2020 has been an incredible year for social media. Over 4 billion people now use social platforms globally, with 60% of businesses aiming to increase their 2021 Instagram budgets in particular.
Amid lockdowns and minimal high street footfall, marketing trends are changing. Over 70% of marketers now consider increased customer acquisition their top priority for social media marketing in 2021, up from 46% last year. While bricks-and-mortar is shrinking, digital marketing, PPC and SEO are rushing to fill the gaps – making social media marketing vital for every business moving forward.
Despite so much uncertainty going into the new year, there are still some certainties in terms of planning a marketing strategy for 2021. Arguably, the linchpin of that strategy should be the expansion of your social media marketing – balancing SEO, market research and changing trends with profitable paid social ads, using tried-and-tested principles.
1. Reflect prospects’ values in your social media marketing
Effective, up-to-date social media marketing (and paid social) pays careful attention to the precise language its prospects use in their own social posts and uses this same language to craft engaging messages for that specific audience. Ultimately, people tend to buy from brands that they know, like and trust – and who think and speak as they do.
In order to truly engage, social media marketing can’t afford to read like generic, infrequent press releases or one-way news reports. Instead, social posts should be seen as friendly introductions and engaging conversation starters, using in-depth research to match their recipients’ intent. It takes time, effort, humanity and likability to build up a social media presence, which is essentially virtual social capital. The key, as always, is posting valuable industry-specific content on a regular basis.
2. View social media marketing as your personal streaming service
As well as posting more structured content and paid social campaigns, social media marketing is also your opportunity to broadcast your day-to-day work and to champion your team. Publicise the results you achieve for your happy customers, and your ever-growing following will develop a real relationship with your brand. Use photos and video to show the world your expertise, and your customers’ testimonials, and you will quickly gather engaged followers eager to find out what you’re up to next.
However, social media is not just a streaming service. It’s about both streaming and chat combined. So begin by leaving positive comments on the posts of prospective clients. Start conversations, share expertise and offer to solve problems, and you’ll quickly expand your network. The more interactions your brand has with people, the more likely they are to become your engaged prospects – and often your happy customers and brand advocates.
Social media marketing is your opportunity to be on first-name terms with your core audience. Even brands with very few followers can grow quickly if they focus on documenting their daily work and the passion that powers it.
3. Balance highly targeted paid social ads with plenty of high-value content
Bear in mind that social media marketing isn’t about making sales, not primarily. Sales through social media are the side-effect of growing a happy, engaged social following. While highly targeted social media advertising is incredibly effective, its success truly multiplies when your social channels establish an enthusiastic audience in the first place; an audience who knows that your social media channel doesn’t exist solely to advertise.
The majority of your social media posts shouldn’t be about selling but engaging your network, so post valuable, well-researched and non-promotional content which your customers find genuinely useful or entertaining. Increasing site traffic, conversions and sales through paid social media is achieved by simultaneously curating and producing valuable content, and engaging personally with your audience.
Social media marketing is an incredibly powerful tool for the growth of your brand. However, it also takes a considerable amount of time. For countless businesses, especially given this year’s events, that time investment can really take too much away from the daily essentials of running a business.
That’s why we would love to partner with you to make your social media marketing a success. Whether you would like expert advice on which metrics to measure, or a comprehensive look at which forms of content would most engage your followers, our expert team are happy to assist in building valuable paid social media advertising and content campaigns posted at precisely the right times, for exactly the right prospects to see. Simply get in touch today to learn more!