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Getting the Most from Social Media Marketing

Social Media Marketing | IDM

The number of organisations making use of social media is growing at a rapid rate. However, not everyone seems to know how to utilise social media marketing effectively.

Unfortunately, creating a Twitter account and posting the occasional tweet promoting your product simply isn’t enough. This blog post provides a top-level guide on how to maximise your social media marketing effectiveness.

What is Social Media Marketing?

Social media marketing is an organisation’s use of social media platforms (Facebook, LinkedIn and so on) in order to convey their brand identity and marketing messages to potential or existing customers. These days it can be an organisation’s best friend or greatest enemy, depending on how well it is utilised. An essential element of effective social media marketing is establishing a target audience, as we will show.

Where Can I Find My Target Audience?

Firstly, it is important to look at which social media sites your target audience is using. Without doing this you could end up wasting resources on maintaining a profile somewhere where the users are not part of your target audience and have no interest in your product.

These can be different depending on if the organisation is B2B (business-to-business) or B2C (business-to-customer), as well as being dependent on industry. For example, if you are B2B a LinkedIn profile should be top of your list, whereas if you are B2C with a target audience of 16-22 year olds, Facebook and Twitter are currently the most likely options you would first consider.

What Should I Do Once I’ve Found Them?

Firstly, you should look at how your target audience is using social media. Are they sharing posts, sharing videos, commenting in discussions, using hashtags? This is important, as it allows you to understand how to connect in an effective way with your audience. You also need to make sure that you communicate in a way that is appropriate to that social media site; never just copy content across all platforms, as it will lose effectiveness.

Consistency is Key

It is important that across all your social media profiles there is a level of consistency in the information you provide; for example, the company profile must be kept up-to-date across all platforms. Also, the messaging should remain consistent in all content to avoid confusion and reinforce a sense of brand identity in the mind of the consumer.

It is important that you maintain a regular schedule of helpful and interesting content, at least weekly but preferably every few days. This will keep consumers returning to the profile and retaining an interest in what the organisation has to offer. As well as content, creating a dialogue with consumers by either responding to them or commenting on a blog or post can really boost the profile of the brand, even if it simply means responding to complaints! This not only eases the mind of the complaining consumer, but also anyone else who see’s that interaction.

How Can This Help Increase Traffic to My Main Website?

Including backlinks in your content to related pages on your main site is a great way of moving people there. In this way, your social content can act as a kind of ‘teaser’ for the main bulk of the content on your actual site. However, it is important that these links lead to the relevant pages on your site and not the home page. This will greatly improve user experience and help avoid adding to your bounce rate.

Another way of increasing traffic to your main site is by including certain keywords and key phrases related to issues your target audience will be searching for on Google. Google will take note if this in its ranking process and so will be more likely to rank you higher. This is known as improving SEO (search engine optimisation).

But Remember, It Works Both Ways!

While choosing to engage with consumers over social media can be an incredibly useful marketing tool, if done incorrectly it can damage the brand image. This is because while it allows you to communicate with the consumer, it also allows them to communicate with you… for everyone to see. This can mean a flow of complaints about minor to major issues appearing on the organisation’s profile. If these are not dealt with in a professional and speedy manner, it can further damage the opinion of that consumer as well as others who can see the interaction.

For this reason, it is vital that any organisation deciding to take the step into social media marketing keeps on top of interactions both outgoing and incoming.

Measure Your Progress

Always measure your progress by using either an online analytics tool or one of the analytics tools many social media platforms provide themselves. Use industry leaders as a benchmark for social activity and following, but remember that it is important that you set yourself a realistic and measurable social marketing strategy. This will depend on the size of the organisation and the amount of resources you have at your disposal.

In Summary

Social media marketing can be a powerful tool that leads to heightened brand awareness and increased engagement with your target audience. However, it’s important that it is approached in the right way, with proper planning and management in place to ensure that it remains an asset and doesn’t become a burden. At Impact Digital Marketing we deliver effective social media marketing services to a number of our customers; contact us if you’d like to learn more.

As a digital marketing agency, we’d love to know your views on social media marketing and how you’ve benefited from it. Please share views below.

Ryan Sedgwick
Managing Director & Marketing Consultant at Impact Digital Markeitng
A Chartered Marketer, Ryan has gained extensive B2B and B2C marketing experience working across a broad spectrum of industries. Having graduated with a Masters in Marketing Communications from the University of Huddersfield, Ryan successfully utilises his skills and knowledge to effectively support businesses in getting the most from their marketing investments.