Social media connects people to one another—to loved ones, companies, and complete randoms who post entertaining content. Especially right now, we rely on it to feel connected to others and maintain relationships while hunkering down at home.
And for some businesses, it may be the only form of communication they have with their customers.
Social media matters, for everybody.
Whether you love it or hate it, it’s a critical piece of your marketing communication strategy. And if you’re not on social, do you really exist?
Here’s 5 keys to effective social media marketing
1. Do your research
Social media is constantly changing–new technologies, channels, and algorithms are released weekly and it’s up to you to monitor those changes and adapt accordingly.
Stay on top of new features within the platforms you use. Subscribe to newsletters like AdWeek, Ad Age, Social Media Today, and Marketing Dive to get updates on what the big brands are doing. Go to social media explore pages to find trending hashtags or topics. Find out where your followers are and when they’re most active.
Do the leg work that most are too lazy to do. It’ll be worth it if you want to effectively connect to your current customers, increase brand recognition, reach new audiences, and ultimately gain new customers.
2. Develop a killer plan
Determine your social media objective, whether it’s to connect with customers, build brand awareness, or spread the word about your product or service. Then decide how often you need to post on each platform—this will help with accountability and scheduling.
Create a campaign plan including specific weekly or monthly focus points. Make sure you browse local events or national holidays that you may want to promote. Put together a monthly content calendar at least a month ahead of time in order to determine resources needed, like social images, videos, or new blogs.
While it’s tempting to post the same thing on all your platforms, it’s best to tailor unique content for each platform which requires more planning than you’d think.
Adopt a handy social media scheduling tool like Buffer so you can automate your publishing and monitor results. We use it, and love it!
3. Interact with your customers and local businesses
It’s not enough to just post. Look beyond the likes and think about your target audience. How do you expect people to engage with your content if you don’t return the favor?
Get started with these social media engagement strategies:
- Use a friendly tone that encourages your audience to provide feedback
- Follow local businesses and show their posts some love
- Respond to customers who comment on your posts (have fun with it!)
- Ask your followers for their opinion or preference on new ideas
- Join local groups and start conversations with folks in your industry
Show your network there’s a real person behind the social page as a way to humanize your organization. And remember – talk WITH your audience, not AT them.
4. Track and measure results
Measure the success of your posts and identify the types of posts that get less engagement or reach. Find spots where your customers are failing to complete the intended action. Are there certain days or times that perform better than others? Do posts with pictures and/or links get more interaction?
Here are some key metrics to monitor:
- Engagement (clicks, likes, comments, and shares)
5. Be authentic and true to your brand
Nobody likes a poser. Be true to your brand identity through all your interactions on social. People like to see real people in the wild. So post pictures of your customers and employees—with their permission, of course!
Post mostly original content that adheres to your brand voice. Consult your brand steward to ensure your social media branding is right on track. In our case, it’s our creative director who designed the logo and brand assets. And lastly, always have your brand positioning top of mind.
Maybe you understand the importance of effective social media marketing, but you just can’t find the time. We get it, social media can be a lot to keep up with. Luckily, Outmark has a whole team of social experts who can tweet like there’s no tomorrow.
If you could use a helping hand to do the nitty-gritty research, plan your social strategy, and crank out posts, look no further!