It’s the best time in history to start a business. You can scale a business from home with more flexibility than ever. The availability of integrated technology makes it possible to manage and execute a business plan from anywhere in the world. As Ross Kernez of Marble explains that social media marketing is one of the tools every business owner and manager should be using to grow an online presence and reach new customers.
Usage rates, the number of goods and services people buy, and the effectiveness of marketing campaigns have been rocketing straight up on social media. Everyone thought social media was going to be huge when it started a decade ago, but no one saw it becoming this big. Now, platforms like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, and Twitch dominate in many areas of business. What’s more, new social media platforms are constantly launched and evolving the way we research and buy what we need. These services become part of who we are and help us make purchasing decisions that improve our quality of life.
So how can you, as a new business owner or marketer take advantage of social media marketing? Learning the basics takes time, but it must be done. The audiences there and your ability to target likely customers are unmatched, and it’s too important to ignore. Here are 5 critical basics of social media marketing that you need to know.
- Learn About the Different Social Media Channels
You’ve likely heard about most of the popular social media channels. Signing up for their marketing tools and learning how to use them should be your first step. Facebook is always a great place to start because it’s by far the largest name in social media. The ad platform is easy to use and the amount of data on Facebook makes finding the best leads easy. At the very least, every business should have a Facebook business page that’s updated regularly.
You should be putting info on there that helps people:
- Learn about your company
- Watch videos on products
- See Demos
- Read customer reviews
- Find your contact information
The messenger function allows your customers to ask questions and otherwise engage with your company. It can also be a gathering place for fans of your products and services via commenting on posts.
And that’s just Facebook! There are other platforms you can expand to that will grow your business and create a loyal fanbase.
- Understand Your Target Audience
Social media marketing costs money, so you need to spend some time lasering in on who you want to target. This isn’t like paying for a billboard and sending out messages to mass audiences. Social media marketing is about finding people with common interests related to whatever you’re promoting. Understanding your target audience will help you decide what social media platform to focus on. If you’re selling business services, you may want to dedicate a certain amount of time to LinkedIn. If you’re promoting cooking products, Pinterest is a good idea. Your campaigns and where you advertise will depend a lot on what you’re trying to accomplish.
- Curate Your Content
You have to generate a lot of content to build and maintain an audience. Constant engagement is key to successful social media marketing. And that doesn’t mean simply pushing out small pieces regularly. It’s about more than blogging or posting on Instagram. You should have a comprehensive content management plan that works on multiple social media platforms and is the kind of quality your audience is looking for. Great content creates a fantastic customer retention model. People enjoy what you push out and actively seek it out. That’s called inbound marketing, where people come to you versus the other way around.
Use high-quality images in conjunction with any written content you publish. Make any video content personal and relatable. If you’re too busy to make the content yourself, there are tools online you can use to hire experienced content managers to handle everything for you for a price.
- Monitor Your Mentions
Social media helps you monitor and manage your brand image more effectively. Someone on your team should be in charge of monitoring, and even responding, to social media mentions. That goes for both positive and negative mentions. You can maintain a grasp of what your audience is thinking about you. That’s ideal for things like product releases. It enhances your ability to react quickly to issues and build a reputation as a company that cares about its customers.
It’s important, with any social media, to focus on negative mentions the right way. Don’t let them get you down! View them as an opportunity to improve and keep pushing.
- Create a Content Calendar
Starting in social media marketing, you need to have a plan. The best way to do this is to create a content calendar that maps out what you’re publishing and when. If you’re a regular social media user, then you may not need to schedule Instagram posts because you use it all the time and post anyway. However, you should be scheduling blog posts, video content releases, and other social media advertising. This will guarantee you don’t have any large gaps of dead airtime between posts. Your customers will have a constant stream of content they can view, share, and comment on. A social media calendar will also help give you lead time to properly plan and create the right kind of content.