6 MIN READ
These are all reasons to start thinking about adding social media to your unified marketing strategy (if it's not there already), but there's only one smart reason to actually take the plunge and wholeheartedly jump in to social media marketing. You invest in social media marketing only after you've determined that social media marketing can help your business achieve its main marketing objectives—and grow.
Social media marketing can be a potent addition to your marketing strategy. Connecting with your target audience(s) is all about finding them and connecting effectively with them, and you'll find them on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Snapchat and Pinterest. These sites provide marketers with powerful tools to enhance your marketing efforts—tools like Facebook's Audience Insights and LinkedIn's Ads.
As WordStream notes, effectively leveraged social media marketing can take your marketing efforts to the next level:
If "remarkable" strikes you as just a tad hyperbolic, consider these metrics from HubSpot:
There are as many ways to market a business on social media as there are businesses doing the marketing. That said, some marketing strategies are more effective than others, including the following 5:
Your social media marketing plan begins with a clear delineation of your marketing goals and your target audience. Are you trying to increase leads, polish your brand or build awareness? Which buyer persona(s) are you attempting to reach? Make sure that your plan is malleable enough to shift as you assess user response data.
Social media marketing is an iterative, calendar-based project. That means you need enough (and the right kind of) content to take you through the duration of each campaign. Make sure your content is right for your target audience, and that it aligns with the stage of the buyer's journey for which you create it. And, of course, make sure your content is useful, valuable, relevant and compelling.
Each social media site has its own rules engagement, so you need to give yourself some latitude in the ways you engage with its users. But those rules of engagement shouldn't alter your brand image or the promise you make to consumers.
You want the leads and customers you engage on social media sites to view your business as a helpful, trusted resource. That means linking to authoritative and valuable source material on your own site and elsewhere. Remember, your goal is to help consumers answer their top of mind questions and solve their most pressing problems. You can do this with a wide swath of content types, from discerning white papers to user-friendly "how-to" videos. The more helpful the content, the more trust and loyalty you'll build.
You can't improve your social media campaign without carefully and continually measuring its performance. That means tracking a host of key engagement data, and for that you're going to need a robust analytics platform. Among the best is Google Analytics. Good news—it's free.
Assuming you know what you want to achieve and have a reasonably good notion of how to do it, the next logical question is whether you want your in-house marketing team to handle the job or to outsource it. That means making an objective assessment of in-house marketing capabilities and priorities. Said differently, even if your team can manage your social media campaigns, is that what you want them to focus on?
To help you make this important decision, ask yourself these 3 questions:
Executing social media campaigns is time-consuming. It means creating and posting content, tracking results, tweaking your approach and responding to user comments and questions quickly and effectively. It also means doing this 24/7. If your in-house team has the time and experience to handle all this, then in-house is your solution. If they don't, it's time to consider outsourcing.
There's an art and a science to effectively engaging your customers and prospective customers on social media sites, and consumers on different social media sites talk to one another in different ways. For example, the extroverts tend to hang out on flashy platforms like Instagram and Snapchat, while shier types might be browsing on Pinterest or hiding in forums. Just as it's a good idea to learn French before you visit Paris, it's a good idea to know the parlance of each social media site before you start conversations there. If your in-house team doesn't have it down pat, look to a marketing agency for help.
There's a reason for the sudden proliferation of content mills. Companies don't have the time (and, in some instances, the ability) to create the huge volume of content they need to effectively engage with all their buyer personas from the top of the sales funnel to the bottom. If you have a team of writers who have the time to keep the content flowing, and if you already have enough well organized (and well written) content, then in-house social media marketing is your gig. If not, talk to the best marketing agency you can find.
The decision to take the plunge into social media marketing (or to refurbish your existing social media campaigns) isn't an easy one. Neither is the decision to do it yourself or partner with an experienced marketing agency. Before you set out on your own, make sure you understand fully how social media marketing works and take the time to carefully (and objectively) assess your in-house capabilities. If you don't have the time or the in-house talent, consider working with an experienced, results-oriented agency.
Have questions or want to talk to us about your social media strategy? Get a free content marketing consultation today.