Social Media and Your Business’s Digital Marketing Plan
You don't need us to tell you that building a digital marketing plan is no small feat. On top of deciding the unifying basics like what you want your message to be, you need to consider the countless digital marketing choices and choose which one to use.
It's easy to get overwhelmed by all your options, but take a deep breath with us. All you need to do is look at the marketing opportunities one at a time.
Let's start by taking a closer look at one of the digital marketing mediums with the highest potential: social media marketing.
The Benefits of Social Media Marketing
If you're wondering whether you should be on social media, here's a spoiler: the answer is "yes." Social media marketing offers a long list of unique advantages you won't get anywhere else.
Reach People Where They Are
Everywhere you go, you see people engaged on their phones rather than paying attention to the world around them. There are plenty of disadvantages to the world becoming less personable, but it tells us something helpful too: people spend hours and hours on social media.
In fact, the average social media user is on one platform or another for two hours and 23 minutes every day.
That translates to two hours and 23 minutes every day when you have the opportunity to catch their eye. They're already scrolling through their news feeds and actively taking in content. You just need to get onto those newsfeeds and know how to grab users' attention.
Connect in an Informal Setting
Most people put up a wall, at least to some degree, when they're in a "sales" situation. They know the seller has an agenda so they're immediately skeptical of what the seller says.
Social media offers you the unique opportunity to connect with people in a more informal, personable setting. They see you less as a business trying to turn a profit and more as a fellow human out there in the world. This makes them more receptive to your message.
On top of this, social media is a casual atmosphere. It's a place where brands can let loose and let their personalities shine through. As a business, you can use this to build a more personal connection with your consumers.
Target Specific Groups of People
With any type of marketing, it isn't just about communicating your message to as many people as possible. It's about getting your message out to the specific people who are likely to become customers.
In most types of marketing, your only way to do this is with rough estimates. A particular website might be popular among people in your target demographic, but you don't know if you're reaching those people in the crowd.
Social media marketing, on the other hand, is far more direct. You can target your ads to people in particular locations and age groups. You can even target people based on their interests, family structures, and job titles.
In some cases, you can take it a step further and link your social media pages to your business's website. This lets you target social media ads to users who have taken certain actions on your website like viewing specific products.
Get Immediate Feedback
With many types of digital marketing (and marketing in general), all you can do is launch your campaign and wait for the results. You see the overall results of the campaign in your revenue. Within that campaign, though, you don't know what aspects resonated with customers and which didn't.
Social media is unique because it shows you your customers' feedback from the start. You'll see which posts and ads are getting the most interaction. You can even hear customers' thoughts about the ad in seconds when the customers comment on it.
This provides you with an unmatched opportunity to see exactly what works and why. You can improve your campaign before it's even over by taking that feedback into account.
Coordinate with Other Marketing Strategies
As any marketing professional will tell you, consistent branding is one of the best things you can do for your business. You want customers to see the same message from you and to see if often. The more this happens, the better they'll remember you.
One of the most effective ways to do that is to use the same campaigns with the same imagery and messaging in multiple marketing channels. Social media makes this easy.
For example, let's say you have a billboard that's getting a lot of attention. Modify the same graphics and the message to create graphics for your social media ads too.
Another helpful way to coordinate your social media with your other marketing efforts is to integrate it with your content marketing. You're already producing great content for your website, like blogs and infographics. Why not post them on your social media to get more mileage out of them?
Enjoy Budget Flexibility
No matter what your business does, cash flow is important. You have a clear budget for your marketing efforts, and you don't want to push it too far.
That can be a challenge with many types of marketing. A magazine ad has a set price, which is often thousands of dollars. If you can't pay that price, you're out of luck entirely.
Social media, on the other hand, gives you complete control over how much you spend. If money is tight, you can use organic posting alone. All you'll pay for is the creative work of creating the posts.
To truly make your social media marketing effective, though, it's best to work in some paid social media ads as well. If you do this, you can set any price you want and you'll get proportionate results.
More importantly, you're never locked into any cost for longer than you choose. You can adjust your ad spend with your financial capabilities.
How to Make the Most of Social Media in Your Digital Marketing Plan
Now you know why social media marketing is such a must-have for your digital marketing plan. That's only the beginning, though. To make the most out of your investment, use these social media marketing tips.
Choose the Right Social Media Platforms
The world is full of different social media platforms, each one with its strengths and weaknesses from a marketing perspective. Choose the platforms for your brand appropriately.
One way to do this is to look at the user demographics for each platform.
For example, Facebook has users from all walks of life, but the statistics are veering toward the older end of the spectrum. Instagram, on the other hand, is most popular with people between the ages of 18-29.
Think about who your target audience is, how they spend their time, and which platforms they're most likely to use.
Set Clear and Well-Researched Goals
The last thing you want to do with any marketing campaign is to throw out content blindly. You need a way to know whether or not it's getting results.
As we mentioned above, social media has plenty of measurable metrics that they track, so use them. Set specific goals for your social media performance. It could revolve around post engagement, the number of page likes or followers you have, or other goals.
Make sure you do your research and establish specific numbers you want to achieve. Those numbers should be challenging enough to keep you moving forward. At the same time, they need to be reasonable and attainable with your budget.
Track Your Data and Adjust
Let's stay with this theme of data for a moment, shall we?
When it comes to social media, data analysis shouldn't just be a way to decide if a campaign is a success or a failure when the campaign is over. It should guide you in adjusting your content throughout your campaigns.
Instead, keep an eye on the metrics as you go along. Watch which posts and ads are getting the most engagement. Analyze what is different between these posts and the less successful ones.
Use that information to adjust your strategy throughout your campaign. That could mean tweaking your content, adjusting your ads' targeting settings, budgeting, or other changes.
Turn Off Your Salesperson Voice
As we mentioned above, social media is a more personable and casual medium than most other types of advertising. This gives you the opportunity to connect with your customers in a more authentic way. You can mess up that advantage by sounding too much like a salesperson, though.
Your social media posts shouldn't read like a series of advertisements. Beyond promoting your brand, they should focus on informing and entertaining your followers in order to connect with them.
There is a common rule of thumb called the 80/20 rule. It suggests that 80% of your posts should be informative or entertaining, while 20% should promote your business directly. While different brands may have a different "sweet spot," the 80/20 ratio is a good place to start.
Using Social Media to Your Advantage
Everyone has their thoughts about social media. Some people love it and use it to keep up with long-distance family members and friends. Others think it's making the world a less personable and interactive place.
Regardless of its impact on the world as a whole, the fact is that social media is an invaluable addition to any business's digital marketing plan.
Of course, there are only so many hours in the day. If you need help with some of your back-office tasks so you can focus on building your brand, our HR service providers are here to help and ready for your call.