Where do you go to find your prospects and attract them to your business?
But to do social media marketing right, you have to follow a set of strategies that work for this unique medium, and these strategies may change depending on the social media platform you use.
We’ll help you decide on what social media channels you should consider and what strategies you should use for them.
But let’s start by defining exactly what social media marketing is.
What Is Social Media Marketing?
Social media marketing is one of the most important forms of marketing your business can do.
Social media marketing is one form of inbound marketing. Instead of pushing ads out to people, social media lets you provide valuable content and make meaningful connections that engage prospects and draws them closer to your brand.
It’s a gentle form of marketing that’s all about forming relationships with your audience to generate leads and nurture them into customers.
Creating social media marketing content will be your primary strategy to achieve your goals.
And this content can be spread to various social media platforms, depending on where your prospects are hanging out and what they prefer to see.
The first step you’ll want to take is determining what social media platforms you’re going to commit to.
Which Social Media Platforms Should You Use?
There are many social media platforms but not all of them should be used for marketing.
For most businesses, sticking to 1–3 core platforms is enough.
Too many, and you run the risk of overextending your marketing efforts, spreading yourself too thin, and not making the meaningful connections that matter so much.
We break down some of the most popular social media platforms below and give you some insights into what they’re all about and if they would be the right fit for your business.
Facebook marketing is crucial for all businesses. No matter what you sell, you should have a Facebook presence.
It’s easily the most popular social media marketing platform. With over 2.4 billion users, you’ll find many of your prospects here.
It’s free and easy to create a Facebook “page” for your business or brand that Facebook users can like and interact with.
Pages are like a personal profile but for your business. Your audience can like and comment and interact with your page, which is where Facebook marketing really shines.
Facebook is like a cocktail party — it’s about casual, relaxed fun. If you’re here, you should be engaging in conversations with prospects, liking and commenting on their comments, posting memes and GIFs, and showing your prospects a good time.
Pinterest is a rapidly growing social media platform that’s all about images, boasting 322 million active users a month.
Where Facebook is a mix of all media, Pinterest prioritizes eye-catching graphics, photos, infographics, and videos.
Retail, food, fashion, and health businesses thrive on this platform.
With Pinterest, you get a “pinboard” where you can “pin” social media marketing content. Think of these as Facebook posts that are image-driven.
When you create a pin, you will select an image for it, create a description of what the pin is about, and link to back to your website with the content (if you want, you could also just create native Pinterest content).
Prospects will be scrolling through their feed, see your pin, click on it to see more, read your description, and may even click through to your website. This is ideal because you’re siphoning traffic from social media back to your website where you have a higher chance of converting them into leads.
The vast majority (81%) of Pinterest users are female, so if that’s your target demographic, this is the ideal social media marketing platform for you.
Twitter has grown to be one of the biggest and most popular social media networks in the world with 330 monthly active users.
You can create a free account for your business and begin sending out “tweets” — 208-character limited posts that can include text, images, and videos.
Brands engaged in entertainment, sports, politics, and marketing gain tremendous value from this social media platform.
Prospects can follow your Twitter account and like and comment on your tweets.
Twitter is highly engaged and can be a brilliant place to build your following, but it can also be fierce. Facebook users can be contentious and unkind towards brands as well, but Twitter allows a multitude of voices to comment and weigh-in on a single post or the conduct of an entire business.
This platform thrives on interaction — which means you should be prepared to interact with followers as often as possible.
Some brands even commit to customer service through Twitter, which many users now expect.
If you can commit to daily tweets and constant engagement, Twitter will allow you to grow a rapid following that converts many users into prime leads.
LinkedIn is the premier social network for professionals and businesses and has 310 million monthly active users, 61 million of whom are in senior positions at their respective companies.
If you market towards decision-makers, then LinkedIn is the most important social media platform to use.
Your LinkedIn profile will be business forward, showcasing precisely what you do and how you solve problems for your target market. You can create posts that are shared, liked, and commented on by your prospects. And you can do strategic outreach using LinkedIn’s inboxes for directly connecting with your audience.
YouTube is the 2nd-largest social media network in the world with over 2 billion monthly users and 30 million daily users.
Some of you may not have considered YouTube a social media network, considering it more as just a place to watch your favorite cat videos. But the video network absolutely meets the standard of a social network.
You can create a free account for your brand and post videos regularly. Allow users to subscribe to your channel and follow you. Connect with other YouTubers. Allow followers to leave comments as you reply to them.
Many businesses approach YouTube with dreams of “going viral.” But that rarely happens.
The goal should be to provide the highest-quality and most useful video content for your particular audience.
We recommend using the best video recording software available for your content.
Once you know that you’re going to market on YouTube or Facebook or any other social network, it’s time to formulate your social media marketing strategy.
5 Established Social Media Marketing Strategies
Social media marketing can seem like a mess but can be cleared up and made simple with the right strategy.
At this point, you may still be wondering how to do social media marketing. Below we lay out 5 social media strategies any business should use to successfully grow an audience and generate leads.
Identify Your Social Media Goals and Make a Plan
Social media marketing should always start with concrete goals and a carefully designed plan.
You need to know what you want out of social media before diving in. It’s tempting to just “do it” because you know it’s what you should do, but without a clear direction, you won’t make much progress.
So decide on your goals.
Maybe you want to increase brand awareness, in that case, you’re pushing less promotional messages and more content to display your personality, your values, and your mission.
You probably want to generate leads and later, sales. In this case, you want to create content that drives traffic to a free offer on your website to sign them up to your email list. Email marketing can work very well with social media marketing.
Maybe you simply want to keep growing an audience on your chosen social media platform.
Whatever your goals, map them out before you begin marketing.
Determine Your Social Media Metrics and KPIs
How will you measure success on social media?
You may know what you want to achieve, but you’ll need a way to verify that your efforts are working.
Here are a few KPIs we encourage you to use:
- Reach — the number of unique social media users who saw your content. This will tell you if your content is spreading to your audience — if they’re actually seeing what you post.
- Clicks — the number of users who click on your content. Link clicks will tell you if your content motivated people to take that action step or if they passed by your content without clicking.
- Engagement — the number of users who interacted with your content divided by the number of people who saw the content. This will tell you if your content is able to catch your prospect and attract them to interact with it.
Conduct Research on Your Target Market
It’s critical to know WHO you’re marketing to on social media if you want the results you’re after.
We recommend creating at least one buyer persona if not many, depending on the different types of customers you’re targeting.
You’ll want to answer:
- Who they are — job title, age, gender, location, and so on.
- What they care about — likes and dislikes, interests, forms of entertainment, types of content they’re most likely to interact with, etc.
- Where they hang out online — Facebook, Pinterest, or any other social media platform.
- When they’re actively engaged on social media — the morning, evening, and weekends should be tested for optimal posting times.
- Why they need your content — whether it’s staying motivated, becoming healthier, gaining more leads for their business, or another motivation.
Analyze Your Competition (And Use Them as Inspiration)
Paying attention to your competition will help you formulate a winning social media marketing strategy.
And since you’re competing for the same customers, it’s worthwhile seeing what they’re doing so you know how to differentiate yourself.
Find your competitors on social media. Observe their content. Analyze the engagement and interaction they receive from their audience.
The goal isn’t to copy them, but to use them as inspiration for your content and brand strategy. See what’s working and adapt it to your own strategy.
Decide on the Content to Create
The content you create will often change depending on the social network you’re posting it on, but many platforms let you post a variety of different content.
And if you’re already creating sales enablement content, you can use much of this on social media as well. This may make your job a lot easier.
Blog posts are one of the top forms of content every business should be creating. They can educate, entertain, and build your authority.
Case studies are also invaluable.
They let you demonstrate the value you’ve provided to other customers — proving that you can probably provide similar results to prospects.
How-to videos and explainer videos are another essential form of content to create. You can create demos of your product, show off all the features and benefits of your product, or teach prospects and customers how to use your product.
And in many ways, video content is the ultimate form of content you can create.
Why Video Communication Should Be at the Heart of Your Social Media Content Marketing Strategy
Here are eye-opening stats about video marketing from Wyzowl:
- 84% of consumers have been convinced to make a purchase after watching a brand’s video.
- 91% of consumers have watched an explainer video to learn about a product or service.
- 81% of businesses said that their explainer video has helped them increase sales.
- 76% of businesses said that video has helped them increase traffic to their website.
You may be convinced that video marketing is the right way to go, but what do you need to get started?
A webcam and good video software are all most businesses need to create videos their audience will enjoy watching.
That’s what we help you do here at CloudApp.
We help marketers like you:
- Plan, draft, and revise marketing campaigns
- Upgrade your content with easy to create visuals
- Improve internal communication
- Quickly develop A/B tests and update content
And we’ve been ranked by G2 Crowd as one of the top sales enablement tools.
Want to learn more?
Discover why CloudApp is an essential social media marketing tool today.
Originally published at https://www.getcloudapp.com.