It’s 2018 and you’re not taking advantage of social media marketing? Wait, what? It’s time to get real; social media marketing is without doubt one of the most beneficial and not to mention easiest ways of gaining both new business and brand awareness. So what’s going on with you guys?
According to Hubspot 90% of all marketers indicated that their social media efforts have generated more exposure for their business. This is probably because nearly one-third of the entire world uses social networks regularly. That’s 2.4 billion people.
I can assure you that with stats like the above, your business is sure to be left behind if you don’t hop onto the social media bandwagon soon. Your business may have always performed perfectly fine without the use of social media marketing, but I’m certain it hasn’t reached its full potential and pretty soon you will start to see your competitors rise above you. This doesn’t have to be the case though. With a little help and guidance I can teach you everything you need to know about the importance of social media marketing. So are you ready to start taking this stuff seriously? Great! Then let’s get started…
I’ll start with the obvious one first. Being active on social media can increase brand awareness by an astonishing amount and what’s more is that it’s so simple to do. First things first:
Find your target audience; you need to establish where your consumers are and decide what social media platform they are active on. Facebook is by far the most popular platform with 62% of marketers opting to advertise on here over any other social media site. Once you have a company page set up (which is incredibly quick and easy to do, not to mention free) there are a few tips you need to remember when trying to build brand awareness;
- Make sure you are only posting engaging quality content. What I mean by this is, post valuable and informative content based on your following and this will help build both brand awareness and loyalty
- Be active! Like, share, post, comment, retweet, repin, do absolutely everything to engage with your customers. It’s kind of a vice versa thing. You start to be active towards other peoples social accounts and they will start to be active towards yours
- What else do you guys think can increase brand awareness? Any suggestions? One of the biggies is to ask questions. I say this because according to Kissmetrics, ‘question’ posts get 100% more comments than ‘non-question’ posts. This is because you are encouraging conversation and reaching out to people
- Keep things relevant. Jump onto the trends you see on social media and find ways to incorporate them into your posts. People love this. For example #MondayMotivation is trending? Share one of your company blogs with a caption similar to ‘needing some #MondayMotivation? Check out this quick read to kick start your day’. It will increase your reach and make your posts visible to a larger audience
- Finally; Don’t hide. Yes it’s good to post offers and blogs etc on your company’s social media page, but don’t forget to remind your followers that there is a friendly face behind it all. Work lunch? Great, post a picture on social media. New colleague has started? Awesome, introduce them to your following. It’s simple, the more you can show people you are just like them, the more they will trust you as a brand
Did you know that having a good social media presence can also help better your SEO? It is important to note here that it’s not the social signals itself that affects your Google ranking. In fact Matt Cutts (former Head of Google Webspam Team) has explicitly said that social links are treated like any other link, but not as a ranking factor. However this doesn’t mean that there isn’t most definitely a correlation between social media and SEO. I’ll explain further;
- Google crawls social media websites, like it does any other website, meaning that links shared on social media will count as backlinks. How is this beneficial? If you post a blog onto your page, Google can see just how many times that link has been shared on Facebook or Twitter and will thus deem your website more credible. And what does higher credibility mean? A higher Google ranking…
- Having a strong social media presence can also help build awareness and a larger audience. I know I’ve gone into detail above about increasing brand awareness but well, it’s true! We all know that click-through-rates have a massive impact on SEO and your Google ranking. The larger your audience is on social media, the more shares, likes, retweets etc you will receive, ultimately achieving a higher reach and being seen by more people. What this means is that when your webpage comes up organically based on a keyword search, the consumer is much more likely to click onto your page over any other if they already recognise your brand
- Social media profiles rank in Google search engines. As sites such as facebook, twitter and instagram have such high credibility it’s no surprise that often your social media account will rank higher than your actual webpage. As these profiles are often a lot more personal than your company’s official website, people will often do their research by scrolling through your social content
Do you really need much more convincing? OK, well did you know that social media highly increases your chances of being seen and heard by the RIGHT people. That is of course if you have been careful of who you are connecting with. It’s no good trying to connect with every Tom, Dick and Harry in the world because then your posts are more than likely going to be massively irrelevant to most people who view them.
- Start off by following people who have purchased from you in the past. They already know you as a brand and if they have had a pleasant user experience, are likely to follow back and share your content. Remember that sharing is pretty much word-of-mouth, which we all know works like a charm
- The next step to being seen and heard? Follow people in your area or within a decent proximity. People are much more likely to use your services if you are local to them. It’s convenient and somehow makes you more trustworthy
- It is then time to branch out a little further. Begin to follow people who fit your company’s buyer persona. Every company has one. I once worked in chain restaurant who had this 100% nailed, to the point where I thought she was a real person. Her name was Jessica and we learned about her in our induction. She had blonde hair, a 9-5pm job and was from a middle-class background. She was in her 30’s and enjoyed cocktails and tapas with her girl friends. It was only after a while that I realised that Jessica was a completely fabricated person, she was just the ideal consumer the restaurant wanted and aimed all their promotions towards her. If your company can relate to this then following people who fit your company’s buyer persona will be a breeze! And if not, do a little research. What sort of person most likely uses your services? Start with the most simple demographics; age, race and gender.
I know you don’t need any more reason to start building your social media marketing strategy but I’ll give you one anyway; stand out from your competitors. Isn’t that the dream? To be top of your industry? Having a great social media presence allows you to do just that. First of all this may take a little effort:
- Research your competitors. Who are they? Do they have a niche? What is your niche? Once you have laid out your main competitors it’s time to get social stalking. Find out what social media platforms they are using, the type of content they are posting and which posts are getting the highest engagement rate. This will give you a good idea of where you need to start. Remember it is also totally OK to poach followers from your competitors
- Browse social media and find discussions within your industry. You can often find interesting topics by joining different groups. Make sure you get involved and offer your opinions and advice. This will make you look like experts within your industry and will help gain loyalty
- Share and source content from other experts. No I don’t mean your competitors, that would be silly. But other reliable, highly valued organisations within your market that are already well known for producing great content. This shows that you are able to recognise quality when you see it and differentiate it from other poorer, unreliable sources. This will make you stand out from your competitors and show your level of expertise
If you’re wondering where to start I’d begin with one of the big 3; Facebook, Twitter or Linkedin. If you follow the advice in this post then I can promise that you will see your web traffic soar. If you need a helping hand then feel free to contact us. After all we are experts at what we do ;).
Aimee is an experienced Digital Marketer and has a passion for all things social! She is a writing enthusiast who is always looking for new opportunities and is currently working as a Marketing Manager for an agency based in Portsmouth.