The best thing about social media is that it's a direct line to customers, offering your brand the unique opportunity to reach, resonate, and build relationships with your target audience. And what's more, consumers want you to since 64% say they want to connect with brands on social media, and 78% want brands to bring people together to foster online connections. When you do, 90% of brand followers will likely purchase from you.
Developing a social media presence helps you engage with users via regular posts, responses, likes, and shares. In turn, your followers will think about your brand more because it continually appears in their notifications and feeds — and before you know it, your name comes to mind when it's time to purchase.
To help you make the most of your marketing, we've gathered the best advice on creating a social media strategy and optimizing your presence.
6 Ways Businesses Can Benefit the Most from Social Media
Social media allows you to share information and engage with customers, earning $2.80 back for every dollar spent on the initiative while boosting website traffic and brand awareness. When done right, some brands have seen significantly higher returns. These seven tips are exactly what you need to benefit the most from your social media marketing strategy.
1. Set Goals to Achieve Your Objective
Create the path to achieve your main objective and set yourself up for 376% more success! That can include various social media strategies, varying by what goal you want to achieve. Take, for instance, the following:
- When your goal is to grow sales, some of the best strategies incorporate product promotions like posts with product information, facts, how-to's, and high-quality photo highlights.
- To increase engagement, you must track and measure which posts most followers engage with and build from that (while removing posts that weren't successful). It can also be helpful to facilitate more engagement by commenting on user posts about your brand, product, or service, sharing positive reviews from followers, responding to comments, and hitting the like button as often as possible.
- On the other hand, improving brand awareness requires different techniques. A popular one for this goal is to use relevant and popular hashtags to be seen by users searching for your specific service or topic.
2. Learn About Your Audience
Find out who your customers are and who you want to reach on social media, keeping in mind during this stage that you want to choose platforms your customers most actively use. Although nearly every social media platform offers some unique benefit, the one that will benefit you the most will likely differ from others.
Here are some examples of how different demographics can be on social channels:
- Facebook has 2.91 billion active users, primarily 25-34, split into 43% females and 57% males, and spends an average of 33 minutes daily on the channel.
- Instagram has 2 billion active users, primarily between the ages 18 and 34, split into 48.4% females and 51.8% males, and spends an average of 29 minutes a day on the channel.
- TikTok has 1 billion active users, primarily 10-18, split into 61% females and 39% males, and spend an average of 89 minutes a day on the channel.
- Pinterest has 431 million active users, primarily 50-64, split into 78% females and 22% males, and spends an average of 14.2 minutes a day on the channel.
3. Conduct a Competitor Analysis and Social Media Audit
Learn how your competitors act on social media and conduct an audit to know what landscape you must navigate. What's working for them, and what isn't? Use this to inform your decisions moving forward. Also, use the information you gain to create your niche by finding the gaps between what your competitors are offering and what followers want so you can fill in those gaps!
4. Create a Posting Strategy
Scheduling your posts ahead of time keeps your presence consistent and helps you track progress by measuring performance and engagement. Developing a content calendar to track and create posts in advance while also letting you schedule them will be the key to your SM success. Note that how often you should post differs between platforms:
- Optimal visibility on Twitter requires posting content 3-10 times per day
- Optimal visibility on LinkedIn will require posting 1-2 times per week
- Optimal visibility on Pinterest requires posting between 3 and 20 times per day
- Optimal visibility on Facebook pages only requires 1-2 posts per day
- Optimal visibility on Instagram requires brands to post about 1-3 times per day
- Optimal visibility on Instagram Stories requires at least 2-5 posts delivered per day
5. Create Compelling Content to Entertain and Inform Your Audience
You can have the perfect posting schedule, but if you're not making the content entertaining or informative, you risk missing many opportunities to reach and resonate with social media users. When deciding on the best content for your audience, you must also consider the type of social media channel you'll use to deliver content.
The type of post that works best per platform will also vary by platform:
- Business networking occurs on LinkedIn and Twitter
- Inspirational content is most successful on YouTube, Pinterest, and Instagram
- Shoppable content is particularly popular on Facebook Shops, Pinterest Product Pins, Instagram Shops, and TikTok
- Major discussions among your target audience occur on Reddit or Quora
- Video content performs bets on platforms like YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram Stories & Reels
6. Track Your Metrics and Adjust Accordingly
The only way to maximize your success on social media is to continually track and measure your performance, making adjustments and improvements where necessary. These platforms offer real-time data and results, so there is no reason you shouldn't remove posts and content that isn't getting you where you want and build off content that exceeds your expectations. You can measure growth and engagement by evaluating likes, followers, shares, and comments to know how you resonate with your audience.
Keep an Eye Out For Positive Changes
Determine how you want to reach your audience since having many followers who aren't customers won't help you. You must regularly evaluate who you're reaching, how well you reach them, and how you can better guide them along the buyer journey. One way to do this is by examining which posts facilitate more sales and foot traffic, then building off them in some way in future posts. It can be challenging to allocate the direct source of your traffic or sales on social media, but users often indicate their interest or purchase in the comments to others.
It takes a lot of experience and expertise to keep up with all the social media channels your audience uses most often. Today, one channel is not enough, but multiple channels increase the difficulty of keeping up with best practices and the latest trends. Fortunately, McClatchy can help! Reach out to our experts to start strengthening your presence on social media today.