How to Use Social Media Marketing to Grow Your Business
Social Media Marketing is one of the best ways to grow your business. It can be difficult for many businesses to figure out how to use it to their benefit — especially businesses that are not e-commerce, which can find it difficult to justify the time and expense put into it without direct ROI and conversion reporting. However, social media marketing can be used to grow just about any business, and, in this article, we outline exactly how you can do it. Learn why social media is so important for your business, how to start crafting a simple social media strategy, how to find your voice, what to post about, and when it’s appropriate to start investing in your social media.
Using Social Media Marketing to Grow Your Business: How It Works
Social media is an extremely important tool that should be used by all businesses today. Surely, you already know this, but why is it this way? Before we start talking about how to use social media marketing to grow your business, it’s important to understand exactly how it works and how well it works.
- Word of mouth — on steroids. The best reference is word of mouth, and social media is just that, times a thousand (or many thousands). Instead of one friend telling one other friend about something in a casual conversation, you can have many many friends telling their many many friends about something in an instant.
- Sharing is caring. Getting likes and follower growth is great, but the real golden goose of social media is shareability. The more your content is shared and spread around, the more your business will grow.
- It goes beyond a recommendation. Posting about your business and having it spread as a recommendation is important, however, positioning your business to have ideas and a lifestyle to share with its target audience is what will really get your business growing online.
Social Media Marketing Stats You Should Know
Don’t just take our word for it — social media is more important now than ever. Check out these important stats rounded up by HubSpot about social media, who are using it, and why it is so successful for businesses:
- Nearly 50% of the world’s population uses social media. That’s over 3 billion users worldwide. (Statista)
- In 2019, 90.4% of Millennials, 77.5% of Generation X, and 48.2% of Baby Boomers were active social media users. (Emarketer)
- 54% of social browsers use social media to research products. (GlobalWebIndex)
- Each person spends an average of 2 hours and 22 minutes on social networks and messaging. (Globalwebindex)
- 321 million new people joined social media in 2019, which brought the total from 3.48 billion to 3.8 billion social media users (an increase of 9%) in 2020. (Hootsuite)
- Millennials are logged on to social media for an average of two hours and 38 minutes daily while Gen Z logs on for two hours and 55 minutes. (World Economic Forum)
- 71% of consumers who’ve had a good social media service experience with a brand are likely to recommend it to others. (Ambassador)
- 80% of companies online are under the impression that they deliver exceptional social media customer service, while only 8% of their customers say they agree. (Smart Insights)
- 73% of marketers believe that their efforts through social media marketing have been “somewhat effective” or “very effective” for their business. (Buffer)
- Social networks are the biggest source of inspiration for consumer purchases with 37% of consumers finding purchase inspiration through the channel. (PWC)
- Social media is the most relevant advertising channel for 50% of Gen Z and 42% of millennials. (Adobe)
- 50% of consumers say that seeing user-generated content would increase their chances of buying products through a brand’s social media. (Curalate)
Crafting Your Social Media Strategy
Now that you know how social media marketing works and how important it is, it’s time to start thinking about how to craft your social media strategy. As social media experts, we know how to curate individualized social media strategies that work — and these are just a few of our best-kept secrets.
Don’t Be Scared of the Analytics Page
Ah, the Insights tab. Taking the courage to click on that tab and seeing all the colors, graphs, and arrows can send anyone into a tailspin, throw up their hands and abandon all efforts — but the important thing to remember is that the back end is your best friend. The more you are able to familiarize yourself with these terms and manipulate your content to watch the numbers grow, the better and more relevant your content will become to your followers.
Here are a few key terms that will help you decipher all those graphs and arrows:
- Reach vs Impressions: Reach is the total number of people who see your content, and impressions are the number of times your content has been displayed. This means that one person (reach) can see your content more than once (impressions). An impression doesn’t need to be engaged with to count as an impression, either. It quite literally means the number of times it has hit a news feed, and reach is the amount of people’s news feeds it has hit.
- Engagement vs Reactions: Reactions mean all the little faces that happen on your Facebook posts, likes on your Instagram photos, retweets on your Twitter posts, and the like. These are all individual reactions, and reactions all help your overall engagement. Total engagement is calculated by combining all points of engagement and dividing it by the total reach of the post.
When you’re just starting out your social media pages, or just beginning to really spend time focusing on it, start out simple to test the waters. Suggestions include:
- Plan ahead. Check and see if there are any holidays coming up — even silly “National” ones — to create posts around. Pick a couple of days of the week to highlight as well, such as Throwback Thursday or offering a deal every Friday. This will help your feed become a little more predictable for your followers, as well as get into the platform’s algorithm more quickly with general, evergreen posts such as these.
- Share industry news. A great way to get engagement going on your page is to share important articles or news blogs related to your industry. Go easy on these, though — links are notorious for performing the worst (a little more on this later!) but they are important to have sprinkled in.
- Ask questions. Before you post anything, make sure you’re opening the door to conversation. The best way to do this? Stick a question in there and see how your audience responds. You can also make it fun by saying “Retweet if you think X, Like if you think Y!” or asking them to choose a reaction face based on how they feel.
- Cross-promotions. If you’re a local business, chat with the other businesses in your building or shopping center about exchanging discount codes or special deals to post about on social media. This will help get the word out to more local individuals, as well as being placed on some potentially larger pages.
Finding Your Voice
The most important part about using social media marketing to grow your business is finding your company’s voice. While this is part of a much larger strategy for your overall marketing and branding that should transcend throughout everything you do, there are ways you can tweak things to work specifically for social media.
Knowing Your Audience
It’s extremely important to know what to say, when to say it, and how to say it so that you’re attracting relevant followers. If the bulk of your business comes from women between the ages of 45-65 and your followers are mostly men under 35 and in a different state — you’re wasting your efforts. Take a look at your backend to see what you’re attracting and put out content that your desired target audience would understand.
Who are your top 3 competitors? Check out their social media pages to see what they’re doing and how well their content is performing — or not performing. If you see something worked well for them, emulate it in your own way. If you see their social media pages aren’t performing well or get little to no engagement, then you’ve just gotten a free lesson on what NOT to do.
Not All Posts are Created Equal
Once you’re ready to start posting for your business, it’s important to remember that not every post is created equal. You’ll see this as you start to explore your business page’s analytics and insights page. It’s important to have a good mix of content and media so that you’re getting good reach by mixing things up for the algorithm, and are offering your followers a variety of things to check out.
Here’s a breakdown:
- Videos. Videos are the best performing media across all social media platforms. A well-done video with engaging imagery and content will always get you great results.
- Photos. Photos tend to be the most popular thing shared on social media since they are the easiest thing to round up. Just make sure you don’t get stuck in a photo-only vortex — you need to mix it up!
- Links. As mentioned, it’s important to share links that are relevant to your business and industry. News, blogs, or websites with current events always perform great, and it’s even better if you can write your own blog about it to share.
When to Invest In Your Company’s Social Media
Feeling overwhelmed? You’re not alone! Social media isn’t everyone’s forte, but luckily, there are many experts (like us!) who have made it their passion. If you’re wondering if and when to start throwing money at your social media pages, there are three ways you can do it.
If you’re stuck getting new followers, a great way to attract your target audience is to pay to be put in front of them. A Likes or Followers campaign — name dependent on the platform you’re using — is a relatively inexpensive way to get in front of new people.
Running a full-blown ad campaign can seem a little intimidating, especially with the scary-looking Ads Manager. We promise, though, it’s not scary! If you’re ready for a full-court press, then running a sophisticated ad campaign might be perfect for you, and agencies like ours can help.
There are only so many stock images and user-generated content to share, which makes it important to create your own unique content. A great way to invest in your social media is by hiring a content creator. This is someone — like Navazon! — who will take photos, video, and write content for your pages to give you that unique and individualized spin.
Social Media Management
At the end of the day, you may be realizing that running your company’s social media pages is too much to take on. If you’re at that bridge and are wondering how to cross, considering hiring a social media manager to help you. This is a person, or agency, whose sole purpose is to grow your business via social media and create a strategy for you that works. All you have to do is sit back and watch the results!