Everything and everyone is on social media these days, from teens to adults, pets, kids, and even food.
How and where you position your business and your brand on social media can go a long way to improve the return on your investment, or can be an utter failure and waste of time.
The difference between success and failure with your social media strategy is dependent on how you plan your content, choose the appropriate channels to distribute your content, and decide the type of response or action you want as an objective outcome.
To begin, you need to understand the definition of Social Media. Social Media is a digital tool that allows users to create, curate, and share different content forms with a predetermined audience and the public.
Having a strategy in place, know that there are a few traditional social media channels. These channels are Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and YouTube, while TikTok makes some significant strides as a newer player.
Strategize Your Social Media Content
As you begin to strategize your social media promotion, your priority should be to make your social media promotional goals specific to your business.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but too often, companies are under the misguided perception that posting anything on social media is better than nothing.
This strategy is wrong and ends up being a colossal waste of time and energy.
Instead, you should create social media content that matches both what your outcome objectives are and the type of channel you plan on posting your content.
For example, Twitter is great for sharing links and small amounts of texts but isn’t great for long-form blog post type content.
First, define the objective you want from your social media promotion and create a plan on how you plan to publish and distribute your promotion.
You can utilize one social media channel to improve your brand awareness, another to increase your audience, and other channels for engagement.
For example, Instagram is great to build a brand image but isn’t the most engaging, while your business blog allows you to be more engaged with your audience. They each have different benefits and areas they specialize in, and where you implement your promotion is just as important as how you plan your strategy.
Social Media Marketing
Social Media Marketing defines social media use by a business to grow brand awareness, increase sales, and improve overall website traffic by publishing engaging content through multiple channels, analyzing what gains traction, and interacting with a general or targeted audience.
Social Media is a tool that businesses can utilize to interact with their followers, analyze what content is more engaging and interactive among its audiences, track conversations between different consumers to track brand reputation, and market services and products to followers.
As discussed previously, you should focus your content on mirroring the outcome objectives for your marketing plan.
Plan Your Content And Publishing Calendar
There can be two main objectives with your content calendar. The first is to grow and increase your brand awareness.
The other is to engage your current followers and audience in ways that improve their understanding of your business, increase interest in your offerings, and build better brand loyalty.
As we discussed, posting on your blog or Social Media channel doesn’t get much return on your efforts. It would be better spent to focus your posting calendar on a specific outcome you’d like to achieve and post that content on the appropriate channels.
Follow Your Followers And Engage Your Audience
One key that social media allows is for a business to interact with customers and audience members directly. By engaging with followers, you’re better able to track what they are interested in, which helps with tailoring your future content toward their interests.
Market And Advertise To Your Followers And Beyond
With a structured content calendar and plan in place, you can grow your brand awareness and increase your sales with a smart, well-planned advertising strategy.
Social media allows your business to craft content and messaging to a highly-targeted audience over multiple channels.
By honing in on your audience, you can build momentum for your brand.
Targeting is defining who should receive your content and message, which allows a business to track who engaged, liked, and shared the content.
By targeting a specific interest group or personality profile, you can tailor your content to be more responsive to your audience’s interests and encourage their sharing and other engagement.
Proper targeting allows you to amplify your message to current customers and be responsive to their concerns, desires and wants.
You can also focus your campaigns to target a new audience and work to convert them from audience members to new customers, build upon your current brand loyalists, and improve your brand image.
Analyze The Data
The most crucial aspect of any marketing campaign is to analyze what is and what isn’t working. With social media, you have access to what content your audience is engaging with, what they’re commenting and sharing, as well as any outside sources of traffic.
You can analyze your content through awareness, engagement, and outside sources.
- Awareness: How your content is seen and received is a good barometer of whether it’s crafted the right way. You can track the number of times and places, as well as the time of day that your audience is seeing your content.
- Engagement: By tracking your audience’s attention with your content, you’re able to see their behaviors in real-time. Have they liked, commented, shared your content? If so, ask yourself what made it attractive. If not, why did it fail to gain momentum?
- Traffic Sources: Analyzing what type of content gets the most engagement is only part of the process. Knowing what channels and outside traffic sources you may be getting is also vital for developing and evolving your content strategy and marketing campaign.
By analyzing where your audience is most likely to be involved with your content, how they engage with it, and the time of day, they most likely consume your content.
Analyzing this data will help you iterate and pivot your messaging to reach your audience in whatever marketing goal you have for your strategy.
Social Media Promotion Ideas And Examples
Now that you have a plan in place and understand some of the key reasons social media marketing is essential for your brand let’s look at the eight ways you can effectively promote your products through social media campaigns.
1. Survey And Poll Your Audience
Create a poll or survey for your audience. Thebysocial media usee easy to set up on most channels, and you can cross-share between various media. A poll or survey should be specific to one product offering or special deal, and the responses you receive can help shape your content for future promotions. You’re asking your audience what they like, don’t like, and what type of content they want more of in the future.
2. Host A Live Stream “AMA”
An “AMA” stands for “ask me anything” and is a great way to get your audience to engage with you in real-time. You can promote the AMA beforehand on your various social media channels, and get live feedback from your audience about the things they like, have questions on, or would like to see in the future.
It’s a highly-engaging process for the audience and is a popular way for your audience to interact with you and others loyal to your brand.
3. Live Stream Content On Facebook Live or Instagram Story
Live content is one of the most popular ways content is consumed right now.
Videos make up 80% of the type of content consumed online, and according to Sprout Social live content is considered 3 x as popular as any other form.
Live streaming a contest, a behind-the-scenes, or a product demonstration are all great ways to get better interaction and involvement from your audience.
4. Curate And Promote Other Content
An exciting way to create promotions is to curate other content and offer it as an original.
If you include relevant, news-worthy, sharable content from a third-party, you are offering your audience more content to consume.
This process of curating other content is more manageable than creating original content every time, gives your audience more content to consume, and shows that your business follows and understands any new trends or patterns.
5. Repurpose Your Content
Taking your original content and crafting a unique spin-off of it for different channels is a great way to get more engagement.
For example, you can create a visually appealing image for Pinterest and Instagram, link it to drive those consumers to your business Youtube channel.
By repurposing content, you’re giving your audience who consumes it one way, another format to access your social media offerings in different ways.
You can take multiple blog posts, shape them into an ebook, or take a number of poll suggestions and craft long-form blog posts that address those interests. How and what you repurpose is up to you and your marketing strategy.
6. Create An Engagement Party
Get your audience excited with a trendy weekly ritual like #TacoTuesday or other types of happenings. You can get your audience to post a relevant picture to the “engagement party” and have them attach it with a specific hashtag that matches the one you’re utilizing in your marketing strategy.
The goal here is to get audience engagement and share the trend, not specifically just product promotion.
With this type of strategy, and if you’ve effectively utilized your polls and surveys, you can focus your attention on a fun image or event, one that your audience has shared that would be of interest to them.
7. Create Contests That Highlights Your Brand
You can utilize your AMA and survey polls to create an exciting contest for your audience to share your content.
You can be creative in the type of prize and rewards you offer, and examples of the kind of competition are for the best showcase of how a member uses your product.
Or you can reward the best recipe using your product that highlights your food and beverage if that’s your market. Another good idea is to award prizes to those that share your content and get the most likes in return.
The goal here is to create a contest that your audience would want to participate in and showcase your brand in an excellent light to all their friends and followers.
8. Have A Social Media Takeover
This promotion is a great way to get a new voice into your content. You can implement this strategy with an industry celebrity, a social media influencer, or a follower of your brand.
The takeover allows your audience to engage and consume your content, but that is provided by someone or business with similar products.
For example, if you’re selling casual wear for men and women, getting a celebrity to wear your gear and post content throughout the day is an excellent way to draw more attention to your product.
Another good way to generate more interest in your product is to have a follower handle your social media account for the day.
You can tie this into a contest, and the prize is to be the social media directed for a day. If you are a brewery, maybe you have a follower run a behind-the-scenes look at the brewing and packaging process.
Social Media Advertising Advantages
The advantage you have by launching a carefully crafted social media plan is that you have the opportunity to see what your audience and followers are consuming.
It gives you direct interaction with them, which allows you to pivot and evolve your messaging, reach a broader audience to create new customers, and increase brand awareness.
Through social media, you have access to a potentially huge audience. According to the Pew Research Center, nearly 70% of adults in the United States interact on some form of social media.
The shocking amount of people using social media at 70% of adults in the US is equal to an audience of over 140 million people! That’s a massive number of people you can get your brand and message in front of and increase your brand awareness.
Direct Interaction With Your Followers
Social Media allows your brand to have direct access and communication with your followers by tracking who subscribes, follow, like, and share your content.
This hands-on relationship between your brand and its followers will give you better insight on what to provide your audience, how to reach them, and when they want to consume your materials.
More involvement with your followers allows you to be more responsive to their needs and provide better customer service in the process.
Increase Inbound Traffic To Expand Your Brand
By utilizing social media, you have a more extensive audience reach, which means that you have the opportunity to expose your brand and services to more potential clients.
The goal is to have multiple social media imprints on numerous channels to reach as many new people as possible.
By expanding your brand awareness, you have an incredible opportunity to drive more inbound traffic to your webpage and offerings, leading to an increase in potential sales.
Improved Search Engine Results
Social Media won’t create a flood of traffic and immediately improve your search engine results, but partnered with a smart content calendar will help drive more traffic to your page.
The strategy needs to be two-fold, create compelling content that is easily digested and sharable. Next, analyze what took hold and was popular, and craft future content around what is attractive to your audience.
The amazing content you offer your audience, especially easily sharable to multiple media channels, gets you a broader audience reach.
Over time, a great strategy that pairs social media content with your targeted keywords on your website will increase your inbound traffic, which is a decisive step toward improving your search engine results.
Easily Evaluate Your Engagement
Through social media, you gain insights into the type of content your audience prefers, the specific content they enjoy and share.
This data can help drive your content planning, which, in turn, helps increase more engagement from your followers and audience.
Utilizing some of the engagement tips listed above will also provide you with real-time data of the types of content and engagement you have with your audience.
Social Media Advertising Effectiveness
While social media is so prevalent, most users claim that there are too many social media ads. In fact, a survey presented by Survey Monkey finds that over 70% of social media users claim that there are too many ads on social media channels.
Even with the negative impression many social media users have toward ads, the truth is that over 45% of people say they will purchase from a brand they see advertised on a social media channel (global web index).
The benefits of improved engagement through ads are that you get more “likes” and “hearts,” which helps the platform’s algorithm analyzes your post’s importance and relevance, improving search results.
The aspects that users state they would like to see changed are more diversity in ads, focus on the user experience as they see your ad, and be authentic and honest in your ad offers.
The benefits of social media ads are that you can expand your brand reach, iterate your messaging based on what gains traction, and improve your offers.
Remember, more people are using social media than aren’t, and developing an effective strategy to promote your products should be a priority with any of your marketing campaigns.