It’s no secret that Social Media has a lot of power when it comes to advertising. In fact, there are so many ways to advertise using social media, and it changes so fast that it can be incredibly difficult to know what to do, where to start, and what the best practices are. So, let’s jump in and check out our top tips when it comes to social media marketing.
Before we get started, though, what do we mean when we say Social Media Marketing? Social media marketing is digital marketing that uses social media to promote your brand, find your ideal client, and showcase your services or products. Social media marketing requires a lot of planning and strategy in order to be effective. That’s why having a team of experts on your side can be incredibly helpful to guide you through each step. That being said, if you’re just starting out on your social media marketing journey, we’ve got a few tips to help you get started.
Pick Your Platforms
Doesn’t it feel like a new social media platform is coming out every other day? And they’re always updating and adding some new feature you’re going to have to figure out because the algorithm favors it… It’s a lot. That’s why our top tip is to pick the platform that works for you and don’t stress about the others!
You might say, ‘Great, but how do I know which is best for me?’ The simplest answer is: Which platform or platforms do you enjoy using? If you like Facebook already, you’re more inclined to learn how to utilize any new updates. It’s the same for Instagram. LinkedIn is probably your best bet if your business is more focused on professional services. The key is don’t overthink the platforms you use; use the ones that work for you.
And, of course, take advantage of using multiple platforms, but if you’re new to social media marketing, don’t overwhelm yourself with having to navigate every platform. Stick to what works for you now; you can always expand your platforms later.
Know Your Audience
Like any kind of marketing, social media marketing means knowing who your audience is. You need to have a good idea of who your audience is before you can know how to reach them. In fact, knowing your audience can help identify which platforms are a better suit for you. Platforms like TikTok tend to appeal to younger generations. If your primary customer base is Gen Z or Millennials, you’re going to want to use what appeals most to them. Likewise, older generations tend to prefer Facebook, Pinterest targets female users, and LinkedIn focuses on B2B.
Creating a Buyer Person is a great first step in identifying who your customer is. This is a fictionalized representation of the data that corresponds to who your client is. The information you’ll need is:
- Average income
- Favorite social media platform
- Preferred type of content
Your Buyer Persona may change over time, so it’s always a good idea to reassess it every couple of years to make sure it’s up to date.
Study Your Competitors
Not everyone can afford a flashy marketing team to help them create amazing social media content. But you can follow your competitors who do! In fact, we recommend you follow businesses like yours that are doing things in a way you want to. What kind of content are they putting out? What is their messaging? What does their branding look like? What times of day are they posting? How are they encouraging engagement? All of these questions can only help you learn from your competitors and improve on what they do that works.
Another thing about your competitors is that just because they do or sell the same service or product doesn’t mean they’re targeting your same audience. Keeping up with your competitors will help you learn who they’re targeting, which allows you to tap into audiences they aren’t reaching.
And remember this: studying your competition shouldn’t leave you feeling hopeless and like you’re failing. It’s more about identifying what works for your broad industry and using that info to help you target your specific clientele.
Keep Your Branding Consistent
One of the things we see a lot of is clashing branding. We mean that businesses often tend to forget cohesion when starting out in the social media marketing realm. If your website needs an update, but your social media platforms include amazing contemporary graphics, it will confuse your clients. The inverse is true, too; having a beautiful and modern website and cheesy graphics on your social media sends mixed messages about who you are. Whenever you are coming up with a strategy for your social marketing, make sure it’s consistent with who you are. Whether that means updating your website or hiring a graphic designer (or at least someone with a bit more know-how!) to help you stay consistent is key.
But branding isn’t just the look of your business, it’s the voice, tone, and messaging too. Having clear messaging is key to any business plan, especially with social media. You want your voice and messaging consistent across your platforms, your website, and even printed materials. Before you start a social media campaign, make sure you decide on what your voice sounds like. If you offer a professional service and your website and business cards reflect that, but your social media sounds like your 15-year-old daughter chatting with her besties, that just doesn’t work! (Although you should definitely leverage her understanding of technology!) Keep your voice consistent, and identify keywords that keep your messaging cohesive.
Utilize Your Humanity
Finally, the biggest benefit of any social media marketing is it gives you the opportunity to share your story with your potential clients. The reason we love social media isn’t for the politically inflammatory statements or divisive opinions on child-rearing; we love it because, ultimately, we’re curious creatures who love being nosey and seeing how other people live. We like seeing pretty, shiny things on our tiny screens. It’s why you can’t help but click on those tear-inducing adoption videos or a meme with a kitten.
The same is true for the businesses we follow. We love seeing who is actually doing the work, the process, the goofy office shenanigans, and the challenges to be overcome. Regardless of age or demographic, that’s what draws people in; your humanity. A great starting point for any social media platform is sharing your story. What problem were you trying to solve? What inspired you to start your business? What were your first steps? Where did you fail, and how did you get back on your feet again? What need were you trying to satisfy?
Also, think about sharing employee stories, even customer stories. Any way you can highlight that your company has made the life of another human being’s life better is a surefire way to grab the attention of someone else who needs your help.
We hope this guide is helpful in getting you started on your social media marketing journey. And always remember, we’re here to come alongside you and help you reach your full marketing potential!