Whether you’re on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Instagram, social media offers several ways to reach out and engage your audience in a fast and cost-effective manner. But social media marketing involves more than signing up for a business page and posting a few pictures and posts here and there. It requires strategy, which is what the five steps in this guide are all about. If you want to start your new year strong, be sure to follow these social media tactics.
Identify Your Target Audience
This is basic marketing advice, but it still needs to be said because so many businesses blindly rush into social media with no idea who they’re trying to reach. If you want to be successful on social media, you need to know who your potential customers are. Aside from nailing down demographics, identify their interests, needs, preferences, lifestyles, pain points and challenges.
Choose a Network Relevant to Your Brand
Now that you know who your target audience is, the next step is to find them. Different social networks occupy a specific niche in social media. For example, LinkedIn has always been recognized as the social network for professionals—ideal if you have a B2B market. Snapchat has a young audience, so it’s a good place to market a hip brand. Facebook is the most versatile of the bunch, offering a full set of features for online shopping—perfect for retail.
Conduct Competitor Analysis
If you’re launching a social media marketing campaign for the first time, you’re probably overwhelmed by the sheer scope of what needs to be done. If so, it helps to look at what your competitors are doing, taking pointers from what works and what doesn’t.
If your business is in digital printing, you can look at companies like Vistaprint and Moo and how they’re interacting with their social media followers.
Leverage Your Customer Data
Your audience’s activity on your social media accounts is a goldmine of information you can use to optimize your efforts. See how well your posts are engaging your audience, whether it’s driving them to go to your site, and whether these actions are translating to conversions.
Social media marketing is a continual process of trial and error. For example, if you find a disconnect between your initial assumptions about your target audience and actual audience insights, don’t be afraid to realign your targets with real-world findings. Likewise, pay attention to engagement rates. If certain post types or topics see spikes in activity, simply double down to replicate these results.
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