Five tips for effective social marketing

Are you on social media for business? Wondering how to use it to get the results you want? Read five tips for effective social marketing.

A few years ago, many businesses dismissed social media as just another passing fad. But now, most of those same businesses are frantically trying to play catch-up and establish their own social media presence.

But while social media certainly offers fantastic marketing, brand awareness, customer service and sales opportunities to businesses of any size, achieving social success is about much more than tweets, likes and follows.

Five tips for effective social marketing

To help you plan and implement a successful social media strategy for your business, we explore five tips for effective social marketing.

1) You need to put in the work

As with all other things, you must put in the time and do the work on social media. There are no shortcuts to successful social marketing, so don’t believe any sales gurus who claim they have the single one secret that will unlock social for you.

To begin, you need a clear social marketing strategy, one that begins with an analysis =of where you are now. Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • Which social media networks do you currently have a presence on?
  • How are you using visual content, that is, images, video and infographics?
  • Who is your audience? Be as specific as possible – identify the exact demographic.
  • Where does your audience mainly hang out?
  • How do you fare against the competition?

With this information, you can proceed and create a social marketing strategy from an informed perspective.

But that is just the start. Once you start your social media activity, it’s important to be consistent and follow the right approach. Only then will you achieve the results you want from your activity.

2) You must contribute something of value

As mentioned right at the outset, social marketing isn’t just about tweets, likes and follows. If you don’t give your audience something of value, no one will listen.

So consider the content you post carefully, and plan well in advance. Create a content calendar to guide you, so that you’re not just posting anything that comes to mind.

And remember that people go to social media primarily to socialise, not to consume marketing messages. So, focus more on posting educational content and helpful content that sparks conversations and compels people to share.

A social media marketing mission statement is also a good idea as it will always keep you tethered to your ultimate goal.

3) You need to invest in social marketing tools

The right tools can make all the difference. Social marketing can quickly eat into your time, and unless you find the right tools to improve your productivity, you won’t be effective. So look for intelligent ways to automate your social media activity.

One of the tasks that takes up a lot of time is creating content and posting it on social media. If you don’t have time to create content, you can always hire a freelancer to do it for you. But, if you have an existing blog that contains evergreen content, you probably already have enough content to start off with.

Also, remember that you should also post other people’s content, not just your own; this will help to increase your social followers.

There are a number of popular tools you can use to create, share, automate and measure your social media activity. Here are a few:

  • Buffer – a tool with a free option that helps you queue posts in advance. You can also re-queue content that performs well at the click of button. A free account entitles you to five social media profiles and ten posts a week.
  • Canva – an infographic creation tool with a good free option.
  • Gimp – a free image editing tool as powerful as PhotoShop.
  • ly – a link shortening application with link analytics.
  • Google Analytics – a free website tracking analytics tool by Google

4) You need to identify your key success metrics

It’s important to constantly identify your key success metrics to find out if your social marketing is effective. You’re not on social media for fun – it’s business – so you need to ensure that the time you’re investing in it is actually delivering on your business goals. If not, it doesn’t make sense to keep using the same methods.

Some of the key success metrics you should keep a close watch on include:

  • Brand mentions.
  • Conversion rate.
  • Number of shares.
  • Reach.
  • Sentiment.
  • Time followers spend on your website.

(The tools mentioned earlier will help you keep track of these KPIs.)

5) Always stay in control of your campaign

The key to replicating success is keeping track of results, analysing data and optimising results on a daily basis. Even the most successful marketers have to continuously tweak their strategies to get the best results. So keep evaluating your social media strategy, and you will succeed in the long-run.

Be prepared to adapt and update

While the advice in this article will certainly help you to establish and grow a strong social presence now, nothing is set in stone. Everything is work in progress and social media is constantly in flux.

This means that strategies and tools that are accepted to work today could be obsolete tomorrow. So if you want long-lasting success on social media, you need to keep abreast with the latest developments and be prepared to adapt and update if you need to.