You’ve probably seen brands like Slack, GoPro, and Dove on social media and been wowed by their content. These companies publish posts that significantly bolster their awareness, engagement, and sales conversion with their audience.
It’s important to note the success of social media marketing isn’t mutually exclusive to well-known brands with a built-in advantage. Studies show that, in general, social media marketing yields an average of $2.80 in revenues for every dollar spent. That’s enough of an ROI to turn your head.
Of course, success on social media isn’t guaranteed for brands. Plenty of small businesses fish in those waters and come up empty–but it’s not because the opportunity wasn’t knocking. Instead, the inability to leverage social media marketing stems from a lack of planning, strategizing, and research, leading to poor execution.
Below, we’ll explain how to grow your business online with social media marketing.
Understanding Your Target Audience
Imagine you’re in college and have chosen five different majors.
To receive all those majors, you’d need to take 50 classes per week or stay in school for about 20 years. Either way, you’re spreading yourself too thin and making it impossible to succeed.
The rationale behind choosing a target audience is much the same.
Yes, we all want our products or services to be one-size-fits-all so that everybody in the world will want to use them. However, you can’t be everything to everyone. Instead, you’re better off streamlining your approach and offering something of great value to a specific type of person.
So, much like you choose one major (or sometimes two), you need to select a specific target audience. This way, you can effectively economize your efforts and tap into a lucrative niche.
Keeping these sentiments in mind, how can you better understand your target market? After all, the long-term health of your business hinges upon this understanding.
You’ll need a firm grasp of your target audience’s gender, age range, likes/dislikes, interests, buying tendencies/habits, and average income. In other words, you’ve got to dive deep into the research to speak directly to your target audience’s wants, needs, and desires.
Developing a customer persona will help you dig deeper into your target audience, which we wrote an article all about building a customer persona here.
Campaigning With A Purpose
Once you’ve worked hard to understand your target audience, that same sense of purpose must exist in your social media marketing campaigns. Even creatively inspired content is far less effective if there’s no road map, rhyme, or reason.
You need to funnel your social media marketing content to grow your business online successfully. Your published posts should follow a sequence that leads your target audience down a path that introduces your brand and cultivates interest. Then, this carefully crafted sequence will convert these prospects into paying customers when all is said and done.
We’ll break down this process further below:
Building an Awareness Campaign (Top Funnel)
The first stage of the social media marketing funnel is brand awareness.
You don’t want to come out guns-blazing, hocking your products and services when people don’t yet know or trust your company. It’s wiser to introduce yourself with a metaphorical firm handshake and smile to make a good first impression.
More to the point, your awareness-based social media content shouldn’t sell anything–it’s about establishing your brand identity.
One example of an awareness campaign is the polar bear campaign Coca-Cola releases every Christmas. They aren’t trying to convince people to go out and buy a Coke. The goal is to associate Coke with the holidays, good times, and cheer.
Building An Engagement Campaign (Middle Funnel)
Awareness is your introduction–your chance to make a good impression and leave your target audience wanting more. Your social media engagement campaign is about adding substance to that initial sizzle.
Your target audience was intrigued enough by your awareness campaign that they know what you’re selling–they just don’t know if they want it yet.
Now it’s time to give your target audience tailored, informative content that isn’t overtly selling anything. The goal here is education and interaction–the content must tell your audience what they need to know about your products and services. However, it also must entice them into liking, sharing, commenting, and generally interacting with your brand and its social media content.
Two wise tactics to bolster engagement is using branded hashtags or promoting user-generated content.
Click this link for some excellent examples of successful engagement campaigns.
Building a Conversion Campaign (Bottom Funnel)
The conversion campaign is where you reach for the metaphorical brass ring and actively seek sales.
Your customer has learned about your brand, engaged with your content, and learned more about your products and services. It’s time to helpfully–and subtly–nudge them toward making a purchase.
Be mindful that your prospects will be comparing your products and services to other similar kinds, looking at pricing, packages, product reviews, etc.
Thus, you need to make your most enticing offer. Some companies offer free shipping, bonus products, or discount codes when a new customer places an order. The offer you decide to make must be one your target audience simply can’t refuse.
You can link customers to sales pages, webinars, sales calls, etc., through your social media to help finally make that crucial conversion.
When (And Why) To Hire A Digital Agency For Social Media Marketing Services!
The insights and advice provided in this blog are undoubtedly actionable and helpful. Yet, a thousand-word article is only a trickle in the ocean of social media marketing. Our suggestions function as an excellent jumping-off point, but there’s still much to learn.
For instance, tracking the social media marketing funnel–in and of itself–can prove challenging. The same can be said for creating content that resonates–even if you have a firm grasp of your target demographic.
Before you pour your heart and soul into your social media marketing campaign, consider hiring an expert digital marketing agency for their social media marketing services. The amount of time and money you’ll save by creating successful campaigns faster will make the upfront investment worth it.
Reach out to Two Dot Marketing today to discuss how our social media marketing services can grow your business online!