Predicting the success of your brand’s social media marketing strategy is like a game of dice–while you always expect the best, you never know what the outcome will be. With a new app stepping onto the scene of what feels like every day, it can be easy to get caught up in the new opportunities that these platforms might present rather than focusing on building a robust social strategy across channels.
Since the coronavirus outbreak, social media consumption has gone up 44% worldwide, and more than 70% of consumers have resorted to online shopping to fulfill their shelter-in-place needs. Consumers are more engrossed with scrolling their social feeds for entertainment than ever before. Social media marketing is all about reaching your customers at the right point of interaction and engagement, which is why you should focus on developing a creative strategy that will allow you to meet your target audience on the platforms that matter most to them.
In these times, ignoring social media isn’t an option. Whether your goal is to increase brand awareness, foster relationships with your audience, or learn from competitors, you will find a unique opportunity on each platform to elevate your brand’s overarching marketing strategy and expand your social media presence. But, this doesn’t mean that you should sign up for as many platforms as you can! Before you dive in, it’s critical to evaluate how having a presence on a platform like Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest will benefit your marketing goals. Lucky for you, we’ve created a quick start guide to social media marketing with all of the facts, stats, and tips you need to get started.
If you’re going to have a social media presence anywhere, Facebook is your best bet. Facebook is the largest social networking site with 2.7 billion users and counting. With a user count that is more than five times the United States population, the potential reach for your brand is more than promising. A presence on Facebook opens the doors to increased brand awareness, relationship building with existing customers, and the opportunity to gain new customers. These results don’t even include marketing efforts done on other platforms.
It’s important to note that a Facebook Personal Account is much different from a Business Page. Although you must have a personal account to create a business page, a personal account serves to represent a single user to share personal updates and connect with family, whereas a business page represents a brand to showcase the products and/or services it provides. Aside from reach, Facebook allows businesses to optimize their brand page for increased engagement, leverage special tools to engage with followers, and develop an inbound marketing strategy that works. Among these things, here are a few more reasons why you might decide to sign up for a Facebook Business account:
- Increase brand awareness. There are plenty of ways to boost brand awareness on Facebook. Maybe you engage with comments regularly, re-post user-generated content, or create compelling calls-to-action. No matter what you choose to do, Facebook is designed to make people remember you. Create a unique and unforgettable experience for your page’s followers and people are sure to share your brand page with their friends.
- Use Facebook groups to add value to your brand page. Facebook groups are extremely valuable for brands and can have a large scale impact on your brand page success. These groups allow you to express your thought leadership while showcasing your dedication to improving your customer’s experience with your brand and products. In Facebook groups, you can answer questions, encourage feedback, address concerns, and forge meaningful connections that will keep people coming back. By creating a community where people can join in to discuss the latest buzz about your brand or its product offerings, you become that much more valuable to your customers.
- Measure your social ROI, including ad spend. Let’s face it–we all want the time, effort, and money we allocate toward building, maintaining, and boosting our Facebook brand page to be worth it. Use tools like Facebook Insights to track how your page is doing on a day-to-day basis. Through this page, you can track vanity metrics such as followers, likes, reach, and page views, and then use this information to help you create compelling ads that will improve your overall marketing goals. Facebook’s powerful all-in-one tool, Facebook Ads Manager, is an ideal place to manage and track your ad’s success.
In recent years, Instagram has become one of the most popular apps in the world behind its parent company, Facebook, who bought out the ultimate photo-sharing platform in 2012. It has since marked its active user count at well over 1 billion people, with many users ranging from consumers to influencers and celebrities. Numerous brands have identified niche markets for selling their products on the app, thus surging Instagram’s integration into their social media marketing strategy. In fact, an estimated 75.3% of businesses are expected to be on Instagram by the end of 2020. Here’s why you should include yourself in that percentage if you haven’t already:
- Your Instagram marketing strategy can double as your sales strategy. Hootsuite Data suggests that 1 in 10 users use Instagram to shop for or find new products. Catching consumers early on in the buying cycle presents a unique opportunity to integrate your sales and Instagram marketing strategy to engage new customers, build a community, and ultimately sell your product. Leverage Instagram to build a community by teasing your followers with new product offerings, engaging with comments and direct messages, sharing user-generated content (UGC), and finding what resonates with followers the most. Using these tactics, Eat Me Guilt Free was able to grow its Instagram following to over 140,000 and achieve $1 Million in direct-to-consumer (D2C) sales in just one year!
- Create great content without having to spend money on a pro. Instagram allows businesses to create an authentic, relatable, and original persona through access to user-generated content (UGC). UGC is more influential than any influencer partnership, sponsored content, or campaign that money can buy. Why might you ask? Because people want to hear from other people! Top brands to small startups, everyone leverages UGC to reach new audiences with authentic, creative, and fresh content. And the best part is it takes out the hard work for you and saves you money and labor. You’re merely sharing authentic and quirky testimonials from real customers telling their followers why they love your product so much to how they style or use it.
- You can make your ad spend worthwhile. The easiest way to get your brand in front of a new audience is by running ads. Whether it’s an ad on consumers’ Instagram feeds, Explore Pages, or via Instagram Stories, your potential reach across the app is sure to be worth the money you spend. Because the platform is seamlessly integrated with Facebook, you will likely use Facebook Ads Manager which allows your brand page the customization you need to be sure that you craft an ad that reaches your consumer in all the right ways. As with any ad, it is important to be sure that you know and identify your audience, keep an eye out for engagement, and measure your performance for the best results.
As a brand in the consumer packaged goods industry, you likely find yourself racking your brain multiple times a week trying to figure out the best way to reach new audiences and maintain consumer’s attention. Although you might not have considered it before, Pinterest is a great place to get in front of consumers who are eager to try a new product. With over 250 million active users, Pinterest can be a powerful marketing tool you never knew your business needed.
For many “pinners,” the app is far more than just home decor, hairstyles, and new recipes–it’s a platform that delivers the perfect amount of exploration, inspiration, and unique experience to drive consumers toward a purchase. On the other hand, Pinterest for businesses is more than just a multimedia bulletin board. When leveraged correctly, it can help you connect with a new audience, generate new leads, improve website traffic, boost brand awareness, and more. Here are some important guidelines to implement if you decide that joining the pinner community is the right move for your brand:
- Share content that matters. Whether it’s blog posts, infographics, or product pins, share content that will help users understand your brand. Use compelling images with dominant colors, minimal text, and other Pinterest best practices to entice users in the few seconds you’ll have to capture their attention. It’s important to note that all posts on Pinterest must link back to a website, so be sure to include a relevant image and link to avoid sending people directly to your homepage–that’s a little off-putting.
- Organize your boards. For those of you who don’t know, Pinterest differs from your typical image sharing platform. Rather than posting your content to a feed where all of your posts are compiled into one page, your posts are categorized into “boards.” Boards are a great place to separate your brand by themes and purposes. For example, a company that sells BBQ sauce might have one board to sell its product types, one board for different recipes you can try using the sauce, and another to showcase images of influencers or consumers who have used the sauce in their own meals. However you decide to separate your boards, be sure to use keywords in both your board title and description to optimize for search. Don’t be afraid to use hashtags too.
- Promote your pins. As with any other platform, you’ll want to keep an eye on the performance of your pins to figure out how well your marketing efforts are doing with your audience. If you don’t want to rely on the organic reach of your pins, try out Promoted Pins. Promoted Pins are Pinterest’s advertising system in which businesses bid to have their ads show up in their audience’s search results or browsing feeds. Depending on your goals, you can determine the user’s actions, such as referral traffic (pay per click) or brand awareness (pay per 1000 impressions). If you find that you have an active audience on Pinterest, it is absolutely worth including Promoted Pins in your advertising spend to see how it works for you.
Given the number of users on social media today, it’s imperative to stay up to date on the latest social media marketing trends, leverage social media to promote your product, and develop creative strategies to engage new and existing customers. While the rapid pace and frequency of changing social media trends can be overwhelming, figuring out what platforms your target audience engage with the most is key to determining where to focus your marketing efforts. Then, think about your brand’s overarching goals–do you want to increase brand awareness and expand your target market, or are you just trying to stay relevant in comparison to your competitors? Big or small, your long-term marketing goals will ultimately determine what platforms are best for you. Just remember: only sign up for the platforms that make sense for your brand!