- For customer interactions, businesses rely on these social media platforms to engage with existing and prospective customers, reinforce brand messaging, influence customer opinions, provide targeted offers, and service customers more efficiently.
- Further, companies are using these platforms in the hiring process to reach out to and engage with prospective employees in a more targeted and engaging manner.
- Companies are deploying internal social media tools to drive greater employee engagement, collaboration, and productivity.
- During new product development and launch, companies use a mix of internal and external social media tools for idea generation, idea evaluation, and effective new product launch.
In short, the popularity of social media marketing is exponentially growing with time. However, not all marketers understand the science behind social media algorithms and marketing strategies; hence, they lag in getting the full potential of social platforms to promote their client’s businesses.
Below are seven effective social media strategies that you must execute in 2021 to leverage social media’s potential.
1. Create a Thorough Social Media Strategy:
It doesn’t matter if you run a small local shop or a big national company. Social media for business is no longer optional. It’s a meaningful way to reach your customers, gain valuable insights, and grow your business, products, services, and brand. However, proper incorporation is where most marketers lag behind. Undoubtedly, Facebook and Instagram are two social media giants, and that’s why marketers mostly rely on these two options, only most of the time. On the other side, other social media platforms like YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Pinterest are gaining popularity among audiences due to their growing user-base and reach in the specific business niche.
Not all social media channels are suitable for every business. Before investing in social marketing budgets into any random social platform, you must know about your target audiences and the social channel they are using on priority. However, to reach potential customers, employees or candidates, you must also consider other social media platforms. Here are how some popular social media channels compare:
- LinkedIn: Great for business networking and hiring
- YouTube, TikTok and Pinterest: Ideal for specialty multimedia sharing.
- Reddit: A platform for discussion and user feedback
Now, which social platform can work well for your business? It requires an in-depth research and comprehensive discussion.
2. Research and Understand Your Audience:
Connecting with your audience will become challenging when you don’t know their taste and preferences. Hence, it’s essential to research your audience and understand their pain-points. Connecting with your audience with the most appropriate and engaging content will turn your efforts into profit. You should be capable of knowing their needs, wants, and desires to run a successful social media strategy.
Check out some points that will help you better understand your audience:
- Survey your audience to acknowledge their pain points
- Dive into their demographics.
- Respond to blog comments, post comments, and other response from your audience
- Collect feedback to understand your product/service quality
Once you have a fool-proof result, you can run an effective social media strategy that can drive proven results.
3. Build an Effective 2-way Communication Channel:
Social media is not just a content (or rich media) sharing platform. Instead, social media is a transparent platform where you must maintain a two-way communication channel with your customers or audience. Below are some common social media practices that you must consider to keep a clear 2-way communication channel.
Check how you maintain a two-way communication system.
- Posting questions and surveys related to the company as well as general topics of interests
- Getting customers, prospects, employees, and candidates to share their queries and experiences related to the company and its products, as well as themes related to the company’s business (e.g., best travel stories). It can even extend to the sharing of photos and videos.
- Set up dedicated customer service pages, tabs, or handles, as well as dedicated candidate query pages, with a promise of high responsiveness
4. Keep Control of Your Social Content:
Whether you are running an in-house social media team or outsourcing it to third party advertising partners, it’s always essential to keep the ADMIN rights on the content being posted on your social platforms. Many big brands have internal teams to keenly check every social post and grant approval to ensure only quality content is published on their social media platforms.
5. Set SMART Goals and Measure Your Performance:
It is critical for companies embarking on social media initiatives to set targets, measure performance against those targets, and compare their performance against competitors. What is measured gets improved.
Some of the Key Performance Indicators (KPI) that you must include:
- Monthly addition in the number of social media followers
- The average time taken to respond to comments by social media users by type of comment (e.g., positive feedback, customer service issue)
- Percent of job applications applied through social media, and percent of positions being closed through social media.
6. Create Content Calendar and Set Up the Best Time for Posting:
Not the whole day is worth sharing a post on social media. Similarly, you won’t be able to create social media posts every day. Hence you should start with creating a social media calendar for the entire week or month. Make a thorough research to create compelling posts for your audience.
Once the posts are ready, find the most appropriate time to make them live. Different businesses have different peak times to get a massive engagement. Most of the social networks now use some form of algorithm to filter the results they give people. It means that if you post when your target audience is online at a different time, they may never see your content.
7. Customize Your Content for Different Social Platforms:
Different social channels have various limitations for word count, graphics, videos, etc. Hence you must trim the posts as per the social platforms. Check out some crisp examples of what you need for common social channels.
- Facebook: Facebook posts can be longer, but users prefer simple and curated content. Short videos perform well on Facebook.
- Twitter: On Twitter, you can’t write more than 280 characters in a tweet. So, write a short and to-the-point message. You can also include links in tweets and hashtags.
- Instagram: On Instagram, you can share interesting, relevant photos and short videos. You can also use the STORY section to give a behind the scenes look at your business.
- Pinterest: Pinterest is also an image-focused channel. So, you should make Pinterest content around a pinnable picture.
- LinkedIn: LinkedIn is a social platform mostly used by business professionals, employees, students, job-seekers, so you need to ensure that all the posts you share are suitable for such an audience. Doing marketing over LinkedIn is the process of using LinkedIn to make connections, generate leads, improve brand awareness, foster business relationships and partnerships, share content, and drive traffic to your website.
With nearly half of the world’s population using social media platforms, hence they’re a natural place to reach new and highly targeted potential customers. Once you start following these social media marketing tips, it’s beneficial to acknowledge strong results from your efforts. Some of the benefits include:
- Increase in Brand Awareness: Building buzz around your brand requires a bit of experimenting, but having a dedicated awareness strategy remains the number one concern of businesses today. Hence, a tailor-made social media marketing strategy gives increased followers and brand recognition on social media channels, overtaking your competitors.
- Sales Improvements: Sales leads generated from social media platforms; and improved conversion of leads through actively engaging with prospects, providing targeted offers via social media, and driving greater brand advocacy by providing an open platform for happy customers to voice their opinions
- Learn More About Your Customers: All social media channels generate a huge amount of data about your customers in real time. You can use that information to make smarter business decisions.
- Increase Website Traffic: Social media posts and ads are key ways to drive traffic to your website. Sharing great content from your blog or website to your social channels is a great way to get readers as soon as you publish a new post.
- Generate Qualified Leads: Lead generation is an important benefit of social media for businesses that many social networks offer advertising formats specifically designed to collect leads from prospective customers.
- Customer Service Improvements: Reduced time of responding to customers and improved customer satisfaction.
Above are some of the great benefits that social media offers. If you’re not taking advantage of social media marketing, you’re missing out on a fast, inexpensive, and effective way to reach almost half the world’s population.