Regardless of what people say, building a digital presence and marketing your business on social media is challenging. Social media is always in a state of flux; the masses can love you one moment and then despise you another moment if an inappropriate post about your company is shared.
Small and medium-sized businesses are often at the mercy of internet denizens, and even large corporations can be harassed and shunned on social media, leading to plenty of bad publicity and a drop in users or customers due to some negative posts.
Social media can make, break and revive your business, so taking advantage of it at all stages of your company is essential.
It needs to become a part of your business strategy, not an entry point to the industry or a side-hustle that helps you net a few extra customers. By incorporating social media into your marketing strategies, you could experience near-limitless growth if you do it correctly.
So, to help lay the foundation for your social media campaigns, we’ve put together this comprehensive guide on how to market your business on social media.
Two Important Distinctions in Social Media Marketing
Before we start, it’s vital to understand two very important distinctions in social media marketing: organic and paid.
This is similar to the comparison of black-hat and white-hat search engine optimization (minus the questionable strategies used by black-hat methods). It’s a question of immediate growth versus organic growth.
Do you want to pay for a spike in social media followers and hope that it kickstarts your online presence, or do you play for the long game and slowly build a following?
There are many pros and cons to each, so let’s try to break it down.
Paid Advertising and Marketing
Paid marketing is essentially any kind of marketing where there’s money involved.
You can pay influential social media accounts to give you a shoutout or mention if you’re a small business, or you could collaborate with creators and influencers and sponsor different types of content.
You could also rely on traditional social media campaigns and pay for ad spots on people’s timelines on Twitter and Facebook or other similar social media sights.
- Allows you to reach a wider audience very quickly with almost zero ramp-up time.
- Gives you the opportunity to reach audiences that you previously wouldn’t be able to.
- Enables targeting of specific demographics such as age groups, interests, and location.
- You can leverage the content you choose, such as evergreen articles or a specific product that you want to push.
- Allows you to maximize your content marketing efforts by displaying it on social media and showcasing it to a wide audience.
- Flexibility depending on how much you want to spend on your advertising budget.
- Can be costly depending on who you’re competing against in the industry.
- Might result in low engagement and conversion rates due to the random nature of advertising, even if it’s targeted at a certain demographic.
- Generally considered a short-term option due to the sudden spike and increase in your brand awareness but lower sustained exposure.
Organic Social Media Marketing
- Attracts your audience for a sustained period of time instead of just being an advert or promotional post that shows every now and then.
- Greatly increases engagement and conversion rates due to the relatable qualities of organic marketing on social media.
- Gives you the opportunity to receive feedback from your audience.
- Allows you to provide customer support over social media.
- Develop your business’s own persona by leveraging your social media presence with the help of a talented community manager.
- Build a thriving community around your brand on social media by being more relatable and engaging with your audience.
- Attract talented individuals to work with your business, especially if you’re a brand-new startup or small business with remote work opportunities.
- Difficult to target new audiences if you don’t have much of a presence.
- Very slow to start and very time-consuming to build up an initial audience to get the momentum rolling.
- Requires constant upkeep and is heavily reliant on building your brand persona which is dependent on the talent and personality of your community manager (or whoever manages your social media accounts).
You could boil it down to paid advertising being a short-term solution that can sustain your business, whereas organic marketing focuses on long-term growth which starts slow but can truly blossom into a massive community.
Of course, nothing prevents you from using both organic marketing and paid advertising options. Balancing the two can be a great way to grow your brand and reach new audiences while engaging and growing your community.
Choosing the Right Platform
If you’re going to market your business on social media then you need to determine which platforms are best suited for your needs. There are many different choices to pick from, so let’s break them down and explain when you should consider each one.
With around 2.23 billion monthly users, it should come as no surprise that Facebook should be a top priority to help you grow your social media presence.
Facebook supports all kinds of media and is quickly becoming one of the top video platforms as well. We suggest using Facebook as a way to build brand loyalty and engage your customers to answer their questions and concerns.
This can also lead to a positive feedback loop that ultimately helps you build relationships with your audience!
Instagram, owned by Facebook, is visually oriented and essential for any creative businesses or companies that rely heavily on imagery to showcase what they do or what products they offer.
With over 1 billion monthly active users, it’s an excellent place to develop your business, generate leads, build relationships, and even sell directly if you are in the B2C space.
While you’re not expected to interact on Instagram as much as you are on Facebook or even Twitter, it’s still a fantastic place to grow your audience and attract more people to your products.
Twitter has around 330 million monthly active users, making it another lucrative platform to help businesses.
It is important to note that Twitter is unique in that it has a limited character count and is geared toward rapid posts instead of the longer-form content that you might expect from Facebook.
It has support for videos and images making it similar to Instagram, but the words you use are going to play an important role in your success on Twitter.
Personality is also a crucial element to help you grow your presence on Twitter, so make sure you hire a dedicated community manager or internet-savvy intern to help you grow your presence on this social media platform.
LinkedIn is a more sophisticated, business-oriented alternative to Twitter. It’s perfect for business development and generating leads, especially if you’re a B2B company or are looking for partnerships and investors.
You’ll also find that LinkedIn is a great platform to use if you’re looking for staff to help you run your business. You generally won’t be posting a lot of content on LinkedIn, but it can still help maintain a professional appearance if you have the resources to fit it into your social media marketing campaign.
The key to Linkedin is to create long-form posts related to your product, service or industry that provide valuable information to potential leads.
YouTube isn’t quite a social media platform like the others, but it is the largest online video platform in the world with over 30 million visitors per day.
While we don’t recommend that you focus on YouTube alone as your social media platform of choice, we do suggest building up a social media presence and using videos as part of a content marketing strategy.
Upload videos and link to them via social media to reach new audiences and take advantage of the popularity of YouTube as a video platform.
- Facebook – General-purpose marketing; good for everything
- Twitter – Perfect for short-form content, building brand personality, offering customer support
- Instagram – Great for creatives and visual-reliant businesses
- LinkedIn – Professional platform that works best for B2B companies
- YouTube – Video platform that should be integrated with your other social media platforms
Marketing Strategies for Different Social Networks
Now let’s take a look at some platform-specific social media marketing strategies.
Use all of the advertising styles available. Whether it’s video ads, canvas ads, carousel ads, or dynamic ads, make use of every type of Facebook ad to get the most exposure. You should also add your business information to your profile and keep it updated, so it’s easier for people to find you.
Engage with people that ask you questions and make sure you nurture a community on Facebook instead of just treating it like a place to post your advertisements.
In addition to that, grow your Facebook page organically by sharing interesting articles related to your industry, company news, and pictures that show off company culture!
For a lot of businesses, it is essential to create some kind of persona on Twitter. Not only does it make your social media account more relatable, but it has a chance to go viral.
This is something that many other large corporations have tried with varying degrees of success, but when it does work, it can make a massive impact on their social media growth.
Stay up to date with current industry news and make creative, short posts relating to that. This is also a great platform for sharing custom memes and images, hot takes related to your industry, and quickly engaging with existing and potential customers and clients!
Instagram posts have to be high-quality pictures or videos – no questions asked. If you’re taking pictures of real-world objects, then consider investing in a lightbox and a few staging items. Post consistently if you use Instagram to gather a following and don’t be afraid to use videos now and then as well.
In addition to that, take advantage of Instagram stories. These are temporary videos that will be shared with followers and are great for informing them of sales and specials and showing a little bit of company personality.
You can also pay for ads on Instagram if you feel it will benefit your business. Instagram’s demographic skews a bit younger (75% of users are 18-24) and advertising should be used mainly for B2C companies, but ads can improve brand visibility for B2B companies if properly targeted sometimes.
LinkedIn is all about professionalism, so make sure you treat it appropriately. It should contain all of the information about your business, products, and services. We touched on this earlier, but your posts on Linkedin should be directly related to your business or industry and provide value to those who see them.
You can grab valuable pieces of content from your company blog or upload videos to share with followers and inform them about your products or services.
It is very important to make sure you do not overdo it on Linkedin and remain professional. Those using this platform do not want to see posts and memes from your account show up on their feed multiple times per day.
You can also pay for ads on Linkedin (more information on that here.)
YouTube requires consistent posting in order to build an audience, but you should also be plugging your other social media accounts as well to generate more exposure. You also need a reason to use YouTube, such as creating informative videos to teach your audience how to use your product.
You can also pay for Youtube ads (more information on that here).
Social Media Marketing Tips
Despite there being a number of different social media platforms, the strategies we use to grow our presence can be fairly similar across each one. Here are a handful of tips that can help inform your strategy across virtually all social media platforms.
1. Be Consistent
Social media users typically check the platforms they use several times a day. By being consistent with your posts or videos, you can guarantee that you’ll get more visibility than if you were to try and release something every few days or at random times throughout the week. Pick a date and time to make a post and schedule them in the future to make it more consistent.
2. Don’t Overdo It
Too many posts can be a bad thing. As per the tip above, be consistent but don’t overwhelm your audience with posts, Not only can it get annoying, but you’ll quickly run out of quality content to use.
3. Engage Your Audience
No matter what platform you use, it’s important to speak to your audience, respond to questions and accept feedback on your products and services. Engage with your audience and take advantage of the social aspect of social media.
We hope that this has helped you develop a better understanding of how to market your business on social media. There are many considerations to keep in mind in social media marketing and we could go on for days. The most important takeaway is to take your time and consider your options before investing your time and effort.
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