1. CREATE A STRATEGY
The first step to using social media as a marketing platform is creating a game plan. What do you want to achieve from using your social media? Social media can help you reach out to new customers, advertise your business, connect with your followers, and spread the word of your cause. The social media is a great tool to use for marketing, but you must figure out what you want to build first.
2. FINDING YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE
Who are you trying to reach through social media? If you’re aiming to be the trendy new coffee shop, your audience isn’t going to be seniors… You’re going to want to market to a much younger audience who is looking for the extra boost that your coffee can get them, but you also want the people who are business-oriented and in a hurry to get to their meeting. You’re going to want to spend a lot of time on this, because you’re going to need to look at different distribution channels for your business and different marketing opportunities within your target audience.
Luckily, these days it seems like everyone is on at least one form of social media. Expanded Ramblings did a poll of all the users on the top 800 social networks and apps. They found that 1.44 billion people are on Facebook, 300 million are on Instagram, and 302 million people are on Twitter. This means that you can now connect with more people that humanity has ever been able to before!
These people are potential resources and they are just waiting for you to reach out to them. Once you find, it’s your job to make them consumers of your product, supporters of your cause, or partners in your business, and that means marketing!
Keep in mind that once you find your target market and create a relationship with them, it is extremely important to maintain that relationship. Keep your Instagram photos coming daily, and your hourly tweets rolling away. Your followers are following you for a reason, so make sure to always keep the conversation going.
3. BE FOCUSED AND CONSISTENT
Don’t let your followers forget about you! You’ve worked hard to get their attention, and now you must be consistently present to keep their interest. Always be posting something somewhere… constantly feed your audience with valuable, focused content.
That being said, don’t post only for the sake of posting. Offer your audience something of significance — give them things that relate to your business, brand, or cause. If you are going to share an article with you following, be sure it relates to who you are as a business and what you stand for or believe in.
Being the king of social media takes work! You must always tend to your social media garden, and if you do so then your business will be sure to flourish. More and more followers will sprout in no time.
4. BUILD YOUR FOLLOWING
Now that you know your strategy, your target audience, and your content, it is time to build your following. The more you post, the more opportunities of someone new seeing that post increases. If you look into peak internet usage times and post at those times or even schedule a post to post at those times, you are more likely to be seen in the gigantic cyber universe.
That being said, always work to connect to new people on the web. Tools like #hashtags and back-linking can help people find your business quicker or become more likely to join your cause. On Twitter, #hashtags can even broaden your audience. Using the proper amounts of hashtags and marketing-oriented hashtag selection, they can help expose your business and invite new people to join on your conversation.
Find the right hashtags, learn how to use them optimally, and watch your following grow!
5. USE ANALYTICS
One of the greatest parts of using social media for online marketing is the ability to monitor and asses everything you and your audience does. Analyzing the user flow of your business can surge the effectiveness of your marketing strategy!
When you’re working with analytics, be sure to track the amount of followers you have, your click-through rate, and where your drop-offs happen. This information is valuable in the fact that you can track what posts get you more followers, what distribution channels you get the most visits from, and where on your website people leave due to boredom or maintenance issues.
How much traffic is your site getting? If only a few people visit your page a day, maybe it’s a sign that you need to make some changes to your site. Try adding videos to get more people interested in your site. Get rid of pages with little information and maximize your conversion by creating a conversion and search-engine optimized website.
6. EXPAND YOUR REACH
Once you reach your target audience; reach further! Broaden your horizons and actively work to discover new audiences. You should keep tabs on who’s following you and reach out to people with similar interests. They may also be interested in your business and can spread the word to their friends about your business. Expanding your reach can help to expand your business.
7. BUILD TRUST
Always remember to be honest on social media. Take a “#nofilter” approach when it comes to establishing your online presence. Be clear and concise when it comes to your posts and what you’re trying to achieve, while also displaying quality content. After all, honesty suggests reliability, and people want to work with people who are trustworthy.