Social media has become the main tool of exchanging and sharing, personal, business and political information and ideas. Businesses have the advantage of reaching their target market through social media marketing which is relatively cheaper than other forms of advertising.
It is important for business owners to identify which social media platforms are most effective for their type of businesses and which of the social networks their target market spend their time most. For example, a hair salon business would probably be more active and engaging on Facebook and Instagram rather than LinkedIn and twitter. This is because they need to showcase their work through images and sometimes videos. A recruitment agency on the other hand would use Facebook, twitter and LinkedIn more than the other social media channels. Social media marketing has not only simplified advertising for businesses but has also made the buying experience better for consumers, it is easier for consumers to find what they are looking for online and engage with the brand without having to go through the grueling process of calling in to make a complaint or an inquiry. Every action taken on social networks should be part of a larger social media marketing strategy
How can businesses ensure that their social media strategy is effective?
Below are some of the ways which a social media strategy can be made effective yet beneficial to both service/product providers and their customers.
Do industry or business specific research to see what your competitors are doing, consider how frequently they post. Which channels do they use the most? Note the points of parity and establish your point of differences.
2. Have a plan & execution strategy
Plan and schedules your posts but make changes if necessary. Have a set out plan of what you would like to post and what you would like to achieve from every post. Make sure you align your social media strategy with your business objectives.
3. Identify the different types audience
It is important to identify which social media channels your target market uses the most, is it pinterest,facebook,linkedIn,twitter etc? Each channel should be treated as a separate entity. There will be content which will be spread across all channels but keep in mind the type of audience you have on the different social media channels and tailor your messages to suit each audience. For example, LinkedIn often has a focused audience looking for business related and educational in depth content, compared to Instagram which has a more relaxed audience looking for visually engaging content.
4. Make sure the content you post represents your brand identity.
Yes, it is social media but is also forms part of your branding. Make sure the content you post appeals to your target market and represents the brand well. Take time to make your posts look appealing and communicate the essence of your brand.
5. Update regularly
I personally hate going to a social media page to look for specific information only to find that the last update was two months ago. It makes me question the credibility of the brand. Ensure you regularly engage with your customers to drive traffic and brand advocacy.