If you want to succeed, you’re going to do a lot of failing—and that’s okay. But there are a lot of people who came before you and learned lessons the hard way, so you don’t have to. We’ve put together some things to keep in mind if you want to have a strong social media presence. Follow our advice, and you’ll find that social media marketing isn’t as overwhelming as people say it is.
1. Have a clear strategy
One of the most common mistakes people make is to jump onto the social media bandwagon without any clear strategy. While social media may seemingly be “free,” there is actually a lot at stake. The time and the effort that you spend on maintaining a social media profile could be spent elsewhere. This is why it’s important to have a strategy before committing to social media marketing.
If you want to succeed at social media marketing, make sure you have the answers to the following questions
a. What are my goals with social media marketing?
b. Who is my target audience? Which social networks do my target audience spend time on, and how can I reach them?
c. What kind of content should I create? Are my objectives being met, and am I getting enough engagement on my posts?
A sure-fire way to succeed in social media marketing is to be very clear on what your goals are. Make sure that you and your team are on the same page as to what they’re working towards.
2. Engage in conversations
Businesses that have a strong presence on social media all have one thing in common—they have conversations with their followers. When you’re on social media, it’s important to keep track of what your target audience is talking about. What problems are they facing? What solutions are they looking for? Maybe you’re already providing the solutions they want, but if not, you have an opportunity to engage with your audience and improve your product. Keeping track of these conversations will go a long way in ensuring social media success.
Conversations on social media are important because people treat their social media profiles as their personal space. When they like your Facebook page or follow you on Instagram and Twitter, they’re letting you into their space. They’re not just looking for information, they’re looking to build connections.
Be sure to keep the lines of communication with your customers open. Your activity on social media shouldn’t be a monologue. Ensure that you’re replying to people who mention you on social media, and be sure to do it within a reasonable time. You may want to consider using social media management tools to stay on top of your profiles and pages.
3. Focus on the most important thing—Content.
The success of your social media presence is not measured by the number of likes your Facebook page has or the number of followers you have on Twitter. It doesn’t depend on the number of reactions that your posts get.
My friend who runs a GMB verification service tells me that many brands get carried away and pay for “likes” and “followers.” Companies also use bots to manufacture likes for their content. While this might seem tempting, this will actually do more harm than good for your brand.
When your main goal becomes increasing your likes and followers, you’re spending time and energy on a futile exercise. The spike in likes and followers that you manufacture will have no impact on your business. When likes and followers are paid for, they contribute nothing to your actual outreach or sales metrics.
If you want to succeed at social media marketing, focus on creating quality content that will attract the audience you want to target on these platforms. When you create engaging, meaningful content, your follower count will automatically grow. Plus, it’s more rewarding when you know that all your followers are people who are actually interested in your brand and what you offer, and not paid followers that exist just to boost your numbers.
4. Keep your posts relevant
Hood poet and famous rapper Tupac Shakur once said, “If you can’t find anything to live for, find something to die for.”
People follow you on social media because they’re either interested in your product, or they’re curious. They want to see relevant, informative content that adds value to their social media experience. Sharing memes may get likes on your page, but is that the goal you had in mind? It’s important to create content that’s in line with your overall marketing strategy and business goals. You may think sharing inspirational quotes and “good morning” messages will make you appear endearing, but that’s likely not what your audience wants to hear from you. Get to the point. Follow your strategy. Are your posts really tying in? Are you aligning your content with your strategy?
And don’t forget to pay attention to your posting schedule! Maintain a consistent, regular schedule so you don’t spam your followers, or disappear off their radar.
5. Optimize posting times for maximum reach
One of the problems many people face when it comes to marketing on social media is that they often do it without a plan. Social media marketing, like any other business activity, should be done scientifically to be successful. Posting at random hours in the morning or the middle of the night is the opposite of that.
Successful social media marketers analyze their posts to find out when they get the most reach, what kind of posts encourage the most engagement, and which social media network brings in the most business. One of the ways you can do this is to identify where your target audience is, and then post according to those timezones. You can also use a social media management tool to identify when your posts are performing best, and then use that data to schedule future posts.
Social media marketing can seem overwhelming at first, but the trick to success is to ensure that you’ve kept your bases covered. When your strategy is clearly defined, and you’re posting relevant content aligned with your strategy, half your work is done. Then, it’s all about posting quality content at the right time and regularly engaging with your followers, so they have a positive experience with your brand. Soon enough, you will begin to see the benefits of having a strong social media presence for your business!