Social media has slowly crept into our lives and has become a focal point. Back in 2005, only 7% of Americans used social media platforms, and nowadays, it’s more than half the population of the entire planet.
Facebook alone has 2.7 monthly active users. Instagram has 1 billion, Twitter 330 million, and LinkedIn 250 million. Unsurprisingly, businesses took notice, and both new and established brands use social media platforms to expand their audience, generate leads, and boost sales.
But social media can be both a critical part of your marketing strategy, as well as a confusing, overwhelming, disheartening waste of time. It all depends on how you use it.
There’s no doubt that you should include social media in your marketing efforts, but it’s a fast-moving industry. You’ll always have a lot to learn, and you’ll always feel like you’re falling behind.
Lucky for you, we’re here to help with our list of top six social media marketing tips for 2021.
1. You’ll Need Specific Goals
Before you do anything else, you’ll need to figure out what your goals are, and they can’t be something vague like increase brand awareness.
You can follow the SMART goal strategy:
- Specific – If your goals are not specific – they don’t clearly define the expected outcome from your social media marketing efforts – you won’t be able to measure whether your approach is successful or not, which brings us to our next point…
- Measurable – You will need to be able to answer whether you’ve reached a specific goal or missed it by 20%.
- Attainable – Your goals should be challenging, but don’t go overboard with expectations.
- Relevant – any SMART goal you set needs to tie into an overarching marketing strategy for your business.
- Timely – Setting a time limit when you plan to measure results and review strategies will help you stay on track improve as you go along.
2. Identify Your Audience
The next step is to identify your audience and develop a relevant buyer persona. This is essential to achieving success through social media marketing because your message won’t be able to engage people on an emotional level unless it’s specifically tailored for them.
Digital marketing companies like Salt & Fuessel gain insight into your target audience by reviewing satisfied customers and figuring out what makes them buy your products or services. You need to understand their social background, lifestyle, values, and needs so you can create content that will attract their attention and keep them engaged.
3. Select the Best Platforms for Your Target Audience
Once you know your target audience, you can move on to selecting which social media platforms you should advertise on. Generally speaking, it’s not a good idea to launch a campaign on too many platforms at once. You might think you’d get higher exposure, but they all have their nuances, and if you don’t take these nuances into account, your efforts won’t deliver the return on investment you’re hoping for.
You’ll want to select platforms that your target audience spends the most time on. For example, if you want to sell directly to consumers, Facebook is a social media giant, but Instagram and Snapchat are more popular with the younger demographic. In case you’re interested in marketing to other companies, LinkedIn will give better results.
You’ll also want to find out what channels your competitors are using and analyze their content, strategies, and what type of followers they get the best engagement rates from.
4. Targeting Options
Before the internet, social media, and personalized ads, marketers had to work with very broad targeting options. Now they can be so precise that it’s a little bit creepy. However, this granular targeting can be incredibly effective when used strategically.
You can go beyond age, gender, income, and level of education with additional data. For example, you can target Facebook users between 30 and 40 years-old, who have a master’s degree, don’t have kids, and like to play the drums. You can also leverage Facebook Life Events. Wedding venues often target their ads to newly engaged couples.
Keep in mind that you don’t want to make your targeting options too specific either. You need to find a balance. If you try to reach a target that’s too broad, you’ll be paying for poor engagement rates, but if it’s too narrow, you might shrink your audience to the point where your ads are seen but just a few thousand people in your area.
5. Invest in Visual Experiences
The visual appeal of your ads is just as important as your message. Most people scroll through their social media feed when they’re bored. They’re just looking for some entertainment, so if your content doesn’t make a good impression at first glance, they’re going to keep in scrolling.
This is why video content is booming right now. The platforms with the most views in terms of video content are YouTube and Facebook. Search engines and social media prioritize video content because this is what their users prefer. This means that if you create good quality video content, you’ll get better results not just because your target audience is more likely to take interest in what you have to say, but you’ll also get a boost from the platform’s algorithm.
Keep in mind that the visual experience has to be cohesive. If you create great content for social media platforms, but the links lead to an awful-looking landing page, the users will still move on in a few seconds.
6. Avoid Salesy Content
Traditional, salesy ads have fallen out of favor for good reason. People get defensive when they feel they’re being sold to. They want to buy from brands they feel they can establish a connection with – brands that share their values. A better strategy is to humanize your brand by creating content where you share your company’s story and culture. Let your audience meet the people behind the corporate entity.
It’s also a good idea to advertise through content that your audience finds useful. This way, you can increase brand awareness and establish yourself as an authority in your industry niche without seeming too salesy and pushy.