If you’re looking for your audience, let us give you a hint: they’re on social media. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok, Snapchat, Pinterest and an almost never-ending landscape of other platforms let people connect, create, and share with their families, friends, and favorite brands.
When considering your marketing strategy, you simply cannot afford to ignore social media marketing. It’s an effective and efficient way to not just find and connect to your audience, but also to build a lasting, profitable relationship with them.
Ready to take a deep dive into the waters of social media marketing? Read on as we discuss:
- When Is It Time for a New Social Media Strategy?
- Building a New Social Media Strategy
- Bonus: Effective Social Media Marketing Impacts Your Website’s SEO!
When Is It Time for a New Social Media Strategy?
Your social media marketing strategy is a tool that can help you reach your target audience, convert onlookers into loyal customers, and strengthen your standing as an industry leader. With the right content and in-depth knowledge of your target audience, the benefits of a social media marketing strategy are easily within your grasp.
If you can relate to any of the following five signs of a failing strategy, it is time to revamp your approach to your social media marketing strategy:
You Notice a Lack of Website Traffic from Social Media Pages
Social media pages act as the bones of your business. It gives the audience important information like contact information, address, hours of operation, and provides short posts to inform and entertain them.
Your website is the meat of your business. It gives a wealth of information and provides an opportunity for them to act, whether that means making a purchase, requesting a service, and the like. Your social media pages should ultimately push traffic to your website with high-quality posts and calls-to-action. If your website analytics show that users aren’t making the jump from your social media to your website, it’s time to rethink your social media strategy.
Your Social Media Presence Is Suffering From Engagement Issues
Social media engagement is measured by the different ways your followers interact with your posts or page. This could be in the form of reactions, comments, shares, mentions, page growth, and others. If you notice these three engagement issues, your social media marketing strategy must be addressed:
- Engagement is dropping. Are people getting bored with what you’re posting? Decreasing engagement rates mean people are not connecting with your content.
- Engagement is stagnant. Plateauing is the enemy to success. Don’t stay comfortable with the handful of likes or comments you receive. Always aim higher and brainstorm ways to get more engagement.
- Engagement is only from core followers. Whether it’s a fanatical client singing your praises or your spouse who shares every single post from your page, every business has the core followers that will always engage with the posts. While your engagement numbers may look great with all the shares and comments, it’s not a true representation of the quality of your posts if people outside your core followers aren’t engaging.
Your Content Is 100% Promotional
If every post on your social media accounts is an ad for your products or services, users will feel anything but engaged. People hop on social media to be entertained and informed. When your business makes it onto their newsfeed, you must meet them where they’re at. You can do this in two ways:
- Entertain or inform them,
- Be the solution to their problem
Content Insecurities or Lack of Inspiration
If you don’t know what to post, your social media marketing strategy needs an update. A good strategy provides a variety of topics to choose from, not just promotional posts.
Lack of Sales from Social Media Pages
It’s important to know how a visitor found your website, as that’s a great indicator that a platform is or isn’t reaching your target audience. If you’re not seeing conversions that originate on your social media accounts, that’s a good indication that your posts aren’t giving you the value they should, and it may be time for a change in strategy.
Building and Implementing Your Social Media Strategy
Social media marketing is no easy feat. It takes thoughtful planning to create quality strategies and requires consistent content that appeals to audiences.
If you’re ready to conquer the world of social media and inspire users to take action with your company, apply these eight suggested steps to your future strategies:
Step #1: Know Your Audience
If you think your target audience isn’t spending time on social media, you need to think again. While your audience may be small and niche, chances are that they are spending time being social online.
They may be old school and still send snail mail to the grandkids every birthday, but they likely are on social media somewhere. A 2021 study by Pew Research found that 72% of all American adults use at least one social networking website.
And if you think your target audience is too old to use social media, the same study also found that 45% of American adults over 65 are also on social media. This audience may still prefer a landline and opt for cable TV instead of streaming, but they are on Facebook to keep up with their grandkids.
Your audience is undoubtedly spending time on social media apps and sites – the challenge is finding them and creating impactful messaging to reach them.
Effective social media advertising requires audience awareness. You must gain a solid understanding of your audience to target users and drive conversions. Knowing your audience helps you create content that speaks to the right people and encourages them to choose your company’s solutions.
Learning Your Audience
Chances are you already understand your current customer base. Use this knowledge to grow your audience and reach potential customers through your social media platform(s). If you’re starting out and not sure about the details of your customer base, you can still evaluate your ideal audience.
Why does defining your target audience matter? Doing so will help your company:
- Serve ads to your target audience, which will produce more effective advertising
- Use your finances and resources to reach interested parties
- Create a brand voice that is relatable to your target audience
- Strengthen your advertising and social media marketing efforts
Let’s dive into how to define your target audience, as there are numerous ways to accomplish this.
- Audit Your Current Followers – Check out your social media channels and look through the profiles of your current followers. Write down what they have in common, what pain points do they express, what are their needs – include factors that can help you define your target audience (listed above).
- Check Out the Competition – Every business has a competitor. Go to their social media sites and see who is following their pages. What do they have in common with your current followers?
- Write Out Who Your Target Audience Isn’t – Knowing who you are NOT trying to reach is just as important as knowing who to reach.
- Who am I serving, and who do I want to serve?
- What demographics does my company target?
- Family status
- Which platforms do my customers/audience members use the most?
- What messaging speaks to them the most?
By evaluating these points and more, you can approach your social media marketing with a clearer idea of what makes your target market tick.
After compiling this information, create a 1 – 2 sentence profile of your target audience. For example, a pediatric group’s target audience profile may be: “20 to 40-year-old females and males who have children, care about health and the overall wellbeing of the family, and are part of the workforce or stay at home.”
Consider another example of a target audience profile for a hip, new clothing store for teenage girls: “13 to 19-year-old females who are interested in style, fashion-oriented, attends school, and lives in or near a metropolitan area.”
Step #2: Know Your Competition
It’s necessary to know what your competitors are doing and how well they are doing it so that you can outdo them. Evaluate the competition’s activity on various social media platforms and gain insight into what does and does not work with audiences. Since you are likely targeting a similar, overlapping group, you should look at factors like:
- Which platforms see the most engagement
- Which posts are more popular among various audiences
- What the posts look like (images, graphics, and video) and “sound” like (tone and voice)
- What media gets the most engagements (i.e., short videos, long videos, infographics, company photos, test-only posts, etc.)
- How the company interacts with engagements
Apply what you learn from your competitors to improve your strategy and increase your chances of winning over their audiences.
Step #3: Determine the Platforms You Want to Use
Part of knowing your audience is knowing which social media platforms they use. It can be expensive and potentially futile to spread your efforts across all social media platforms, so focus on the networks that fit your objectives best and interest your audience the most.
In this guide, we’ll be focusing on three platforms: Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. The first two are terrific platforms for reaching customers and engaging with a broad audience. LinkedIn is more focused on professional work and development and is a more effective platform for recruiting and for B2B services.
Facebook vs. Instagram: What’s Best for Your Business?
Everyone knows by now that Facebook is the leading social media platform globally, with over 2.91 billion users worldwide. Launched in 2004, it was one of the platforms that started it all and helped form the social media landscape we recognize today.
Instagram was introduced in 2010, just 6 years after the release of Facebook. This platform took a different approach to social media as it was designed specifically for mobile app use and only allowed image uploads. Instagram has grown in popularity to become the fourth most used social media site, falling only behind Facebook, YouTube, and WhatsApp. It currently boasts 1.63 billion users and is owned by the same parent company as Facebook, Meta Platforms, Inc.
As Instagram and Facebook have changed over time, they have developed quality space for businesses to advertise and grow their audience. Both apps offer massive potential for your business, which may have you wondering, “Which platform is best to use for my social media advertising?”
Facebook vs. Instagram: Advertising Facts from 2023
Number of Users Worldwide
- 2.93 billion users (1.3% increase from 2022)
- 1.63 billion users (16.7% increase from 2021)
Number of American Users
- 239 million American users (estimated)
- 127 million American users (estimated)
US Demographic Breakdown by Sex
- 56.4% male users
- 43.6% female users
- 52.22% male users
- 47.8% female users
Facebook and Instagram Popularity by Ages
Facebook is most popular with users 35-44 years old globally. It is also the preferred platform for users older than 44, and for males aged 25-34.
Instagram is most popular with those within the age range of 16-24. It is also the most preferred app among women aged 25-34.
Advertising Stats for Facebook
- Facebook ads have reached 62.6% of Americans 13 years old and older. (Down from 63.7% in 2022).
- 54.9% of users follow brands and research products on Facebook, and 37% will make a purchase on the platform this year.
- Organic reach is down to 4.3% in 2022, a 0.9 percentage point drop from last year (5.2%).
- While organic reach is still crucial for your social media strategy, this data proves how important paid advertising is if you want to see the benefit of your social media marketing efforts.
Advertising Stats for Instagram
- According to Ipsos Marketing, Instagram is now the #1 platform for users to “keep up with their favorite brands.”
- 90% of Instagram users follow a minimum of one business account (most follow multiple businesses).
- 80% of Instagram users search the app to discover new brands and companies.
Platform Highlight: Facebook Ads
Facebook is one of the most visited websites on the Internet, beaten only by Google and YouTube. Billions of people and businesses flock to this social media platform to rant, rave, review, and more. Businesses have an incredible opportunity to reach their target audience on this platform, as they can reach people who would not otherwise see their brick-and-mortar store or website.
However, your organic (non-promotional) posts only reach a small number of people due to Facebook’s algorithm. Facebook ads help businesses overcome the limitations of an organic post, and can appear in several places, including in a user’s:
- In-stream (videos)
- Instant Articles
- Facebook Messenger
- Audience Network apps
Because of this, it can easily reach your target audience and move you closer to your ad goals. Let’s highlight the benefits of Facebook ads and best practices to implement.
Benefits of Facebook Ads:
- Budget-friendly marketing
- Customize your call-to-action button
- Call Now, Learn More, Sign Up, Send Message, Book Now, Subscribe, Watch Now, & more
- Detailed analytics you can review in Ads Manager
- Different ad types are available
- Single image or video, carousel, collection, & more
- Drive traffic to your website
- Experience customer loyalty & word-of-mouth marketing
- Focus on your target audience based on age, behavior, interest, demographic, & more
- Gain new leads & conversions
- Reach interested parties via remarketing
- Reach people who wouldn’t otherwise see your organic posts
Tips & Best Practices for Facebook Ads
Create Goals & Check Goal Progression Regularly
Creating goals for your Facebook ads allows you to see if the money you’re putting toward your ad is producing the wanted result. There are many different goals you can set, for example:
- Gain page likes
- Garner lead generations
- Increase brand awareness
- Improve community engagement
- Get more website traffic
Your goals will likely change as your business grows. Bigger companies will have different goals than smaller companies. All of this is normal and to be expected! As your Facebook ads run, check their progress regularly to see if you need to tweak or change the ad.
Adjust Your Facebook Ad Criteria to Reach Your Target Audience
A Facebook ad that falls on uninterested eyes is a waste of money. You must know who your target audience is to set the criteria for the ad. Once the criteria are set, Facebook will push the ad in front of users who meet those requirements. If you’re not reaching your goals, your criteria may be too broad or too narrow.
Keep Your Content Short, Sweet, & to the Point
In the digital world, you are competing for the all-coveted, intangible element of the user – their attention. Not only does your image have to make them stop scrolling, but your content needs to intrigue them enough so they click on your Facebook ad to learn more.
The Facebook ad content and caption must be clear and concise. This is not the place to sell your entire product or service. Rather, it’s the place to pique their interest. The link associated with your Facebook ad should provide more information.
Using Ad Manager for Facebook & Instagram Ads
To discover how you track Facebook and Instagram ad results or adjust an ad, first you need to understand where all these ads call “home” – meet Ads Manager. According to Facebook,
“Ads Manager is a Facebook tool that lets you create and manage your Facebook ads. You can view, make changes, and see results for all your Facebook campaigns, ad sets, and ads. With Ads Manager you can create ad campaigns, manage multiple ads at once, and see how your ads perform.”
More than just Facebook ads and campaigns, Ads Manager allows you to create and manage the social media platforms that are owned by Meta such as Instagram and Facebook Messenger. It boasts an array of features such as:
- Ad creation and management – provides a space to build and manage the ad.
- Ads reporting – provides important information about the performance of your campaign.
- Assets management – shows your pixels, catalogs, and more.
- Billing and payment methods – gives you the capability to add new payment methods (credit or debit cards), retrieve invoices, and implement spending limits.
- Campaign structures – gives you the capability to determine what objective, targeting, and creative you want for your campaign.
- Marketing objectives – allows you to specify what your goal is for the Instagram ad.
How to Analyze Your Ad’s Performance
To see your ad’s metrics, follow these steps after logging onto your business’s Facebook account on your computer:
- Open your Ads Manager account
- Click on the ad campaign you’d like to review
- Click on View Charts
In the charts section, you will see the Performance Overview. This contains information about link clicks, cost per click, clickthrough rate (CTR), and how many link clicks happened on specific days.
If you scroll further down, you’ll see the demographics (age and gender distribution of the ad), what device your Instagram ad was seen on (desktop or mobile), and what platform it appeared on (Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, etc.). In the top right corner, you can edit the days you want to analyze, as well.
You can view even more detailed data by following these steps:
- Open your Ads Manager account
- Click on Campaigns
- Click on Breakdown in the tab of your choosing – Campaign, Ad Sets, or Ads
- Choose which Breakdown you want to see – time, delivery, or action
- Choose the subcategory located under “By Time”, “By Delivery”, or “By Action” that you are interested in
From there, you can dive into the details to determine how well your Instagram ad is performing.
How to Adjust Your Ad
Whether you made a typo or want to change the ad target, you can make those changes in Ads Manager (the same place where you’re analyzing the performance of your ad). Once you open your Ads Manager account, you must hover over the campaign you want to change and click “edit”. From there, you can edit the categories shown on the screen. Once your editing is complete, Facebook must re-approve the ad. During this time, your ad may be paused until it is approved or rejected.
It’s important to know that if you want to change the campaign objective (for example, from impressions to engagements), you must create a new ad.
Consider a Cross-Platform Campaign Strategy
The data for both Facebook and Instagram show that it wouldn’t be wise to use only one platform over the other. While you may decide that one of the platforms is a better fit for your customer base, you should also optimize your efforts on the other platform to build a strong cross-platform campaign and maximize your social media strategy.
What Is a Cross-Platform Social Media Strategy?
A cross-platform social media strategy is precisely what it sounds like—a strategy that involves more than one social media platform. Based on the popularity of Facebook and Instagram, businesses can expect results if they form quality strategies and optimize both platforms’ similar and unique aspects.
Cross-Platform Social Media Campaign Example
Let’s say a financial company wants to build brand awareness and increase the clickthrough rate to its website. They will use both Facebook and Instagram in their campaign and want to create a strategy that best utilizes each platform.
It’s perfectly fine (most of the time) to post very similar content across social media platforms. However, it would be best if you remembered that all social media platforms vary – they have different audiences, different styles, and different expectations of how to reach your audience. While your posts may cover the same topic, it’s essential to cater your post copy to the particular platform.
For example, website links are not clickable in an Instagram caption. If you copy/paste your content from a Facebook post with a link into an Instagram post, your Instagram audience will be frustrated by the inability to click the link. They can tell you didn’t make an effort to add the link to your Instagram biography (the best way to share links on Instagram), and your audience may lose trust in your brand on that platform.
Be sure to take extra time to change your social media post’s tone and moving parts to ensure it fits the platform.
Since Facebook is more popular among older users, the company should focus its paid advertising efforts on graphics, videos, and images that better speak to groups 35 and up. The Facebook campaign could speak to middle-aged parents about growing their children’s college savings or to older users about getting ready for retirement.
Because Instagram is geared toward a younger crowd, the company should consider creating ads that speak to young adults. Perhaps the ads can focus on those just starting their careers or college students interested in maximizing their money early.
Is It Worth It for Your Business to Create a LinkedIn Page?
If your business works for people or with people, you also need to have a company LinkedIn page. LinkedIn is the best social platform to use in order to network with other professionals and companies.
Network with Other Professionals & Companies
If the purpose of LinkedIn could be summed up in one phrase, it would be “professional networking.” People from all industries can network with each other, follow other companies, seek job opportunities, and much more. Instead of a display of your personal life, LinkedIn provides an opportunity for you to showcase your career and related work.
Further, your employees can easily update the “experience” section on their personal LinkedIn pages to link to your company’s LinkedIn page. When they search for the name of the company, it will auto-populate in the search bar and display your company’s LinkedIn page. Your employees are ambassadors for your company with a click of a button!
Develop Thought Leadership within Your Industry
Social media platforms like Facebook or Instagram center around snippets of content and eye-catching images to entice the user to stop scrolling. LinkedIn is different in this sense, as it welcomes longer, informational posts such as blogs, product spotlights, service explanations, and others. Companies can even attach PDFs to their posts to provide even more information. Posting longer, informational content will help your company develop a thought leadership standing within your industry.
Easily Analyze the Success of Your Content
Pushing great content on social media is the key to getting (and keeping!) an engaged audience. Your company’s LinkedIn page provides straightforward analytics so you can determine whether your content is intriguing your target audience. The analytics (found on the left-hand side of your page) will provide your page’s activity from the last 30 days. Activity like:
- Search Appearances
- Unique Visitors
- New Followers
- Post Impressions
- Custom Button Clicks
Boost Your SEO Rankings
Hello, SEO! Your company’s LinkedIn page is public, which means that busy spiderbots will index your LinkedIn page and activity to contribute to your SEO ranks. Always write for people first, but don’t be afraid to keep SEO keywords and phrases in mind as you write. The more interesting and relatable your content is, the higher likelihood of your target audience interacting with it. When they comment or share your post, it’ll show up in their activity. This pushes your posts even further into the digital world!
Whether you proceed with a Facebook- or Instagram-centric strategy, or you are going to cover the waterfront with a cross-platform strategy using several different services, your next step will be to decide how you want these social media sites to work for you.
Need Help Getting Your Social Media Accounts Moving in the Right Direction? Let Our Social Media Experts Assist with your Social Media Marketing Strategy. Call M&R at 478-621-4491 today!
Step #4: Establish Your Social Media Objectives
Social media goals are the key objectives you want to achieve through your social media strategy. Ideally, they should complement your overall business goals. If your business wants to reach a wider audience, a social media goal could be to gain 1,000 new followers across all platforms within a certain number of months. If your business is looking to increase annual revenue, a social media goal could be to increase traffic to your e-commerce website.
Whatever your ultimate business goals are, it’s crucial to set corresponding social media goals to help shape strategy and achieve success.
Why Are Social Media Goals Important?
Without a goal to strive toward, your social media efforts will likely feel aimless and lead to frustrating results. Clear, defined goals, however:
- Shape social media strategy
- Optimize budgets for social ads
- Improve marketing ROI
- Clarify tasks
- Achieve broader company goals
Goal vs. Strategy
It’s important to note that social media goals are not the same as your social media strategy. While goals are the “what” (i.e., what the results of the campaign should be), the strategy is the “how” (i.e., how the campaign should progress to reach your goals). The best way to guide yourself to a winning strategy is to set meaningful social media goals first. Your goals on social media should drive your decisions within the campaign.
How to Set Social Media Goals
Here are some goal-setting methods to consider:
Start with the Bigger Picture
Every business has short-term and long-term goals that the company is working toward. By looking at the bigger company picture and analyzing your large-scale objectives, you can more easily shape your social media goals. For example:
A 10-year-old HVAC company has a goal to expand to a new service location within the year. Because the overall company goal is to expand company reach, its social media goals could include:
- Increasing branding awareness in the new service location
- Gaining new followers within the new location
- Generate leads from users within the new location
- Attracting potential hires to handle the increased workload
Make SMART Decisions
When it’s time to put pen to paper and define your social media goals, make sure they are SMART:
S – Specific
Clearly state what you want to achieve with your social media goals. Even if you have to brainstorm generally before narrowing in on the specific goal, make sure it is specific.
Example: if you want to increase traffic to your website, and your main focus is targeting Instagram users, your goal should instead be “to increase website traffic from Instagram.”
M – Measurable
Make your goals measurable so that you can track your progression. In the end, you’ll know without question if you have reached your goal or not.
Example: If you want to increase your follower count on Facebook, simply double your current like count. Now the goal is measurable.
A – Attainable
You want your social media goals to be a bit of a challenge while still within reason. Otherwise, you will likely approach your strategy with defeat, which could negatively affect your outlook toward future goals.
Example: If you have 5,000 likes on Facebook, perhaps doubling the follower count by the time your campaign is over is unattainable. However, increasing the count by 500 is reasonably challenging and attainable.
R – Relevant
Is your social media goal in line with bigger-picture objectives? If not, reshape it to fit your business’s overall goals.
Example: Your company is looking to gain business in a new service area. If your social media goal is focused only on current customers in your existing service location, you may want to redirect your goals to align with the company’s goals. Instead of focusing on current customers, plan to target prospective customers in the new service location.
T – Timed
Timed means that you should have a set deadline for reaching your goal. Without an end date, it’s easier to let your goals slide, and it becomes harder to complete them.
Example: We’re returning to the first SMART scenario, where the goal is to increase traffic to the website from Instagram. If you set an attainable percentage to reach within 6 months, you will have created a SMART goal!
Identify and Track Your Metrics with KPIs
You have zeroed in on your SMART goals for social media. To ensure they are the right goals to pursue, identify the relevant KPIs (key performance indicators) associated with each goal and track the metrics.
There are several goal categories that KPIs can fall under, including:
User reach shows where your social media presence goes and how far your message spreads. If you want to track your social reach, analyze:
- Follower counts
- Page impressions
- Post impressions
- Post reach
- Web referral traffic
User engagement shows how audiences interact with your social channels. To track your metrics for engagement KPIs, analyze:
- Page mentions
- Page shares
- Post comments
- Post reactions
- Post shares
Social media platforms are now the go-to place to learn about others’ experiences with a company. Along with ratings and reviews, you can gauge public opinion of your company by analyzing:
- Page mentions
- Resolved vs. unresolved comments and reviews
- Customer lifetime value
While audience engagement on social media is great, you really want to convert the audience member into a customer. You can track this by analyzing:
- Clickthrough rates
- Lead conversion rates
- Non-revenue conversions
- Sales revenue conversions
Once you’ve determined what your goals will be and how you will measure your progress towards completing them, you can move on to content creation and execution.
Step #6: Create a Posting Plan
When was the last time your business posted content to its social media page? If you are scarce with your social media posts, you’re missing out on brand awareness and audience engagement opportunities.
It’s crucial to post regularly at times when your target audience is most likely to see it. This increases your reach and likelihood of engagement. Audience behavior on social media varies between industries, but companies like CoSchedule have conducted studies that show ideal times to post for industries on each platform.
The most important thing is that you post content consistently. When a potential customer visits your social media profile and sees your last post was from 3 years ago, it doesn’t instill faith in them that your business is still active.
While regular social media posts cannot compete with the reach you can achieve with paid advertising, these organic posts can still put your brand in front of your target audience.
Your business’ social media posts could include topics such as:
- New product updates
- Operating hours updates
- Team member highlights
- Seasonal posts
- Local event highlights
- Relevant industry articles
If posting across multiple platforms, be careful not to spread yourself too thin. It’s better to create quality posts and content on one social media platform than mediocre social media content on multiple platforms.
It’s also important to create a content calendar. The last thing you want to do as a business on social media is “wing it” with post schedules and topics. This leads to inconsistent engagement, and eventually, you’ll find yourself months removed from your most recent post, and your followers will wonder where you’ve been.
The frequency of your business social media posts will vary based on your industry and goals. You may want to post bi-weekly, weekly, daily, or several times daily. Your decision here will depend on the types of content you can share and the quality of your posts.
Create a calendar to track when posts should be made to help you stay consistent.
Are You Ready to Engage With Your Customers On a Whole New Level? Let Us Help You Create an Unstoppable Social Media Presence. Call M&R Today! 478-621-4491.
Step #7: Stay Engaged Throughout Every Campaign
Audiences need to see that your company is involved with your social media accounts. They should know that your company is invested in them and their experience with your socials.
Reply to messages as promptly as possible. Answer questions, engage with comments, and respond to positive and negative feedback to show that you are listening and available. Users respond well to accounts that stay engaged. On the flip side, they are likely to develop negative opinions of companies that are consistently quiet or unresponsive on social media.
Responding to Customers
Since the pandemic, customers are more likely to handle questions online instead of picking up the phone. It’s much easier for people to shoot your Facebook or Instagram page a quick message to ask about your menu, hours, or products instead of picking up the phone to talk to someone at your company.
You’re likely missing out on valuable leads and customers if you aren’t staying on top of your social media inboxes. It’s much easier (and less stressful for introverts) to shoot a business a short message on social media and ask about:
- Product selection
- Operating hours
- Special product requests
Because of this reliance on social media messaging, it’d be wise to help your customer service team brush up on social media messaging etiquette. In the same way you’d train a team member to be tactful and professional on the telephone, you need to train them to use the same skills through social media messages.
The same philosophy applies to reviews. If a customer leaves your business a review (positive or negative) on social media, take the time to craft a tactful and thorough response.
Shouldn’t I Just Ignore Negative Reviews?
Absolutely not. We understand – nobody likes to be told they are doing something wrong, whether it’s based on truth or not.
As a business, however, you need to respond directly to negative comments and reviews on social media. Don’t believe the myth that you should ignore the negativity.
When we say, “directly respond to negative comments,” that doesn’t mean being defensive, combative, or juvenile. Instead, address the negativity with poise, acknowledge that you hear them, and stress your values.
Why is it important to respond to your customers, even when it’s negative? Ignoring your customer’s complaints and negative feedback makes your business look like you don’t listen to them. Ignoring the negativity can erode your established customers’ trust and make new customers wary of doing business with you.
If possible, try to take the conversation into a direct or private message after responding publicly. There’s no need to get into a comment war with a customer on your Facebook post.
For more tips on how to respond to negative reviews, check our article exploring the topic.
Step #8: Track Your Results
The main point of your social media advertising efforts is to improve metrics and maximize ROIs, right? The only way to know if you succeeded is to track your progress on every platform and evaluate the performance of your SMART goals.
Did some posts perform better than others? Did certain media formats receive more interactions? By evaluating how your campaign performed in accordance with your goals, you can work to strengthen future strategies and refocus your objectives if necessary for an even better ROI.
Key Performance Indicators to Watch
What is a key performance indicator? Also referred to as a KPI, a key performance indicator tells you if your chosen social media marketing methods are working… or not. Let us highlight the three most important KPIs for social media marketing.
Key Performance Indicator: Reach
Reach refers to how many people see your post in their newsfeed. Organic posts have a difficult time reaching the maximum amount of people. If you use social media marketing tactics such as ads or boosted posts, your post will be pushed in front of – and ultimately reach – your target audience.
Reaching your target audience will depend on the metrics you use in your ads and boosted posts. You don’t want to be too broad that your post falls on uninterested parties. But, you also don’t want to be too specific that the post has difficulty reaching interested parties. (We do this every day and are more than happy to manage this for you!)
Key Performance Indicator: Engagement
Reach is important, but not more important than engagement. If you reach 1,000 people but only 5 people engaged with your post, your engagement rate for that specific post is .5%. However, if another post reaches 50 people and 25 people engaged with your post, your engagement rate for that specific post is 50%. Engagement can take many forms, such as:
- Profile visits
When you have a healthy engagement rate, that is a key performance indicator that you are creating quality and relatable information for your target audience. (Did you know? Social media experts say that an engagement rate of 1% – 5% is great. That doesn’t sound or feel like a big number, but in the digital world where every business and person is fighting for the user’s attention, 1% – 5% might as well be a jackpot.)
Key Performance Indicator: Leads & Conversions
If your targeted audience is inquiring about your services or making purchases through social media, that is a great key performance indicator that your content is spot on, and your social media marketing is working. More than converting customers from on-the-fence to loyal, you should also analyze where your leads and conversions are coming from. For instance, if your Instagram page is responsible for 20% of your leads whereas Facebook is responsible to the other 80%, this could mean one of two things:
- Your target audience is on Facebook, and that’s where you should spend your time and money.
- You are not adequately reaching your target audience on Instagram, and you should put more effort into that social media platform.
Bonus: Effective Social Media Marketing Impacts Your Website’s SEO!
If the wealth of information above doesn’t make you want to start diving into your company’s social media presences right away, let us tempt you with one further benefit: effectively managing your company’s social media can have a positive impact on your website’s SEO, bringing your page closer to the coveted top spot in search engine results!
It’s important to note that social media does not directly improve your SEO. Rather (and that’s a BIG rather), it significantly supports your SEO strategy. When your followers interact with your content via social signals – likes, comments, and shares – they are contributing to more online visibility and traffic for your company. Let’s highlight a few benefits. Sharing on social media:
- Allows for increased visibility
- Boosts brand awareness
- Contributes to content distribution
- Gives you an opportunity to link to your website
- Helps with link building
- Helps you easily discover your target audience
- Signals to Google that a new page needs to be indexed
How does social media indirectly affect SEO?
Like we mentioned earlier, social media does not directly affect your SEO rankings. However, it shouldn’t be written off as unnecessary, as it can indirectly affect your rankings. To understand how social media supports SEO, consider this cycle:
Step 1: Your company publishes content on your social media platform of choice.
Step 2: Your content gains traction through social signals.
Step 3: Your social media site gains followers while your website simultaneously gains traffic (thanks to the high-quality content that links to your website).
Step 4: Your company’s brand recognition grows.
Step 5: Your company’s reputation strengthens as followers interact with social media content.
Step 6: Your website ranks higher in the SERPs as it experiences more traffic.
Step 7: Your target audience finds your website and company via organic search results.
Repeat, repeat, and repeat.
Simple Tips to Boost SEO Rankings Using Social Media
Now that you know how social media can affect your SEO rankings, let’s highlight five tips to boost your SEO using social media.
Publish Content that Helps You Establish Authority in Your Industry
Make your content count. Don’t “waste” a post on content that provides no value to the reader. By producing helpful information, you are establishing authority within your industry and the reader will realize that your content (and company!) is trustworthy. Here are a few questions to ask yourself to assess if your content is useful for the reader:
- Does my content provide a solution to a problem?
- Does my content inform the reader about an important topic?
- Is my content entertaining or informative?
These are not the only options to consider when you’re creating social content, but they make for a good start.
(Almost) Always Include a Link in Your Post
When you add a link to your post, you’re telling your reader, “Hey! There’s more for you to see. Click here.” But to reap the benefits of adding the link, it’s ultimately in the hands of the reader. The reader may or may not bother clicking, but if they do, it’s well worth the addition of the link.
Sometimes, a link may not be necessary if it’s a holiday post or a personal post. Remember to gauge your posts on scales of both genuineness and authority. You want both.
Fight the Social Media Algorithm
No matter how incredible your content is, the social media algorithms will determine who sees it and how long it stays in someone’s newsfeed. However, you can fight the algorithm and extend the lifecycle of your post! Here are a few ways you can do that:
- Ask people to “share this post”
- Update older content that received a lot of interaction and re-share it
- Post your content during the best time and day of the week for that particular social platform
These tips could help your post have a longer lifecycle than if you simply published your post and crossed your fingers.
Team Up Your SEO Team & Social Media Managers
Are your SEO manager and social media manager in two different departments? That’s understandable, but both departments need to communicate frequently to create intentional social media posts. Your company’s social media posts should be in sync with the SEO keywords and phrases your company is pushing.
Publish Content that Interests Your Target Audience
If you want your target audience to participate in social signals, you have to give them a reason to do so. Conduct keyword research that relates to your products and services, then implement those keywords into your posts. Also, consider browsing your competitor’s social media pages to see which posts get the most interaction. From there, you can determine what topics interest your target audience.
Let’s Get Started!
Social media management can be a big monster, but it’s not undefeatable. With the right planning, content, and willingness to engage with the audience, your business’s social media accounts can quickly become a major driver for engagement, awareness, and – best of all – conversions.
Are You All Fired Up About Social Media, But Unsure Where to Start? Let Us Give You a Hand. Talk To Us About Social Media Services Today!
M&R’s in-house digital strategists are experts in social media marketing and can help you leverage social media to grow your business. If you want to find, engage with, and convert your audience through social media, call us at 478-621-4491.