#Social Media Marketing for Businesses
Social media marketing is a powerful way for businesses of all sizes to reach prospects and customers. People discover, learn about, follow, and shop from brands on social media, so if you’re not on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn, you’re missing out! Great marketing on social media can bring remarkable success to your business, creating devoted brand advocates and even driving leads and sales.
In this complete guide to social media marketing, you’re going to learn:
What social media marketing is, with benefits, stats, and tips.
How to build a social media marketing strategy and a plan to carry it out.
The seven best social media marketing platforms and how to use them
What is social media marketing?
Social media marketing is a form of digital marketing that leverages the power of popular social media networks to achieve your marketing and branding goals. But it’s not just about creating business accounts and posting when you feel like it. Social media marketing requires an evolving strategy with measurable goals and includes:
Maintaining and optimizing your profiles.
Posting pictures, videos, stories, and live videos that represent your brand and attract a relevant audience.
Responding to comments, shares, and likes and monitoring your reputation.
Following and engaging with followers, customers, and influencers to build a community around your brand.
Social media marketing also includes paid social media advertising, where you can pay to have your business appear in front of large volumes of highly targeted users.
Benefits of social media marketing
With such widespread usage and versatility, social media is one of the most effective free channels for marketing your business today. Here are some of the specific benefits of social media marketing:
Humanize your business: Social media enables you to turn your business into an active participant in your market. Your profile, posts, and interactions with users form an approachable persona that your audience can familiarize and connect with, and come to trust.
Drive traffic: Between the link in your profile, blog post links in your posts, and your ads, social media is a top channel for increasing traffic to your website where you can convert visitors into customers. Plus, social signals are an indirect SEO factor.
Generate leads and customers: You can also generate leads and conversions directly on these platforms, through features like Instagram/Facebook shops, direct messaging, call to action buttons on profiles, and appointment booking capabilities.
Increase brand awareness: The visual nature of social media platforms allows you to build your visual identity across vast audiences and improve brand awareness. And better brand awareness means better results with all your other campaigns.
Build relationships: These platforms open up both direct and indirect lines of communication with your followers through which you can network, gather feedback, hold discussions, and connect directly with individuals.
Social media marketing statistics
With regard to the benefits above, don’t just take our word for it. Let’s take a look at some social media marketing statistics that prove its power:
The average US adult spends 2.25 hours on social media every day.
Over 70% of people who have a positive experience with a business on social media will recommend that business to their networks.
Facebook users click on 12 Facebook ads on average every month.
81% of people use Instagram to research products and services.
Nearly 80% of Twitter users feel more positive about a business when they get a response to their tweet.
4 out of 5 people on LinkedIn drive business decisions.
46% of TikTok users engage in the app without any other distractions.
The essentials of a successful social media marketing strategy
A successful social media marketing strategy will look different for every business, but here are the things they will all have in common:
Knowledge of your audience: What platforms they use, when they go on them and why, what content they like, who else they’re following, and more.
Brand identity: What is the message you want to convey to your audience? How do you want them to feel when viewing your content?
Content strategy: While there is a level of spontaneity on social, you’ll need a structured content strategy to be able to have a consistent voice and produce quality content regularly.
Analytics: Quantifiable insights will inform your strategy, including who you’re reaching, the right content to share, the best times to post, and more.
Regular activity: Social media is a real-time platform. If you want to use it to grow your business, you need to post regularly, stay on top of engagements with your business, engage back, keep up with trends, and maintain accurate profiles.
Inbound approach: Don’t use social media to pitch your business. Focus on adding value through useful and interesting content and building up those around you. This, in turn, will organically promote your business and others will promote it for you.
Creating your social media marketing plan
Now that you know the essentials of a social media marketing strategy, it’s time to put it into action. Your social media marketing plan is the roadmap to carrying out your strategy. It puts structure around your efforts so you can measure your success and make sure you’re spending your resources wisely. Here’s how to create your social media marketing plan:
Choose your platforms: Choose based on your target audience, platforms popular for your industry, as well as your bandwidth. Only take on the number of platforms you can actively keep up with. You can always start with one and then add on more slowly as you get the hang of them.
Set goals and objectives: These should be simple and task-like to start, like post once a day for a month, get your profiles set up, or do a competitive analysis. Once you get into a rhythm and gather insights, you’ll be able to set more specific and strategic goals like increase your following by X% or publish X [content types you’ve found your audience likes] per month.
Report and adjust regularly: Use each platform’s analytics to identify which posts generate the most engagement, whether you’re getting more followers, and to see your audience demographics. Harness and scale up what works and nix what doesn’t.
Social media marketing tips
Ready to get started with marketing on social media? Here are a few social media marketing tips to kick off your social media campaigns.
Create diverse content
Consistent with other areas of online marketing, content reigns supreme when it comes to social media marketing. Make sure you post regularly and offer truly valuable information that your ideal customers will find helpful and interesting. This includes:
How-tos, quick tips
Local and industry news
Data and insights
Polls, questions, contests
Updates and announcements
It also means making use of the variety of formats social media offers, including images, videos, stories, live streams, online stores, and more.