social media marketing, how to use linkedin, twitter, facebook and other channels to achieve marketing resultsSocial media has become a very cost-effective way to connect with, and influence, various audiences including customers and potential customers. In fact, over the years, we have come to rely less on more traditional forms of marketing communications (e.g., print or broadcast advertising, direct mail, etc.) and more on digital channels of communication, like social media.

Different Channels for Different Markets

Because most of our work is business-to-business (B2B), LinkedIn and Twitter are the two social media channels that we use most often. Those in the business-to-consumer (B2C) environment, though, would be more likely to get traction through sites like Facebook, Instagram, and even TikTok.
Regardless of channel, though, there are some important communication practices that apply as much to the digital environment as to traditional communications. Here are our best practice recommendations for leveraging social media to help achieve your marketing objectives.

Best Practices for Social Media Marketing

Start with a clear understanding of your desired target audience and goals

Initially, you are likely to be focused on building an audience of followers. Ultimately, though, your goals would relate to driving traffic to your website, generating leads, making sales, etc.

Take steps to thoroughly understand your target audience and what’s important to them.

What do they value? What questions/concerns do they have that you might be able to address? What are they interested in? How could you uniquely offer value to them through your content that they would not likely be able to find anywhere else?

Consider your competitors.

What type of content is your competition posting? What seems to be working for them? How could you create different/better/more valuable content to stand out rather than be “the same as” your competitors?

Establish your content pillars.

Your content pillars represent the subject matter of the content you’ll post. It should be directly related to your target audience’s interests, needs, and concerns. These are the “big buckets” of content that you will focus on as you share information that will be valued by your audience. Typically, identifying 3-5 categories of content that your audience is likely to be interested in will help you ensure that your content is consistent and aligned with audience needs.

Create your social media profiles.

Whatever channel you’re using, you’ll have the opportunity to create a profile or “front door” to your social media content. This should be a high-level look at who you are and what you have to offer. It’s important here to make sure that they are consistent with your overall brand—e.g., same colors, same logo, same tone, and same style.

Be careful about messaging that is blatantly sales-oriented.

One key difference between digital marketing and traditional marketing is that digital marketing is—or should be—far less sales-oriented. Your goal here is to inform and to provide value. Yes, your ultimate goal will be to sell something.  But you’ll do that most effectively by first providing value and positioning yourself as a trusted source of reliable, non-sales-oriented information.

Success in social media is all about offering helpful/useful content that your followers will value.

Be consistent in posting.

Commit to a certain level of activity; create and post based on that schedule.

Evaluate your metrics.

The digital environment provides a wealth of information that you can use to identify what’s working and where you may need to make course corrections. Make sure you’re taking full advantage of this data to find ways to continually improve your content to achieve maximum results.

These are some “high-level” recommendations for small businesses getting started in social media. We also have a number of other blog posts on social media-related topics that you may find helpful.

About Us

Strategic Communications, LLC, works with B2B clients to help them achieve their goals through effective content marketing and management with both internal and external audiences. We work with clients to plan, create and publish high-quality, unique content. Whether on- or offline, or both, we’ll help you achieve desired results.

(Strategic Communications is certified as a Woman-Owned Business Enterprise through the Wisconsin Department of Administration.)

Stay up-to-date on the latest traditional and digital marketing trends and insights for communication leaders: subscribe to our monthly e-newsletter.

Recommended Reading:

21st Century Secrets to Effective PR

Managing Remote Staff

Direct Mail in the Digital Age

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Strategic Planning

The Everything Guide to Customer Engagement

Best Practices in Influencer Marketing

The post Social Media Tips to Drive Sales for Small Businesses appeared first on Strategic Communications.

This content was originally published here.