Social media marketing is at an all-time high and it seems like everywhere you look these days, brands are trying to grab your attention. They’ve gotten quite good at it too.
So how can someone like you and I stay in the game and maybe even ahead of it?
Well, like most difficult things, you first have to get your basics right. Social media marketing is all about making the right offer to the right people at the right time. How you manage to do all that determines whether or not you’ll achieve your goals.
For starters, you need to know three things at large (how convenient):
1. Why your brand exists
Any great idea starts with a ‘why’, a reason to exist. The same goes for this case. Before anything, you need to be clear about why your brand exists in the first place, your core values, so to speak.
Doing so will help you market yourself in the most expressive and effective way possible because you’ll be letting people know that you are here to make a difference. Make your values reflect in your offerings.
2. Who your target audience is
You need to be absolutely sure who your target demographic is. Different people of age have different needs and consequently, different buying habits and preferred ways of finding new products.
If you specialize in fashion-related products, your ideal consumer-base may be teens and young adults. If you specialize in home appliances, it may be housewives. Depending on who your target demographic is, your offerings will vary.
3. Where you want to market your offerings
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, and maybe even TikTok are all great places to market your products, but keep in mind that each platform has a different demographic of people and you’ll have to customize your campaigns accordingly.
For instance, Influencer Marketing works really well on Instagram, but not as much on Twitter. In the same way, you’ll have to study what works on different platforms and optimize your marketing strategy accordingly.
Set The Right Social Media Goals
It’s really easy to set highly unrealistic goals as a beginner in social media marketing. You may end up setting goals that are either too hard to achieve or so easy that they don’t push you to do better and upgrade your strategies.
The key is to be clear about what you expect out of social media. Is it sales? Is it recognition? Or is it both? The more you know what you want, the easier it becomes to set your mind to it and set realistic goals.
But be aware, social media can be really distracting and if you’re not careful, you may side-track a lot. What I like to do to avoid this is simply handwrite what I’m working on and what my target is on a piece of paper and keep it in my view while working.
While you are undertaking your social media marketing campaigns, keep track of the engagements you receive on multiple platforms to see what works and what doesn’t.
3 Key Elements for Killer Social Media Marketing
When it comes to social media marketing, content is the king. After all, that’s what people will see. It’s your first impression and it needs to be a powerful one so to stand out from thousands of other brands.
“Make them stop scrolling,” is what I usually like to call it. An irresistible piece of quality content is a hundred times better than spamming people with multiple posts telling them to buy your products.
The buyers of today are highly value-conscious and it wouldn’t take them a second to scroll away if what you’re offering doesn’t add any real value in their lives.
Your product may be the best in the world, but if you market it at the wrong time, you aren’t going to get the most Return On Effort. It’s likely that it may even fly under the radar unnoticed.
There’s obviously no one “best time” to post a piece of content, but you can definitely track when your audience is the most active and likely to pay attention to your content.
You can also use some digital marketing tools that track and analyze your engagements on social media to optimize your sharing time. As a beginner, though, try to look for free tools before you commit yourself to paid services.
3. Brand Voice
What’s a Brand Voice, you ask? It’s the tone of voice you use on social media to communicate with your followers and potential audience. Simple as that, except, not really.
Different tones of voice can evoke different feelings, and some tones work better for a certain demographic. My personal way of doing it is really conversational so I can deeply connect with the people I’m targeting and make them emotionally engaged.
How To Develop A Good Brand Voice
Displaying a good Brand Voice is really difficult because as a natural human response, we tend to change our tone of voice quite often according to different situations and among different groups of people.
This is where you need to be careful. Consistency matters when you as a company are reaching out to other people on social media.
Here are some things to consider when trying to display a good Brand Voice:
- Consistency and use of language
- To use or not to use emojis
- How to handle negative comments
- To communicate formally or informally
“Treat your customers like humans, not just customers,” is my go-to advice for a good Brand Voice.
Newbie Mistakes To Avoid
A lot of beginners think that being active on all social platforms is a good idea simply because they think that it gives them more engagement.
That’s not how it works.
Like I said, each social platform has a different demographic, total number of users, total active number of monthly users, and a lot of other factors that influence your decision of whether or not to market your offerings on that social platform.
Here’s what you need to consider:
1. Don’t Waste Your Time
Simply marketing everywhere isn’t worth the time and effort. Instead, it’s much better to spend your energy on the platforms that are actually generating engagements and leads than just spreading out your efforts evenly across all the platforms.
2. Study Your Demographic
Your target demographic and their customer values will largely influence where you market your offerings. For instance, millennials and GenZ-ers use Instagram and YouTube more than any other social platform.
3. Don’t Copy your Competitors
Different platforms work better for different brands. Don’t simply try to copy other popular brands because what works for them might not work for you. Do your own research. Study your audience, keep track of your engagements, and keep improving your social media marketing strategies over and over.
Create Irresistible Content for Social Media
It’s easier to learn what you shouldn’t post on social media than what you should on social media. It’s indeed pretty common for brands to struggle about what to post on social media, to create something that:
- won’t violate any community guidelines
- stands out from the crowd
- will grab attention quickly
- will make people want to participate (polls and asking for suggestions)
There are tons of ways you can market your offerings on social media, including:
- Images and GIFs
- User-Generated Content
- Story posts and live stories
Try to create content that you can share multiple times on multiple social platforms, but also try to tweak it a bit according to each social platform to appear unique and optimize your promotions.
UGC on the Rise!
UGC or User-Generated Content is taking connecting with your audience to a whole new level. A lot of brands today run campaigns that encourage their followers to create posts on their social media talking about their experience with the brand’s products and services. The reason why it works so well is pretty simple. UGC is a lot more indirect and personal and it makes it easier for people to trust your brand than direct marketing. It’s sort of a digital-word-of-mouth, so to speak.
But simply saying, “create posts for our brand,” isn’t really motivating, is it? You need to make it fun to do it and genuinely show that you care and appreciate your consumers for creating something for your brand.
Brands like OnePlus do it really well. They organize events that make people feel invited and like a part of the family. The same is later reflected on the social accounts of those users in the form of images and videos while giving credit to OnePlus for being so user-focused.
This is why UGC works so well if you know how to do it right. This is what builds true connection and feeling of belongingness. And this is how you get people talking positively about your brand.
Free Social Media Tools to Up your Game!
Social media can take a lot of time, effort, and money, and it can also distract you from taking care of some other important activities. Fortunately, you can use some free social media tools and websites that will make things a lot easier and help lift the load off your shoulders.
Most of the images that you’ll find on the web through a simple Google search may be copyrighted and you might have to face some unnecessary legal issues if you use them without permission.
This is where Pixabay comes in really handy. Just search the image you want and you can get royalty-free images for FREE which you can use without worrying having to give out any attributions.
Still can’t find the right image? Looking for a certain vibe? Unsplash to the rescue. Just type in what you’re looking for an Unsplash will show you tons of awesome, professional, and most importantly, royalty-free photos taken by photographers all around the world.
Canva is a goldmine for people who want to DIY their way into social media marketing. You can create a poster, flyers, infographics, your own logo, download free images, text graphics, and templates. If the free version doesn’t work for you, you can also upgrade to its paid plan for an even wider selection to choose from.
Social Media Tools for Content Creation
RecurPost is essentially a social media scheduler that lets you create, edit, organize, plan, and schedule your content for social media and track your engagements with your audience so as to let you know your results right away.
It comes in really handy especially if you’re running a small business and need a workstation that can handle all your needs at once. You can use the FREE plan to try out its features and get a feel of the interface first before subscribing to its affordable paid plans.
LIVE videos are the new thing in the world of social media marketing and it looks like they are here to stay. Sure, you can go live directly from your device, but BeLive makes your live streaming a lot more professional and seamless at the same time.
You can customize your viewing experience and invite people from other locations. You can also upgrade to its paid plans if you require more top-of-the-line features.
Want the latest upgrades about a specific niche? Perhaps something your audience has a keen interest in? Google Alerts can make it super simple. Just type in the keywords or topics you want to stay updated on and Google will notify you as soon as it finds something interesting for you to share.
Analytics Tools for monitoring your social media
Built-in Platform Tools Most of the major social media platforms have their own analytics built-in within their interface, allowing you the quickest updates whenever you receive new engagements.
Just like so, Facebook allows you to track your engagements directly within the interface as well. Simply log into your Facebook business page and click on “Insights.” You will see all your data including your page views, video views, reach, and other forms of engagements.
The same goes for Instagram as well. If you have a business account, you can view your analytical data on your mobile device, but unfortunately not on the desktop.
Twitter, however, doesn’t require you to have a business profile to be able to view your analytics. Simply head over to ‘analytics.twitter.com‘ and turn on analytics; Twitter will show you your engagements right away.
Bitly As a social media marketer, you need to keep track of when your links are being clicked and how often. For that, Bitly can be of great use.
Apart from shortening your links for you and making you appear cleaner on social media, Bitly also lets you keep track of the clicks your links receive through its dashboard.
This way, you can see which platforms are bringing in the most engagement and giving the most Return On Effort. Through this, you can optimize your promotions in the most effective way possible.
Make Social Media Work for you in 2024
Social media marketing in 2024 is indeed going to be a lot more competitive. Also, with each passing year, this trend will rise. As a small business or someone who is just getting into social media marketing, it can be quite scary.
But fortunately, there’s also a ton of help available for FREE for whoever wishes to step into the world of social media marketing.
From free social media content tools like RecurPost to free tools like ChatGPT, you can be sure that you are stepping in prepared and ready to compete.