I was scrolling my Instagram feed one day and saw a local boutique selling what looked like the most comfortable sweatshirt I’ve ever seen. I was instantly intrigued. The way this company had it styled in the photo, the color of the sweatshirt against the autumn backdrop, and the description of a crisp 60-degree fall day, I was sold.
And this wasn’t the first time they reeled me in with their branding. I was their target audience and their consistency in content resonated with me as a buyer. Their strong social media presence allowed me to build a connection and trust that they were the business I wanted to give my money to.
Sure, you won’t have this reaction to EVERY post you see on social media. But as a business, it’s important for you to attempt to evoke that kind of feeling from as much of your audience as possible.
Social media marketing (SMM) is a way to grow your social media presence. Once you grow your presence, you can more easily build trust with your target audience. After you build that brand trust and brand awareness, you’ll have a better chance of turning leads into customers.
If you’re looking to build a strong social media presence for your brand, here are some ways you can achieve that goal:
Define Your Goals
Before you start building your social media presence, you need to define your goals. What do you want to achieve? Is it brand awareness, lead generation, or customer engagement? Once you know your goals, you can create a strategy that aligns with them.
After setting these goals you can hone in on what steps you need to take to reach them.
Identify Your Target Audience
Knowing your target audience is critical in social media marketing. You need to understand their preferences, interests, and behaviors to create content that resonates with them.
By defining your target audience you can better curate your content to their needs. It’s better to have 1,000 devoted followers who actively engage with your business and purchase from you rather than having 10,000 “meh” followers who aren’t as interested in your business.
This goes back to the example at the beginning. I was that boutique’s target audience, so they were able to make a sale.
Choose the Right Social Media Platforms
Not all social media platforms are created equal. Each one has its strengths and weaknesses, and you need to choose the ones that align with your goals and target audience.
Familiarize yourself with the various social media platforms available, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok, Pinterest, and others. Understand the strengths and weaknesses of each platform and what type of content performs well on each.
Consider the amount of time, money, and effort you can allocate to marketing your brand on social media. This will help you determine which platforms align with your available resources.
Remember though, each platform works differently. What may work on Facebook might not work on TikTok and vice versa. Consider customizing your content for each platform. HubSpot offers a free social media calendar template to help you stay organized.
Create Compelling Content
Content is king in social media marketing. You need to create content that educates, entertains, and informs your audience. Use a mix of formats, such as images, videos, infographics, and blog posts.
Staying consistent with content creation will ensure that your brand stays visible on each platform. If you’re struggling to come up with content, start by scheduling a lower number of posts on fewer platforms. Then make a goal to build your way up to being able to post daily on each site.
Make sure your content stays on brand for your company. Your brand identity should be the same across all platforms. If you come across a certain way on one platform and the opposite way on another, this can confuse your audience.
Also, stay on top of the trends circulating across social media. If you can use a trend to your advantage, you can build up your social media presence.
Keep track of the types of posts you’re creating. You don’t want several ads back to back, or a bunch of infographics. Change it up but make sure you’re keeping a good balance between content that adds value and content that’s promotional.
Engage With Your Audience
Social media is a two-way street. You need to engage with your audience by responding to their comments, messages, and mentions. This builds trust and strengthens your relationship with them.
You’ll know if your post is resonating with your audience within a few hours. Take that information and learn how you can improve on future posts. Engaging with your audience through polls, Q&As, or live videos will help you gain valuable insight into their needs, what they like, or concerns they may have.
Don’t forget to promote your social media accounts by adding your handles on business cards, emails, and your website. Then link back to each account to help grow your following.
Your list of email subscribers may not follow you on social media. So making sure they have a way to find you is important.
Optimize Your Content
SEO optimization helps your content be seen by your target audience across all platforms. Focus on specific keywords and insert them where you can. The easiest way to do this is by using hashtags.
Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn are highly indexed by search engines. This means that when people search for keywords related to your brand on search engines, your social media profiles, and posts can show up in search results.
By optimizing your social media profiles and posts for search engines, you can increase your chances of being found by potential customers who are searching for products or services similar to yours.
Additionally, SEO can help you improve the quality of your social media content and make it more engaging for your target audience. Optimizing your content with relevant keywords and using effective headlines and descriptions makes your content more attractive to both search engines and users.
Measure and Analyze Your Results
You need to track your social media metrics to understand what’s working and what’s not. Use tools such as Google Analytics, Facebook Insights, and Twitter Analytics to measure your results.
HubSpot goes into detail about social media tracking vs. social media listening, which is both relevant to measuring the success of your content. They say social media listening tells you why your audience is saying certain things about or related to your brand, while social media tracking lets you know how they’re saying it. Click here to read more about the two.
It’s also helpful to see what your competitors are doing. You’re most likely trying to appeal to the same audience, so if they’re doing something that’s gaining traction, you may want to try to emulate it in your own way. Don’t let this be the only influence on your social media strategy though. Use the data to your advantage. It doesn’t just tell you what content is performing well, but why it’s performing well.
When you analyze your results you better understand your audience and what they’re engaging with. While organic growth is ideal, you may need to invest in some pay-per-click advertising. Click here to learn more about social media advertising and how it can help you grow your business.
Keep in mind that success doesn’t happen overnight. Even if you have a post “go viral”, build on that momentum and keep going.