A social media marketing strategy can be very beneficial to small businesses, but it goes beyond social media posts every now and then. Rather it involves building brand awareness and an audience of engaged customers that can help spread your message to many more people than you can do on your own. It allows you to market directly to customers rather than waiting for them to come to you.
To market on social media properly, you need to think beyond followers, rather think more in terms of the engagement of your target audience. The process of marketing on social media begins with a tracking pixel. A tracking pixel is a line or two of code that is added to the HTML code of your site. When someone visits your site, the social media platform matches that visitor with the information they have within their platform. Now, before you have your hair stand up on end, the data is anonymous. It doesn’t reveal that John Smith at 1 Main Street just visited your site, it tells you about John Smith’s demographics. Things like gender, age, and other demographic data and with the data you can build a profile of who is visiting your site. The idea is that if a bunch of people with a certain demographic buy from you, then you can correlate that others with those same demographics would do the same. That is the beauty of social media marketing.
I’ll give you an example. Let’s say you sell bikes. You can wait for people to search for bikes and hope that they choose your listing rather than your competitors or you can take the data you collect and target directly to people who may already have an interest. The ads are delivered to them in the feed that they are scrolling through anyway. It’s going out to get the customer rather than waiting for them to find you.
Directly targeting your customers with ads is important, but I don’t want to discredit the value of followers. Followers amplify your message. I’m sure you are aware that every like, reaction, or comment appears in their feed and is seen by their followers in their feeds. The key to using these followers as part of your marketing is not just creating content but creating content that they will engage with and share.
Again using bikes as an example, I’m sure if you sell bikes, you can write about the best tires or how the bikes you sell are double welded for extra sturdiness, but what about how to know if the tires are bad on a bike? Unless you live in an area where you can ride a bike all year, bikes get stored all winter probably in a garage or shed. When they are taken out in the spring, how can you make sure that the bike’s tires didn’t deteriorate over the winter? This type of information is valuable as no one wants to take a nose dive from a faulty bike. It’s content that provides value.
A byproduct of the content you create is that you can measure the engagement of each of your posts. Each platform has analytics tools that give you engagement data such as likes, shares, reactions and clicks. Based on that engagement, you can create similar types of content and measure the reaction of those post then you can create marketing messages based on what you are learning. Double bonus, you can also use this content as blog posts on your site. Pretty cool!
A great thing that you can do with the data you collect is create similar audiences to directly market to within these platforms. You can use these custom audiences when you boost a post or when you create an ad. Not only are you marketing to the visitors of your site, and their followers but people who have similar traits to your visitors and their followers. You just quadrupled you potential! Remember, this all started with simply installing a pixel on your site.
Another advantage of social media marketing it can provide a more direct approach to reaching your customers and it costs much less than pay per click. You can start a social media marketing campaign for as little as $5 per day. If you have a business that is highly competitive, you could be spending $5 per click on search engine pay per click. There is a tremendous cost savings with using social media.
Keep in mind that you don’t have to limit yourself to Facebook ads and Facebook advertising just about every platform has a way to monetize their user bases, so if your target audience is on LinkedIn, you can place ads on LinkedIn or Twitter or Pinterest as well. You also don’t need to limit yourself to static images and text. Video content is great and some of the most shared content. If you are interested in increasing sales with the help of social media, you need to get started and create a social media campaign on social networks that will be the most beneficial to your business.
I’m sure that telling you that social media marketing plan should be an important piece of your digital marketing strategy is not anything new. What I hope you realized is that it is much more effective way of reaching your target audience both in efficiency and in cost. Truthfully, I only scratched the surface of its potential. Don’t be afraid to experiment and try different things, because you’ll never know what you could learn.