A social media presence is vital for small businesses and major corporations alike, but is often overlooked as an important component to a digital marketing strategy. With an abundance of mature and emerging platforms, how can you make sure you’re using social media effectively?
Here are four ways to use social media to connect with your target audience, drive brand engagement and improve your bottom line:
1. Have a plan.
Brandwatch reports that 38% of organizations spent more than 20% of their total advertising budget on social media in 2016. Before you invest in a revamped social media campaign, consider what you’re trying to accomplish. Are you hoping to increase brand awareness? Drive traffic to your website? Connect with a new audience segment? Your objectives must inform your content, reflect key brand messages and align with your overall digital marketing strategy.
2. Measure your outcomes.
Most social media platforms offer analytic tools that track total mentions and impressions, both key data points that provide insight into how often people are discussing or engaging with your brand. Online listening is also crucial for businesses to monitor the conversation surrounding their brand, product or industry. You may find that you need to adjust your strategy, respond to an issue, move your focus to different geographic areas or redefine your target audience. Analytics tools can also help you connect with market influencers and identify the social platforms that best serve your brand.
3. Target your approach.
When it comes to social platforms, one size does not fit all. Tailor your social media strategy to reflect the demographics and preferences of your intended audience. A recent study by Pew Research Organization found that nearly 60% of adults ages 18-29 are active on Instagram, compared to only 8% of those 65 and older. If your company targets retirees or aging baby boomers, an Instagram account may not be relevant to your social strategy. On the other hand, an Instagram account may prove beneficial if your target audience is comprised of millennials.
4. Focus on engagement.
These days, it’s not enough to simply have a branded Facebook page or Twitter account. Consumers value immediacy and accessibility in brand relationships, expecting timely responses to complaints or concerns expressed via social networks. Brandwatch reports that 96% of people interacting with brands online do not follow branded profiles.
Here are a few ways that your business can increase engagement:
- Interact beyond your own pages
- Respond to mentions and complaints
- Use demographic and geographic metrics to make content more relevant
- Share content from other sources to increase engagement and expand your reach