often, perhaps daily, so that you can respond to comments, shares, retweets and other mentions of your account. Show those who are looking at your accounts that your pages are not only active—they’re run by human beings!
3. Advertising is an Option for a Reason—Use it.
On websites such as Facebook and Linkedin, the ability to advertise is a blessing. It may seem frivolous to some, but they’re wrong. Ads give you the ability to target a specific audience, which makes the content that you put out even more effective. Furthermore, they widen your reach more than what any amount of posts can achieve. Every time someone interacts with your advertisement, it is shared with their friends. This in turn leads to higher SEO ratings, which widens your reach even further. All of these factors are what leads to more and more people viewing your business social media page.
4. Pictures are more important than you think.
Your audience will not connect with text all of the time. Images grab their attention and make them look at your content a lot closer than they would have if it were just text. This is because the brain processes images a lot faster than any other form of visual information. The human brain can process images in as little as 13 miliseconds, since this is the exact task that your brain performs all day, every day. Text, on the other hand, takes more time to process. The audience scans text quickly, not completely comprehending all that is said right away. This can cause them to simply skip over your content and move on to the next. In short, posts with images send a stronger message in a short amount of time, and therefore are more likely to be shared.
5. Deliver Content Consistently
Social media management is not just busywork to complete when you get a free moment—it’s necessary to make your efforts be of any use. You have to establish a following and increase engagement with your posted content. The easiest way to do this is to post relevant, interesting content on a daily basis. Do not skip the weekends. Do not skip the holidays. These posts should go up when your target audience is checking their accounts and you can find when they go online through analytics. In most cases, the social media network that you’re using hosts their own analytics natively. Then, you can use free management tools such as Buffer, Hootsuite and Tweetdeck to make use of this information. This way, you can schedule posts to go out when your audience will most likely be online.
When it comes to being successful on social media, you’ll find different strategies and tricks everywhere you look. Every company under the sun thinks that their strategy is the best one out there, and they have no problem telling you what you should and shouldn’t do. This doesn’t mean that their strategies are right, however, as a lot of people like to act as if they are experts in social media marketing, when they are anything but. If you want to know the essentials, search out sources that practice the techniques they promote. The fact that you’re reading this proves that you’re already moving in the right direction of marketing your business; you just need some guidance and we’ve got you covered.
What do you think is important for marketing your business through social media? Let us know in the comments.
*This blog post was written by one of our Summer Interns & Content Creators, Rebecca Fishman.