Chances are you’re using social media to market yourself or your business without a true plan or true understanding of why and how. The thing is that social media changes at all times, so sometimes we feel as if we must hop on that new social network before we get left behind. This often results in a bad strategy (or no strategy) and little to no ROI. So, before you dive into the deep end of the pool, we’ll discuss what is social media marketing, as well as its basics so that you can be 100% certain that you’ve got a good foundation to build a strong social media presence that is able to convert.
What is Social Media Marketing?
According to Wikipedia:
Social media are computer-mediated online tools that allow people, companies, and other organizations, including non-profit organizations and governments, to create, share, or exchange information, career interests, ideas, and pictures/videos in virtual communities and networks.
You and I know it is a lot more than that, and that’s the reason that 96% of marketers use social media to promote their clients or business. They’d be silly not to. We define “social media marketing” as “the process of generating website traffic from social media sites” (if you want to see more social media terms, just check out the Social Media Terms Every SMM Needs to Know). The whole idea is to utilize social media sites (like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest) to build awareness about your brand, spot and connect with audiences, convert these audiences to your desired action, and to build relationships with these customers so that you reduce churn. Basically, we think Social Media should be a way you can help your business to be profitable. Needless to say, Social Media is incredibly important to business and can be seriously powerful when used correctly.
Why Social Media Marketing Is Important
If you are reading this article you are probably a digital marketer trying to find a way to explain why Social Media Marketing is important to clients, or you are a business that knows social media marketing is important to your business, but you’re just not sure of exactly how and how to use it. Here are a few key points for you:
- Pull Marketing: Social Media allows you to truly understand your audience or customers AND once you have achieved this, you can engage them to build a relationship.
- Customer Support: Your customers don’t want to go to your website to search for a contact form to send an email and have to wait for you. They would prefer to go to a social network like Twitter where they know the message was sent, received, and that it is public so they can get a response.
- Industry Research: Social media makes it easy to stay on top of what your competition is doing.
- Find New Customers: You can get out there and find customers using social media marketing.
- Branding: Craft content to build your brand.
- Cost: Social Media Marketing is very inexpensive when compared to traditional marketing (print or television).
- 90% of businesses find that Social Media has increased the exposure of their business
- 77% of businesses see increased web traffic from Social Media posts
- 50% of marketers say Social Media increases sales
- 69% of marketers say Social Media helps with customer loyalty
- 75% of consumers say Social Media affects their purchases
- 66% of Social Media marketers see lead gen increase with 6 hours of social media use
Creating a Social Media Marketing Plan
Now that you understand the importance of Social Media Marketing to your business, you need a plan. You would not plan a trip without having a flight, a hotel, and planning excursions. It’s the same with social media marketing. You need to set goals, plans, and measurement tactics in order to succeed. You can click here for a thorough article on how to create a social media marketing plan, but these are the basics you will need to get started:
- Decide on social media goals
- Refine Your Goals
- Audit your current social media
- Choose your social media platforms
- Create or enhance your social accounts
- Ascertain that your bios and look are consistent throughout
- Study what industry leaders, competitors, and clients are doing
- Create an editorial calendar
- Create the content for your calendar
- Figure out the best posting times for each account
- Automate evergreen content
- Identify influencers to engage
- Come up with ways to measure your results
Choosing Your Goals
You need goals. If you don’t have goals you won’t be able to structure your social media marketing plan. You also won’t have a way to measure results. The question here is: what is a good social media goal. Your goals should not be “I want to make sales with social media”. This is too broad. The goals you pick should be specific, easy to measure, reachable, and timely.
You could set goals such as “I want 100 retweets per post”, this is fine, but it is not a good goal. Your goals should be more specific and always geared towards reaching your ROI. Better goals would include. A better goal would be something like “Increase social click thru to my landing page by 20%”. This goal is pretty specific, it deals directly with your ROI and is easily measurable (Google Analytics, Bitly, or Statcounter can all help you here).
Choose Your Social Media Tools
Social Media is incredibly time-consuming. This is why you will need some good, reliable social media tools. These are some of our favorites (outside of Socialdraft):
- Google Analytics: Use this tool to track click-throughs from social media to your website
- Easel.ly: Nice tool to easily make infographics
- Bitly: Use this to shorten links and get analytics on a particular link. Bitly is compatible with Socialdraft.
- Socialdraft: Allows you to Schedule to the major social networks, pull reports, and collaborate with team members.
- Rapportive: Let’s you get social information from emails sent to you in Gmail.
- CSV Bulk Scheduler: Socialdraft allows you to bulk schedule content to your social media networks. This is a fantastic way to save time.
Useful Social Media Tips
- Use hashtags. They can help you when you need to find a piece of content. They also help you get found and are a great way to check what your competition is doing.
- Ask questions. This is the easiest way to get engagement. People love to chime in.
- Create videos. Video is getting significantly more engagement and reach across networks.
- Engage. Social media is not about creating content. You must create content, but the ROI will come once you begin to engage in conversations.
- Be active on a consistent basis. The worst thing you can do on social media is to miss posting and engaging. When this happens, algorithms tend to kick in and your audience will forget about you.
How to Manage your Social Media Accounts
Socialdraft is an all-in-one Dashboard that helps you manage multiple Social Media Accounts. It is the most robust and simple tool for agencies and teams to effectively handle social media. With Socialdraft you can:
Schedule posts to Facebook pages, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn Business Pages (and one LinkedIn account) and Pinterest Boards
Schedule posts individually, as recurring posts, or bulk upload them as CSV
Easily re-schedule with a drag & drop action
Schedule GIFs to Facebook and Twitter
Download content calendars as PDF
Find content on Instagram and easily schedule reposts not just to Instagram but to all other social networks
Engage on Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin
Download Facebook and Twitter reports
and tons more…
If you are curious about Socialdraft, take it for a risk-free trial. You’ll get to try out all the features and decide if Socialdraft is right for you.