Social Media: Every Digital Marketer’s Secret Weapon

When it comes to social media it’s not enough to just post content, you must actively engage your audience. The number of fans or followers you have isn’t nearly as important as the percentage of people clicking on your links, replying to your tweets, posting on your page, or commenting on your pictures. More studies are coming out every day with supporting evidence that people are buying almost exclusively from companies they follow on various social media platforms. However, with how easy they are to access, the amount of brands one user can follow is nearly limitless. It is not enough to be a business they like or follow, you have to be a business they are consistently interacting with.

Choose Your Platform

One of the first steps to engagement is choosing the social media platforms that match your business. If you aren’t in the right place, you won’t find anyone who is interested in your business. For instance, having a presence on LinkedIn is practical for B2B marketing while Instagram would make more sense if your key demographic is a younger audience, say from 18 to 34.
The cost of targeting users on an unsuitable social media platform far outweighs the benefits: you will be left with wasted time, effort, and money. Taking the time to consider which platforms best align with your business goals will pay off in increased traffic and conversions to your site. Depending on your business, a combination of a few different social networks might even be the answer to reaching your unique market. But you won’t know which is the right fit until you research your options or consult with an agency that specializes in social media content.

Cultivate Your Audience

Once you’ve decided on the platforms that work for you, it’s time to connect with your audience. The users are already out there, now it’s just a matter of how to reach them. The key? Networking.
Some platforms like Facebook, for instance, have changed their policies over the years regarding how posts are displayed to deliver a more relevant experience for users. In the past, a post would automatically come across your fans’ newsfeed. This algorithm no longer allows for posts to appear across all newsfeeds. Instead, it’s estimated that only somewhere around 10% of users see your content. While these changes may provide a more enjoyable social media experience for the average user, for companies it can feel as though all of your hard work is for nothing.
There are a few ways to counter this implementation, one option is by paying to boost your posts. This is a simple structure of the more you pay to boost each post, the more newsfeeds it will appear on. However, for anyone wanting to avoid a larger marketing budget, there’s another perfectly reasonable solution: increase organic reach by encouraging interaction. This strategy considers that each time a fan likes or comments on a post, it will show up on the newsfeed of their friends. Therefore, the more people interacting with your posts, the more visible you become to a greater audience.

Engage, Engage!

Creating engaging content will require some skill, but there are some basic tricks everyone can follow to improve visibility, like using images in every post. Once the post is seen, however, you still need people to take social action. One of the best ways to encourage these actions is to make the subject about the audience. While Twitter is the ideal platform for sharing news and announcements, most platforms should be used to cultivate a presence that makes people want to connect. Here are a couple of posting strategies:
  1. Ask questions and start conversations. This will get informal feedback from customers and provide a general idea of how they feel about your company.
  2. Establish yourself as a thought leader. Share interesting content by offering your brand’s perspective and knowledge in order to become a resource for your audience.
  3. Offer promotions or contests. Use trending keywords and hashtags to catch the attention of users while also promoting products or sponsored brands.
Depending on your business, you may want to portray yourself as an expert resource, a fun friend, or a business partner. You can even blend all three— as long as you’re maintaining a consistent brand. The beauty of social media is that it allows for a lot of transparency and great opportunities to build trust. Once you establish a good reputation, you’ll need to be careful about maintaining it.

Measure Your Progress

The ultimate goal for businesses using social media is to generate leads. It’s necessary to actively monitor your accounts in order to see if they’re effective and where to make improvements. This may seem like a lot of extra work but it’s more simple than you think.
Start by establishing a goal, like bringing in three leads per week. Plan how you can engage directly with a few target individuals and draw them towards having an offline conversation, at which point you can consider them converted. As for your general audience, you can gauge what interests them by measuring which posts see more activity or widespread coverage. Continue to post what works! If your users respond to a certain engagement style more than another, incorporate that into your social media calendar.
Social media is about your relationship with potential and existing customers. Just keep talking, keep engaging, and keep social media… social!