Social media marketing requires both strategy and creativity.
While it may seem overwhelming, its importance cannot be overstated. It’s so important that 97% of marketers are using social media and 78% of salespeople outsell their peers by using social media for their business.
Plus, its benefits extend far beyond increasing sales.
However, not all businesses are aware of the benefits of social media marketing. In fact, 50% of small businesses aren’t using social media to promote their business. That’s an alarming number. Even more concerning is that an additional 25% don’t plan to use social media in the future either.
Clearly, there is a disconnect between those who are seeing the benefits of social media and those struggling to get started.
If the latter sounds like you, keep reading. You’re about to learn how social media marketing can help build your business. Some of the benefits you’ll learn about include:
- Growing your brand awareness: Social media marketing will make it easy to spread the word about your products and mission.
- Increasing your traffic: Using social media and linking it to your website will increase your traffic tremendously.
- Promoting your products and services: This is ultimately why you invest in marketing, right?
Managing Your Social Media On One Marketing Management Platform
When your brand is ready to get started with social media, manage everything on one marketing management platform with CoSchedule. It empowers teams to:
- Schedule and automate single posts and complete cross-channel campaigns on every network.
- Manage social media workflows and team communication.
- Measure performance with robust social analytics.
Plus, you can manage all your other marketing projects and campaigns on the same platform, too.
Using Social Media To Grow Your Brand Awareness
1. Create Brand Recognition
Gaining brand recognition is one of any business’ most important marketing goals. That’s because consumers want to buy brands they recognize. Thankfully, social media allows for easy and effective brand building.
Social media has a benefit over traditional media because it can get your brand in front of people much more quickly and easily. Furthermore, it gets your audience looking at your brand even when they aren’t thinking about your brand or product.
Make sure the visual elements of your brand are well represented.
Take a look at Nike’s Twitter page. Nike keeps their Twitter profile neat and clean. They place their recognizable logo on both their profile image and cover photo without being overbearing.
The cover photo is especially effective because it connects the Nike logo to the idea of running.
2. Generate A Conversation Around Your Brand
A strong social media marketing strategy will generate conversation about your brand, products, and partners.
Take this example from PlayStation. A simple post saying congratulations to Naughty Dog (the company behind the new video game Uncharted 4) for its success generated feedback on the game.
In doing so, they received a great amount of feedback about their product. They also got people talking. Fans were having genuine conversations, all facilitated by social media.
3. Learn How To Connect With Your Audience Through Social Listening
Social listening is the act of monitoring social conversations around certain topics. It helps you understand what’s important to your audience and identify trends your target audience is following.
You’ll learn about what they’re struggling with, which can help you create content addressing those pain points.
You can also identify the tone and language that your target audience uses.
Take a look at Burger King on Twitter. They use the same slang that the younger audience on Twitter uses to represent themselves in a comedic fashion. If you’re unsure how to match the tone and style of your audience, social listening can help.
4. Tell Your Brand’s Story
Using social media is a great way to share your brand’s mission and share stories. Effective stories can have a great impact on your brand’s image. They can be simple or extensive depending on what you think will be most effective.
Take this Starbucks post for example. It simply tells the story of someone getting a job at a hiring fair, and it effectively helped their public image. It has only one image, but the story is impactful and clear.
5. Gather Data From Audience Research To Improve
Audience research is similar to social listening. It searches the keywords your audience will be using, but it’s more focused on your specific product. You can use social media to gather this information.
To view the insights on your Facebook page, simply go to the page that you are the admin of and they will be next to your cover photo. Twitter will have an option to view the insights of every tweet you post at the bottom of each tweet.
6. Provide Exceptional Customer Service That Keeps Your Followers Happy
Customers now expect companies to handle their requests through social media.
A strong investment in customer service can build meaningful relationships between your company and your customers. And with social media, the challenge of customer service remains as demanding as it had before.
Social media allows for immediate interaction and customer feedback. Businesses can also respond to their customers right away. With nearly half of U.S. customers using social media to ask questions about products or services, having a social media customer service strategy is extremely important.
Take this example with HuHot, a popular Mongolian grill chain restaurant in the Upper Midwest (where CoSchedule’s offices are located). A customer inquired about a time-sensitive situation, and the company answered her question within hours:
7. Build Customer Loyalty
What could possibly be better than building brand loyalty for free?
Customers follow and interact with the brands they enjoy. But what’s interesting is that 53% of customers who follow your business are likely to be loyal to your business specifically.
It’s an obvious direct correlation: If customers follow you, they are more likely to choose you versus your competition. Furthermore, if they’re loyal customers, they’ll increase your traffic.
Use Social Media To Increase Your Traffic
8. Direct Referral Traffic To Your Site Or Blog
Social media marketing can assist in sending customers directly to your site.
It’s unlikely that all of your traffic will come through search engines. Social media channels allow for more diverse inbound traffic streams.
Though social networks are great for getting traffic to your site, you need to consider not only what to post but how often to post. You don’t want to become that overbearing marketer, or you’ll turn off your customers.
It’s good to follow a set schedule for posting your content (link to one of our blog posts). This will help you ensure that your content is not only posted at a time that is most effective, it will also give you time to edit your content to help you with your SEO.
9. Social Media Can Assist With Link Building
Social media can have an indirect impact on SEO.
For example, let’s say that you get 1,000 shares on a blog post because it contains strong content. Some of your followers who see your post may write similar content and link back to your original post as a source. Search engines will then pick up on the fact that your content has linked back to a good amount and (hopefully) rank your post higher than your competition.
Google and Bing also display tweets in search results. This feature is more relevant for trending topics.
10. It’s (Mostly) FREE
Thats right, (mostly) free.
It’s free to create social media profiles and post organic content. For some, that may be enough, and the quality of the content may promote the content on its own. However, if you’d like to go the extra mile and promote it further, paying for promotion will help increase exposure.
You have to set up a campaign, and they’ll work with your budget. That means you’ll have a huge ROI and you’ll use your marketing budget in an effective way.
11. Establish Your Brand As A Topical Authority
Topical authority means your business is a trusted source of information on a given topic.
So where does social media come in? Establishing topical authority is a subset of content marketing. The more you use social media to post relevant content, the more search engines will pick up on your authority on that subject.
This can make you become the “go-to” authority for a specific topic. The more authoritative your page, is the more traffic will increase.
Page authority is a ranking based on how well a specific page will rank on a search engine. Domain authority is a ranking based on how well a specific website will rank on a search engine.
When you’re searching for a source or writing content, use the Moz tool to help you find valuable sources. The higher the number, the better.
Tip: Build a list of two dozen sources that you think are authoritative. Use Moz’s free toolbar to determine which sites are most authoritative, a great tool for finding out what websites and blog posts have topical authority. Moz gives a rating between 1–100 of how authoritative a website or post is. A good rule of thumb is that 60 is a good base number to use a site or post. Keep in mind that a new site may not have gained any authority no matter how good it is.
12. Retarget Your Audience Using Social Media
Retargeting is a wonderful tool for social media marketing. Generally only 2% of customers will actually purchase something during their first visit to your site. Advertising can help reach that other 98%.
One way to do that is to run retargeting ads.
Retargeting works by keeping a list of people who visit your site and placing anonymous “cookies” within their browser. When they visit a social media site, a retargeting service then displays the ads. This allows for your business to be in the eyes of the customer beyond just when they’re on your site.
13. Help Your Cause To Go Viral
We’re all familiar with viral ads; just take a walk down memory lane and take a look at some of these great viral campaigns. Social media can have a huge impact on making ads viral. In fact, that’s where most of those ads are shared.
For example, take a look at Always’ #likeagirl ad campaign:
It not only spreads a great message; it also gave Always a ton of positive publicity. The original ad aired in 2014, but the hashtag they came up with is still being used today. That hashtag will direct people from their social media timelines to the social media profile of the Always brand and then to their website. You can do the same with an effective viral ad.
The beauty of a viral ad is that you can get a lot of attention for relatively little effort, getting a huge ROI. But you want to keep in mind that your focus shouldn’t be on forcing an ad to go viral.
14. Driving Conversions
Traffic is just traffic, right?
Not quite. What you really care about is how much your traffic drives conversions.
Here are four great ways to drive conversions with social media:
Add calls to action: A call to action is helpful because it motivates your customer to do something. They feel empowered to purchase your product. You can also design your social media messages to appeal the to the customer so they’ll want to take a specific action, such as purchasing your product.
Take a look at CoSchedule’s cover photo on our Facebook page, it engages the audience to start a 14-day trial because it shows that they can rock their content marketing strategy.
These ads can be placed anywhere on social media and can direct the customer to your site. The trick is to make sure that your site keeps the customer engaged enough to want to continue to purchase the product.
The entire process from call to action to the final sale must be engaging enough so that the customer doesn’t back out.
Contests: Contests, giveaways, free stuff. They’re all things that no business really wants to do, but they’re extremely helpful. Anyone would be more compelled to purchase a product from a company from which they’ve already received some free stuff.
Many businesses will post images encouraging people to spread their content to get the word out.
This post is a great example. To be eligible for the bonus, you have to follow four steps that include reposting the image, tagging friends, and following the original poster. All these steps will get the people who are following your business to visit your site.
Ads: Let’s face it, no one is on social media to buy things. They’re on there to talk to friends or follow their interests, and organic content that leads to ads are distasteful.
So the challenge is to grab people’s attention and make them want to purchase your product or service without leaving a bad impression on them.
The beauty of social media is that it lets you directly place ads, so the audience doesn’t feel tricked. Facebook and Twitter allow your business to post ads directly on your target market’s timeline. Those ads will lead them directly to your page and drive those conversions right up!
Building landing pages to which you direct that traffic will also help you increase conversions from social media. Landing pages are similar to blog posts except they have a call to action in them. If you’re building your website through WordPress, there are plugins that will help you build landing pages—or you can use Unbounce if you’re having trouble building a landing page.
Use Social Media To Promote Your Product
15. Promote Your Content
This seems pretty general, right? Promote the content, and you’ll promote the product.
But, what are the best ways to do that? Let’s look into the things that make a difference such as headlines, having an image, and the time of the post. Each of these things are important and must be taken into consideration when writing a social media message.
The most important thing to keep in mind in writing your messages is to be creative. You want to make sure that you’re posting original content.
Being creative and telling stories is an effective way to promote content without having to seem like an ad. Telling a story through the headline or the promotional image will allow the audience to build their own perception of the product.
Here are some creative header images that’ve helped companies promote themselves.
16. Communicate With Customers About Niche Topics You Both Love
Facebook alone has over 620 million groups. Chances are that your target market is in a few of those. Finding those groups and getting involved can help you help your audience (and endear them to your product in the process).
You can also follow people who are posting about subjects in your industry. If they like what they see in your company, they’ll follow you back. That’s important because 72% of customers are more likely to purchase a product from your business after they follow you.
17. Use Social Proof To Connect With Potential Customers Like Your Existing Audience
Let’s compare your website to a restaurant.
You’re walking down the street looking for a place to eat and you see one restaurant that’s empty and one that’s packed. You’d most likely choose the packed restaurant, right? That’s the place with all the great food that people are going for.
The same goes for your website.
No one wants to get the content that no one else cares about. They want the one that is doing well and being shared often.
Obviously, the content of it must be worth getting a lot of shares or it must be authoritative. The content that is shared the most must have some authority or must be creative and original.
Take a look at how well CoSchedule’s color psychology blog post performed. That content received a large number of shares because the idea was original and the content was done thoroughly.
Tip: You can include buttons on your blog and website to display how many shares your content has gotten. These buttons are convenient and allow for quick sharing.
18. Easy A/B Testing To Get The Biggest Results
A/B testing is when you present a different version of the same website to different people.
But how can you use this concept on social media?
Instead of trying different websites, try similar posts and track the reach and conversion results of each post. Twitter recently started making it much easier to track the results of a tweet. This will help you narrow down your most effective social media posts.
Take a look at Twitter’s analytics dashboard. It shows your top tweets and mentions. It also shows your impressions, visits, tweets, and follower increases. This dashboard will show you if your current campaign is doing well compared to another one.
19. Use #Hashtags To Increase Your Reach
The hashtag is a powerful tool that can connect a group of like-minded individuals through social media. It’s a simple way to greatly increase your reach.
Take a look at this post Target made on Leap Day
This tweet was posted on leap day using the day’s name as the hashtag, so anyone who searched for #LeapDay on Twitter would have found that tweet and been informed of Target’s new sale.
Using a hashtag is free, so why wouldn’t you want to use it? Especially considering that tweets that include 1–2 hashtags are 55% more likely to get retweeted.
It’s important to keep in mind more hashtags don’t translate into more engagement. Too many hashtags will devalue the strength of your message and it’ll get lost quickly.
You can find the relevant hashtags by using Twitter’s “Trending” page. This will show you the highest ranking and most used hashtags at any given time.
20. Keep Your Customers Up-To-Date
Social media is one of the best and easiest ways of keeping your customers updated with your new products or upcoming events. If your business makes a huge announcement about a new product or an exciting event, it’ll catch on and get people excited.
Take a look at our friends at Moz who develop content marketing tools specializing in SEO. When they announced their new Keyword Explorer tool, their followers got excited. Moz gathered 141 retweets and 164 likes on a single tweet.