What is Social Media and Why is it Important?
Social media is an internet-based form of communication that allows users to have conversations, share information and create web content. That, of course, is the clinical, technical definition of social media. But what does social media mean in terms of marketing, and what does it mean for digital marketing in particular?
Social media is significant toward digital marketing for a multitude of reasons, including but not limited to being a way to get customer feedback, attract customers and build customer loyalty. With over 4.2 billion active social media users across the globe, if you aren’t developing and focusing on social media within your digital marketing strategy, you’re doing your own business a disservice. Social media can help build your brand, grow your business and help you communicate with your consumers as well, all of which creates a business that is modern, effective, communicative and familiar.
Consider this— 83% of Instagram users say they discover new products through the platform. That’s 83% of 1.45 billion potential consumers; so why miss out? Take this blog as your north star, guiding you and your business towards a strong, profitable social media presence.
How To Use Social Media For Your Business
You may think the first step is creating pages on all socials for your business— Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and so on, but that isn’t it! First and foremost, as with all things in life, you need a plan, a social media strategy. To kick this off, ask yourself, what are your goals and objectives for your social media marketing strategy? After you’ve identified this, research the competition, conduct a social media audit, and try to see what other competitors within the same industry or market as you are doing. What are their strategies lacking? What can you do better?
You should also research your audience— what age group are you marketing towards, and what platforms do they prefer? There are a few misconceptions surrounding this; for example, if your target market is people above the age of 50, social media marketing might not be your top priority, but consider— adults over the age of fifty are Facebook’s fastest growing audience segment. Likewise, data shows that nearly a quarter of Facebook users are aged 18-24, but most businesses tend to overlook Facebook when considering how to market towards the aforementioned age group. Here’s 114 social media demographics that matter to marketers in 2022.
And remember to use the 80-20 rule! 80 percent of your posts should be designed to inform, educate or entertain, and 20 percent should directly promote your business. We’ve also taken the liberty to find an ideal social media calendar template for you to use, just to get started.
How To Create an Effective Social Media Strategy
You might be thinking; what even is a social media strategy? What defines it?
Simply put, a social media strategy is usually a document that outlines your social media goals, how to achieve those goals, and the metrics you’ll use to measure and track your progress. Therefore, a successful social media strategy is a four part plan— there should be an overview, set goals, the execution of these goals and an analysis at the end.
Starting by setting goals that are relevant to and represent your business objectives— the easiest way to do this is to utilize the S.M.A.R.T goals framework. This means that each of your goals should be:
An example of this can be:
“We will use Instagram for self-promotion, and will increase engagement by 22% by the end of the first quarter.”
After identifying your goals, right off the bat, you should create a social media calendar. A social media calendar is an overview of your upcoming social media posts, but it should also include things like platform-specific format, (such as feed posts, stories, reels, polls, live streams, etc), geo-targeting, and what type of advertisements you’re planning to use for which posts (paid or organic, for example). It helps one get organized and save time, and also makes it easier to post consistently which, in this fast-paced age of social media, places you at an advantage. Furthermore, these posts should be organized by date, and perhaps also time— it doesn’t necessarily need to be a calender, but there should be an outline which includes:
- The date and time your post will go live
- The social network and account the post will be published
- Links and tags to be included, and so on.
Just posting, however, is not enough to count as the execution of the goals you’ve set. You don’t want to post too much, or too less, and you definitely don’t want your posts to go unnoticed or overlooked simply because you happened to post them at the wrong time. Each of these have their own consequences— frequent posting So, how often should you be posting to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter? And at what time? Worry not, because we’ve taken the liberty to find two detailed analyses for you— for time and postings both!
How to Create Content for Your Business on Social Media Platforms
Content creation is, of course, subjective. There’s no one right way to be creative, and the last thing we’d want is to stifle your creativity with our ideas.But we also acknowledge that having to create fresh, new content to be posted across a variety of different social media platforms can get exhausting, so here’s five easy social media content ideas you can try. A cheat sheet, you could say!
- Make memes! This is the easiest way to get some quick interactions, but it’s also a slippery slope, because it can be quite hard to stay in touch with the trends, especially since internet culture moves fast, and what’s funny today can become dull tomorrow. Memes are time-sensitive, but they allow for quite engaging content!
- Give customers the spotlight! Or, in other words, consumer-generated content. This is one of the easiest ways to get quick content— start a hashtag, feature the people that are using your product or service, encourage your audience to make posts about them and repost them on your account. Not only is this fast and easy content, but it also allows for there to be a sense of community within your consumers, which contributes directly to their brand loyalty toward you!
- Make polls! Or any kind of engaging content that asks questions— in today’s digital age, there’s nothing people love more than arguing over minute details, so why not use that to your advantage?
- Go behind the scenes! Allow your audience to get a sneak-peek into what makes your business function, what makes you, You! This also helps put a face, or an identity to the company, and can help humanize it depending on what you post— don’t be afraid to be vulnerable! Show your mistakes, as the public adores and follows what they can relate to.
- Create a series! Something that stays consistent on your page, things like industry-related recommendations, advice, or anything, really. This also works well for your audience, as if you set fixed days, they can have something to look forward to every day, week or month!