How to Excel at Social Media Marketing
On April 25, we were honored to give a presentation at the Michigan West Coast Chamber of Commerce’s Zeeland Affinity Group (ZAG) meeting on how social media can benefit your business—“Why Your Business Needs to Be Social (And How You Can Excel at It!).”
The ZAG meeting was held at the Howard Miller Library, which—being less than five minutes away from our Zeeland headquarters—was incredibly convenient.
Our team members presenting at this West Coast Chamber event were Lori and Alex. Together, they covered a range of topics related to best social media marketing practices for the group, including:
Overviews of every social media platform
The right platform(s) to reach target markets
The importance of consistent branding in social media (and how it relates to brand awareness)
The best days and times to get social in a given market
How much time should be spent on social media accounts
How social media can be used to build trust with both returning and potential customers
- Overviews of every social media platform
- The right platform(s) to reach target markets
- The importance of consistent branding in social media (and how it relates to brand awareness)
- The best days and times to get social in a given market
- Why it’s so important to gather social media metrics
- How much time should be spent on social media accounts
- How social media can be used to build trust with both returning and potential customers
To accompany our presentation, we also created a special guide—Rock Your Social Media: 6 Best Practices. Since you can’t go back in time (we assume) and attend the presentation, we’re happy to let you know that you CAN still get your own copy of this guide to pick up some tips on how to make your social media marketing work for you!
During preparations for Alex and Lori’s ZAG presentation, our social media experts at CP Solutions compiled some of the best reasons to be on social media in 2019.
Why Social Media Matters for Your Business
There are many times in life where the things most taken for granted end up having profound effects—and social media happens to be one of them.
After all, social media is so prevalent in modern life, we rarely give it a second thought.
To provide proof of that, Lori had attendees take out their phones and do a quick activity. Once everyone was ready, she then provided a couple of steps leading up to something that provided to be especially illuminating—how much time they spent on Facebook!
An overwhelming majority of people were floored by what they learned.
Again, it’s just so commonplace and we rarely give much conscious thought into taking a couple of minutes here and there to scroll through the feed, share a meme or video, or write a quick post.
But those “couple of minutes here and there” really add up.
Now, you might feel as though social media is just for sharing memes, wishing people happy birthday, or—*cringe*—getting into political arguments, but here’s the truth of the matter:
The ever-shifting and diverse social media landscape impacts nearly every aspect of our lives—even for those rare folks who abstain from it. Everything from business to entertainment, politics to professional sports, etc. is affected by what happens in the social media sphere.
Of course, small businesses are no exception!
And this means that whether or not you’re on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest (etc.), your customers—and prospective customers!—are using those platforms. (Hey, the odds are pretty good that your competitors are too…)
A study from Statista found that 79% of the US population partakes in social media platforms. That number rises to 86% to those between the ages of 18-29.
Two billion people are active on Facebook monthly.
Each month, one billion utilize Instagram.
Guess how many people are tweeting on Twitter a month? 365 million.
Like it or not, social media is where your market is, and it can be instrumental in influencing your audience. Your business might not be on social media at the moment, but that leads to the question: can you afford not to be?
As we just alluded to, 8 out of 10 people in the U.S. have at least one social media account. Combine that with the fact that you want to capitalize on the remarkable power of human connection to grow your business and it adds up to this:
You need to get in the social media game—not sit on the sidelines!
This is particularly true because social media offers small businesses the opportunity to establish and promote their brands—thereby differentiating themselves from the competition.
Regular posts and updates give you an abundance of opportunities to do exactly that.
Improve your brand awareness with visual appeal and consistency!
Cost-Effective Promotion (For Optimal ROI)
What’s better than dozens and dozens of qualified leads? FREE dozens and dozens of qualified leads!
Social media sharing gives you the chance to considerably multiply your reach. Engaged, satisfied customers who recognize and prefer your brand may in turn recommend you digitally by sharing your content.
Whether it’s a retweet on Twitter, a repost of a branded image on Instagram, or a check-in on Facebook to your business location, social media offers your current and prospective clients the chance to promote you themselves!
Win their trust and they’ll become your biggest advocates to their social friends and followers. This digital word-of-mouth will also be perceived as more trustworthy; a study found that 83% of customers would much rather purchase a service or product that was recommended to them by a trusted acquaintance.
Social media is becoming even more pertinent to SEO. Updates to your website or new content might not immediately “crawled” by Google. Your social media profiles offer your brand opportunities to share and showcase these changes, thus driving more targeted traffic, which in turn helps boost site SEO.
(This highlights part of the reason why it’s so important to have a comprehensive and interconnected digital marketing strategy.)
Social media supports this beautifully! Your blogs, contact form, informational videos, and products can easily be showcased on your social media profiles.
Connect With Your Partners
Is there an industry that your business leans on? How about within your industry? Is there a business or partner that is hugely important for your brand?
Partner with them on social media!
Social media lets you keep your ear to the ground and work with your affiliates to better disseminate information.
Effective social media marketing not only showcases your brand to consumers, it actually increases brand authority as well!
How does that happen?
As previously mentioned, you can share content on industry topics from your blog on social media to enhance your brand authority, but you also have several other options.
Strategic “Facebook lives” on specific issues that are pertinent to your customers let you display your knowledge of the issues that matter to them.
Quick informational videos, optimized for social media sharing and the average attention span, show that you’re an expert in your field.
Plus, social media lets you promote what goes on behind the scenes for your business:
- Going to a trade show? Check in on Facebook.
- Won a professional award? Post a picture on Instagram!
- Attending a dinner to be recognized in your field? Add a quick video on LinkedIn with the necessary hashtags to exhibit those professional accolades.
These displays of expertise and industry-specific knowledge are perfect for your social media presence! Build your rapport with your clientele through social media to become a trusted voice in your field.
Become a trusted voice, earn brand ambassadors. (This is why you need them!)
Your business, by design, simply can’t have the same back-and-forth with its customers through an SEO or Local Search strategy that it can on social media. (It’s in the name, after all.)
There’s no better place to engage with your current and prospective clients. Whether you like it or not, customers will let you know how your business is perceived via social media.
Through engagement analytics on posts, comments, direct messages on Instagram inquiring about services or costs, or reviews on Facebook, your customers and prospective clients will make their opinions loud and clear.
And this frontline connection with your market allows your business to see what is and isn’t working, and to learn more about your clients. It also lets you have a great understanding of the particular age, income, behavior, and lifestyle of your perfect clients—all of which is incredibly useful if you decide to run pay-per-click advertising. (And you should!)
Your clients are already talking on social media; take advantage of this and listen!
Social media is supposed to be just that: social!
Your customers certainly want to see you as a trusted and professional source for their needs, but it’s worth remembering that they aren’t on social media for your business—they’re on to have fun!
Don’t be afraid to be a little more upbeat when on social media (while still being professional, of course). Humorous posts, cute videos, and engaging contests on your social media profiles allow you to separate your brand from your “stiffer” competitors. Innovative and entertaining social media campaigns let you show a warmer side of your business, one that your clients want to see.
Remember, people do business with brands they like, trust, and find to be credible—and giving your company a personality makes it more relatable and likeable.
Sounds Intimidating? Don’t Worry, We Can Help You Get It Done Right!
Our social media team here at CP Solutions has years of experience growing our clients’ businesses through social media.
We tailor our social media campaigns to perfectly encapsulate the specific voice, presentation, and history of your brand, while constantly keeping your perfect customer’s demographic and psychographic in mind.
These are the social media services that take your business to the next level (and beyond!).
Your business is unique; your social media marketing should be as well. Contact us today at (833) 622-0907 to discuss what we can do to grow your business!
We are always looking for talented individuals!