Many small and medium sized businesses understandably take a great deal of care in identifying appropriate marketing strategies. After all, when you’re working with a limited budget, it is imperative that funds are channelled into approaches that will ultimately deliver the best return on investment (ROI).
If you are currently questioning whether social media marketing will deliver the ROI and results you want to see, we have put together this short guide explaining why investing in this area may well be one of the best decisions you will make for your small business this year.
Why Should I Invest in Social Media Marketing?
As one of the most cost-effective and versatile marketing strategies, social media marketing can help small and medium sized businesses to connect with their ideal audience, boost brand awareness and increase leads, sales and conversions over time.
Social media is an excellent facilitator of meaningful connections because conversations can be conducted in real time and there is a diverse audience pool actively waiting to be presented with engaging content. In fact, 2016 research conducted by Nielsen indicates that around 40% of social media users report that learning about new services, products and businesses is a key part of why they use social networks.
For small businesses looking to secure growth over both the short and the long term, a solid social strategy is essential. So, to answer the question: yes, social media marketing is worth it and here are a few of the most important reasons why.
Expand your Reach
The fact of the matter is that your potential customers are already on social media. By identifying the platforms they choose to engage with and sharing content that will appeal to them, you are placing your business in the best possible position to boost your brand awareness and begin forging important relationships with the people you most want to impress.
Facebook alone has more than two billion monthly active users and it is predicted that by 2021, worldwide numbers of social media users will exceed three billion. At a time when there are so many businesses vying for consumer attention, it is imperative to ensure that you are not forcing your audience come to you.
Ultimately, if you aren’t maintaining an active social media presence, you are almost certainly missing out on making important connections that will contribute to the continued success of your business.
Social Audiences are Often Highly Receptive to Brand Messaging
Social media platforms provide people with the opportunity to both engage with family and friends and to keep up to date with what is going on in the world. Most importantly, social platforms facilitate this sharing of information in ways that are easy, fun and engaging.
Inherently conversational spaces, social platforms provide businesses with the opportunity to communicate in a more conversational manner. By presenting an approachable and friendly face, you will encourage your audience to engage with you on a more personal level which will help you to deepen these connections in an authentic way.
Avoid bombarding your audience with a constant stream of overt marketing messaging. Instead, invest in authentic engagement and your audience will be markedly more open and receptive to what you have to say.
Increase Inbound Traffic
It is important to establish a variety of traffic streams to your website and implementing a social media strategy is an excellent way to channel additional potential customers towards your most important digital asset.
The key to increasing your inbound traffic from social media is to consistently share valuable content that will allow you to engage new leads and ultimately secure additional conversions.
Tailoring your content to each platform is essential to drive the best possible results from your investment. This also provides you with the opportunity to effectively engage different segments of your audience across different platforms, which will contribute to an enhanced ROI.
Taking the time to select which platforms you want to target will help you to make the most out of your social strategy and ensure that your messaging is specifically tailored to deliver value to the people you most want to impress. With so much competition out there, making the right impression is vital and social media can help you to ensure that your messaging is 100% right every single time.
Tips for Creating a Successful Social Media Marketing Strategy
Breaking down the task into several clear stages will help you to shape a strategy that will secure the kind of results you want to see.
Set Clear Goals
Establishing your objectives is a crucial first step because without goals, you will have no way to determine whether your strategy is delivering results.
Track Key Metrics
Tracking the right metrics will ensure that your strategy remains in line with your objectives. If, for example, you want to grow your brand by boosting brand awareness, tracking followers and shares will give you a clear idea as to whether your current approach is delivering results. Alternatively, if driving leads and sales is your primary objective, monitoring email signups and website clicks will be more valuable.
Curate and Create Engaging Content
The content you share across your social platforms should be laser targeted based upon your objectives and your audience. Content fuels social media, which means that sharing the highest quality imagery, videos and other digital material is imperative.
Valuable Social Media Marketing Tools
Implementing a powerful social media strategy isn’t an easy task. Thankfully, however, there are now a variety of tools that you can utilise to simplify this process and ensure that you have visibility of the performance metrics you need. These will enable you to monitor and refine your social strategy to deliver the desired results.
Hootsuite is a versatile tool that enables businesses and individuals to schedule uploads to a variety of social media platforms, which will allow you to time your output to reach the maximum number of people. Additionally, HootSuite will compile reports on individual posts, allowing you to clearly determine your ROI and collate valuable data that will inform future decision making processes.
If your business uses Facebook to connect with your audience, keeping a close eye on your Insights’ dashboard will ensure that you understand how well individual posts are performing, whether your audience is responding favourably or whether your approach would benefit from some adjustments. This data will help you to monitor the changing needs of your audience and ensure that your content continues to meet their expectations.
Twitter is a fast-paced platform and effectively tracking the performance of your timeline is essential. Twitter Analytics is an in-platform dashboard that allows you to see at a glance how well individual posts are performing and also allows you to track key growth and performance metrics over time.
Failing to tap into the full potential of social media means that your business will invariably be missing out on forging important connections with an engaged audience. Without a clear social strategy, you will find it much more difficult to market your business to potential leads and customers.
Targeting the right social platforms will allow you to actively demonstrate that your business genuinely cares about your audience, and is eager to both share valuable content and engage in meaningful conversations.