Are you looking to boost your brand awareness, gain a larger online following and grow your sales revenue? If so, it’s a good idea to step back and ask yourself whether your company’s marketing is social-ready. If it’s not, don’t worry! There’s no time like the present to learn more about the importance of social media marketing.

In today’s world, approximately 7 out of 10 Americans use some form of social media. That’s a massive market that you absolutely need to be targeting effectively. Social media and marketing go hand-in-hand, and there are some easy ways to get started to make your marketing strategy social-ready.

Benefits of Social Media Marketing 

There are several social media platforms available that you can take advantage of for your business. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular platforms’ statistics:

  • Facebook is the social media king with 2.3 billion active monthly users.
  • Instagram comes in a close second with just over 1 billion.
  • Pinterest is home to about 291 million monthly users.
  • Snapchat slides in at the bottom with 49 million.

If you factor in YouTube and TikTok with their combined 3.5 billion active monthly users, you’ve got a couple of solid video platforms to market with as well.

All of these numbers indicate one important thing ─ there are a lot of people online, and you can take advantage of that.

Combining social media and marketing can help to boost your brand’s online presence and overall awareness by growing your audience to heights that have never been possible before. Social media marketing will also increase traffic to your site, boost sales, and enable you to connect on a more personal level with your target audience.

There is no limit when it comes to social media marketing. So, let’s get into a few tactics you can use to create a killer social marketing strategy.

1. Goals, Goals, Goals

When it comes to understanding the importance of social media marketing, you first have to sit down and create a list of achievable goals. The keyword here is achievable. Everyone wants a million followers, but it’s unrealistic to think that it will happen quickly. While it is something to strive for, it’s best to set smaller short-term goals that will help to keep you motivated.

Write down your goals. Studies have shown that people are 30% more likely to achieve goals that have been written down. This allows you to visualize your goals and even break them down further into smaller sub-goals. For example, you may want 1 million followers on Instagram, but you can break this down into milestones such as 1,000, 5,000, 10,000 followers and so on. This can keep you from getting discouraged when things feel like they are moving too slowly.

Be specific with your goals. Just saying that you want to increase your sales doesn’t really mean much. Every business owner wants more sales. Narrow it down. How much do you want to increase your sales by over the next month? What about over the next 6 or 12 months?

2. Know Your Audience

This can’t be emphasized enough. Knowing everything about your target audience is what will set you apart from competitors. Just as there are lots of consumers on social media, there are also lots of other businesses. Some of those businesses may even be in direct competition with your brand. If you know your audience better than anyone else in your industry, you will be able to better cater your social media and marketing tactics to them.

Use demographics to create a buyer persona of your ideal customer. This can include information such as age range, locations, salary, education and even which social media sites they like to hang out on. By doing this, you will know exactly who your target audience is and what they want.

To maximize on this, you can start collecting feedback from your audience. Use a variety of techniques including surveys, responding to comments and even engaging in conversation on online forums. This strategy can help you to understand pain points better so that you can properly address any issues. It also helps to build brand trust among your following.

3. Host a Contest or Giveaway

Now that you’re starting to understand the importance of social media marketing, you can begin to explore other fun techniques to boost engagement.

One of the most alluring ways to get the internet buzzing about your brand is holding a contest or giveaway. This gets your audience excited enough to like, comment, follow and share with their friends. To start a contest or giveaway, follow these simple steps:

  •   Choose the product ─ This should be something of value that your audience wants to win.
  •   Set your goals ─ Decide what you want to achieve from this contest or giveaway.
  •   Choose your platform ─ Are some social media channels more appropriate for your audience and/or giveaway than others?
  •   Set the rules ─ You also need to decide what the guidelines are for participants to follow.
  •   Set a deadline ─ Choose an appropriate end date and time.
  •   Publish ─ Create an intriguing post that grabs people’s attention.
  •   Promote ─ Let everyone know about your contest/giveaway.

One of the most popular contests for businesses is to ask followers to post a photo or video of them using your product. This gives you a lot of free publicity and new content. Simply ask them to include a branded hashtag for the competition and tag your business account in the post.

4. Curate Your Content

While social media and marketing go together like bread and butter, it doesn’t mean that everything you post will be well received.

There are some basic guidelines to follow when you’re creating content for your social media accounts. You never want to sound too salesy. If every other post you publish is a promotion, people will get annoyed quickly and may even unfollow you.

Consumers today want real connections. They want to feel that they are more than just dollar signs. Small- to medium-sized companies are at an advantage here because the heads of these companies tend to be a bit more accessible than executives at international corporations.

You should also understand the importance of social media marketing between platforms. This will go a long way in curating your content. While cross-posting is taking the easy way, not every post will work well on every social media channel. For example, a popular post on Instagram might not go over well on LinkedIn. However, that doesn’t mean that companies using visuals on Instagram can’t also market on LinkedIn. It simply means that the marketing tactics may need a bit of adapting before posting.

One element of social media marketing is having solid copy. This goes for all social media channels. If your copy is dynamic enough, people will come. Here are a few tricks to writing better copy for your social content:

  •   Address your audience directly
  •   Hook your audience immediately with a snappy or witty headline
  •   Always include a caption
  •   Experiment with various forms of content including blog posts, videos, graphics and more 

5. Images and Videos

Studies have shown that social media posts that contain an image or video perform much better than posts with only text. This is because most people are visual learners, and seeing something interesting is more likely to grab the viewer’s attention.

If you are creating images, make sure that they are clear and thoughtful. Don’t post anything that’s blurry or too far away. Your audience needs to be able to see what you’re offering clearly.

As for videos, you can get creative with these. One of the best ways to hook your audience with videos is by posting How-To videos. People love to see products in action, especially when they can’t physically touch those products. Just make sure that you film in a well-lit, uncluttered space to showcase your products properly.

Another new trend for businesses is to go live on social media. This can be done on Facebook, Instagram and TikTok. It’s a great way to get your audience engaged because they can ask questions and you can respond to them in real-time. This ties back into knowing your audience — you want to be able to anticipate the kinds of questions they will ask. Having quick answers will help you seem like an authority on the subject and will boost brand trust.

6. Create a Facebook Group

For your diehard followers, you can begin growing an online community by creating a Facebook group. This takes both social media and marketing to the next level.

This is a space for your audience to interact with you and with other customers to discuss products, services, experiences and so much more. They may even be able to get quick answers from other group members about certain product questions. This can help you spend less time on social media and more time focusing on other aspects of your business.

Essentially, this type of online community building makes your audience feel more like friends, which can go a long way in creating loyal customers.

Wrapping Up: Social Media Marketing

Now that you know even more about the importance of social media marketing, nothing can stand between you and increased revenue in 2020.

If you need help or have additional questions about managing your social media accounts, check out SharpSpring’s marketing automation platform. We’d love to hear from you!

Kim Anchors