Social media marketing: a beginner's guide.
Social Media Platforms are effective tools to promote your business, communicate with existing customers, find new ones and create loyalty.
They are interesting for small businesses as well as for huge companies because of their low prices and accessibility.
Add to that there are over 3.5 billion social media users worldwide. Regardless of what you want to achieve, either gain more visibility, engage with existing and new customers or increase your sales, social media is the most effective way to bring awareness to your business.
A lot of consumers prefer to communicate with a brand through social media. That makes your social media accounts one of the most important pieces of your marketing strategy.
This article will give you some social media marketing advice to get started.
I will explain you how to:
- Find your competitors
- Choose which platforms to use
- Set your goals
- Use influencers
- Follow the rule 60/30/10
Find your competitors
The best way to know what you have to do with your social media accounts is to start by looking at what your competitors are doing. You must analyze the competition, see what they do and what works for them.
For example, what makes their consumers participating, sharing and commenting? Learn and study your competitors, this information will be valuable to grow your social media presence.
Follow the checklist below for each of your competitors accounts.
Create a tab to take some notes: it will be a great reference to prepare your own social media strategy.
For that, try to answer the following questions for each competitor:
- Active accounts: which Social Media do your competitors use
- Demographic: age, gender and location of their target?
- Content: what kinds of content do they publish? (Photos, Videos, Graphic Design, Quotes...)
- Frequency: how many posts do they publish and for which Social Media?
- Times: at what time do they post?
- Followers engagement: which publications generate the most shares, likes, comments, retweets...?
- Promotional content: What is the percentage of promotional content
- Influencers: Are they working with influencers?
When you're done, analyze your tab to identify which competitors get the most out of their social media and use this knowledge to plan your own social media marketing strategy.
Choose your platforms
Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn… You have many possibilities and at the beginning, choosing the social media platform you have to focus on can be difficult.
Rather than trying to take advantage of every platform available when you launch your social media, take a step back and think about which one could be the most interesting for your business. For that, identify one or two platforms on which your competitors are the most active or get the most out of (sales, engagement…).
Choose the social media used by your target audience: Analyze your demographics audience and find the platforms where they are the most active.
As a beginner even if you want to be on all social media, I would recommend using up to 3 platforms to start not to get overwhelmed.
For example, if your target is more than 50 y/o, Snapchat and Tik Tok are probably not the social media that will bring you the best ROI for your business.
Start small, Do It well & Develop later.
If you have limited time, it’s better to focus your efforts on one or two social media platforms and work on them effectively, rather than choosing all the platforms and using them inefficiently. And you must remember that you can always extend your activities to more social networks later.
You have to set goals
One of the most important aspects of social media marketing is setting up goals.
Think about “What, When, Who”: setting short-term and long-term goals will help you define the purpose of your content and how to adapt your social media content accordingly. You have to adapt your goal according to your resources, offer and consumer’s behavior.
I recommend you to focus your efforts on five types of goals for your Social Media:
- Growth: get more subscribers and generate more likes and comments.
- Income: generate more revenue thanks to your social media.
- Traffic: increase the traffic to your website from your Social Media.
- Output: establish and respect a content calendar
- Keep calm: social networks can sometimes be overwhelming: set your goals and stay focused.
Keep your goals on a tab and update them or create new ones every week/months (it depends on your goals, but stay patient and calm).
When you create your new goals don’t forget to analyze what works or not from your previous content.
You can contact influencers who match with your target. They can help you to promote your brand and your products.
With a partnership between them and your business: they will share your content or your products on their own social media to help promote your brand. They will talk about your company and this is an excellent way to increase the visibility of your social media and build trust.
This marketing strategy is a great value for money. Work with influencers will bring to your brand visibility, integrity, and trust. Influencers push their community to use the same products that they use.
Get started with influencer marketing: To start doing marketing with influencers, build a list of influencers with content or values that match with your brand (don’t think too big, try to find influencers who suit your company’s size).
Send to everyone a direct message saying that in exchange for their promotion, you will send them free products or services. Some influencers will accept free products/services, others will prefer money, so be prepared for both.
Set a budget and stick to it, both in terms of the number of free products you can distribute and price that you are able to pay for each influencer.
Follow the 60/30/10 Rule for Social Media Content Strategy
I would recommend you to follow this 60/30/10 rule to create your social media content strategy.
- Engaging content: 60% of your publications must offer attractive content that engage your audience and increase your visibility
- Shared content: 30% must be shared content.
- Promotional content: 10% to promote your products and services.
This rule ensures an effective balance between inspiring, engaging, and promotional content.
It seems maybe weird to share only 10% of promotional content but it could be counterproductive to publish too much promotional content. If you only present sales arguments to your audience, you will probably lose their engagement and see a negative effect on your sales.
Your audience is made of people with feelings, passions, and interests.
By choosing attractive content more than promotional content, you will create a real connection with your community. In this case, your goal is to connect with them and gain their trust, when you will post promotional content, they’re more likely to listen to you and buy your products/services.
Use the 60/30/10 rule to optimize your Social Media content, by offering to your audience a mix of engaging, shared, and promotional content.
Get started with social media marketing:
Use this guide to create your social media strategy and create real value for your business through your social media.
Before to develop a strategy for your content, remember to check:
Who are your competitors?
What are they doing on social media?
What’s your target?
Identify the social media that your audience uses the most.
Set short-term and long-term goals for each social media.
Contact influencers to reach a wider audience.
Follow the 60/30/10 Rule for Social Media Content to make your posts more appealing.
Analyze the reaction from your audience and adapt your posts to reach your goals and create an active and engaged community.
Don’t forget to create a posts calendar to schedule your content.