Social media and your marketing strategy
Your business needs to have a good social media presence. This is a simple fact that we must all accept when running our businesses both at a day-to-day level and at a strategic, top-thinking level. It doesn’t matter if you’re a sole trader or a large multinational, social media is now an essential part of every marketing strategy.
What makes social media so important? The various social media channels (including and not limited to Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Snapchat) help you to connect with your customers, increase awareness surrounding your brand and can boost leads and sales. They are also a fantastic way to showcase your brand’s voice, content and interactions. Crucially, they create an identity for your brand and this, in turn, builds trust with your audience.
Let’s look at what social media can do for your business in more depth…
Getting set up on social media can be one of the most cost-effective parts of your marketing campaign, as it is free to do so across almost all platforms. If you decide to use their paid advertising services, this can be highly cost-effective, as for a reasonably small amount of investment, you can reach a proportionately significantly wider audience than traditional advertising methods such as print and radio. The analytics and data provided will give you precise information about your campaign, which is not only a great time saver, but will help you to pinpoint when, where and how your campaigns are most successful.
It will help to validate your brand
Social media validates your brand and tells your audience that it’s active and is focused on communication. Creating social profiles on each appropriate channel can be one of the most straightforward ways to increase your visibility and to create/show your business’ personality. Use social media to let your brand’s personality shine through – just make sure you’re consistent with the tone of voice (e.g. casual, professional, formal, friendly) across each channel. In addition, establishing robust profiles for your business with frequent, quality and relevant updates will help to build your brand’s authority.
It will drive consumers to your website
Social media is a good way to gain new leads and to move people along the sales funnel, eventually leading to more conversions. If you are looking to drive traffic to your website, then social media can be a great way to send inbound traffic to your website. By sharing quality content on social media, the more inbound traffic you will send to your website.
Customer service will improve
Social media effectively breaks down the barrier between your business and your consumers. In most instances, instead of calling a customer service line, many people will turn to social media platforms to find information, solve a problem, praise an item or make a complaint. If you can spend time creating a tracking system for comments, questions and complaints, respond as quickly as possible, be helpful and positive you can craft a reputation as responsive and caring brand.
You will get to know your audience
By its very nature, social media invites a two-way conversation with your audience. Reviews, comments, likes and shares all provide fantastic insight into your audience and can help you to tweak your content accordingly.
Now you know the key reasons why you should be using social media, here are our top recommendations when using social media.
Always have a plan!
Who will be running your accounts? If it is a number of people, who will be posting what and when and who decides what it will be? Spending time establishing a few ground rules on what can and can’t be posted on behalf of your business is good starting point. We would recommend creating a social media calendar that details the core posts across your chosen social media channels. You can then ensure the copy, hashtags, mentions, links and assets (i.e. the photo or video to go with your post) are correct and that your content is focusing on the areas of the business you would like it to, and crucially, at the correct time. Planning your content means you can reflect your business objectives effectively and in a timely manner, without unnecessary repetition or mistakes.
Set the tone
We would recommend establishing a tone of voice that accurately reflects your business and can be used effectively to communicate with your audience. Create examples of how things should be phrased and what sort of language is acceptable, for example, do you always want to appear formal and business-like, or are you a playful brand that will use slang? It’s also a good idea to decide on what hashtags can be used and on what platforms they can be applied to, for example Instagram is well known for the power of its hashtags, Facebook less so now and LinkedIn is improving the way it uses hashtags. It is also worth researching which hashtags are most relevant to your business and exploring how they are used by others on each platform.
Quality control is key
You’ve established the quality of the language and the tone is set. Now you need to decide what photography, video and graphical assets can be used and where. For example, an image used on Instagram may not be suitable for LinkedIn or Facebook and a video may need to be edited in a slightly different way to best suit each channel. We would recommend spending time creating a bank of high-quality assets that can be used in a planned and considered way. Don’t forget, with most assets, they can be used in multiple ways, for example, relaxed head shots will look great on your website, on Instagram and perhaps your team would like to use them for their own LinkedIn profiles? Overlaying graphics onto well-composed shots can give them new life – just make sure you stick to the rules on how much space can be taken up by text! Photos can also be used for offline marketing collateral, for example a brochure or on an event stand. We would also recommend creating a bespoke series of imagery that is unique to your business, as it can undermine your efforts if a stock image you have used is being used by someone else!
Getting your social media right can seem a bit of a daunting task, so if you would like to see how we can help, please get in touch for a no obligation chat: firstname.lastname@example.org