Social media marketing is one of the most important means of digital marketing. In a few swipes of a fingertip, your brand can connect with millions of users across the globe. It’s a proven way of extending your reach, promoting your brand, and building a respected name for your business, and yet so many businesses fail to use it well. Social media marketing can make or break a brand.
The biggest issue that many businesses face is underestimating how hard it is to craft a well structured social media presence. In part, this is due to how accessible social media is, therefore helping to create a sense of utilizing it for branding being quick and easy. Despite being a simple concept, if you only ever force on social media on its own, without incorporating it into the larger marketing picture, then you won’t yield any worthwhile results.
Get Ahead of the Game
If you’re a newly established brand, still waiting to launch its first product, you don’t need to wait until you’re fully operational to create social media channels. You need to be getting traction before launch. This is a powerful way of gaining recognition early on, but by also becoming seen as an integral part of the larger community; by sharing insights into your industry, starting the inner workings before launch, and connecting with other industry brands, you look more authoritative before you’ve began.
Being active might sound like the most obvious piece of advice to give, however, you’d be surprised just how many brands fail to maintain an active presence on their channels. It’s easy to see where the problem arises from, as to be continuously engaging with your target audience, you need to be religiously posting content. This sounds like a simple enough process, but the moment you fall behind on scheduling, you quickly see a swift decrease in credibility. The reason social media marketing is so intrinsically connected to credibility is because it humanizes your business: potential customers are able to see the people behind the brand. Of course, when that element of the business starts to fail, e.g. not uploading new content, it makes your business look less efficient, you’ll be seen as less valuable when compared with your competitors, and ultimately, you’ll be forgotten.
Relationships Are Key
When we mention relationships, this isn’t just in reference to the interactions you have with your users, but also the ones you build with fellow brands and influencers. By connecting with various points of the larger community that your business is a part of, you’re able to reach more people, and ultimately, become a reputable, trusted resource. For example, if you use Instagram influencers to blog about and share your products on their profiles, you’ll not only gain users through your brand’s social media but through the influencers’ as well. This is affiliate marketing, where an external site is used to help generate an increase in engagement and sales. As you’d expect with such a task, it isn’t an easy one to introduce into your marketing strategy and so if you’re unsure of how to proceed, connecting with brands that detail how to start affiliate marketing will be extremely helpful. A vital part of social media marketing is to know when you need outside help, especially when more challenging marketing features.
Direct the Conversation
Social media marketing isn’t only about choosing a good image and posting at the right times, it’s also about being a part of the community. This means that you need to be engaging with customers, asking them for their feedback, wanting to know their opinions, building an in-depth conversation that goes beyond simple promotion. For example, if you see a twitter discussion for small businesses, make sure to involve yourself — introduce your brand, the mission statement of your business, how you intend to be different from the others. Even being honest about the struggles you face as a business is a useful means of taking control of the conversation and making sure that your voice is heard. Your customers are watching on all platforms, they can see when you get involved and when you don’t, therefore you need to create a two way conversation at all times.
The above points aren’t the only ones to consider when creating a marketing plan, nor are they guaranteed to work on their own. For any of your strategies to pay off, you need to keep on top of it and put the effort in; as the saying goes, “nothing in life comes for free”.