As of the year 2022, approximately 59% of the world’s population use social media, with an ongoing annual user growth of over 5% 1. With this in mind, it is no wonder that Australian digital advertising grew by 25% in the first quarter of 20212. Social media marketing provides the unique benefit of allowing you, the business, to speak directly to consumers and clients. The increasing number of hours the population is spending on social media is an ample opportunity to develop customer relationships, brand awareness and engagement.
Given that most of us are comfortable operating social media in some shape or form in our personal lives, it can be easy to get swept up in the excitement without a strategy. Successfully leveraging social media for your organisation requires effective planning and execution. Here are 5 tips for getting your business out there online;
1. Making a social media plan
It’s important that your social media goals align with the aims of your business. It may be worth conducting an investigation into your competitor’s social media usage, to gain an understanding of what may be attainable for your own company. Granted, creativity is rewarded in social media marketing, so working off a direct parallel to your competitor’s is unlikely to yield results.
Creating a social media calendar can be an important step in planning, ensuring you’re well-equipped for months ahead and won’t miss any key dates. It can be useful to check a national calendar for important celebratory or notable dates, as this can make for engaging content. Timely and relevant posts are often favoured by the algorithm, so utilising a calendar in this way could also facilitate user engagement.
2. Choosing which socials platform is best suited
Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Youtube and more recently, Tik Tok, all offer unique opportunities for customer engagement. Depending on the scope of your marketing team, you may choose to leverage one, or multiple, of these platforms. Which platform best suits your business depends on a number of factors, including your target demographic, the content you want to put out, and the resources you wish to dedicate. YouTube favours long-form content, between 5-20 minutes, that can be both informative and entertaining.
In contrast, TikTok and Instagram prefer short, sharp images or clips that deliver a message concisely, whilst LinkedIn consists primarily of written blog-style content. Assessing the type of content your marketing team is prepared to offer can help you decide which platforms will be most effective for your specific brand. It is also worth investigating age demographics and income statistics for each platform, which can provide insights into where your business’ target demographic tends to cluster.
3. Regular social media-ing
One key benefit of social media marketing is that it provides real-time interactions with clients and customers. However, this relationship can only be built through enduring content and continuous engagement with the consumer. Tactics such as having a scheduled weekly ‘event’ such as a Question and Answer session or advice column can cement your reliability and presence on a platform. Polls, competitions, giveaways and announcements also offer users the opportunity to directly engage with your business’s page, as opposed to simply viewing your posts. Trends move quickly on social media, so monitoring and engaging with current content patterns will be favoured both by the algorithms, and the users.
4. Network, network, network
Much like in the real world, networking via social media can be invaluable to your company. Social media marketing is traditionally thought of as content to advertise your business to potential clients or customers. However, levering platforms to build relationships with stakeholders, competitors, or other industry professionals can vastly improve the reach of your organisation. Platforms such as LinkedIn are particularly good for engaging others involved in your industry, who may be interested in following your business journey. Showcasing regular company updates and milestones may pique the interest of stakeholders, broadening your organisation’s network.
5. Reviewing social media analytics
According to a recent Sprout Social Index3, social analytics is the most used social marketing feature and strategy. Social media analytics is the perfect tool for assessing the extent to which your marketing is meeting goals, and whether you are making a sustainable return on investment. Analytics include post impressions, user engagement, page visits, new followers and recent mentions. Most social media platforms offer in-app tools to simplify complex analytics into digestible feedback. These indicators can be operationalised to provoke either a change in strategy or the development of the business goals.