Free Social Media Strategy for Business 101: Social Media Marketing
There’s a little tattle-tale on your iPhone called Screen Time. It tells you how much time you spend on your phone and where you’re spending all that time. Don’t be surprised if it reports upwards of two hours per day.
Consider yourself normal. Whether this is good, bad, or otherwise, it’s purely factual. We live on our phones and we live in a social media stratosphere that does have positive effects (despite what the naysayers say).
This is why seas of companies develop a social media strategy for business. They know they can take their outreach levels to explosive heights and draw a host of new leads to their sites.
In a moment, we’re going to share some eye-opening stats, explain why you need social media marketing, and show you how to do it right. Get ready to increase that screen time. This is going to be an exciting new learning curve.
A Few Stats
We love to scour the digital marketing forums. As we do, we continue to be amazed by some of the stats on social media marketing. We’ll allow these numbers to speak for themselves:
According to Global Web Index: 97% of digital consumers use social media.
According to Buffer, 73% of digital marketers think their social media efforts have been “somewhat effective” or “very effective” for their business.
Currently, more than one billion people are active on Facebook. Since 2013, Instagram has increased from 130 million active users to over a billion. The same goes for YouTube: they’re pulling in over 1.8 billion people every month.
What does all this mean? Well, when you market through these platforms, you have the chance of coming in contact with nearly everyone who shops online (and that’s mostly everyone).
To put it in numbers, you have the chance of coming in contact with over a billion people every day. And the digital marketers who have gone before you consider marketing on social media to be truly effective.
Why Social Media Marketing?
Okay. So, the whole world’s on social media. But, really, why should we be using social media as a marketing tool? Well, it’s all about brand-building and exposure.
Since the dawn of retail, people have been shopping with brand names they know and trust. So, building your company’s brand will do wonders for your business.
Few marketing tools have greater outreach than social media. It’s not some billboard on the side of a highway that’ll attract a couple hundred thousand views. No, it’s a billboard on the place where we spend a huge portion of our time that can attract a couple hundred million viewers.
As you post curated posts about your product line as well as educational posts about your industry in general, you’ll be demonstrating your knowledge and expertise as you create trust for your brand.
Ever heard of a Twitter rant? Out of nowhere (and over the most obscure comments), people can jump on the bandwagon and go ham on any number of posts.
Social media creates and facilitates a conversation about your brand. And, as people are engaging with one another, they’re likely to stroll on over to your website and see what you’re all about.
You can foster online conversations by asking for feedback about your products. No one’s afraid to speak up when they’re behind a screen. You can also ask open-ended questions and allow people to give their two cents (as well as make new online friends).
Open Forum for Storytelling
Social media also opens up a forum for storytelling. This goes back to brand awareness. You can use social media to sprinkle in tidbits about the evolution of your business and the people behind the brand.
Let’s say you run a small-scale organic farm and you sell preserves, jams, and jellies. Maybe, one day, you’ll post a picture of ol’ granny and grandpa out in the garden with a couple of kiddos around their feet.
This type of storytelling allows people to connect with and form a bond with your brand. Of course, you can also keep folks up to date with modern-day updates like the company’s involvement in community affairs or volunteer opportunities.
Testimonials are one of the best things you can place on your website. But, social media allows you to keep on sharing. You can easily share testimonials from people who have used your products or services.
Whether you repost their post or create a little writeup on people who have openly endorsed your products, this is a nice way to allow others to see that your products speak for themselves.
Communicate with Your Customers
Where else can you continually communicate with repeat and new customers? Without social media, companies simply send out confirmation emails after people order their products, asking them to subscribe to their newsletter.
But, that doesn’t allow for real-time communication with customers. When you have someone moderating your accounts, they can reply to everyone who chimes in on your posts. This allows customers to feel valued, heard, and – again – foster a genuine liking for your brand.
It's (Kind of) Free
Ever heard of Kylie Jenner? She’s that pretty little lady from the Kardashian-Jenner clan that’s surpassed all her sisters because she’s now a billionaire. And guess what? She built much of that empire using Snapchat and Instagram.
That’s a serious revelation. Using two completely free platforms, she turned a couple shades of lip gloss into some serious cash.
Now, we know what you’re saying. Susie Smith starting her yarn business isn’t going to have the same kind of clout as a Kardashian-Jenner. True enough. But Susie has access to the same tools as a Kardashian-Jenner. And that’s saying something.
Sure, you might pay for a sponsored ad from time to time on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. But, by and large, you can scale your business just by using the right hashtags and engaging with your followers.
Boast About Your Blog
Social media is actually a microblog. You take one picture (or ten), create a post, and add a caption. But, as you’ve probably noticed, some of those captions can get quite lengthy. And that’s okay.
A company blog is the number one way to boost your company’s SEO (and get noticed by the gods at Google). It’s also a great way to show people you know a thing or two about your industry (thus allowing them to trust in your products or services).
Use social media to promote every single one of your new blog posts. Share a photo, entice readers to want to know more through your caption, and include the ol’ “link in bio” line to direct followers to your blog. (Hello, increased traffic to your site.)
How to Social Media Market
Okay. So, there are all the “whys.” Let’s discuss the hows. There will be an underlying theme here, too. And that is consistency.
You can’t throw a random ol’ post up on Facebook once in a blue moon and expect to increase your site traffic. No, you really need to sit down with your planner and create a schedule devoted entirely to social media marketing.
The people with the greatest number of followers on social media create the greatest number of posts. In our opinion, once a day is optimal. The folks over at Hubspot found that pages with less than 10,000 fans actually experienced a drop in engagement if they post more than once a day.
So, once a day, you post something interesting about your products or services, your company, your history, or your industry at large. Any good marketing tactic is regimented and this is the best way to steadily increase your number of followers.
Now, you can post every day to perfection, but how do you get those posts into the hands of new leads? You hashtag to your heart’s content.
Let’s say you’re just starting out as a realtor. You’re in a prime position to post house tours, before and afters, curb appeal photos, and more. You can also provide snippets of your virtual tours which everyone’s going to love because video is dominating the social media realm.
As you post that before and after (and create a catchy comment), consider your hashtags. This is what will get you noticed. Along with pages, people follow hashtags on topics of interest to them. So, for the before and after, you’ll add in hashtags like #homeimprovement, #beforeandafter, and #homedecor.
How will you know which hashtags to choose? Most platforms will tell you. When you go to hashtag on Instagram, for example, you might type in #decor and it will populate the most popular hashtags for you to incorporate into your post.
Let’s change it up and say you’re a burgeoning web designer. Well, get out there and see what your competitors are doing. Look at other popular designers, including the big dogs like Wix and WordPress. See what type of content they’re posting. See what hashtags they’re incorporating into their posts.
Clichés are often repeated because they’re often true. And imitation remains the sincerest form of flattery. If other companies are capturing screenshots and creating new posts, consider doing something ismilar.
If other companies are upping the ante with personal stories and testimonials, consider making that your focus in the coming weeks. If there’s one thing social media is keen on, it’s trends. And your high-level competitors will be the first to let you know what those trends are going to look like.
This harkens back to consistency. You may be able to post every day, but when should you post every day? The consensus says late mornings and weekdays.
In your research, you’ll find that weekends are not the best times to post (because people are getting lost in their friends’ feeds about weekend BBQs and other events).
Also, the closer you creep to five o’clock, the less-interested people are in your latest post about the top ten benefits of flavonoids for your immune system. Rather, they want to know who’s going where for an evening cocktail.
So, if you post around 10 or 11 am, you may be catching people right before their lunch break or during the end of their morning slump when they’re trying to escape the hubbub.
Your Social Media Strategy for Business
What is social media marketing? Well, it isn’t a passing fad. It’s a marketing machine that can increase your revenue. Best of all, it’s more of an investment in your time than your bottom line.
We hope this social media strategy for business will help you take your company to new heights. Here at Kickstart, we can brand your social media marketing plan to match your website. We can also provide ongoing posts that will capture the attention of your target audience.
Allow us to do the daily posts, increase user engagement, and build your brand for you. In no time at all, we’ll help you increase your number of followers, boost the traffic to your site, and turn casual scrollers into lifelong customers.