Social media marketing is one of the best ways to get your brand in front of a large number of people. Facebook for example boasts over 3 billion monthly active users, with an average of over 2 hours spent on the platform per day each. With that many potential consumers, it’s not a stretch to say that the vast majority of businesses will have customers engaging there in one way or another, and if not on Facebook then another platform.
BUT. Like any form of marketing, it’s not as easy as popping an advert on your page and hoping they’ll come. You might consider what your ROI is, whether you’re reaching the right audience, how they’re interpreting your content and whether it’s all worth the effort. Why has your reach dropped, and why can’t you contact Instagram?!
Social media marketing is getting a bad rap at the moment due to falling engagement and difficulty tracking results - it can feel like a hard slog, particularly compared to a couple of years ago. But it’s unfair to write it off without thinking through your understanding of social marketing, and how your brand can best use this fantastic method of reaching your audience.
Constant and massive platform changes are regularly affecting reach. Tracking and attributing leads/sales accurately is almost impossible post iOS14 last year and results can be inconsistent. You have to be very much on your toes about new features and current metrics, and ensure your team is feeding back sentiment about your brand perception. But it’s not a lost cause - social media is still one of the most effective ways to get eyes on your content and engage both current and future customers. It will continue to be a key part of your marketing strategy.
Whack-A-Mole for a new era
It’s been said since the beginning of time (well, the beginning of advertising anyway) that customers need multiple touchpoints with your brand in order for the message to sink in, and for them to remember you when they come to order/buy/donate or whatever your goal happens to be. With such a wealth of constant information at our fingertips and all around us, this has become more important than ever, as we’re all more easily distracted than ever before.
Given the challenges touched on above, it’s not necessarily realistic to put all your marketing eggs in the social media basket (especially without paid ads) and expect huge returns. But as part of your wider marketing strategy that takes into account every part of the user journey, social media can be the most incredible driver of community and loyalty (two-way engagement IS KEY).
This is why it’s so important to a) be consistent, and b) make sure your social strategy (including moderation and community management) ties in with your wider brand and marketing activity. Everyone should be in on the process so that they can make smart choices when engaging your customers online - from removing the unwanted harassment to building positive relationships with your users. Make every touchpoint resonate, and it’ll be an invaluable step in the process.
Top tips for making social media marketing work for your business
1. Know what you want from it
With such versatility across platforms and such a huge variety of options, it’s easy to adopt an ‘everything everywhere’ approach, and end up resonating with no-one. It will greatly help your chances of success if you know from the start what you want to achieve (e.g. brand awareness, web traffic, purchases) and steer every activity towards that goal.
2. Be consistent
Don’t worry about being repetitive on social media - the only person that sees all your content is you! Keep that Whack-A-Mole popping up across your channels regularly, and your non-social channels too. Tell people why they need you - and make them think of you later. This won’t happen with a scattergun or inconsistent approach.
3. Be flexible
Platforms change, consumers change and what works for you will change. Stay agile and willing to adapt, whether that’s trying a new platform if it’s where your audience is, utilising video more, changing how you engage your online customers or outsourcing your moderation.