Sales and marketing have come a long way since the humble beginnings of trying to present brands, goods, or services in various ways to attract more customers and compete with your competitors in the market. Living in today’s digital world, marketing ways have definitely been diversified through numerous digital channels to achieve more marketing goals, a gain of a competitive edge against your competitors as well as targeting and attracting a well-defined target audience that ultimately converts them into loyal customers. When it comes to asking for tips on how to get your business off the ground or boost your revenues, an answer that you are very likely going to get is “SOCIAL MEDIA! Make full use of it. It is FREE!”
Yes, it is free.
Social media is one of the hottest ways of marketing in today’s business. Even so, did you know that many small businesses or even the world’s biggest tech brand, APPLE barely incorporate social media into their marketing plan? Surprising, isn’t it? According to Mashable, here are the 10 successful businesses that did not incorporate social media into their marketing plan. You would most likely say perhaps these successful businesses do not require social media for their businesses. But what about Apple?
Apple has a strange social media strategy but that still makes perfect sense. When brands are pushing out content and promoting products on their feeds, the world’s biggest tech brand has never published a Facebook post (only cover photo updates!!) or even a tweet but has gained 13M likes and 6.1M followers respectively. However, Apple’s Instagram has been pretty active these years, sharing only 700 plus images of shots taken on iPhones and having gained 25.4M followers.
Apple’s silence on social media is because it somewhat does not need to be there. There is no need for Apple to push users to purchase its products. Their launch events have created enough hype for users to literally join long queues and grab their latest offerings. The exclusive brand has definitely created a brand for itself and need not be playing the same field as its competitors.
On the other hand, Apple does appreciate the power of social media in ways that benefit its users. Like the @AppleSupport on Twitter, Apple provides tips and tricks as well as helpful information for users on their Apple products. Here, you will have a rough idea that Apple is incredibly careful with the content and does not perform hardcore selling.
Get Your Message out to the Crowds
So, does that mean that your business does not require a social media profile for your business? Well, no, not exactly. What about the last Starbucks post on Instagram that tempts you? – Get 2 Starbucks Grande at only RM21? What exactly made you follow certain brands on social media? New and interactive content? Promotions? When it comes to Starbucks promoting their limited-edition drink or promotions, this business has indeed made great use of incorporating social media in their marketing plan to achieve their goals of brand awareness and sales conversion, isn’t it?
According to Review42, more than 50 million small businesses are using Facebook to connect with customers and 90% of marketers claim that social media marketing efforts have increased the exposure of their business and 75% claimed social media marketing to increase traffic.
When sales and marketing work out well together, social media marketing and social selling come together as powerful strategies to drive avenues. But utilizing social media for business does not work the same as personal profiles. Utilizing social media for your business is a learning curve that requires further research and planning than what most people expect. Because of this, many businesses fail to either make the most of social media, not spending much time to understand how social media works or misusing it.
To help you determine if social media is right for your business, we have come up with 8 social media marketing steps as well as a guide to creating and optimizing your social media.
SOCIAL MEDIA: 8 SUCCESSFUL STEPS
1. What are your Business Goals?
Understanding and identifying your business goals from day one is the most crucial start for your business. Why does your business exist? How are your business and brand helping our society today? Does it provide support such as social media marketing or websites for start-ups like us, Kode Digital?
2. What are your Social Media Marketing Objectives?
After discovering your primary business goal, question yourself. Does your business require social media for wider exposure? You can then break them down into secondary goals for a simpler strategizing process. For instance, are you on social media to drive more traffic to your website, increase sales conversion or build brand awareness? Every social media activity should assist your business goal. We will discuss further the different types of social media goals you can expect.
Hence, you should come up with clear and realistic social media goals that align with metrics that will eventually help you measure your social media success. If your business goal is to generate leads, you can set it into numbers, track the numbers of signups, bookings, or email subscriptions as well as the numbers you aim to achieve in the following months.
Start with the marketing objective, SMART and get them listed.
Now that you have got your objectives listed, who will be stalking your social media?
3. Who are your Customers?
Remember, your BUSINESS is NOT ABOUT YOU!
It is always about the RIGHT AUDIENCE that you provide value to. Who is the right target audience that would understand your content and be interested in your product or services? Get to know your audience and understand what they want. See the content as if you were the audience.
Start with these few questions:
One of the tools that you can identify your audience is through Facebook Insight which would provide you with the age, interest, and location of your audience. Do not assume your audience. Remember to use the tools provided for you for a much more accurate insight to curate better content.
4. Who are your competitors? What are they doing? FOLLOW AND STALK THEM!
One of the best ways to identify your industry, your audience and achieve your goals is researching and understanding your competitors. Do not be reluctant to follow them. Your competitors may be following you too! So, find out what your competitors are doing and what works best for them. Observe their marketing effort and social media activity then determine if the activities can be brought back to your marketing efforts for more positive results.
Keep an eye on their profiles and analyse necessary details such as
You may not have the exact numbers upon conducting your research. However, this will be a good insight of your competitor’s performance in the industry as well as a reference for you to establish your brand and enhance the key areas of your social media – content creation, social media engagement and search engine optimization.
5. Choosing the Right Social Media Platform
Maybe a little thinking about Apple’s social media strategy. Why is Apple’s Instagram more active compared to Facebook or Twitter?
Apple clearly cherry-picks platforms that would support their business objectives. A display of beautiful images on their Instagram feed instead of Facebook isn’t it? So, the idea here is to be selective about the right social media platform that would fit your business values rather than sharing your content everywhere on each platform.
Here is a guide on the different demographics on the widely used social media platform and what these social media platforms are best for.
|Weakness||Limited reach||Images only||140 characters||Limited interactions||Images only||Resource
6. Different Goals and Metrics
The key to social media success is understanding which goals and targets to set. Without goals, you will not be able to determine how your social media strategy is performing and where you should improve to perform better. Before planning your content, question yourself. What is the main goal of this content? Are you looking to gain more reach through brand awareness or produce more leads? Define your goals then work on your content.
Get to know these two super-actionable social media goals as well as their relevant metrics for you to analyse and measure your results.
A) Brand Awareness
Brand awareness shows the exposure of your brand’s presence and reaches in the online world. Are you the topic among your audience or your competitors? Brand awareness has been the top reason marketers use it to grab audience attention as an average audience spends more than two hours on social media every day.
- Post reach
B) Drive Traffic, generating leads and sales
Aside from building your presence, you should also ensure that at the end of the day, you have your audience visit your website as well, especially if your plan is to have them check out from your website and this can be done directly through social ads. More traffic to your website means more opportunities to nurture qualified leads and ultimately convert sales.
Want to drive FREE traffic to your website? Discover here.
- Link clicks
- Email sign-ups
Traffic: How many visitors have you received from social media?
Overall traffic: What is the overall traffic received from all social media accounts?
Bounce rate traffic: What is the quality of traffic?
You can simply measure your key metrics with Google Analytics. With Google Analytics, you would be able to track various traffic sources and that includes social media.
7. Define Your Unique Voice & Stand Out
- Target audience, checked!
- Insight of your competitor’s social media profile, checked!
- Right platform for your product/services, checked!
- Goals – Brand awareness / Lead Generation, checked!
But what gets you connected with your potential customers? Of course, CONTENT. The popular phase till today and will continue to be in 20 years’ time, ‘Content is King’ by famous Bill Gates. It is known as the way to earning money on the internet. There is nothing that will get you connected with your potential customers with the right and effective message.
Finding the right voice.
Depending on the industry of your business, you will have to find the right voice for your brand- style, feel and tone to connect and deliver the right, effective and engaging message.
A luxurious real estate brand will not be using terms such as
“Hey guys, check out our property” but instead keep it formal and affluent by using phrases like “Be mesmerised by our exclusive interior designs and let us show you what your new home looks like at…”
Next, you can amplify the description of your product by giving examples to your audience to feel your products, let’s say you are selling desserts, describe it as if you are holding and will be tasting it such as
“Try the NEW BLACK CHOCOLATE from The World’s First Maker of Pocket Cheese Toast! Let its rich chocolate taste erupt in your mouth in the perfect volcanic manner.”
Again to deliver the right message as well as voice, you should know your audience and the products of your content well. Are you selling a premium product or a standard product? Once more, it is alright to see how your competitors are doing. Remember, do not follow their exact footstep, but there is no harm to following the same direction and deriving your content based on theirs. Copycat marketing 101 by Burke Hedge says every company is following each other but it is a matter of derivation.
8. Create A Social Media Calendar
Even social media experts constantly question this trouble…
“What other relevant, interesting yet engaging content can I continuously attract my potential and loyal customers?”
The SOLUTION to this is to create a content calendar.
Note that sometimes the root to poor social media marketing is not the lack of resources but instead inconsistency in social media posting and poor planning.
So, to avoid all this, you may simply Google for social media calendar templates that suit you best or create your own Google Sheet to save all your ideas. With this, you no longer need to spend so much time wondering what to write and instead focus on expanding your ideas and ensuring that all your content is well planned and carried out. To create more engaging and relevant content, find out how going live on Facebook and Instagram can help businesses amid Covid-19.
Include these specific needs into your calendar:
Here is an example of what a content calendar looks like
SOCIAL MEDIA: SET UP AND OPTIMIZING
Confident that social media will leverage your business?
Now, set up an effective Facebook Page and Instagram business account with the right business information.
1. Facebook Business Page
Understand that to create a Facebook Business Page, you will need to have a personal profile page on Facebook. This is because Facebook wants to know who you are and who owns the page.
A) Step 1: Fill in your business info
Firstly, simply click on this URL to create your business page or you may click on the drop-down menu on the upper right corner of the Facebook page with a plus and select ‘Create Page’.
Facebook Business Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/creation/
Next, insert your
- Page Name
Also, you can make changes to the category, but keep in mind that not your page name.
B) Step 2: Insert a profile and cover photo
Optimize your business page with a logo (180 pixels x 180 pixels) and a cover photo (820 pixels x 312 pixels) or an engaging video from 20 to 90 seconds (820 pixels x 312 pixels). You may consider changing your cover photo regularly depending on your business trends, news, and happenings.
TIP: When it comes to optimizing Facebook Business Page, most business owners skip adding descriptions in their cover photo. Do not skip that. It would be an additional opportunity to direct your audience to your website or additional information when you insert a phone number, tag yourself, website, or a location.
C) Step 3: Fill in page information
Continue filling up this other information for your business page. You may make further changes in the settings located on the top right of your business page.
- About – short description
State who you are and what you do in 255 characters. Use specific keywords. For instance, I specialise in helping local business owners drive traffic to their websites and generate more customers in the process.
- Contact information – business phone number, email address, website
- Working hours
- More – Price range, Products
- Create a custom vanity URL
It is not practical to remember a bunch of numbers in your URL. Hence, a vanity URL is easily recognizable, more user-friendly, and greater for marketing purposes. To generate a vanity URL, click ‘Create Page @username’ which is located right under your logo.
D) Step 4: Add a call-to-action button
Under the cover photo, on the right, select the ‘add a button for a selection of call-to-actions.
2. Instagram Business Account
You may simply start a new Instagram account or switch from your personal account to a business account.
If you are looking to switch your personal account to an Instagram business account, follow these steps accordingly:
- On the upper right corner of your profile, click on the hamburger menu.
- At the bottom, select ‘Settings’.
- Click on ‘Accounts’.
- Select the ‘Switch to Professional Account’ in blue colour.
- Next, select the business category that best describes you, Creator or Business and relevant contact details.
- Connect with your Facebook page.
After creating a business profile, you should start optimizing your Instagram business account.
- Step 1: Choose a name and username that is easily searchable.
- Step 2: Upload a logo. For businesses, it is best to use your company logo.
- Step 3: Craft an informative and intriguing bio in 150 characters. Yes, a short sentence that would immediately capture your audience’s attention. Remember to use the characters wisely.
Your Instagram bio should be about:
- How and what you can do for your customers.
- How can they experience your product or service as well as emphasize the benefit they would get by following your account.
- End with a call-to-action: “Sign Up👇”
A single emoji character can bring your word to life. Thus, you should consider using emojis.
There is no quick fix.
To conclude, building a brand, creating an engagement, and gaining a following requires patience and dedication.
How is your BUSINESS leveraging in today’s SOCIAL MEDIA world? Come tell us your journey. We would love to hear them.