There are more than 2.8 billion people using social media websites and apps. Undoubtedly, your audience is using at least one of them, but do you know how your brand should be using social platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest to reach your target audiences? It’s very likely that you have a marketing specialist, team, or agency handling these initiatives for you, but are they doing it right?
First, you need to think about what your goals are. What do you want your social media marketing strategy to do for you? A social media strategy geared towards branding and awareness is going to be much different than a strategy focused on generating sales. When budgeting for different marketing strategies, it’s important that you’re setting the goals and expectations for your team. Identifying and communicating your brand’s goals will let your marketing team determine how social media will help reach those goals. Here are a few ways your team can use social media to accomplish your goals:
- Brand Awareness
Using sites like Facebook or Twitter is crucial for growing your brand. Social sites like these provide us an incredible amount of data to find your audience and target relevant ads to them, growing your fanbase with appropriate users.
- Product Launches
Social media is a great channel for promoting new product launches. Publish content to create hype and generate demand of a new product via your social channels. Writing organic content will reach your current fans, but brands can amplify these efforts with social advertising to reach even more users within your target audience.
- Creating a Community
Social media sites are all about engagement. According to Hootsuite, 48% of Americans have interacted with at least one brand online and 32% of Facebook users do so regularly. Social media is not a place to constantly promote your product or service. It’s a place where brands can create a community where their fans and customers can interact with each other and your brand.
- Sales/Lead Generation
Social media as a sales/lead generation tool still needs some work, but there are still opportunities to generate sales through these channels. Sites like Facebooks and Pinterest offer “buy now” buttons to make shopping easier on the platforms, but don’t expect these to be big revenue generators.
When used correctly, you should be seeing social media affect your brand in several ways. You will start to see social referrals increase in Google Analytics, an increase in social fans and followers, an increase in content engagement, and more. If you don’t see these types of changes, you’re not sure what the reports are actually showing, or you just have questions on how social is performing for your brand, then maybe it’s time to set up a meeting with your marketing team or agency.
Now that you’ve started to think about your brand’s goals, how your team can use social media, and the results you should be seeing, let’s think about what your team is currently doing. If you have a social media strategy in place, is your team executing is correctly? Are you seeing it affect your bottom line? Is your social media strategy aligned with your content marketing and online advertising strategies? They should be. On Facebook alone, ad revenues increased by 57% in 2016 when compared to 2015. Your competitors are investing, and so should you.
When we say, “invest in social media”, you don’t want your team to throw money into advertising without a plan just because your competitors are. You want your team or agency to have a strategic plan in place to effectively spend budget on target campaigns that show you a return. When you receive a report about your social advertising efforts (if you are receiving one at all!), do you see an uptick in sales or engagement rates? What about an increase in page or account metrics including Page Likes, Twitter followers or the number of people commenting on your posts or talking about your brand? How many users are clicking through to your website and taking action? Are they taking the right actions on your site? These are all important things that will tell you whether or not your social efforts are working. If you’re not seeing these things, or if you’re seeing them trend in the wrong direction, you’re going to want your social team to take another look at the strategy.
There are many pieces to a social media strategy, and each one should be integrated with each other and your other online marketing efforts in order to see the most success.
If you are unsure whether your current agency is successfully accomplishing your goals or if your online marketing team needs some help in accomplishing these goals, let’s talk! Contact our social media experts for a free consultation!