5 Things You NEED to Know About Social Media Marketing

1. You should never let an intern run your social media

You wouldn’t let an intern direct your company’s TV commercial, so why would you let someone totally untrained be the online voice for your business? Representing your company to thousands or even millions of your potential customers? (Shudder.)

Social media is a powerful digital marketing and branding tool and has the potential to make or break your business’ reputation. It should always be trusted to a trained social media marketing professional with a deep understanding of your brand, your target audience and your products.

2. Social media influences nearly all online purchases

Whether it’s a direct recommendation from a friend or family member; a Facebook ad popping up in your newsfeed; a sponsored recommendation from a social media influencer or an Instagram story; chances are that you’ve learnt about many of the products you’ve bought, or didn’t buy from social media.

I’ve seen a lot of different statistics out there, with some saying over 70% and some saying 90% of purchases are influenced by social media, but whichever figure you believe, the important fact to take away is that to get people buying and recommending your products or services, you need people to have a positive experience of your business on social media.

3. Social media marketing is hard to get right

People often think that the role of a social media manager must be easy — you just spend all day posting funny videos on Facebook, right? Wrong. As this recent tweet by McDonald’s shows, even HUGE businesses with MASSIVE budgets get things wrong sometimes.

Social media marketing is actually pretty hard to get right. Good social media marketing is all about strategy. Keeping your brand and target audience in mind, you need a well-researched, creative content strategy and often a killer-ad campaign to get social media working really well for you.

But the good news is, once you do get it right, social media has the power to take your business to the next level, with relatively low costs and trackable targets and results. You can see some HUGE returns.

4. “I only have a small business so I don’t need a social media strategy yet” — No!

All businesses large and small need a strategy, otherwise, you could be wasting lots of valuable time and effort.

Without a well-researched strategy, you will have no idea whether you’re sharing the right content to engage your target customers, posting at the right times of day, using the right platforms to reach the right people or whether your branding is consistent and up to snuff.

And how will you know if what you’re doing on social media is having any effect? How will you know what to improve if you’re not getting the results you want?

When you’re a small business, social media can play a huge role in your digital marketing plan. After all, social media is an effective, low-cost way to reach your target audience without the need for expensive ads and many small businesses were built upon and thrive on social media.

5. Social media is not just about reaching younger audiences

I often hear about social media being for ‘younger’ brands or for those trying to reach younger markets. The fact is, that most grandmothers use Facebook in some capacity these days. And when it comes to interacting with businesses on social media, pretty much everyone is doing it.

You don’t need to be trying to reach millennials to see the benefits of social media marketing. Many brands with traditionally older demographics are getting great results from social media too.

Yes, millennials and generation Z may be more active and more directly influenced by social media, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not a highly effective marketing platform to reach other age groups too. It all comes down to your strategy (am I sounding like a broken record yet?) and the choice of platforms that you use.

For more information about how to create an effective social media marketing strategy, follow me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, or connect with me on LinkedIn, I’d love to hear more about your business and marketing strategy.