How To ‘Do Social’ Like A Social Media Marketing Agency
Social media marketing has become an important resource for marketers in order to increase brand visibility, get more traffic, obtain valuable customer insights, distribute content, and improve SEO rankings, according to Business 2 Community.
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Guess what social media platform grew the most in the past two years? Yes, TikTok has seen engagement shoot up by 32% since 2020.
But if your business has yet to share bitesize videos using this video hosting service, choosing instead to focus on powerhouses like Facebook, keep it up. A new social media trends report that looks at the habits of hundreds of thousands of social media users, found Facebook is, despite growing competition, the No. 1 platform, drawing younger consumers as well.
Regardless of where you find the most success, a strong social media presence is a must to build your brand, gather customer insights, shine with great content, draw more traffic, and boost SEO rankings. The big question, though, is: How exactly do you achieve all of the above?
Unless you have enlisted the help of a social media marketing agency, there are proven steps you can take to master both strategy and tactics. We’ll go through them all in this post. Let’s get started.
Part 1: Strategy
Audit your social media efforts
Are you wasting valuable hours on things that don’t work? Are there opportunities that you are not leveraging? The only way to find out is to take stock of the successes and failures of your current strategy. No matter what, there’s always room for improvement.
Start by identifying the answers to the following three questions:
- What has my company been doing on social media so far?
- What about our competitors?
- What is our target audience doing on social media?
What social media channels work for your business?
As far as the first question is concerned, you should first take a look at your current social media strategy to see which channels work best, and what type of content truly engages your target audience. Take notes and adapt if necessary.
Social media is constantly changing as new channels come and go as the strong showing of TikTok shows. Video content, for instance, has emerged as a major engagement-maker. Although the focus tends to be on short-form video, the new social trends report shows Gen Z are just as likely to watch videos that last longer than 20 minutes.
What are your competitors saying online?
Even if you’re active on social media, it’s a good idea to get inspiration from your competitors. Using tools like BrandWatch can help you gain a lot of useful insights about what others in your space are doing.
Try the following questions to hone in on the role of the competition in your social media strategy:
- What kind of content do my competitors post on social media? Why?
- How does this content differ from my company’s content?
- Does this content really work? Why?
- Which channels do they use? Why?
- How often do they post? Why?
- Is there anything we can learn from our competitors? If so, what is it?
Who are you really targeting?
Finally, you cannot get the most out of social without knowing who you’re targeting. For example, if your company is selling personalized birthday party hats, you should know that your target audience both consists of parents/grandparents (B2C), and retailers, specialized shops and schools (B2B).
Both target audiences should be approached differently. While most people will be active on Facebook, the grandparents may not. Advertising on Google might be a better option to reach them. Different channels have different purposes as I’ll explain later in this post.
Consider questions like:
- What is your target audience talking about on social media? Why?
- Which channels are they active on? Why?
- Do they have any particular interest in other brands? If so, why?
- How can we make our content engaging for them?
Let’s talk social media goals
Please note that there’s a difference between branding and sales goals. Increasing engagement on a particular channel can be a branding goal. But how do we define “engagement”? For example, likes, comments and shares are considered as engagement; the number of people that actually interacts with your post on social media.
Sales goals shouldn’t be your primary goal on social media. Branding will lead to sales. More specifically, you have to engage your fans first, and create brand awareness in order to generate sales.
For example, if you have an online store selling football merchandise, you can create brand awareness by showing behind-the-scenes, engaging your fans, organizing contests, interacting with them, etc.
Listen, learn, act
In order to engage your target audience, you must first listen what your target audience is saying about your brand. Maybe they’re looking for answers. Make sure you’re active on platforms like Twitter to answer their questions. Facebook and Instagram are great platforms for interaction and community engagement.
Ultimately, if you do all this your fans will visit your online store and generate sales. Even better, true fans will remain fans and their customer lifetime value (CLV) will skyrocket.
To sum up, it’s all about branding on social media. Of course, you can post links to your website in order to generate sales, but be creative, and make sure every post adds value for your customer and brand.
Define your target audience
Use the Facebook advertising tool to get insights about your target audience. This will help you to save a lot of money because the more you know about your audience, the better your niche will be. Facebook can tell you more about your audience’s demographics, interests, behavior, and more.
You don’t need to create ads to use this feature. Just play around with this tool and learn more about your target audience. Once your posts need more reach, you can boost them with ads.
Determining the most optimal channels
Different social media channels have different purposes. Since 2020, Snapchat and TikTok have been on the rise, adding to the established networks, namely Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube and LinkedIn. Few companies can excel on every platform, nor do they need to. Ultimately, your audience and business goals will determine what networks make the most sense to pursue.
If you don’t have the bandwidth to produce bitesize videos or if your audience does not use it in a way that could benefit your business, TikTok can wait.
This piece of advice from GWI, an audience targeting company, is exactly it:
“Smaller businesses with less capacity or smaller budgets don’t need to feel anxious about maintaining a limited social media presence. New sites do have a unique set of usage motivations, but these aren’t exclusive to any one platform. For example, there’s considerable overlap when it comes to citing product research as a use case: 54% of Pinners who say they use the site to find brand-related information also visit Instagram for the same reason.”
What should you know about the go-to social media networks:
Despite claims to the contrary, Facebook remains the No. 1 social media platform. According to the latest stats, it now has 2.9 billion monthly active users. At least 37% of the world’s population now use Facebook. This means that being active on this platform is practically a must for every company.
Although B2B companies tend to use this platform less than B2C companies, Facebook remains a good resource if utilized correctly. Pay attention to your overall “look & feel”; your cover photo, frequency of your posts – remember that B2B customers are just normal B2C customers when they finish their work and go home. You just need this social media presence as a brand.
The tumultuous Elon Musk acquisition attempt of Twitter has as of this writing stalled in a lawsuit. As Musk decided to pull the plug on the deal, the greatest source of contention centers on how many Twitters users are real and how many are bots. The company’s self-service advertising tools indicate that marketers could reach 465.1 million users with about half being active daily. Whereas Facebook can be used for community management and engagement, Twitter is a good customer service tool.
The number of Instagram users has grown from 1.04 billion in 2020 to around 1.3 billion monthly active users in 2022. This a very personal social media platform. It’s great for companies who want to boost their brand image. Showing behind-the-scenes, inspiring pictures, tips and tricks… works great. If you do decide to use this platform, make sure you link it with Facebook.
Pinterest reported 433 million active users in early 2022, with as much as 70% being women. If you want a lot of engagement, try something inspirational, like makeovers, before & after photos – just showcase what you got.
With 2.5 billion active users, YouTube is outdone only by Facebook and Google. YouTube can be used for creating a brand image, or inspiring your users. “How To” videos work really well, especially because they’re good for SEO. When you upload videos on Facebook, make sure to upload them natively to keep your user base on Facebook. Live streaming, YouTube Shorts, and immersive shopping are all recent trends to keep an eye on, according the network itself.
The online professional network boasts 830 million members in 200 countries. LinkedIn company pages can be compared to Facebook pages. LinkedIn is good platform to showcase your professional content. Although the engagement is rather low, the reach is quite high. It’s the place to be to post recent updates, products, vacancies, etc. Remember to keep your posts professional and visually appealing. Every B2B company should have its own company page on LinkedIn.
Let’s move on to the second part: The tactics you need to adopt to reach your overall strategy.
Part 2: Tactics
Step 1: Establish smart objectives
In order to reach your overall goals, you must have SMART objectives in place. SMART stands for specific, measurable, actionable, relevant and time-bound. For example, obtaining 10,000 Facebook fans within a period of three months can be one of your objectives.
Step 2: Narrow down your topics
Once you’ve thought about your audience, channels, competitors, overall goals and objectives, you can start thinking about the type of content you’d like to share on social media. No social media marketing agency would randomly post anything they come across, even if it relates to the client in question. You need a plan.
Think about topics in terms of content territories. For example, Coca-Cola creates posts about “happiness”. Happiness is one of their content territories. L’Oréal builds posts around “beauty”. Budweiser will obviously share content about “food & drinks”, “craftsmanship”, and more.
Take a look at popular Facebook pages and try to guess the content territory they’re talking about. This is a good exercise and will give you more inspiration for your own brand.
Let’s take “personalized birthday party hats” as an example. What content territories would you chose if you had to brand this company on Facebook? Probably territories like “birthday”, “having fun”, “caring”, etc. Think about content like “tips & tricks to organize amazing birthday parties, “what you should watch for when organizing parties”, “how to draw your own birthday party hat design”, and so on.
Make sure your posts contain engaging and compelling images, short, but clear copy, and a call to action.
Step 3: Discover what you’re really about
Knowing what type of content you’ll share is one thing, deciding on what your content will do is another burden. Do you want to inspire people with your posts? Entertain? Inform? In other words, what’s your brand purpose? Sharing content like “fill out this sentence: …” is asking your audience to DO something. In this example your content is engaging your audience.
Let’s take a look at Coca-Cola’s Facebook page. What does the company want to achieve? Mainly to inspire and engage people. According to Huffingtonpost, small companies often lack a solid brand purpose.
Apart from your brand purpose, you should think about your persona. If your brand was a real person, how would he/she be? Think about adjectives like “friendly”, “playful”, “warm”, and many more! Let’s go back to our “personalized birthday party hats” example. Since our target audience mostly consists of parents or schools, choosing a playful and inspiring persona would be a good option.
The same goes for language usage and tone. Are we going to use simple or complex language? Maybe post something funny or personal? As a brand, you should think about your purpose, persona, tone and language.
Step 4: Put together a content calendar
It’s tempting to go for a day-to-day posting routine, but trust us when we say that’s bound to fail. Regular and systematic posting is crucial to growing your audience. This means a haphazard approach won’t cut it. HubSpot clearly explains why having a content calendar is important, and has a nice template which you can download for free.
Step 5: Determine a publishing schedule
You know what type of content you’re going to post, and when. Still, one question remains: How often should I post my content on social media? Well, that depends and it varies across different industries. There are no clear rules, but Hubspot reports the most common publishing cadence is three to four times per week. If you use social media tools like SproutSocial, HootSuite, Buffer, and MailChimp, you can access analytics that shows what frequency and time of day yield the most engagement.
Step 6: Consider digital advertising
Now you’re ready to share your posts on social media. You know what type of content you’re going to share, what you want to achieve with it, and how often you’re going to post. Make sure you have a content plan, and then think about digital pay-per-click (PPC) advertising to reach larger audiences.
If you need more likes, try fan gain ads on Facebook. If you want to boost a popular Facebook post, go for engagement and campaign ads. As a general rule, create engaging and relevant content for your target audience first, and if needed boost your posts with advertising. Advertising low quality content won’t work – so don’t waste your money on it.
Step 7: Measure your success
What are your KPI’s? How are you performing? How many new Facebook fans have your posts generated? How many people have viewed your website or downloaded a template? These are all important questions. It’s crucial to set KPI’s in order to measure your success.
Step 8: Track your traffic
Knowledge is power. Use tools like Google Analytics to track the amount of visitors on your website, the number of conversions, time people spend on your website, and many more.
Finally, keep optimizing your content and see what really works. Pay attention to engagement and open your ears – it’s all about your fans. Listen, interact and engage.
Now you have an idea what it takes to “do social” like a social media marketing agency. If you have any questions, we’re here to help. Social media marketing is, after all, what we do too. Contact us today.
This post was updated on August 5th, 2022.