If you forego social media marketing, you miss a potential audience of 4.2 billion people. You may also fall behind your competitors.
Nearly three-quarters of small and medium businesses use social media for advertising, and half of those post daily. Additionally, your social media audience can be as large as that of big brands on social media platforms.
While managing social media marketing, you can learn more about your target audience and learn more about your competitors at the same time. In short, you ignore social media marketing at your own peril.
If social media marketing is in your plans this year, here is how to give it the kick it needs to get outstanding results.
Know Your Audience
Social media marketing will help you learn more about your target audience. But you should know your audience before setting up your social media accounts.
Knowing your audience helps you select the best social media platform(s) to use. It also helps you target paid social media ads, so they appear in front of the right people.
As you gain experience marketing on social media, you will learn more about your audience and can fine-tune your ad targeting. You may also find out about audiences you had never considered, and you can target them with advertising too.
The more you understand your ideal audience, the better your position is to take advantage of all the benefits social media marketing offers.
Pick Your Platform(s) with Care
Social media has matured enough that it is easier to select the platform(s) where your target audience spends most of its time. There is no need to attempt to market on every social media platform.
In fact, if you try to market across every social media platform, you risk burnout. Moreover, you risk putting effort and money into marketing campaigns that don’t deliver ROI.
Consider the type of content you plan to use for marketing too. Different platforms tend to do better with specific types of content. Trying to shoehorn “square peg” content into a “round hole” platform will only waste time and money.
The following table lists the major social media platforms, the general demographics that spend time there, and the types of content that work best.
|Platform||Audience||Best Content Types|
|All ages, skews slightly older||Photos, live video, links|
|Millennials||Aspirational or adventurous images|
|Gen X Professionals||Long-form content, “core value” marketing|
|Snapchat||Gen Z, Millennials||Trendy, positive content|
|TikTok||Teens, young adults||Humor, entertainment videos|
|Millennials, Gen X||News, humor|
|YouTube||All ages, skews slightly younger||How-to videos, webinars, explanatory videos|
Plan Content in Advance
Once you choose which platform or platforms you want to focus on, you need a plan. It isn’t enough to tell yourself you’ll post twice a week on Facebook and put up a new YouTube video every month.
Your social media marketing won’t deliver good results without a content plan. Therefore, you must create a plan for the upcoming quarter.
Create a calendar showing which platform you interact with on which days and the type of content you will post. How do you plan to get that content ready?
If you’re doing it all yourself, you have your work cut out. If multiple people will be working on social media marketing, they must all know about the content calendar. They must understand what content they are expected to create and when to post it.
It is better to start small and scale up as you gain experience. There is nothing wrong with starting out with a single social media platform and a less ambitious posting schedule.
You’re far better off starting small and increasing your efforts than trying to do it all at once and falling short in a major way. Your first goal should be to establish a consistent presence.
Consistent posting is much better than posting “when you can.” You’ll find those times “when you can” are few and far between. Seeing space in your calendar and thinking you have to create a dozen Facebook posts is overwhelming for most people.
Again, you can start small. Aim to post once a week until that cadence is natural to you. Then you can increase it to twice or three times a week as you are able.
Consistency is easier on you and your team and is better for establishing brand recognition. Your steady drumbeat of content may not go viral, but it will establish your brand and your presence in front of your audience.
Only Post High-Quality Content
Another reason to start small and ramp up as you can has to do with content quality. Posting bad-quality content may be worse than not posting at all.
Study what gets traction and attention on the platforms you choose. If image posts do well, invest in the best imagery you can. If videos are the most popular, ensure you only post high-quality videos, even if it means hiring professionals to help you create them.
Just like with your website, the quality of the content you publish must be high for people to take you seriously. Quality should always win out over quantity when it comes to creating social media content because there is infinite competition for social media users’ attention.
Whether with organic social media posts or paid social media advertising, look at what your analytics tell you. Hunches are frequently wrong, but data doesn’t lie.
For organic posts, learn which ones are shared, liked, or commented on the most. What do these top-performing posts have in common? It could be anything, such as
- Content type
- Time of day posted
- Day of the week posted
- The wording you used
- The imagery you selected
Find the commonalities, and you can post more of what works.
With paid social media advertising, you can access even more powerful analytics. You probably won’t be able to make sense of it at first.
But you can learn which ads performed best with your target audience. Find the commonalities of the top-performing ads. As you learn to double down on successful ads, you will also learn more performance metrics to analyze your ads in more depth.
Again, let the data tell you its story. Sometimes it’s disappointing when a post or an ad that you were particularly proud of falls flat. But data doesn’t lie.
Take a Free Online Course
You don’t have to go into social media marketing as a complete novice. Many online courses exist for people who want to learn about it, and many are free.
Google and Meta (Facebook) offer free courses to learn about digital and social media marketing, and companies that make social media marketing tools do too.
These online courses can be an excellent investment of your time. You will understand the terminology better and learn more about which platforms are likely to work for you and how to understand analytics.
You Can Always Outsource
Not every small or medium business has the personnel or resources to do its own social media marketing. That’s okay because we can do it for you.
Exchange Media Group offers digital marketing services that include social media marketing. We know what works and how to use analytics to improve continually on the platforms.
Set up a call with our team if you’re interested in social media marketing but don’t have the time for a DIY approach. We would be delighted to help you turbocharge your social media marketing and get the results you deserve.