You might think that social media is just another useless tool. Maybe you are under the notion that all you have to do is sign up for an account, gain a couple of connections, post status updates, links, videos, or even photos, and then you’re all set.
You’re gravely mistaken.
It’s one thing to use social media and it’s yet another thing to use it for branding. Some people see social media as some sort of game, but since you’re a business owner, you should think of it as an online work from home.
Just because you’re posting about your products on social media doesn’t mean you’re effectively doing it. At the end of the day, what’s really important is how you’re effectively using these tools. If it’s not effective, then you might as well stop doing it.
It’s quite easy to set up profiles and post updates. However, understanding the power and reach of social media to build your brand and later become influential in your industry takes some pretty hard work.
Companies like Starbucks and L.L. Bean pretty much own social media, but have you ever wondered how they became what they are now? For sure, they used to be newbies like yourself who also tried to figure out how they can use social media to expand their reach.
It’s good to know what tactics these giant companies are using to attain and keep their social media fame. Perhaps, imitating their tactics will help you work your way up.
Image from Pexels
- Use the S.M.A.R.T approach when setting your goals and objectives
If you want to achieve something then you’ve got to set an objective, but in this time and age, it’s not enough to simply have an objective. You also must have a plan. Without that plan, then there is no way you’re going to put that plan into action.
Lots of people make the mistake of just setting all the goals and objectives that come to their mind. It’s like I said. At the end of the day, there is only one thing that matters and that one thing is the result.
In order to achieve the result, you must have a plan. In order to have a plan, you need the right approach. This is where the S.M.A.R.T approach comes in.
But what does S.M.A.R.T even mean?
Acronym refers to:
So, how can this approach help you in any way?
To achieve something, you have to know what you’re trying to achieve but more than that, your goals also have to be achievable. Using the S.M.A.R.T approach, you can make sure that you set realistic and relevant goals that are also time-specific.
- Know who your audience is
Basically, when you’re posting your business’s stuff on social media, what you’re really trying to do is to reach a certain audience. This certain audience usually are the ones who can be converted into future customers.
That being said, you should follow a certain procedure when posting. You shouldn’t just post stuff on social media and wish for it to reach the right people.
Let me introduce you to a new term: social media marketing. This isn’t really as new as people think it is. As a matter of fact, you’ve been doing it all along. This thing that you’re doing with all the posting in social media is exactly what social media marketing is.
But the thing is, it’s not really a question of whether you’re doing social media marketing or not. It’s more of a question of whether or not you’re doing it right.
You see, social media marketing is almost the same as traditional marketing. What you do is you connect to the right people. You try to convince that they need to purchase your product or service, and then the prospect decides whether to take the bait or not.
Well, whether you believe it or not, that’s also how you do social media marketing. The only difference is that in social media marketing, you don’t come to your prospects in person. Rather, you use social media to reach out.
The basic rule in reaching out is that (1) you know who you want to reach out to (2) and second, you know why you want to reach out to them.
Well, I’m thinking that you already know the second part, so let’s focus on the first one: knowing who you want to reach out to.
It all starts with doing enough research. Well, it’s your business. You see your customers come into your store day in and day out.
That’s where it all starts: observation. Perhaps, you’ve seen that your customers are teenagers. So from there, you start thinking: what could a teenager be interested about.
From there, you can begin to write down notes about your audience’s interests as well as the things that they hate.
Okay. Right now, you might be thinking: why go through all that trouble? You see, when you do social media marketing, you have to understand that in order to get your audience’s attention, then you have to post stuff that sparks their interest, not stuff that sparks yours.
Think of it this way. If you were walking in a mall and then some businessman started approaching you to tell you all about a brand new product that their launching, then your first instinct would be to walk away.
But if the businessman was offering you something that was interesting you then you reaction would have been different.
In other words, what I’m really trying to say is that you can’t post your agendas on your social media pages. What you should do is to get to know your audience. Find something that they want or need, and then integrate your product or service. That’s the only way to get their attention.
- Show your humanity
How does one show his humanity? Well, no, you don’t have post selfies proving that you’re human. You don’t have to volunteer in human aid missions to show your inner humanity.
You just have to post in your social media, as if you weren’t doing for business. Write your posts as if you were doing it for your personal account.
That’s what people want. It’s like what I said. The first instinct of people is to walk away from businessmen.
So, when you get out there in social media. Don’t talk as if you’re some company robot, only wanting to serve the interest of the company.
Image from Pexels
- Connect with your audience
This is exactly the reason why you need to show your audience your humanity, so that you can connect with them.
You see, in this time and age, it’s going to take a miracle for you to fool anyone to purchase a product or a service.
If you want people to buy from you then the first thing that you have to so is to earn their trust.
Why? Unless they see you as someone who is trustworthy, then they are never going to believe a single word that you say.
So, you have to earn their trust. How do you do that?
One way of doing it is by using a friendly and conversational tone in your posts, but that’s not all. There is more to earning someone’s trust than by merely posting reader-friendly content.
You also have to engage them. You can engage them by interacting with them. There’s nothing wrong with replying to your audience’s comments.
You can also connect with them by asking them questions. Ask about a problem that they are currently facing about your product. Don’t just ask them about it. You should also help them out.
What’s more is that by interacting with your audience, you’ll be able to collect more ideas for future social media posts. The more you interact and get to know your audience, the easier it will be for you to market your products or services.
Image from Pixabay
- Use an editorial calendar
People often have the impression that social media is just for kids, that it’s just for entertainment and other stuff like that.
But as a matter of fact, it is also a tool. It is a marketing tool. You need to stop thinking of it as social media, and start thinking of it more as a tool. It’s a tool that you need to take seriously.
When I say take seriously, I mean you shouldn’t just post about stuff that comes into your mind. You also need to plan it out. You can do so, by using an editorial calendar.
There are loads of websites out there giving out free editorial templates for you to choose from. Still, if you feel like being an original little rebel, then you can craft your own template.
The point is you need to plan the content that you’re intending to post on social media. Let’s say you create an editorial calendar, good for one month, but of course, you can also create one that’s good for a year or so. It’s entirely up to you. The important thing is that everything you do in your social media channels are driven by goals and logic.
- Automate your social media posts
Let’s face it. Updating all your social media channels is challenging, but you’re going to do it anyway because the key to success is hard work, right?
Well, not exactly. Hard work isn’t always the key to success. Sometimes, it’s the key to a stressful life. Other times, hard work can even lead you to failure, if you try too hard.
If you want a sure-fire way for your social media tactics to succeed, then you have to work smart.
That means if there is a better and easier way to do something, then you better do it, and in the case of social media posting, the easiest and best way of doing it is through automated social media posting.
- Optimize you social media posts
At the end of the day, you have to understand that you’re not the only company in the entire planet that makes use of social media marketing. You’re only one among billions. With that, you know that your post won’t really reach everyone. Somehow, your posts and the posts of others are going to overlap.
If someone is interested in your trade then they’ll be searching about it in the internet. They’ll be searching for products or services that fit their interest.
Your job here is to make sure that no matter what they do, your post will always appear on their search results.
So, now we’re left with one question: how.
Well, all you have to do is integrate keywords into your post. Once you do, when people search for topics using your keyword, your post or social media account will automatically reflect in their search results.
That’s basically it, but let me just give you one more tip: don’t just choose a keyword that comes into your mind.
There is such a thing as keyword research. It’s a process wherein you look for the most searched keyword in your industry.
When you integrate popular keywords into your post, you tend to have more leads. With more leads, you can bet that you’ll be able to convert more readers into customers.
- Post content consistently
In every chapter of your life, you need to be consistent in order to succeed. Social media marketing is no exception.
The goal in social media marketing is not to get people to read your content. It’s more about getting them to convert. In order for that to happen, you have to make it habit to post consistently. Otherwise, you’re just going to be a distant memory for your readers.
- Hire people if you need to
There are lots of myths about social media marketing but the most popular myth of them all is that social media is free.
Well, of course the use of social media is free but if you intend to use it for marketing your business then you have to be prepared to shoulder the extra costs.
At some point, you might need someone to write content or do some of the social media marketing for you.
Kristoffer Canimo is a freelance writer and content manager currently based in the Philippines. He enjoys doing online work from home, in fact he’s been freelancing for more than four years for different local and international clients.