From hashtags, tweeting, stories, and posts, the world of Social Media can be a confusing place.
Coupled with ever-changing social trends, algorithm changes, and platform updates, managing a successful social media marketing campaign is difficult. It takes both a solid understanding of your target audience as well as platform-specific knowledge.
But, with the number of people actively using social media, it’s a channel you simply can’t ignore as part of your brand’s marketing strategy. Instagram now has over 1 billion active monthly users, and 1.65 billion users visit Facebook daily.
If you’re a SMB looking to increase your online presence using social media, it’s important to take a strategic approach to make the most of your social media marketing efforts. In this guide, we’ll explore the 5 key backbones to any social media campaign, and give you tips on how to create a campaign that produces quality leads for your business.
#1. Figure Out Where Your Target Audience Is
Target audience research is one of the most important steps of your marketing plan. Before you put money into social media ads, make sure your target audience is actually using the platforms you’re planning to advertise on.
First, compile data on your current customers. Where are they located, what age groups are they in, and what are their other interests?
When you have a clear view of your target audience, consider which platform this audience uses. For example, Instagram is most popular with millennials, while Facebook is popular across many age groups.
Researching your audience and finding where they spend time online can save you time and money spent advertising in the wrong places.
#2. Use Hashtags Wisely
When used correctly, hashtags can get more relevant eyes on your social media posts. In fact, posts with hashtags can get up to 70% more engagement than those that don’t. Take some time to research hashtags related to your business, and make sure you include them in your posts.
That said, don’t just copy and paste a wall of hashtags on to each post – choose hashtags that are related to the content you’re posting. Cluttering every post with the same hashtags, or even unrelated hashtags can appear spammy. There’s lots of research surrounding the optimal number of hashtags to use per post – we say keep it anywhere between 5-7 for the most engagement.
It’s also important to use both popular hashtags and less-searched hashtags. Using popular hashtags can help you reach more customers, but you’ll also be competing with other brands using the same hashtags. Less-searched hashtags can allow you to target a relevant audience, with less competition.
#3. Create Robust Profiles On Your Most Important Platforms
Imagine you’re looking on Instagram for a new restaurant to visit during your upcoming trip to Austin, Texas. You may be looking at hashtags like #austinrestaurants, #ATXeats, etc, and you see a photo that catches your eye. You click into the profile and are greeted with a lackluster feed, an empty profile description, and uninspired captions. What are their hours? Where are they located? No matter what industry you’re in, having complete, up-to-date information on your social media profiles is an important part of your social media marketing strategy. Incomplete profiles don’t signal authority to users, and any money you’ve spent getting them to your page is wasted if they have a bad first impression on your profile, or can’t find the information they’re looking for.
Make sure you fill out all available fields with current information and have recent posts on your page that showcase what your business is all about. In our restaurant example, you could post weekly specials, happy hour deals, interior photos, and even chef highlights to make your profile more engaging and informative.
#4. Format Your Ads Correctly
Now that you know the platform you’re going to advertise on, the hashtags you’re going to use, and you have a great-looking social profile, it’s time to think about the creative for your ads. Make sure you’re using high-quality, engaging images for your posts. Blurry images or stock photos probably won’t make social media users stop scrolling. Create eye-catching content and copy for your ads, and make it very clear what your company or brand is all about. They say a picture is worth a thousand words – choose them wisely!
#5. Track, Optimize, Repeat
Social media marketing isn’t a set-it and forget-it task. Whether your marketing goal is to get more website form fills, new page likes, or purchases, create a strategy for how you’re going to use data to optimize your campaign for success. If you take a set it and forget it approach to your campaign, you’re missing out on opportunities to improve your ad performance.
Setting up conversion tracking from the get-go lets you measure what ads, tags, images, and audiences are performing best, and enables you to make informed decisions regarding your strategy and changes you may need to make.
Learn More About Social Media Marketing
At Marketing 360, we offer robust social media marketing services that can help you grow your business. Learn more about our social media marketing services by giving us a call at 1-833-277-1328.