SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING
WHAT IS SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING?
Social media marketing is one of the most natural, yet strongest, ways of reaching your customers and target prospects. Every single one of your customers is already interacting with brands and products through social media, whether they are aware of it or not. The primary social media platforms Cotswold Websites works with are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and, of course, YouTube.
Social media marketing is a type of Internet Marketing which sees you creating and then sharing content on various social media platforms, with the aim of engaging your audience to market your products or services to them. Social media marketing techniques include posting news or image updates, videos, or other content, with the intention of driving your audience to your website where they will engage with your product or services, by either buying from you, or signing-up to your offer. Social media marketing encompasses both organic posts, as well as paid advertising on social media.
You can improve your social media presence with the help of Cotswold Websites. Please get in touch with us personally if you would like any further information.
HOW TO PLAN FOR A SOCIAL MEDIA CAMPAIGN
Social media marketing campaigns need a good strategy to succeed. You need to understand what your business wants to get as the end result of the social media campaign. Think of a general sending his troops into battle without a plan. The troops will be aimless and succumb under the overwhelming chaos which ensues, whilst the competition (enemy) wins the battle. As with any strategy, here are five key questions to bear in mind before setting out on a social media campaign:
- What is your goal from this social media campaign?
- Who are you trying to target and engage on your campaign?
- Where do you expect to find your target audience and how do they use social media – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.?
- What do you want to tell your audience through your social media campaign, which will get their interest?
- Why do your target audience need to know what you are putting to them through your social media campaign?
Your social media strategy will depend upon the answers to the above questions. If your business is selling physical products, you may find that a more visual approach through Instagram, Pinterest or Facebook will be the best strategy for you. Conversely, if you are selling services, which are not easily depicted, you might determine that a more textual approach through Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook is the better option. Think carefully about your goals, answering the above questions and build your social media strategy accordingly.
WHAT CAN SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING DO TO HELP YOU ACHIEVE INTERNET MARKETING SUCCESS?
Social media marketing is excellent if you want to:
- Drive more traffic to your website.
- Increase sales or sign-ups through converting browsers to customers.
- Build awareness of your brand or products and services.
- Build brand loyalty by encouraging your clients to trust your brand through personal communication with them.
- Increase interaction and dialogue with your target audience to create trust with them.
- Improve customer satisfaction by communicating with them directly, rather than having an automated response, as a typical website will have.
- Have a cost-effective marketing tool, when compared to other forms of advertising.
- Improve your SEO as a result of the traffic between your social media platforms and your website.
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HOW TO SUCCEED WITH SOCIAL MARKETING
If you take a diligent path, you can quickly make social media marketing work to your advantage. A few tried and tested methods of doing this include:
- Plan Your Social Media Content – Having created your social media plan, as discussed above, research both keywords and your competitors. Successful competitor social media campaigns will allow you to analyse them to see where your competition is being successful. You can use some of these ideas by making them better and more relevant to your audience.
- Content Needs To Be Excellent – The content you use in your social media posts needs to be better than anyone else’s. It should be eye-catching and drive to the deep-seated desires, needs or greed of your audience. Try to make the social media content something which your audience wants at any cost. Combining text, images, video, guides can hep bring a rounded solution.
- Keep Your Brand Image Consistent – Your brand is your business’s identity. Make sure that this identity is the same across all social media platforms. It must remain trustworthy and recognisable to your audience, irrespective of it is seen on Twitter or Instagram. Projecting a different brand image on different social media platforms can be damaging to your brand and confusing to your audience.
- Let Your Audience Know What You Are Doing – Social media marketing is a great way of letting your audience know what is going on in your world. Whilst your full-blown blog or news releases may be on your own website, you can give your social media audience snippets of this and encourage them to visit your website for fuller information.
- Keep An Eye On Your Competitors – Your competitors will also be using social media to market themselves. Try to keep ahead of the competition by seeing what they are up to and where they are succeeding. Keyword research on their social media campaigns will help you create a better campaign than theirs, if done well.
- Analyse Your Social Media Campaigns – You can only measure the success (or failure) of a social media campaign if you have the data available to you. Google Analytics will give you invaluable information about your campaign. Use it to see what is going well, or less well and help you work out a plan to ever improve your results.
SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS
Facebook is probably the best catch-all, traditional, social media platform for a business to have a presence on. Your business page will have all the information your audience needs to know about – the latest news, offers, products and services. In all likelihood you will be encouraging your followers to click on a link to come across to your website to take up your offering. Facebook is seen as being a relatively informal place to interact, but always be aware of what you are presenting, as the presentation is important here. Be aware that organic growth is not easy with a Facebook page. You will definitely need to use Facebook Ads as a part of your Facebook strategy, if you want to grow your visibility on this platform.
YouTube goes beyond straight-forward social media, in our opinion. YouTube is a very powerful platform and should also be seen as one of your most important search engines. In fact, YouTube is the second largest search engine, even though it only deals with videos. YouTube is owned by Google, so you can also expect your videos to be picked up by Google’s own search results. Using videos to drive traffic is one of the most powerful methods of getting traffic to your website. The videos should be useful and authoritative and, like other social media platforms, your brand and message should be uniform. For a business, “How To” videos are one of the best ways of getting yourself noticed on YouTube. Google loves these types of videos and you have good chances of ranking well as a result.
Twitter is ideal for getting short, sharp, time-critical information to your followers. The lifetime of a typical Tweet is just two to four hours at most. Therefore, research into the times of day when your audience is most receptive is very important. You will find that you will be sending out the same message, but worded and presented in different ways, on a regular basis, if the message is to be taken up by your Twitter audience. Twitter can be especially useful for promoting special offers and discounts.
Pinterest is about the visual message. Retailers will especially benefit from Pinterest, as using great photography, you can present your products at their best, so enticing viewers into clicking through to your website. Done well, you can use Pinterest to build up a whole lifestyle, which you aim for your audience will buy into.
WHAT IS SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING GOOD FOR?
Social media marketing is the best way of getting your products, services and brands across to your audience in an informal way. A strategy using one or more social media platforms will help you maximise your results. However, make sure you choose the platforms which will work best for you. If you are selling business services, you will most likely find that Instagram or Snapchat are a waste of your time, whilst Twitter and LinkedIn may be productive for you. Do your research and then build a social media marketing campaign which will work for your business model.