Let’s start with some of the biggest misconceptions that surround social media marketing.
Using social channels equals publishing several posts a day.
You can get conversions only if you spend a lot of money on social media advertising.
It is the only and best way to do online marketing.
Now, this is not only an oversimplification but also underestimating what this expansive marketing platform can do for your brand.
For nearly 15 years and counting, social channels have become indispensable to amplify brand content and reach your audience. But it is NOT the be-all-end-all digital marketing. The social media landscape is changing rapidly and will continue to change even faster in the coming months and beyond. So, we can’t keep doing what we have been doing so far, or we will keep getting the same results. That is to say, that unless we revisit how we understand and handle social channels, we cannot use it in the best interest of the brand.
So, how do you navigate the overwhelming evolution of social media marketing? For starters, it’s important to understand the most common pitfalls, how to avoid them and how we can make the most of social channels for brand growth
It's not just publishing posts
Many businesses believe that if they publish multiple posts per day, every day, on every social handle they are doing a great job!
By posts, I mean text content, images, videos, reels, clips, gifs, and everything that you can use for your brand. There is no doubt that using a variety of brand assets is great. But the key to success here is to know why you are posting what you are posting.
What are your social media goals?
Is it to simply boost awareness/visibility of your brand?
Generate traffic to your website?
Or do you want to grow sales and revenue?
Unless the end objective is clear, there won’t be a structure to your activities. Whatever content and in whichever format you want to post, it must come from a deep-seated rationale that is tied to your bigger business goal.
Understanding Content In Its Context
Content is useless without context. For instance, we see many business owners using the same content across primary channels like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. While you have certain demographics who are present on every platform, it doesn’t mean it is the same person present everywhere, in the same capacity. Also, even if the same person/group of people are present on all platforms, they are consuming different content on each of them. For instance, most people use Twitter for current/trending news, social and political updates, while Instagram is more about people and lifestyle.
Let's say that you own an organic shampoo brand. Your target audience is urban, conscious women, 25-35 years of age. Now, what should you post and for whom? You know that your audience is most likely to be present across most or all social platforms. So, should you have the same message for them everywhere? The answer is no. Your audience will neither shop nor want to know about the ingredients of your shampoo on Twitter or Linkedin. In fact, the same people on Linkedin would like to see how you manage your business or how the brand is associated with environmental initiatives, or how you manage your people. On the other hand, on Instagram, they would be more than eager to know what goes in your products, the packaging, what shopping options they have, if other beauty influencers are using your brand or not. If you are supporting a local non-profit or a cause that aligns with your sustainability measure, then Twitter is where your audience would like to know about it and join the conversation.
It’s important to know what content will work and where.
It’s more than just spending big budgets
We often hear brand owners complaining, “We spend so much money on social media activities, but we are still not getting the results.” This is a catch-22 situation, as we all know. You invest money to get more money. But because the competition is so severe and only increasing, you keep spending more to stay in the game and get your brand noticed among the clutter. That’s not necessarily a prudent move. It's obvious that the days of organic growth on social are far behind, and it’s a paid advertising channel now. However, at the same time, to achieve loyal and valuable customers, organic content is essential. But that can only happen when you plan why, what, and where you are posting before you do. A smarter way to do this is to do a little A/B testing. Use a small budget to run a campaign and test the waters. See what content performs with money. Simultaneously, continue with organic marketing and compare results.
It’s never an either-or tactic but rather a hybrid method that successful brands use for social media marketing.
Here’s a quick look at how your social media journey should look like –