At this point in time, there isn’t a single business that should not be marketing itself on social media. The opportunity to interact directly with your target audience should not, and cannot, be passed up.
However, many businesses throw together a profile haphazardly, and then don’t put the time and strategy into prioritizing its importance and success. You must put careful thought and consideration behind your social presence and then take it even further with paid campaigns to start generating leads for your business.
Here are five steps businesses should take to effectively market themselves on social media.
1. Create a strong profile
First things first, you’ll need to create a profile that represents your brand in a way that is professional and engaging. This all starts with creating a username/handle. When choosing a handle, shorter is better, consistency is key and getting your business’ name in there is essential.
Ensure that your profile provides all of the necessary information needed to drive prospective customers, partners and employees to your website. Include a summary of what your business does, contact information, links to relevant landing pages and anything else that could help your followers take the action your hoping for (i.e. fill out a contact form or apply for a job).
2. Get a content calendar going
It’s important to keep a steady cadence of content flowing from your channels. Create a calendar and populate it with a blend of content including promotions for your company’s events/webinars, any major company announcements, company blog posts, industry commentary and thought leadership, and any other content that your followers may enjoy.
It’s vital that you figure out the best posting cadence for your brand. Some channels, like Facebook, tend to decline in impressions and engagement if you post too often. Other channels, like Twitter, can see great success in posting several times per day. Do some testing to find what works best for you, and check your analytics to confirm you’re posting during periods when your audience is active.
3. Be social and start engaging
Once you have a robust profile with great content, it’s time to start engaging. At the end of the day, social media is meant to be social, so this is a core component of any good social media strategy.
Make sure you monitor and respond to mentions and comments in a timely manner. This is your chance to have direct interactions with your audience, so don’t let them down! You should also build lists to monitor so you can easily scroll and find posts to engage with. These lists can include partners, customers, influencers, relevant reporters and analysts, etc.
Find your voice when you start engaging and be consistent in tone with both posting updates and interacting with your audience. Consistency is key to maintaining an authentic brand image.
4. Build up your following with a paid campaign
It has become harder than ever to grow your following organically on some major social platforms, like Facebook. While posting regularly and engaging with your audience is an ideal way to organically grow your following, it’s also best to give yourself a boost with a paid follower campaign.
A paid follower campaign can mean the difference between having 1,000 followers and 10,000 followers. It’s a worthwhile investment to grow your audience, given the time and effort you’ll be putting into your ongoing social strategy. A little budget can go a long way with a paid follower campaign.
5. Start bringing in leads
Now that you have built a strong profile, with a robust content calendar and you have large and engaged audience, it’s time to start using social media to boost ROI. Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn are great channels to run lead gen campaigns.
Using each platform’s ads manager tool, you can create campaigns targeted to the exact buyer persona you’re after. All you need is compelling imagery, attention grabbing and informative ad copy, and you’re good to go! It’s also best to add UTM codes in your links to track conversions in Google Analytics, or whatever tools your business prefers. Alternatively, you can even use the conversion tracking tools available through each social platform.
Social media advertising can be a very cost-effective strategy for increasing leads from marketing efforts, but it’s important to simultaneously maintain your accounts organically to ensure your brand comes across as authentic and engaging.