Social media is absolutely at the forefront of marketing in 2023, and if you run an independent business or SMB, marketing over social media is a necessity. But that doesn’t mean it’s always easy.
The good news is, we’re here to help.
Below, we’ve created a beginner’s guide to understanding social media marketing with quick tips and advice to help you get started. We hope you find it useful!
Why social media marketing matters in 2023
First, let’s talk about what social media marketing is and why it’s so important these days.
What is social media marketing?
Social media marketing is the practice of using social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn, to raise brand awareness and generate demand for your product or service.
Typically, marketing over social media involves creating a following and posting content that your readers care about.
Why use social media marketing?
Like all marketing, social media marketing raises consumer awareness of your brand and helps drive customers to your business, as well as potential employees.
This form of marketing also gives your customers a way to connect with your brand and business online, which is a necessity in today’s market.
One good thing about social media marketing is that you can get started for free. All you need is one or more social media accounts.
The goal when it comes to social media marketing is to create content that will drive people to your business.
To do that, you need to let your customers (and potential customers) know what’s going on.
Why you want customers to know what’s going on
For one thing, consumers want to know exactly where their money is going and whether that receiver is worthy of their hard-earned dollars.
If your business is deemed less worthy/interesting/helpful than another, you’ll lose out.
Ultimately, you have to work harder than ever before to earn and maintain customer loyalty, and social media provides a cheap (or free) way to do that.
Another reason is that every piece of information that you post is a chance to capture consumers’ attention and drive them to your business.
Remember that old adage, “Out of sight, out of mind?” Well, it’s true!
Social media marketing helps you combat “out of sight, out of mind” by ensuring you stay on consumers’ minds wherever they may be.
Which social media sites really matter?
Facebook is a popular option for SMBs. Because both Facebook and Instagram are owned by Meta, you can create posts for both platforms at the same time.
Your business could also have a presence on TikTok, Reddit, WikiHow, YouTube, LinkedIn, or Yahoo! Answers. The more, the better, though it’s best to focus on the ones that make the most sense for you and your business first.
For example, TikTok is focused on short videos and a younger audience, while Instagram requires that each post includes an image.
The bottom line? All of these social media sites will help drive traffic to your site, and consequently, your business.
Email marketing counts, right?
It does, and it doesn’t. Email marketing should be part of your overall marketing strategy, but it doesn’t replace social media marketing.
Statistically, the number of emails sent out versus the number of emails opened continues to decline.
Email is the new snail mail, and social messaging is the new mail.
By no means should you stop creating your newsletters, but you should definitely expand beyond email to reach your customers. Some marketers are combining the two to create a clickable, cyclical campaign.
Essentially, the social media message will contain a link to an email newsletter, which will contain a link to another social media site, which will then link to another, all the while encouraging the customer to “Follow Us on Twitter” or “Like Us on Facebook“.
When used in tandem, social media and email can really help reinforce one another to help generate interest and keep your business top of mind.
Does social media marketing really work?
Yes! Social media marketing will absolutely help you drive customers to your website and business.
People are still spending tons of time on social media sites, though which site(s) depends on the audience.
For example, Gen X and Gen Y are more likely to be on Facebook or Twitter, whereas Gen Z might be Twitter or TikTok. This is why you may want to spend time on more than one platform, especially if your audience includes a wide age range.
Social media marketing content ideas
At this point, you may be wondering what you should post about and whether you have anything worth saying online. Actually, you probably have a LOT you can say, you just didn’t know it.
You can use social media to let people know about:
- new product announcements
- sales and promos, such as BOGOs or discounts
- new employees and team members
- new policies or employee benefits
- positive business reviews
- industry-specific news articles
- community or charity events your business is involved in
- fun holiday events or celebrations
To really maximize your social media potential, try to incorporate terms related to your business that people might search for into your posts.
For example, if you are a producer of ninja weapons, you might incorporate “ninja”, “weapons”, “throwing star”, “nunchaku”, and “katana” into your posts, or post a link to an article about the rising popularity of urban ninjas.
These keywords will not only help the social media platforms show your content to the right people but may also help search engines better understand what your business is all about.
You can also post links to your main website and/or product pages, which can further help your site rank in Google.
How often to post to social media
As for how often you post, it’s totally up to you. A good rule of thumb is often enough to keep your readers interested, without annoying them into unfollowing you.
Somewhere between once weekly and twice daily should suffice, but try to keep the intervals between your posts pretty regulated.
You don’t want your readers to be accustomed to getting an update daily, then not hear from you for a month. They may assume that you’ve altogether stopped posting and stop following you.
Quick tips for social media marketing
Here are a few quick tips to help you succeed in your social media marketing efforts:
- create social media accounts with memorable account names that directly relate to your brand
- create a social media schedule to stay on top of it – start with something easy, like 5 minutes a day or 10 minutes every other day
- use #hashtags in your posts to increase their visibility and reach more readers
- use images to grab people’s attention: post pictures of products, the storefront, new displays, etc.
- be honest and genuine; if you use humor, make sure it’s not offensive
- talk about the good things happening at your business or ways your business is making the world a better place
For more tips on how to make the most of your social media accounts, we recommend our guide on using social media to recruit top talents.
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