7 Rules for More Effective Social Media Marketing | AllBusiness.com

Although the use of social media in marketing isn’t new, over the last few years it’s gone through a lot of changes. As most of us know, it has evolved from simple advertising inserted into our feeds into the sophisticated content that’s used today. In particular, we now use influencers as our content creators and thought leaders.

So, what should we marketers keep in mind as we navigate those changes? Here are seven things to consider that will help you maximize the success of your social media campaigns:

1. Remember that social media in business is just a means to an end

Back in the day, social media for business was quite simple. Originally, we’d all just throw up a business page and link it to our profiles to show where we work. Now, that’s not even close to enough. People don’t just write reviews on Yelp or Ripoff Report anymore. And the Better Business Bureau, as important as it is, doesn’t have the extensive reach it once did. Now, customer service is often handled through social media. So is much of advertising, whether it employs influencers or just business-generated content.

2. Know your goals for social media advertising

This applies for your business social accounts, your paid advertising, and your use of influencers. Are you having trouble getting people to engage with your current advertising? Or are they following everyone else’s page instead of yours? When you advertise on social media, are you hoping to build brand recognition or generate sales leads? How about announcing the launch or improvement of an important product? All of these goals are great opportunities for social media to shine.

Accordingly, you need to think carefully about what you post on a social business page. For example, the hiring of a key employee can be announced on Facebook to tell people about exciting changes going on at the company. While this won’t necessarily sell anything, it can increase brand awareness. On the other hand, posting content about a new product is intended for sales.

3. Determine what works and what doesn’t

Companies that engage with their customers well on LinkedIn, usually B2B brands, should probably continue to use LinkedIn for future campaigns. But they also should consider whether their Instagram strategy is working, or determine how well their latest Twitter efforts performed. Ideally, you should find a way to make all social media channels work for you. There are different ways to do this, but many of them involve influencers.

For example, if you have a new product, then it might be advantageous to have an influencer talk about how the product has made their life easier at work. Or, demonstrate that the new type of makeup you’re selling is more effective than the competition’s for people with oily skin. Whatever it is, know what’s working and then determine a great way to adapt those effective techniques to other platforms.

4. Know your competition

Most of you know to do market research. After all, being able to keep your finger on the pulse of the competition allows your company to ensure products and services stay relevant. But did you know this applies to social media, too? It’s a war out there, so you need to have a sense of how your competitors are using social media and how effective their efforts are. Maybe they’re stealing away potential customers because they’re constantly engaging your audience. Let this activity remain unchallenged, and they will soon be wiping the floor with you in online forums.

5. Ensure your social media marketing budget matches your goals

It’s easy to be a cheapskate when it comes to marketing. Most small businesses think in terms of worker time and materials when deciding how to spend their money. But marketing is an area where you need to spend money to make money. Think about your goals, and then determine how much money you’ll need to spend on marketing to achieve them.

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