Posted on October 26, 2022 by Webfor Social media marketing helps businesses portray themselves how they wish to be portrayed (branding). It also functions as a conduit between business owners and customers, allowing for both the hard and the soft sell, as needed — and where appropriate. But it’s more than just connection; it’s persuasion. And precision. And timeliness. And responsiveness. And … well, let’s get into it. Digital Marketing and Social Media In the last few years, marketers have been able to do what we do best while managing and interpreting more data than ever before. And with social media marketing, we can craft marketing strategies that cast a wider net than ever before. After all, businesses can now speak directly with their audience and potential customers wherever they happen to be — and in real time. This is a revolutionary change in the way we as marketers are expected to communicate. What’s more, audiences can now speak to each other about businesses, products, and services. It’s like digital word-of-mouth advertising. I discussed all this and more with Webfor founder and CEO Kevin Getch on a recent Webfor podcast. Here are the highlights. Social media marketing can help businesses: Build relationships and a large social media following Retain an audience Measure, monitor, and track followers Promote their image (again, their brand) to the world Stay active across multiple platforms, each of which has its own audience with its own expectations Focus on authenticity and the refinement of their brand voice and messaging Convert followers to customers Convert customers to brand champions and advocates Respond to comments, complaints, and reviews Building a Social Media Strategy Here are four fundamental steps toward building out a social media marketing strategy. Step 1: Know Your Audience Determine where it makes sense to spend your time, energy, effort, and of course, dollars. And as my colleagues have stressed, this means knowing and loving your customer on top of figuring out where they spend their time. For example, if our client’s target audience is Gen Z (aka zoomers), we’re not gonna waste time and money on Facebook. (Zoomers are more likely to be on TikTok.) Step 2: Develop a Marketing Strategy Listen to the podcast we did with our Director of Accounts Tricia Davis-Payne. Marketing strategies play a critical role in the development of an aligned social media strategy. It’s a vital piece of the overall, holistic marketing puzzle. You’ll want to create a social media marketing plan that will generate leads for your overall marketing campaigns, and crafting an overall strategy is the first step toward that. Step 3: Choose Your Ideal Customer If your customer demographics are broader, determine which represents your most valuable customer. Of course, all your customers are valuable. And if you have the budget to target all demographic subsets within your audience, then go for it. But in terms of building up a social media strategy — especially one from scratch — you need to determine which audience will provide the best ROI. You can always make adjustments moving forward. Step 4: Understand Search Social (and PPC) target a very specific user set. Organic search casts a wide net out to literally the entire world and lets the algorithm decide who will see your content. In other words, organic search is much wider and you’ll have less control of the information flow. Social Media Marketing Solutions Social media marketing takes time. One must strategize, plan, create social media profiles, execute the plan, monitor, adapt, and more. One must think about graphics, videos, captions, hashtags, and other essential elements of a vivid and captivating social media presence. To do this effectively, a business needs time. And for many small businesses and business owners, that’s the one thing they don’t have enough of. Thus, the time factor — or lack thereof — can prove to be an insurmountable roadblock. That’s why it makes sense to hire an agency to run it for you. Marketing experts like those we have at Webfor understand the problems and know how to devise solutions. Like these! Review and update strategies Strategies often must change and evolve. Don’t be afraid to pivot. Start small Try a $20 boosted post and see what happens. It’s not always necessary to spend thousands of dollars a month. Bigger is not always better when it comes to social. Repurpose content Blog posts, tweets, videos, podcasts, and other forms of content can all be repurposed and repackaged as social media posts. (For example, this blog post is itself a form of repurposed content.) In fact, it’s not unusual to see video content perform well each and every time it’s posted — even if it’s the same content! If content creation is a roadblock, utilize the content that you’ve already created, whether that’s filming a podcast, writing a blog post, recording yourself working, or other types of content. If it’s effectively and efficiently distributed to all these different social media channels, you’ll show up in search. But remember: Everything you do should conform to your marketing strategy and your social media strategy. It’s the tried-and-true, bread-and-butter way to grow your business. Do some paid social Paid social is relatively cheap compared to search ads. Paid social allows for a variety of targeting options. For example, if you want to target females aged 26 to 32 in the Pacific Northwest, you’ll create a paid social campaign targeting just those users. Tailor your messaging, graphics, and other visuals to that one specific audience so they feel as if you’re speaking directly to them. Follow it up with similar paid social campaigns on other social platforms — Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn, Twitter, Snapchat, and whatever platform comes down the line next. Scour the data Make sure Google Analytics is set up and functioning properly. We also highly recommend using Google Tag Manager. Hire the best You want someone who is passionate about social media, understands the trends, the algorithms, and the strategies, and then works hard to learn about you and your business. Collaboration is key, especially at the outset. Adapt Track the data and then make adjustments as needed. Get started today One year from today, you’ll wish you’d started right now. Get in touch with Webfor with any questions.