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Almost 50% of the global population is actively using social media to share posts, learn new information, and find local companies. The digital landscape is ever-changing, so your social media marketing strategy needs to be constantly adjusted to adapt and succeed.
From the posts you write to the design work in the images you share, every aspect of your social media marketing efforts will affect how your potential customers perceive you.
Social media is a part of your larger digital marketing plan, so Facebook and other channels should complement your content marketing as well as your search engine optimization efforts. A full-service digital marketing agency like Fannit can help you sail the waters of social media and build a powerful internet marketing machine.
With search engines already integrating Tweets and various other social media elements, a strong presence on social networks relevant to your company will help you stay ahead of the game.
What is Social Media?
For a business, this is your new website and product information platform. A platform that organically mixes product/service information with company culture, all served for your customers or potential customers in a concise 24/7 digital meal. This is also your modern-day newspaper, billboard, radio ad, TV ad, and Yellow Pages.
All wrapped up into just a few websites or apps.
Social media has become part of our identity as humans, with the average person juggling about 8 profiles scattered through different platforms. Your potential customers use social media to share posts, stay in touch with friends, learn new skills, and find companies in their area. By working with the right social media marketers, your company can be one of the first companies your customers find when looking for services or products in your area.
All companies are different, so you’ll have to analyze your audience and figure out what channels they use to find the best social media networks for your company.
This is the reason why many companies rely on managed social media profiles to help them generate leads that have a high chance of becoming paying customers. Finding a skilled digital marketing agency requires research, but it’s the best way to boost your chances of success.
What is Social Media Marketing?
Social media at first was purely a publishing platform. Companies were simply trying to share content on social media to generate traffic to their websites and, hopefully, sales occur. But as we have seen over the last few years, social media marketing has taken over. In some sectors, social media is the primary channel for sales and marketing.
Businesses that work with a knowledgeable digital marketing agency see the best results from their campaigns. Social media marketing agencies are up-to-date with the latest networks, plus they constantly monitor additional platforms that have good potential.
The primary platforms at this time are Instagram, Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, TikTok, and Snapchat. And, while there is some overlap, each social media network attracts a slightly different demographic. Additionally, not all consumers behave the same across all platforms, so it’s best to craft an independent marketing and public relations plan for each network.
Now, not all of these platforms are necessary for every business.
There’s no silver bullet solution, so you’ll have to take the time to figure out what’s the best combination for your company. Partnering with a successful social media marketing agency can accelerate the process and improve your public relations strategy at the same time.
Facebook is the most popular network on the planet, so it’s the cornerstone of most social media marketing efforts, at least in the B2C realm. There are more than 2.6 billion people using Facebook every month and millions of companies running social media advertising campaigns.
But, unlike other networks that have one main feature, Facebook is a more wholesome social media platform, so companies need to step up all parts of their marketing including web design and video production. If all of the right elements align, the results you get from Facebook will align perfectly with your content marketing and search engine optimization plans, so make sure you partner with a social media marketing agency you can trust.
Humans are visual creatures, so it’s no surprise that Instagram has become one of the leading social media platforms available. Instagram revolves around sharing attractive images and videos that other users can relate to, which is ideal from a content marketing perspective.
While it doesn’t have as many active users as other networks, Instagram allows you to reach a large demographic and maintain control of your image thanks to its focus on visual elements. You can also run social media advertising campaigns through Instagram, but these should also be supported by dedicated content marketing and video production.
LinkedIn is known as the professional social media because it helps users establish and maintain business relationships as well as connections. A large percentage of LinkedIn users are decision-makers or influence the choices made within their companies, making this one of the top social media marketing channels for B2B companies.
Not all marketing companies understand LinkedIn because it’s unlike any other social media network. An effective LinkedIn strategy includes the production of exceptional content, so it’s important to find a full-service digital marketing company that can successfully manage your social media.
Like Instagram, Twitter’s popularity can be attributed to one specific feature: tweeting. The ability to share short, image or video-embedded messages may seem like a simple premise, but this visionary design has made Twitter one of the first places people look for news, trending stories, and relevant brands.
From a marketer’s perspective, tweets are simple, yet super engaging ways to promote services or products. Even when not working with a marketer, company owners tend to open a Twitter account and post updates that usually get more engagement than in other platforms. It’s a win as far as public relations go, but it’s also a good place to build your brand image and collect top-of-the-funnel leads.
Though not always classified as a social media channel, focusing on video production and sharing content on YouTube can do wonders for your public relations. More than 5 billion videos are watched on YouTube every day, so investing in video production and distributing quality resources can boost your content marketing, social media marketing, and search engine optimization efforts all at once.
The best social media marketing plans should include the creation of informative video resources as well as YouTube social media advertising campaigns. Instead of putting pressure on your core team, a marketing agency like Fannit can coordinate video production and other related efforts, allowing you to focus on the areas of your business that need you most.
What is Included in Social Media Marketing?
Today, companies use social media marketing in a multitude of ways. For instance, if your primary concern is about what people are saying about your brand and the conversations around your product or brand you would monitor social media conversations and responses to relevant mentions (social media listening and engagement).
There are plenty of different tools for this, but finding a monitoring platform that gives you all the information you need in a single place can save you a lot of hassle. Selecting the best tool is tough, but you can always rely on social media marketing agencies to guide you down the right path.
A business that is trying to understand who and how it is reaching, engaging and performing on social would analyze the data with an analytics tool (social media analytics). Then you have a business that is being offensive. They would like to reach a targeted set of people at a specific scale, these people would run hyper-targeted social media ads (social media advertising).
Like search engine optimization, social media advertising needs to be monitored and adjusted. Depending on what your audience wants, you may have to step up your video production skills and create other types of content to stay competitive. Yes, this approach will require different tools than your listening and engagement campaigns, but offensive strategies managed by a knowledgeable digital marketing agency also tend to be more effective.
Why is Social Media Marketing Good for Companies?
To put it simply, you can own your brand. Platforms exist in which you do not own your brand, the most infamous being Yelp. Sites like Yelp are almost completely run by the user, with photos, information and reviews being submitted at any time. Monitoring these platforms is crucial for your reputation, but you don’t have as much control as a good strategy for social media marketing can provide.
When taking advantage of social media marketing you are joining the network of consumers with a bullhorn. And, when partnering with a good digital marketing agency, your bullhorn has a purpose.
For example, Fortune Magazine uses social media marketing to grow its brand.
“The main objective we have is to grow our brand. Social is a place where we can own our brand and promote it. We pay a lot of attention to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ to promote our content and to break news, basically to get our stuff out there.”
– Heather Muse, Franchises and Social Media Editor, Fortune
The bottom line is that marketing your company through social media will only boost your digital marketing. If you’re not sure where to start with your digital marketing and social media strategy, partner up with a successful marketing agency. Just make sure you find a full-service digital marketing and advertising agency that can blend social media, search engine optimization, content marketing, and other digital marketing elements into a wholesome mix.
Is Social Media Marketing a Good Way to Generate Leads?
20 Years ago we could never imagine being able to advertise our product with geo-targeting data mixed with personal interest data within minutes. Let alone these marketing channels being the most budget-friendly ad buys in the business world. Or that mobile devices would allow you to market your services to your target audience regardless of time and location.
So, we said we would put it simply. Cost-effective, Hyper-Targeted, Data-Rich, and Controllable Content Marketing are your ingredients for social media marketing cake. When implemented properly, this formula positions you among the leaders in your industry and transforms your social profiles into better lead generators that most channels. An experienced social media marketing agency will help you figure out the winning mix and implement it through a gradual strategy.
Generating B2B Leads on LinkedIn
LinkedIn, the dark horse of the social media ecosystem. It is not the newest platform, it actually was established a number of years before Twitter. It dawns the dark horse label due to being able to stick it out. It was almost written off completely around 2010-2015, but with some clever marketing of their own and a revamp of its identity, they have taken a firm placement as the B2B platform.
A void existed in this segment, all platforms had focused on B2C or just social engagement within society. LinkedIn spotted their opening and have taken the reins. But, only a knowledgeable digital marketing agency understands the distinct nature of this elusive network.
Something unique about LinkedIn, people visit this site often when doing research for professional reasons. Maybe this is industry news, information on products or services that are within their industry, and the cornerstone job placement. Because the user intent is different, your LinkedIn campaign also needs to be molded to deliver the right results.
By implementing a Core Pillar System of Social Media Marketing (Strategy, Planning and Publishing, Listening and Engagement, Analytics and Reporting, Advertising) you can take complete advantage of the unique platform that LinkedIn has morphed into.
The road map to LinkedIn lead generation usually follows a similar trajectory, plus help from a digital marketing agency only makes the process easier for you. To grow your customer base, you’ll have to:
Collect Leads from LinkedIn
There are a couple of different ways to collect leads via LinkedIn. You can either choose to do it manually or using add-ons like Dux-Soup. Regardless of the method you choose, the goal at this stage is to attract as many interested prospects as possible. Qualifying the leads is still important, but this occurs at a later stage.
Companies stuck on the lead collection step should partner with a digital marketing agency that can take care of the whole process. The first step is critical because it’s where you “cast the net” so don’t hesitate to look for marketing services if you’re not completely sure of how to pull leads from your LinkedIn.
Parse the Data
Next, examine the prospects that showed interests, filter out the ones that don’t fit the bill, and create a list of potential leads. You can validate prospects by location, industry, company size, and other qualifiers, so you need to determine what accounts as a good lead before this stage.
Before this step, your marketing agency should go through a series of questions with you to determine who your ideal customers are. Our team of digital marketing experts creates buyer personas using this information in order to make better decisions during this step.
Qualify Your Leads
Great, your list has been trimmed down to the prospects that are most likely to require your services. The next step is qualifying these leads.
Companies that learn to qualify their leads or work with professional social media marketing agencies have the ability to prepare potential customers for the first contact. You should study the target’s website to learn as much as you can about the company.
Next, send a request and follow the company on LinkedIn, plus remember to track down your prospect’s email and contact information. Keep a record of all this information and update it as you receive new data. Your digital marketing agency should produce extensive reports to keep you updated, plus you’ll be able to see the results through your lead management platform.
Nurture and Engage
Digital and social media marketing agencies like Fannit use automated email sequences to nurture and engage leads. For starters, we update the leads on the automation channel, say HubSpot. Email automation tools are a huge time-saver because you can start conversations with your leads without having to write out an email to each one.
You’ll also need to generate great content to nurture leads with, so a solid graphic design and video production team is also essential. The digital marketing agency you partner with plays a crucial role at this point, so make sure you work with a social advertising specialist that can get your products or services in front of potential customers at the right time.
Social Media Marketing and Search Engine Optimization
This is where I would use the classic term of “peas and carrots” but I prefer Chocolate and Peanut butter. Social media marketing and search engine optimization (SEO) were made for each other. No literally, they were made for each other. A core piece ingredient for SEO is keyword development, which is also necessary for success on social platforms.
Social media platforms have:
- a tremendous amount of traffic
- People have turned to social media for “How to” searches and learning
- Social media profiles rank in search engines.
Social media platforms have basically evolved into mini Search Engines, people have even dubbed the oldest batch of millennials (born 1983ish) the “YouTube How To Generation”. With the right marketing services, you can use social media to boost your SEO and digital marketing efforts as a whole.
For now Google says social channels do not influence the algorithm, but I ask. How long will that last? With the rate at which Google makes changes, I wouldn’t be surprised if at any moment we started seeing the algorithm index social channels. Any digital marketing agency worth its salt knows this and will prepare you for the apparently inevitable
If they are already ranking the actual pages (which they are), then you can imagine that this ball is already rolling.
What Social Media Marketing Platforms Should My Business Use?
This is often the most common entry question, so you’ll probably ask your digital marketing agency the same thing. It is also the question that drives people to do nothing. Why? Because it is overwhelming to even think about if you have moderate to no experience. It can be like trying to imagine infinity… When you really try, it just doesn’t work. The brain, does, not, work.
To put it bluntly. ALL OF THEM, is the easiest answer. Now, don’t click the back button. Yes, in a perfect world, it would be great to be on every platform. One reason is you never know which will take over next. At one point MySpace dominated, then Facebook came along, then Instagram, Twitter emerged as the news source for the world, Snapchat became the platform for the youth while Facebook is for us old people in our late 20’s and mid 30’s. BOOM, Instagram comes back and almost takes out Snapchat, then TikTok emerges in 2019 as a player. This won’t stop, it will most likely continue.
So playing it safe is the generic answer, but the juice is not always worth the squeeze. What I mean is, managing each platform takes time, creating a content marketing strategy for each platform takes time also, and time is money.
Does your flooring company need to be on TikTok when 41% of the demo is 16-24? Would it hurt? No. But is it low hanging fruit? No. Have your digital marketing agency find out what the most attractive channels are for your customer base and dominate those. Put your effort into those, sharpen those tools, and then you start taking on other channels and optimizing them.
Before you think it, no. You can not just use your Instagram post on LinkedIn. People are on each platform for different reasons. People browse each platform with different expectations, and if you try shoving that square Instagram post in the round LinkedIn hole, it will actually turn people off.
Now, social media marketing agencies will tell you when some content is cross-post worthy. But, “share to all” is not a strategy, savvy users will stop it right away.
Best Times to Post on Social Media (2020)
The answer to this question falls under pillars 2, 3, and 4 (which are Planning & Publishing, Listening and Engagement, Analytics and Reporting). Figuring out the best times to post takes some hand-on work, so this step should be included in your social marketing plan.
At first, you can take the generic rule of thumb posting measure: early morning, lunch hour, early evening. These are generally the most common times people look at social media.
Now, to truly optimize spend and resources, you analyze how each piece of content performed. Why did it perform well, or poorly? Is the content itself the reason it performed the way it did? When is your audience browsing the most and on what platform?
By digging into the nitty-gritty, you can figure out which content your audience likes most, and on what platform they are browsing at what time. This will help you shape the exact details of the rest of your social media marketing strategy.
For example, your restaurant posting its lunch of the day in the morning on its Instagram and Facebook story might perform best because you are getting in peoples head early on in the day about what they will eat for lunch, when most people think they should post that lunch special at lunchtime.
But the decision has been made about lunch, the coworker has already offered them a tuna sandwich and they will now be taking the first bite when they see your delicious French Onion Soup content.
As part of our marketing services, we conduct extensive research to determine the best schedule because, as the example above shows, timing is everything.
Top Social Media Marketing Software
Social media is universal — there’s a platform out there for everyone. But, managing a single account can become a full-time job, let alone taking care of your entire social media marketing strategy.
With the help of social media marketing software and a digital marketing agency, you can manage multiple profiles across different networks through one or two platforms.
Like social networks, there are dozens of platforms you can use, but we’ve found the top social media marketing tools are Meet Edgar, Hootsuite, SEMrush Social Media Toolkit, and HubSpot. The design and interface are different, but each one of these brings a standard set of features that help you publish and manage content, improve social engagement, and produce analytics reports to visualize the performance of your posts and/or ads.
Meet Edgar can be used for Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube, making it one of the most complete social marketing tools available. Companies can put their services and goods in the spotlight by automating post design and sharing, optimizing content, and organizing all their social efforts through one tool, even if they have multiple accounts. This is a favorite among marketing companies as well, so our team has extensive experience with this toolkit.
You’ve probably heard of Hootsuite because it was one of the first to perfect automated post scheduling. Since then, the platform has implemented features like analytics, contact management, keyword filtering, targeting options, and other new capabilities. Hootsuite also has a comprehensive list of supported networks, so it can make your social media and internet marketing in general a lot easier to manage.
SEMrush Social Media Toolkit
Already running one of the best SEO tools available, SEMrush has also developed the Social Media Toolkit. It doesn’t support YouTube, but the platform does allow you to control your Pinterest accounts, which is much more valuable to some companies. While it may not help determine if you should invest in video production, SEMrush Social Media Toolkit does show how well competitors are performing and what your digital strategy needs to be successful.
Despite the fact that it’s known for its automation capabilities, HubSpot also has robust social media marketing features, including automated publishing, engagement, and detailed reporting. HubSpot is designed to run your entire campaign from it, so you can integrate your sales, marketing, and customer service efforts to your social media plan and control everything through one single place.
If you choose to run your campaigns via HubSpot, you’ll be able to conveniently visualize and manage your entire internet marketing efforts or work with a marketing company that can take care of this part of your campaign for you.
How to Create a Social Media Marketing Strategy
We have talked about the pillar system you have to create, now we’ll go over a few questions and tips to get you going with a true social media marketing strategy.
- What are your digital marketing goals?
- Who is your target audience?
- What type of content can you design? If you are limited, should you hire a content, SEO, and digital marketing agency?
- What type of content do you want to share? Should you hire a content marketing agency?
- What platforms do you want to focus on, and why?
- Do you want to market specific services? Are these services your most profitable?
- Are you set up and ready to engage with each platform’s traffic, not just post? But engage? If not, create that digital marketing workflow.
- Create a social posting calendar, organization will save you time and headaches. You should have a theme for the month and marketing posts created for the next week at least.
- Have specific time set aside dedicated to analyzing your social traffic and marketing metrics? This will help you with when and what to post in the future. Make sure to do this once a week – once a month at least, is a good place to start your marketing plan.
Let Fannit manage all of these steps for you and watch your digital marketing footprint expand while your business gains tangible growth.
Social Media Marketing How to Checklist
All social media channels require distinct content, but the approach is relatively similar for almost all networks. In addition to deploying your plan, a seasoned digital marketing company like Fannit can create a custom checklist for your company and make sure all
Simply put, your social media marketing plan should be divided into four major steps, with slight adjustments depending on your goals and the networks targeted.
Analysis and Learning
After completing a full social marketing analysis of your industry and service area, you’ll have a good base to start. Next, identify leading competitors and note their audience size as well as engagement to develop content and approaches that resonate with your targets. This is also a good time to research digital marketing companies if you haven’t looked at your options yet.
Content Creation and Monitoring
The type and quality of your content is just a piece of the puzzle. You’ll have to come up with a solid posting schedule, prepare your posts through your social marketing platform of choice, and monitor how they perform. As part of our marketing services, we study the target audience as well as competitors to develop valuable content and an accurate schedule that allows you to hit the ground running.
Paid Social Campaigns
Paid ads campaigns on social networks are a bit different than with other PPC platforms. As always, split testing is a must, plus your company has to set up custom audiences that allow for better targeting. Social networks allow rich media ads, so focusing on quality video production and graphics development is essential for the success of your paid campaigns.
Learning how paid social ads work takes time, so relying on a marketing agency can simplify this part of your campaign. SEO and social media marketing agencies like Fannit have been managing paid advertising campaigns since they were first introduced, so we can develop an effective strategy from the get-go.
Tracking and Monitoring
Tracking and monitoring apply to both your digital marketing campaign and company reputation. Monitoring the performance of your social media efforts will help ensure that your digital marketing plan is working precisely. Your analytics dashboard will tell you what areas of your strategy need work, but make sure your ROI is increasing after each update.
As for reputation, reviews are a good starting point, but you’ll also want to collect feedback and rate the general sentiment towards your services and company as a whole. Internet marketing encompasses a lot of different platforms and each one should be monitored as well as updated with the most recent information. Some of these will require the development of top-not resources, so you should have a design and video production agency on-call.
Website Integration and Campaign Optimization
All elements of your digital marketing strategy should align, including social media. Adding buttons that encourage visitors to share your content on social networks is a good booster and you can always add widgets as well as other elements. Once you have statistically significant data, periodically optimize your campaign for performance and profitability.
Other elements of your web design also influence the performance of your social campaign. For instance, if you’re running a paid advertising campaign that redirects users to a specific page, the web design elements must be intuitive and attractive.
Setup a Winning Social Media Marketing Machine with Fannit
Producing quality content, designing social marketing plants from scratch, and managing campaigns across all channels are some of the ways we help companies of all sizes succeed through social media and digital marketing as a whole.
If you’re ready to start growing your social media presence and reel in more leads from these channels, contact Fannit today.