We don’t need to tell you how huge social media is today. And it’s no surprise then that so many people are also using it for marketing. This can be a great way to boost brand awareness, track what people are saying about you, reach out to your target market directly, and even provide customer service.
However, if you’re to use social media marketing, it’s important to gain a basic understanding of how it all works or hire someone to manage it who does know. So, let’s explore some ideas about understanding social media marketing.
Before you can share on social media, you need to have something to share. This is where content creation comes in. You can share many different types of content on most social media networks these days. Some examples of types of content are images, videos, links, blog posts, and more.
You can share educational content or entertaining content, tell them more about your products and services, host contests or games, and so much more. Your first step to content creation needs to be understanding what type of content will elicit a response from your audience.
One way to do this is to create a marketing persona or a target client avatar. This tells you who you will be reaching out to with your social content in as much detail as possible. Some people get really hung up on this part because they struggle to narrow it down, or they believe their products are for everyone.
But you cannot market effectively to everyone, so creating this persona is valuable in targeting your audience. Remember that you don’t have to keep it forever. You can tweak it over time, but you will want to start with something in the beginning. How can you make content and posts that hit their mark when you don’t know what the target is?
Social Media Strategy and Planning
Before you dig too much deeper, you need to learn more about social media strategy and content planning. While creating a persona is part of your marketing strategy, there are also many other parts. A social media marketing plan is going to help you know necessary steps like:
- Who you’re marketing to
- What networks to use
- What type of content to create
- When and how often to publish
- How to track your data
- And much more
Your social media strategy will use the data available to help you make the most of your time and budget with the social networks on which you choose to market. Planning usually starts with having a consistent presence on social media.
Therefore, if your business has no presence at all, your first step is to create profiles on the networks you wish to be on and build those profiles up a bit. Unless you are a very large brand, it could take some time to start gaining followers and interaction. But first, you need to create your profiles, so your presence is there.
It’s essential to fill out all available sections and choose high-quality photos of your branding (or yourself, if it’s a personal brand). People should be able to look and, with just a quick glance, identify the branding. Staying consistent across all networks you make a presence on is also important. It will make it easier for people to see your avatar or logo and instantly recognize your brand.
What to Post and Publish
Once your profiles are created, how do you know what to publish on your accounts? It could be as simple as sharing a blog post, a quick tip, an image of your product, or even a video to your social media network.
Different networks are designed for different types of content, and on some, you can share any kind. You also want to know what types of content appeal most to your target audience. Then, you can create content in the format they interact with the most. It’s as simple as giving them more of what they want.
In addition to knowing what to post, you need to know the best times to publish. In fact, timing and frequency will be a vital part of your social media marketing plan. You can use built-in tools or third-party scheduling tools to help you post content at the ideal times for your target market. This frees you up to do other things in your business and not be tied to social media all day.
However, you do need to come back later to monitor comments and questions or hire a social media manager to keep an eye on your accounts for you.
Listening and Engagement
Next, you want to see what others are saying about your brand on social media. This is an incredibly valuable tool available to you if only you learn how to use it correctly. People will comment on your posts, share them, tag you on other posts, or even talk about your brand with friends.
Monitoring these conversations about your brand is a great way to learn valuable information about what people are saying. You can offer support for problems before they get out of hand, or just pop in and surprise some nice customers by acknowledging them.
You can also use data from listening and engagement tracking to help you with analytics, which will also include valuable data about how your social media is truly performing for you. It’s a waste of time and effort to post just for the sake of posting and not to track how those posts are doing for you. Strategy will absolutely be your key to understanding social media marketing and being successful with your efforts.