Social media is evolving and changing faster than a newborn outgrows its first set of clothes. Chances are, if you’re reading this, you have a form of social media, or are aware of it at the very least. Social media marketing has been heralded as an excellent low-cost (or even free) way for businesses to grow their audience online, but it can also be a cause of immense frustration. Today we’re going to unpack the question: can social media marketing really help my business?
First of all, social media marketing can refer to both organic and paid social media usage. Organic content refers to the posts, videos and stories that you post without putting any spend behind. Paid social media marketing refers to any form of paid campaigns or boosted posts that run across Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Tiktok or similar.
In an ideal world, a robust social media marketing strategy will incorporate both organic and paid social media content. Paid content helps you to increase website traffic, grow brand awareness, drive sales, and increase engagement on your organic posts. Your organic content provides a means for you to engage with your audience and build relationships and loyalty. Your organic social media works to remind existing customers of your product/service, attract new ones and showcase your business in it best light.
Now that we’ve covered that, you’re still probably wondering, can social media marketing really help my business?
The answer is…. It depends.
In short, social media marketing is a comparatively affordable and highly effective means of reaching your target customer. However, without some forward planning and ongoing consistency, you can end up in a void of posting content or paying for ads with little to no returns.
Here's how to get the most out of social media marketing for your business:
1. Consider your offering
Few small-medium businesses have the resources available to tailor content for different social media platforms, and, in our opinion, some products or services aren’t suited to certain platforms without serious creativity. For instance, a legal firm is generally more suited to platforms such as LinkedIn and Facebook, rather than TikTok, as it would require a significant time investment for a firm to create TikTok content that is appropriate. Similarly, if your product or service is for children and young adults to use recreationally, TikTok, Instagram or Pinterest would be better suited.
2. Know your target market
Who is your target market? Building on the previous point, identifying your target audience and what social media platforms they use is key to ensuring you’re investing your time and energy into the right place. Do your research and find out which platform your target demographic are using and go from there. If you know your target market seldom use Twitter, don’t make one! More does not necessarily equal better.
3. Ensure you’re able to post regularly Neglected social media pages can be detrimental to your business. Infrequent or non-existent posting to social media sends a message of incompetence and can leave your audience wondering if you’re still operating. If you’re going to create a social media profile for your business, ensure you have a strategy in place to maintain some regularity of posting. Schedule content creation into your week as a non-negotiable, or hire a professional to do this for you.
4. Create some branding guidelines and stick to them
Just as inconsistent posting can be detrimental to your brand, a social media presence that looks untidy can be equally so. Investing in a graphic designer to help create a brand look, including colours and fonts, is highly recommended, however you can initially use a template on Canva and commit to 2 main fonts and a colour scheme that you commit to in your product posts. If you’re selling a product, investing in good photography early on is a sure-fire way to make your social media looks absolutely top notch.
5. Outsource paid advertising
Where it’s certainly possible to DIY all of your organic content with a few strategies in place, advertising on social media platforms can be an expensive activity with little results if you wing it yourself. Employing a professional or doing courses in Facebook Business Manager (NOT boosting posts), LinkedIn Advertising or similar, will be far more profitable long term.
We hope this helps you answer the age-old question "can social media marketing really help my business?" If you have any questions or would like help with your social media marketing, get in touch! We'd love to help.