The Essential Guide to Social Media Marketing Strategy
Welcome to the opportunity land of mass media marketing outreach. Thanks to Mr. Zuckerberg and the creators of all social media platforms alike, the world of online marketing has evolved and transformed significantly over the past decade.
Shares, likes, tweets and pins have become much more than casual interactions between millennials. In the online advertising space, we have moved far beyond cliché sales pitches or scripted commercials and moved into the era of social media marketing.
Social media has enabled an open and transparent conversation between business and consumer.
Why Businesses Need Social Media Marketing?
Today, social media has become one of the most important channels of outreach for businesses to harvest branding, marketing, and customer relationship building. With the right planning, strategies, and tools, social media can help businesses acquire and retain customers in a cost-effective way.
To fully reap the benefits of social media marketing, a feasible strategy in alignment with your overall marketing plan needs to be in place. The core of good social media practice is to regularly share insightful and useful information.
Capture and engage new and returning traffic to your business by keeping the interactions going between brands and audience. Utilize social platforms for more than just a channel to output the latest promotions. There are valuable opportunities to receive feedbacks from end users and improve business strategies in the long run.
What Businesses Can Achieve with a Social Media Marketing Strategy?
Businesses can develop a stronger brand presence amongst its consumers and generate public interest in social media. Companies are not only being recognized for their products and services but more so for their brand images, missions, and values.
Furthermore, marketing is not the only gain social media brings for businesses. Valuable insights such as direct consumer feedbacks, user experience reviews, and product/service level improvement suggestions become readily available to companies. That is why every business should be connected with their users on social networks.
8 Fundamentals of Effective Social Media Marketing Strategies for Business
1. Claim Your Social Presence
There are many social media platforms out there and emerging. It takes work to just set up and keep track of all of them. The good news is it is free to set up business accounts on all available social media platforms.
Why not use them to your full advantage? Test-drive each platform, and turn to statistics when deciding which platforms work well for your business needs.
Here are 8 of the most popular social media networks to consider for your business:
2. Raise Brand Awareness
The first step after you have claimed your social accounts is to make sure you have completed as much information as possible within the profiles. Include contact information, website, and images where applicable.
3 Things You Can Do Now to Boost Your Social Media Profiles
- Always complete the description section. Share the passion about your business with everyone. Tell visitors what your company has to offer, and define your brand. This is the perfect opportunity to show people your awesomeness, so put some thoughts into it.
- Be memorable and unique. Much like face to face interactions, your business profile needs a remarkable character that makes visitors remember you. The way you interact, the tone of your “voice”, and the representations you make give off plenty about what your business stands for in terms of persona, value, and business culture.
- Add visual appeal to your profiles. Graphic elements play a big part in social sharing. They can include logos, pictures, infographics, and videos. Resize the visual elements accordingly so they don’t look out of proportion or pixilated on your profiles and posts. There are many great design tools such as Adobe Photoshop to help you with the consistency of visual styling and formatting.
3. Grow Follower Base
You’ve got to give your fans something to root for right? Get into the conversation with the followers and encourage interaction amongst fans. Keep follower engaged while capturing new market shares.
Pay attention to follower’s opinions, and regularly responds to questions and comments. The best way to have people be interested in you is to have a genuine interest in them first. After all, it’s the way we make friends.
3 Tips to Gain Followers on Social Media
- Put effort into customer retention. It cost more marketing dollars to capture a new lead than to retain one. Your social media platforms are the perfect environments to nurture follower interest. You can increase customer loyalty with the right social media strategies.
- Offer exceptional customer service with social media. Equip your customer service team to answer questions and comments on Facebook and Twitter. Treat these inquiries with the same professionalism as you would with any other forms of customer service requests.
- Network with influencers. There are always a few advocates amongst your fans that are just as passionate about your industry as you are. These people are often the group leaders or conversation starters whose opinions hold significant weight in the community. Take time to network with key influencers and ask them to help you spread the news can broaden your marketing efforts.
4. Deliver Personalized User Experience
No matter what content strategy you adopt, the key to success involves personalization. Provide followers a personalized experience. Your audience should feel an inviting sense of and openness within the community.
Treat every customer with the same level of integrity and attention you would expect to receive. The work does not end when someone clicks that magic “like” or “follow” button. In fact, this is just the beginning.
3 Ways to Improve Social Media Follower User Experience
- Actively listen to social feedbacks. Promptly address follower questions and concerns one-on-one. Remember to always keep up a friendly, approachable and helpful attitude.
- Encourage happy customers to share their personal experience. For example, host a contest and ask fans to post photos from their most recent purchase. Ask happy customers to share their own experience about your business.
- Be receptive to both positive and negative comments. Compliments or complaints alike need to be taken care of in an equally polite and responsible manner. Playing favoritism or having selected hearing within your online community is not a good practice. Your attitude and response to someone or a situation can play a detrimental role in your social reputation.
5. Increase Content Sharing
One of the best tips we can give about winning followers is to consistently and frequently share quality content. Shares can be anything; a new product debut, an important update, or just something funny.
Periodically post articles, videos, infographics, or exclusive offers from your website onto Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or LinkedIn. Employ good posting practice by share relevant, engaging, and worthy pieces that add value to your social profiles.
If you need help on how to use, manage and advertise on different social networks, get access to tutorials taught by industry experts. Lynda, LinkedIn’s largest online educational platform offers hundreds of training courses on everything you need to know about social media marketing.
3 Ways to Improve Social Media Content Sharing
- Promote messages with emotional connections. You need a message that speaks the mind of your audience. When people feel gravitated towards your message, they will share it because it represents their own ideas closely.
- Create content that fires up a common passion. For example, motivational messages that promote a mutual drive or a goal can receive great responses. Create content that makes your followers feel personally passionate about can increase post sharing.
- Reiterate brand value through social networks and constantly reminds followers of your great brand image. If your organization is involved in charitable events or events for a cost, promote them on social networks. Let people know about your involvement and contributions to create a better society. It helps your business gain more followers who believe in the same cost.
6. Customize Social Media Strategies
There is no one size fit all solution in online marketing or social media practice. What and how you share should be customized to fit the social platform you are on in order to capture maximum benefits.
For example, longer sentences and oversized images might not work its charm on Twitter as they may on Facebook. Image rich content may receive a better response on Pinterest. Statistical facts may obtain remarkable performance on LinkedIn.
Don’t be afraid of trial and error. Test out different content strategies on various platforms. Utilize data from analytics reports to seek out better approaches to social media sharing.
3 Examples of What You Can Customize on Different Social Networks
• Facebook: More than two-third of Facebook users are on mobile devices. So choose images that are mobile friendly and easy to look at on small devices. For instance, a picture with a clear theme may work better than a lengthy infographic covered in text.
• Twitter: According to Twitter, tweets with images receive 35% more retweets comparing to text-only tweets. It’s a good idea to make the message brief and include an image for better engagement. Twitter is a great network to frequently share quick updates about real-time news and statistics.
• Pinterest: Infographics works well on Pinterest. They can be displayed and viewed properly in Pins and allow you to include long descriptions. Use keyword-optimize Pinterest posts to maximize search exposure within the platform.
7. Plan Strategic Post Timing
When and how often you make posts on social platforms impact the overall success of social campaigns. This is where the analytics data comes in handy.
Make good use of analytic reports from Google Analytics and Bing Ads to identify the peak hours which your customers are online and browsing. Plan posts around their “active” schedules to increase exposure.
Depending on your industry, spamming your Facebook account with 10 posts in a half hour period is not always a smart move. If you are a publishing media, it may make sense to publish more often with rotating topics and categories. If you are a restaurant promoting your new menu, plan location-enabled photos around peak activity hours may help to increase local traffic. Pace your posts and let statistics show you what works for your business.
3 Tips to Help You Schedule Social Media Posts
- Your own data is everything when it comes to post scheduling. You may find many versions of “best time to post on Facebook” from the internet. While their research is accurate when it comes to their own customers, but that does not exactly reflect the peak times of your customer’s activity hours. It is most effective to track your own data through Google Analytics and Social media tools to obtain the most accurate information on user activities and plan out posts accordingly.
- Powerful social platform analytics such as Facebook Insights and Pinterest Analytics are readily available within your social media accounts. They provide real-time data and break down user engagement by demographics. These in-platform analytics tools offer additional layers of data for even more precise targeting.
- Tailor post timing for different social networks. You may start off posting with identical timings across the board for every platform. As you accumulate more data, it is a good idea to consistently reevaluate and identify the best strategy for each social network. Keep refining your strategies to maximize results.
8. Capture Business Opportunities
Consistently engage followers with product updates, promotions, and rewards. Running a good promotion on your Social Media page is a good way to stimulate interest with customers and great for capturing new opportunities.
Get creative with your social media campaigns. Put up interesting videos, new product demos, or run a contest with a prize. Post coupon codes, blast email campaigns with exclusive offers, and announce sales across platforms.
There are endless ways to present promotions to your customers. Keep followers interested and give them a good reason to pay another visit.
3 Ways to Gain More Business Opportunities from Social Media Posts
- Link directly from your webpages to social media posts. One of the most important marketing objectives of utilizing social media is to direct traffic back to your website. Install protocols such as Open Graph Meta tag for Facebook and Twitter Cards to enable rich object posting. Make posts more intuitive and appealing improves the user experience.
- Focus on creating customer loyalty. One of the best investments you can make in marketing is to turn casual visitors into loyal customers. Building a strong brand image and creating trust amongst your followers are key to creating loyal customers. Develop a social presence around these key objectives can further elevate your brand value.
- Optimize marketing goals with analytics. Data is perhaps the most important component of any online marketing campaign. Make use of analytics data about your customer’s preferences and browsing trends when planning social media posts. Choose your content with winning subjects and post around user activity peak times.
- Utilize social media management tools such as Hootsuite or Sproutsocial to schedule posts, manage inbox and consolidate social media marketing on different networks into one easy to use platform.
Keep on Sharing
Social Media is making a significant contribution to businesses by opening up a whole new marketing channel. Social media platforms have created a stage of equal opportunities for companies large or small.
Successful social media marketing for business starts with winning the hearts of followers and creating the best user experiences.
Today, the gap between brands’ marketing effort and audience reach has become smaller. Businesses are competing to come up with fresh and innovative campaign ideas on their social media pages.
A new sense of community has emerged from the widespread of hashtags and shares. More and more businesses are gearing their focus toward nurturing user experience through social media communications. Through our guidelines on social media for business, we discussed the fundamentals of how business can benefit from social media marketing.
Here we will dive into proactive social media strategies to help your business gain more social influence.
How to Gain More Followers through Our Social Media Marketing Strategy
There are many creative things you can do to get people interested in you. We have summed up the top 21 social media marketing strategies to help you win more followers. Here’s what to do:
1. Join Communities
Actively participate in groups related to your industry. You can find many communities relevant to your line of business on Facebook, LinkedIn, or even Forums. In fact, almost every social media network has groups related to your profession.
Offer valuable insights into these communities and keep constructive communication going with members. Listen to other people’s inquiries, and offer useful responses. Include credentials and helpful links from your website if you have the appropriate information.
There are excellent opportunities to gain leads and referrals within these communities. However, refrain from spamming advertisements or overly promoting yourself because you can be ignored or even banned. Contribute genuine support can help you to establish a positive reputation and develop new business connections.
2. Look for Unanswered Questions
You are probably doing a great job getting back to all the fan questions and concerns on your own social media pages. However, there are many brands out there with millions of followers, and they just don’t have enough time in the world to address every single question.
If you look into these company’s social media pages, you are likely to spot a good number of unanswered inquiries you can pitch in. Give them your expert opinions and offer worthy solutions. Remember, you are answering as your business page, so do leave a respectable, professional impression.
3. Do Guest Blogging
Guest blogging is an activity where you contribute an article for someone else’s blog, or vice versa. When guest blogging is done right, both parties will benefit from the contribution.
When you reach out to other webmaster and ask to pitch in, make sure you thoroughly viewed their content and understand their audience group, writing style, and topic range.
Provide a short summary of what you are contributing in the outreach email. Talk about how this information can benefit their audience. Ask to reference you by linking your website and social media profile. It is also a great strategy for SEO link building.
Don’t worry about rejections in the beginning. Focus on improving your own work, building authority and producing great content. People will start looking for your expert opinion when they see the value you can offer.
4. Connect with Influencers
There are many influencers in your industry who have built sizable social media communities of their own. Their posts and shares often receive a lot of attention amongst their followers. When influencers share your posts on their own profiles, you can receive great opportunities of exposure.
Take the time to network with these key people. Look into their works, comment and offer thoughtful feedbacks on their posts. People are more willing to pay attention to you when you show interest in them. Spend the time to nurture these relationships and you can be rewarded with a bigger social circle and a much bigger audience.
5. Offer Exclusive Promotions
Everybody loves sales. Discounts, Coupons, free gifts, free shipping are all enticing promotions you can run to stimulate social media interactions. Offer exclusive discounts to visitors in exchange for a follow.
Even if your business is not product based, there are still plenty of bonuses you can offer users as part of your on-going marketing campaign. Utilize social platform analytics such as Facebook Insights and Pinterest Analytics to better strategize your campaigns and track responses.
6. Run Cross-platform Promotions
You’ve just announced another big sale on Facebook. Great! Now do it on all applicable social platforms.
You can run the same promotion across all platforms or tailor different campaigns for each social network. Take it one step further by cross-promote content on different social media accounts. For example, Share a Facebook post on Twitter, and ask your Twitter followers to like your Facebook page.
This may require some extra work, but there are versatile social media management tools such as Hootsuite and Sproutsocial that quickly does the job for you.
You can customize a wide range of functions, from scheduling posts across multiple platforms to running comprehensive analytic reports. It also organizes all of your messages into one inbox which can be easily tagged or marked for completion.
Both Hootsuite and SproutSocial allow Google Analytics integration. In addition, they provide comprehensive trend reporting as well as detailed user engagement reports. Take advantage of these efficient tools to combine your social media marketing tasks into one manageable operation, and save a lot of time doing so.
7. Host Contest with Prizes
Running a contest is a great way to gain followers through incentive offering. With contests, you have the added value of user contribution and engagement. Impressionable events also strengthen a company’s branding effort.
In addition to asking for a follow, you may ask participants to share their user experience and provide feedback to improve your business. For example, ask followers to share their opinions on new product or service.
Nevertheless, it is a win-win situation. You receive more traction on social media and make the fans happy by giving back.
8. Take Advantage of Current Events and Holidays
E-commerce widely adopts this strategy. It pays off to ride the waves of festivity because it boosts sales and brings in new customers.
In fact, many businesses and their social media pages benefit from the hype of holiday celebration or trending topics. It is the best opportunity to create a viral post and expand your fan base.
Make every Christmas sale, Halloween photo, or witty statement a conversation starter on Facebook or Twitter. Tag the related event or holiday to receive extra exposure. Remember to keep these social campaigns creative and relatable to your audience.
9. Promote Website Content
Content is the strength and core of any marketing campaign. That is especially true for social media marketing because good content creates conversation and generates conversion.
The success of a social media post is measured by its ability to capture interest in its rather short lifespan. However, once you have successfully captured interest, the goal is to turn it into a conversion. Lead the post engagement back to your website by promoting content from your website.
Make sure the landing page to that social post contains relevant, informative and valuable content. It should provide visitors with more opportunities to understand your product, service, and brand.
The more value visitors see in your business, the more likely they will give you a follow. Learn more about how to optimize content for better website conversion.
10. Share Trending Topics
When you observe past social media posts, you may notice that some topics generated much more response than others. Don’t you wish that you always know which topics make viral posts?
No need to ask the magic ball, social media tools like Hootsuite, Sproutsocial, and Buzzsumo can help you out. These tools identify top trending topics within your own posts and within the niche. You are automatically notified when a topic is gaining unusual momentum, so you can be the first to respond and share the news. In addition, these tools offer advanced analytics to help you better research, create and analyze marketing campaigns.
As your business gain more authority on social media, you become the trend leader within the industry. In turn, your content receives more shares, and more people will start following you.
11. Share Peer Content
This is another effective technique to network your way to more followers. Share, comment and like posts from other authoritative leaders in your industry.
Include your own thoughts when reposting or referencing someone else’s content on your own profile. Share engaging posts from other brands that benefit your followers.
Don’t forget to give full credit to the author. You can observe a higher chance of receiving a share or like back when you express genuine interest in other people’s work.
12. Present Memorable Images
According to online marketing expert Jeff Bullas, articles with images receive 94% more views than text-only articles. When there are millions of social media exchanges daily, you want to make sure that your messages get across before they drown in the abysmal sea of shares and tweets.
Add attention-grabbing images to bring more traffic to your posts. Design tools such as Adobe Photoshop or any other image editor can make photos look and display better. Great visuals enhance user experience, and people are more likely to share these attractive and interesting images.
13. Add Charts and Infographics
Charts and Infographics are great visual aids to present ideas more expressively. You can convert any text or data content into easy-to-understand graphic presentations.
Infographics and charts do well on Pinterest and Google Plus, so they work especially well in gaining followers on these two platforms. Make sure the visual elements are appealing, and pay attention to the format, color, and font size when you design.
You may opt to use premade templates to easily build and customized charts and infographics. Tools like Infogr.am or Easel.ly can help you save time and money. They have thousands of themes available for easy drag-and-drop designing. You can even customize elements to match your brand’s look and feel.
Both Infogr.am and Easel.ly offer free accounts. You can upgrade to a fee-based subscription to access even more features.
14. Include Engaging Videos
According to Adobe, 51.9% marketing professionals worldwide says video is the content with the best ROI (Return on Investment). In addition, Retailers observes a 40% increase in purchase as a result of having videos.
Today, videos have become many marketers’ prime choice of product or service demos. Videos are stimulating ways to show and tell content.
With today’s technology, you can easily produce quality short films straight from a smartphone. An easy way to start is to first create a YouTube or Vimeo account. Third party video hosts save you bandwidth and have little effect on pagespeed (SEM article about speed test). Upload all of your videos and embed them into your website, then share it on social networks.
You can even make animated films with tools like Animaker. The cloud-based animation tool creates animated infographics, presentations and short films. It provides a library of effects, props and characters or you can upload your own assets. Brand it with your company logo and contact information for effective call-to-action. Try it for free:
Take advantage of Facebook’s auto-play function to run videos as they appear on a user’s screen. You can win more followers with content that deliver an engaging user experience.
If you are making promotional videos, it is a good idea to keep them short and to the point. Experts suggest that the ideal time frame for a promotional video should be less than 2 to 3 minutes. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, the average attention span of adults is about 8.25 seconds. So don’t lose your audience before they’d gotten to the “promotional” part.
15. Make Use of Call-to-Action
Call-to-action is the ultimate component that makes conversion happen. It can be in the forms of text links, buttons, or URL embedded images that direct users to perform an action.
This action can be anything. Such as to make a purchase, to subscribe, to take a survey, to visit a particular webpage, or to participate in a poll.
One of the best strategies to get more followers with call-to-action is to make your content one-click sharable. Apps like SumoMe or AddThis can be easily plugged into almost any CMS (Content Management System). The best part of all, both are free to use. They allow social media icons to toggle on webpages, so visitors can quickly share articles onto their social media pages with a single click.
16. Update the Cover Page
The often neglected cover page image is actually a good way to improve branding. More than often it is amongst the first things visitors see when they come to your social media page.
According to Xerox, the world’s leading printing solution, color can improve brand recognition and gain leadership by up to 80%, and makes an impression that is 39% more memorable. So don’t just stick any picture on the cover page to fill up space. Use colorful and captivating images that represent your brand to get noticed.
In addition, cover pages are great opportunities for marketing. Many brands take advantage of their cover page photo space and use it as an effective advertising medium.
Change up the covers on Facebook and LinkedIn to show your latest promotions. It is the perfect top-position spot to show off your brand’s personality and stand out from the competition. When you get more attention, you can attract more followers.
17. Run Email Campaigns
When you are sending off email blasts to customers, remember to promote your social media profiles in these messages. This is another great way to encourage customers already on your existing communication list to follow you on social media.
These email communications can be weekly campaigns, thank you emails, and even auto responses.
Make it easy for people to follow you. Put the social links in visible places, or make them into call-to-action buttons. Make it even more motivating for viewers to follow you by throwing in an incentive. For example, you can make an exclusive email campaign to “take 10% off when you like us on Facebook!”
18. Retarget Warm Leads
There must be customers, friends or colleagues that are familiar with your business but are not one of your followers. For example, those in your immediate circle, vendors, people you met at networking events.
Send them an invitation to reconnect on social media. Include your company page in the message and ask people to follow you.
Better yet, run a retargeting campaign on Facebook to specifically target visitors who have visited your website but have yet to follow you. Targeting warm leads can give you a better chance at converting them into followers.
You need to have Facebook custom audience set up first before you can create this campaign. So when visitors come to your website with your custom audience code, they will be added into the “Custom Audience” category. Go to Facebook Ad Manager and select this “Custom Audience” in the Audience option to start your retargeting campaign.
19. Find Your Best Time to Post on Social Media
Is Friday better than Wednesday to make a post? Should you post at 8am, not 8pm? There is no guarantee on when to post on social media that will make it go viral.
However, there are things you can do to predict the best post timing that generates more response. The key is to find out the best timing from data – your own data, because it is different for every business and industry.
Post scheduling is a great function that allows you to choose the date and time you publish posts. Facebook has this handy function built in and is free to use. It is an easy and convenient way to publish your posts so you never miss the peak activity hours again.
Use analytics from Facebook Insights along with Google AdWords or Bing Ads to identify the prime hours with the most active users. Target your posts at the right time can bring more opportunities to gain followers.
Use social media management tools such as Sproutsocial or Hootsuite to sync all your social media marketing into one platform. You can schedule posts, respond to inquiries, and get in-depth analytics all from one place. It helps to cut through all the tedious and repetitive steps and can really save you time.
20. Invest In Paid Advertising
Paid advertising is available on most social media networks. Social platforms have become the gold-mine marketing spaces for businesses because of their invaluable user database.
For example, Facebook alone is the second most visited website right behind Google. It has 1.09 billion daily active users as of Spring 2016. It aggregates a massive amount of user information such as demographic, interest, behaviors and preferences. These comprehensive user data help brands to target ads with more precision while better control their marketing budget.
Paid social media advertising does a wonderful job at raising brand awareness and gaining new followers. When you run ads on social media, first set a feasible budget and start with one or two networks to test out your market.
Try Facebook boost to promote one of your most popular posts. You can target an audience based on interest. Then expand that group with Facebook’s Lookalike audience function to include a bigger market share with similar criteria as your original selection.
Social media adverting can effectively target prospects and quickly grow your follower base. Learn more about social media advertising strategies.
21. Bring on the Power of Hashtags
Hashtags was first introduced in 2007. It then became an evolutionary way to connect social media searches and communications.
Brands innovatively utilize it to create successful marketing campaigns. When used appropriately, the little “#” (pound) symbol can make a big impact at a rather small cost.
One thing to note: #HashtagAbuse #isnot #suchAGreatIdea! #IfyouknowWhatImean?!
How 7 Most Influential Social Media Networks Use Hashtags:
- Twitter is the early adopter of #hashtag, and probably does the most daily exchanges of the little “#” within its Twitter Stream. Hashtags in Twitter works like keywords. They are searchable within the community for related topics.
- Facebook links hashtag to users’ posts as their privacy setting allows. Facebook also has a “Trending” section within its Newsfeed featuring the most discussed topics.
- LinkedIn made an announcement that as of July 29th, 2013, they are no longer supporting the LinkedIn Signal feature. It originally allowed users to search for news, status updates and hashtag phrases from the network. The retirement of LinkedIn Signal was the official drop for hashtag use from LinkedIn.
- Instagram is another hashtag heavy social network. It categorizes photos according to hashtags added by users. This makes photo searches within Instagram easy like a piece of cake.
- Pinterest is unlike most popular social media websites.The hashtag in Pinterest does not direct users to search results that are exclusive to the tagged phrase. Only the hashtags contained in a Pin description can be clicked on and redirected to a general search result. It may return any variations of phrases related to the hashtagged phrase.
- Google+ automatically hashtags relevant or content worthy keywords as determined by Google+. However, you may remove any tag or include your own.
- YouTube uses tagged phrases to yield search results of videos. This is widely adopted by commenters, and is a useful tool to instantly search for mentioned videos.
Social Media Marketing Strategies that Works for Your Business, Website, or Blog
There are many tried and true ideas out there for social media marketing and the best plan for your business still comes from what is receptive to your customers. As internet and technology bring us closer, social media forever changed the way people connect with each other and with the world.
Now every business has the opportunity to expand outside of its physical location and possibly reach any part of the globe. There are many opportunities out there and always room for growth, so don’t worry if your campaigns are not perfect on the first day of launch. As you continue to nurture your fan base, your ROI goals will begin to experience steady progress over time.
Social Media Advertising Strategies to Quickly Scale Your Business
Social media has evolved from a trend to almost an unwritten necessity for businesses over the past years. Brands worldwide are adopting social media advertising as a quintessential online marketing strategy.
Social network’s powerful analytic tools can assist marketers to precisely target interest and accurately benchmark ad performance. So how do companies make the most out of social advertising to scale their businesses? We will explore the key benefits and strategies of social media advertising to help you gain more business opportunities online.
What is Social Media Advertising?
Social media advertising focuses on the paid aspect of social media marketing. While every social network is unique, advertising on the major social platforms has inevitable common grounds.
So let’s explore these advertising strategies and how to use them to strengthen your overall social media marketing effort.
How Businesses Utilize Social Media Advertising?
According to Hootsuite, one of the best social media brand management system, social media advertising spending accounts for 14% of all digital advertising expenditures today. The predicted social media advertising spending in 2017 is estimated to exceed $35 billion. That is going to be a 52% increase of equivalent ad dollars spent than 2015.
Hootsuite’s figures also shown that since 2014, about 80% of US marketers advertise with Twitter promote. 90% of US advertisers planned Facebook ads in 2015. Meanwhile, all 100 of the top 100 brands ran ads on YouTube in the past year.
These astonishing numbers suggest that companies are aggressively taking action to run promotions, gain more audience and raise brand awareness through social media.
Benefits of Social Media Advertising
Leading social media platforms published their latest data on social media user trends. They revealed that in 2016, there are 1.65 billion monthly active users on Facebook, 310 million on Twitter, and more than 433 million registered members on LinkedIn spread across 200 different countries.
This means whether or not you have curated a large group of social followers, advertising on social media can effectively get your message in front of a massive audience.
With the rapid growth of social media, millions of social exchanges happen on a daily basis. It is the perfect stage for brands to capture market share and engage users with ideas, products and services.
Through analytics data from social network providers, you can gain a greater understanding of your audience, and drive leads more precisely. So use it to your advantage and grow your business online.
7 Social Media Advertising Strategies to Successful Online Marketing
1. Integrate Ads within Great Content
Social media advertising is all about introducing your brand persona to the audience. It is about creating marketing pieces that generate response and appeal to interests.
However, in today’s ad-laden internet space, people automatically tune out advertisements. So in order to diminish the “commercial” feel to business social posts, consider the user experience before the promotion in an ad copy.
Most ads are now shown within the feeds of social network platforms. Businesses have mastered the art of “ad disguise” with enticing content.
It can be a short film, music video, infographic, Memes, or a funny photo to stimulate interest. It all goes back to the good old saying – content is king! So don’t just run a sales pitch. Focus on creating a piece of winning content that engages users.
If you need help on how to run ads on different social platforms, there are step-by-step tutorials to guide you through. LinkedIn’s self-learning platform Lynda provides a series of social media advertising training and tutorials that you can watch at your own pace and convenience.
It offers a wide range of topics for beginners or advanced professionals. You can easily follow the instructors to create and perfect profit-turning social media campaigns.
2. Practice Cross Platform Posting
Social media marketing is a full-time job. It is a time-consuming process that requires constant attention. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube… With so many different platforms available, you need to spend quite an effort making posts on every single network. While it is a necessary duty, it does not have to be tedious work.
The good news is there are tools at your disposal that can integrate multiple platforms into one. Social media management tools such as Hootsuite and SproutSocial allow users to manage all of their posts, messages and even run analytics on one consolidated platform.
With social media management tools, you can schedule when to run ads, monitor profiles, and customize posts within the platform. You can also apply one post across multiple networks, and do content planning with social media content calendar. Both tools allow you to gain access to detailed user engagement insights in addition to identifying popular topics and trending posts. Advanced analytics are also available such as Google analytics integration and trend reporting.
3. Frequent Ad Rotation
In advertising, having an impressionable ad message gives you the instrument for conversion. If you have content enticing enough to stop that fast mouse-scrolling action, then you have a great advertisement.
So how do you stand out from the hundreds of posts that users zip through in their social news feeds? Make the ad impactful and alternate between variations of messages and designs frequently.
Rotate your ads regularly to keep viewers interested can save you from the declining click-through rate. This means you should have several versions of the same ad with different marketing messages, images, and even different promotion methods.
By keeping user engagement high, you can have better control of the marketing budget and keep down the cost-per-click rate. Change up ad copies regularly so your audience does not feel like they have seen the same post too many times to care.
4. Personalize Messages
Target personalized communications toward different groups of audience. You can make very specific audience selections within platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn ads.
Cater customized messages to selective viewers can really enhance the user experience. For example, if your website sells cookies, tailor ad message to various groups of customers based on their preferences. Make an ad for those who like chocolate cookies, and do another version for the sugar cookie fans.
Make good use of analytics such as Facebook Insights. It provides information-rich data that can target ads to the right niche.
You can also make things easier by using an all-in-one social media management tool like Hootsuite or SproutSocial. They deliver an extra layer of in-depth analytics to help you gain more understanding of user behaviors. They are also great for finding trending topics.
5. Adopt Direct e-Commerce
Facebook is taking an innovative step since 2015 to introduce the call-to-action “buy” button (currently in beta testing). This means e-commerce stores are able to utilize social networks to make sales directly to consumers without even leaving the platform.
This is a big bonus for online stores and a whole new experience for shoppers. Businesses are able to roll out ads that allow users to purchase right on the spot.
It cuts through the long checkout funnels of traditional e-commerce stores. Instead, you can make a sale in just a few clicks. Along with well strategized Facebook ads and post promotions, you’ve got yourself a fully equipped marketing channel to make the conversion happen faster.
If you are using an online e-commerce website builder and management tool like Shopify and BigCommerce, there are a variety of social media extensions you can utilize. For example, like, share, add, Twitter widget, Facebook Connect, and Facebook Store Application. Users can access your products directly from Facebook and other supported social media platforms. Shopify also rolled out the “buy” button to allow direct purchase on Facebook.
In addition, e-commerce builders allow users to construct and manage their e-commerce stores without having extensive knowledge in coding or web development. Both Shopify and BigCommerce provide complete setup help as well as 24/7 customer support to back up your business.
6. Design to Serve Mobile Ads
Today, everywhere you turn, you see people on their mobile phones. As smartphones continue to advance in technology, we can do almost everything business or leisure related on our phones.
That includes checking social media activities. Brands are finding new ways and capturing opportunities to better market to the massive mobile user segment on social media.
Facebook’s latest statistics reveals 989 million mobile daily active users as of 2016.Twitter reports 83% of their 310 million monthly active users are on mobile devices.
Mobile advertising has become a big online marketing focus for businesses all over the world. Many platforms such as Facebook provide options for advertisers to target users on mobile only.
You can create ad copies that are specifically optimized for mobile viewing. In addition, proper mobile tracking is also in place when you run ads on mobile.
So how do you create eye-catching mobile ad messages that convert? You need the following essential ingredients.
4 Tips to Create Social Media Advertisements that Drives Conversion
- Deliver short, personalized, and to the point messages
- Include clear images that look presentable on mobile screens
- Try interactive elements such as videos, they are great attention grabbers
- Integrate website analytics with social media analytics to a better target audience
7. Continue to A/B Test Ad Features
A/B testing is vital to any online advertising. It allows you to find out what version of an ad component or message creates the most conversions. You know how easy it is to burn through that marketing budget.
So whether you are a seasoned veteran or new to social media advertising, A/B testing can help you improve ad strategies and keep cost down.
A/B testing helps marketers to better understand their customers and how to best market to them. Conduct A/B Testing on selective niche audience. You can start by making 2 copies of the same ad in social media such as Facebook. Change one element in one of the ad copies, and always test one component at a time.
For instance, you can offer the discount as “$10 dollars off” and “20% off”. Keep everything else identical in the ad copies, and test the response rate of each ad.
Once you have identified which pricing strategy works best, move on to the next element until you have perfected the campaign. Ad features such as image selection, verbiage choice, or even colors are all good test subjects that can potentially affect the campaign results.
One Last Thought on Social Media Marketing Strategies
The core of any successful advertising comes down to audience engagement with your marketing message. Make social media marketing part of your marketing strategy will improve the overall presence of your business online.