If you’ve any spent time researching digital marketing strategies online, you will no doubt have come across many articles mentioning the role of social media in advertising campaigns. Social media isn’t just a place where people go to talk about their pets but an active digital marketplace that companies can use to increase conversions and boost sales.
Why Social Media is Important To Local Businesses and National Brands
Social media is vital for both local businesses and national brands. Small businesses can use platforms like Facebook and Instagram to communicate directly with customers on a one-to-one basis about what they do and the products that they offer. These platforms provide a level of brand exposure that simply isn’t available to many small firms through traditional marketing channels.
Large companies can benefit from social media too because it allows them to provide customers with more personalised advertising. Dove, for instance, wants its customers to feel confident in their bodies. The toiletries brand uses social media to promote its self-esteem project, helping people to feel better about their appearance. Dove creates highly shareable and enjoyable videos and disseminates them across a range of platforms, including YouTube and Facebook.
The Differences Between Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and Houzz.
Not all social media sites are the same from a digital marketing perspective. Each has a niche and can be used to different ends.
Facebook is the largest social media network in the world, with more than 1.65 billion unique accounts and rising. Mark Zuckerberg’s platform offers firms a variety of ways to market to customers and advertise what they do. With Facebook, you can create sponsored posts, pay for adverts to appear in user-feeds, and include calls-to-action which link to your website and forms, right from your homepage.
Facebook is perhaps the most generic of all the platforms, and suitable to businesses operating in a broad swathe of industries. Many firms use the platform to raise brand awareness and get impressions, although you can use it further down the sales funnel too.
Firms use Twitter to share snippets of information with customers and drive people to their sites. A firm, for instance, might Tweet and include a link to their website or a relevant landing page, helping to convert users. Marketing on Twitter needs to be compelling: the aim is to provide something so interesting that a user stops scrolling through their feed and clicks the link. You could try using polls, competitions, photos and video segments to draw people in.
Pinterest is great for firms that want to sell something that relies on visual marketing, like clothes or holidays. Pinterest is a picture-based social media platform where firms can post pictures with captions. Users can then click on the image, read the caption, and find out more about the products offered by the company behind it.
Finally, Houzz is a social media community for people with interest in interior design, home improvements and landscaping. Businesses that should use Houzz include landscaping companies, home improvement firms, interior designers, home builders and architects. Houzz allows companies on its platforms to share images of their work, link to their websites and showcase customer reviews.
Posting regularly on social media is key to success. If you post infrequently, your audience will forget about what you do, and interest in your products will quickly fade. If however, you post too often, you’ll become a nuisance and users will un-follow and unsubscribe. The trick, therefore, is to get the frequency of posts right.
Data from Hubspot suggests that firms should post on Facebook between once a day and three times a week. Less than that, and customers lose interest; more than that and post engagement drops by 50 per cent or more. Twitter is different. Data suggest that Twitter users are prepared to accept more than 50 posts per day, with some of the top accounts on the platform sending more than 100.
Growing follower numbers
Followers are essential on social media: the more followers you have, the more likely there will be a response to your messages. To grow follower numbers, you need to be able to engage with your target audience. If you don’t create value for people, then they will use their time on social media to stay up to date with companies that do.
Growing your followings involves:
- Understanding the demographics of your target audience
- Gaining insight into their personality types
- Understanding their buying behaviour (so you can set the tone of your marketing messages)
- Getting to know more about their interests and hobbies
So as you can see there are many elements to consider when working on a social media strategy for your business and actually delivering it.
Many businesses we work with do not have the time to manage all of their social media activity, especially if you wish to engage different audiences on the different networks with unique content.
Talk to us today to discuss how we can help.