Social media has taken the internet world by storm, and many marketers are deathly afraid of missing out when it comes to social media and anxious that all bases be covered. However, you might wonder just how useful it all is, and whether it is necessary to leverage social media in the course of your own online marketing. The reasons for its popularity have been well-documented: social media has been helpful to many businesses due to its flexibility and relatively low cost. It can also be done in-house and requires little technical know-how. Furthermore, with the prevalence of social media marketing in our everyday lives, most people pay attention to what is posted and shared. Despite these advantages, there are also many businesses that do not manage to reap the benefits of social media marketing. Here are some points to think about when considering where social media fits in your online marketing strategy.
Does social media gel with your overall marketing plan?
Social media marketing does not operate in a vacuum, and for you to successfully leverage social media, it has to be integrated into your overall marketing plan in order to be effective. You will need to think about your overall marketing goals and how you plan to achieve them, and then use social media as a tool to achieve these goals. For instance, if you want your brand to project a certain image, this will have to be taken into account when crafting content on social media platforms. In addition, various factors pertaining to your business need to be considered such as the legal, commercial and support aspects. Just because social media is perceived as more informal doesn’t mean you can afford to make mistakes or step on someone’s toes.
Are you prepared to face the implications?
Creating social media output can have huge consequences and should not be taken lightly. Reputations can be built and destroyed in just a few clicks, so you should ensure all social media marketing is tightly monitored. For instance, making a post in bad taste or responding to a customer’s query in an offensive manner can have disastrous consequences, especially if your output goes viral.
Are you using social media just because you feel like you have to?
If you genuinely have nothing valuable to say or share on social media, maintaining accounts and posting lacklustre content may be of little help. Bear in mind that it is not compulsory to be on social media platforms, and if maintaining an ineffective social media presence is taking time and resources away from other areas that could be of more benefit, by all means divert your attention to other methods of marketing instead.
Do you know what social media platforms your customers use?
There is no one size fits all approach to social media marketing, and your choice of social media platforms depends to a large degree on which ones are most frequently used by your customers. For instance, if your business is fashion-related, chances are your customers scope out new styles on Instagram. However, the same platform may not work for a law firm or doctor’s office.
Do you know what you want out of social media?
Jumping right into social media marketing without having a clear idea of what you want to get out of it leads to a lack of focus that will hamper your ability to achieve results. Do you want to provide your customers with a platform for sending feedback, showcase your latest products or create viral content? You will need to define your goals clearly in order to determine what kind of content you need to create.
Do you know how to calculate ROI?
While social media marketing is relatively inexpensive, it still incurs significant time costs. It is necessary to have a clear and definite way to calculate your return on investment so you can determine whether social media marketing is increasing or crippling your profits.
The marketing opportunities social media offers can be exciting, but it takes time and effort to master social media marketing, which has to be done correctly, consistently and regularly in order to yield results. Instead of just plunging in, floundering about and having to suffer the consequences of expensive mistakes, engage the help of professionals such as seoWorks who can enable your business to fully realise the potential of social media marketing.
Thanks for sharing your tips Bernard for including social media in an online marketing strategy.
About Bernard Somja, SEO Works
Aside from developing a league of veteran snowboarders, Bernard is SEO Works’ Director of SEO Services, helping businesses in Europe, Asia, Australia and the USA succeed online through the implementation of best practice Inbound Marketing.