Social media marketing is one of the most effective ways to get your business seen by new customers. It’s also one of the most challenging, because it takes time and effort to build a successful social media channel. It can be a tough business to break into. You need to have a good understanding of how it works, and then you need to learn how to use it effectively. If you want to attract the attention of new audiences and increase your brand’s visibility, here are some tips to help you get started with social media marketing.
- 1. Be Organized and Get Clear About Your Goals
- 2. Research the Market
- 3. Start Small, Picking a Platform at a Time
- 4. Create a Strong Profile Image
- 5. Create Quality Content
- 6. Use Hashtags
- 7. Use Videos
- 8. Publish Content from Industry Leaders
- 9. Be Consistent
- 10. Monitor Progress and Track Performance Metrics
- 11. Give your audience a reason to talk about your brand with others
- 12. Create Problem Solving Content
- 13. Be Authentic
1. Be Organized and Get Clear About Your Goals
What do you want out of this? Are you looking for more traffic? More leads? Better conversions? All of these things can be achieved through social media marketing strategies.
It’s hard enough just keeping track of all the different platforms you want to use, let alone remembering what they are called and where they are located. Make sure that your brand has a plan in place for using social media marketing so that it doesn’t feel overwhelming. This means that you need a strategy approach for your social media marketing approach.
2. Research the Market
Find out what people are talking about and what’s trending in your industry. Look for keywords related to your product or service and use those as inspiration for your posts. Where are they?
It is advisable to start off your brand presence on the most popular social networks. Research shows that people will spend more time on sites with more followers and likes than on sites with fewer followers or no likes at all. The more active your brand is on these networks, the more likely people are going to see it. Don’t ignore a market survey and social media auditing.
Social media auditing helps you answer: Who, Where, What, When, Why and the Opportunity
3. Start Small, Picking a Platform at a Time
First, don’t try to build an entire social media presence for your brand. Instead, focus on building a few profiles on sites like Facebook and Twitter, which can be done in a few hours or days. Once you’ve launched your accounts, it’s time to start engaging with other people. To ensure that you’re on the right track:
- Pick the right platform for your business needs
- Pick a few platforms that seem like they would work best for your company at this point in its life cycle, but don’t feel limited by that decision either.
- Later, try different ones out and see what works best for your brand’s audience and message.
For instance, I chose Twitter as my main platform because it is easier to connect with people regardless of their location. I also love Twitter “chatty” and “conversation” aspect. Additionally, Twitter algorithm and search engine allows one to find topics, people, hashtags and conversations that are relatable easily.
4. Create a Strong Profile Image
The first thing that you need to do before you start posting anything on social media is create a solid profile image that represents your business and its brand identity or your personal brand. For businesses, you can use images such as logos or photos that represent what your company is all about, but make sure they are professional looking and do not look amateurish or tacky.
Using strong images in your profile pictures and other posts on social media sites will make your readers want to click through and learn more about you or your brand’s products and services. Make sure that these images are high-quality photos taken by professionals who have experience taking photographs for marketing purposes — not snapshots from someone’s phone camera!
5. Create Quality Content
Great social media marketing pegs on quality content. Your content should be engaging and informative enough so that people will want to share it with their friends on social networks like Facebook or Twitter. You might even consider blogging or podcasting if you have the time and resources available. Make sure that all your posts are optimized for search engines so they show up higher in search results when users search for related keywords related to your business or brand name.
6. Use Hashtags
Hashtags are words or phrases that are used as keywords in a tweet or an Instagram post, such as #socialmediamarketing. Hashtags help people find other people talking about the same topic, which increases the likelihood of finding related content.
Hashtags are a great way to connect with others on social media who might be interested in the same topics as you are, such as travel destinations or local events that interest you or your audience (a win-win!).
Hashtags can do more for your business and as Mustr Square puts it in this thread, “hashtags put you in front of people and help you find the right community.”
If you’re in the food industry, use active hashtags instead of generic ones like #foodie or #mylife; this will help you stand out from other businesses sharing the same content (and drive more traffic). The more specific the tag, the better — if you’re talking about restaurants then use #bestrestaurants instead of just #foodies.
7. Use Videos
Videos are increasingly popular on social media sites, and they’re great for creating branded content that will resonate with your audience. You can also use videos as a way to keep track of conversations around your brand so you know how to respond quickly when something goes wrong or someone mentions it in their comments section.
More and more brands are also partnering with influencers to create videos for their products, events and also services. A great example is the campaign l was involved with Pocket by Mozilla, l joined the launch event and created video content on my Twitter timeline to create awareness.
8. Publish Content from Industry Leaders
Share links to articles, blog posts and other content from respected sources in your industry. This is a great way to show off what others have written about similar topics without having them feel like they’re being marketed directly at them.
Here’s an example of an engaging content l reposted from Semrush Twitter account. When publishing such content, make sure you tag the owners so that they can be seen and known.
9. Be Consistent
You need to develop a consistent brand voice and tone across all of your social channels. Don’t use the same photos content dimensions on all social media platforms. Know of the dimensions for photos and videos as shown below.
Be keen on the copy style for Facebook as you do for Twitter or Instagram. Consistent branding will make it easier for consumers to recognize your brand when they see it in their newsfeeds, which will increase engagement with your brand and improve conversion rates on your website.
Additionally, post consistently over time (and yes, even overnight). If you don’t post every day, then at least once every other day is recommended so you don’t lose followers over time who might otherwise have become loyal customers from previous interactions with your brand.
10. Monitor Progress and Track Performance Metrics
You want to make sure that you’re staying on top of things so that you can react quickly when something goes wrong or needs to be fixed. You also want to make sure that people are engaging with your posts and responding as they should. If they aren’t, then there may be problems with your strategy or content creation process.
Tracking your performance metrics regularly and often will allow you to identify trends and make changes with your content and strategy in general if necessary so that everything continues running smoothly without interruption.
To check you Twitter Analytics and profile performance, go to Twitter on web, click on analytics (analytics.twitter.com) and you will be able to see your analytics. Note that you can’t see the month to month analytics on your smartphone.
How Social Media Marketing Can Foster a Positive Word-of-Mouth
Word-of-mouth on social media is the key to building relationships with your audience and customers on social media. But many social media marketers still struggle to make this a reality. Some can be good at using the best hashtags, create great brand images but forget that the word-of-mouth on social media matters a lot. Here’s how marketers can hone that:
11. Give your audience a reason to talk about your brand with others
Relationship building goes a long way on social media. You can create a community of people and give them value. The best way to do this is to start your own Twitter Space, Tweet Chat, Facebook Group or join the ones already there in your industry. Through the communities you’ll share, learn and connect with people.
Remember this, people will remember you and talk about you if you share value and show up often. You’re welcome to join our Twitter Community, #AfricaTweetChat and get a chance to build networks, grow your brand and skills, and belong in a community with people with similar interests. We conduct weekly Tweet Chats and Twitter Spaces.
12. Create Problem Solving Content
What purpose does your content serve? Is it solving your audience’s problem? Quality content means it is valuable to the consumers. It offers solutions to their problems. Do they want to learn on social media marketing tips, share with them the information on how to. Make sure the information you share is useful and timely for your audience.
Don’t be afraid to feature brand solutions that help others access them. Through my years on social media marketing, l’ve learnt that people will always engage with you when you give them alternative solutions to their problems through your content. Check out this example;
13. Be Authentic
Nothing beats brand authenticity on social media. You need to be authentic and consistent in how you portray yourself, especially when it comes to personality traits such as humuor and sarcasm that might not always be appreciated by everyone but can help build credibility.
To build your social media authenticity, read more from my previous article on: How to Build Brand Authenticity on Social Media
Social media marketing is a lot of work, but it can be extremely effective.
You need to do your research, create content and then post it on social media. Social media marketers have to keep up with trends, respond to comments and engage with their audience.
If you want to get started with a social media marketing campaign, follow the tips above.