If you are frustrated with your business’s social media results, you may lack the knowledge to succeed on these platforms. Social media is an incredible marketing tool for businesses that has been proven to be successful time and time again. If you aren’t having luck with your reach, you need to learn more about the process.
Of course, having a social media expert on your team also doesn’t hurt. Let’s look at some of the methods you can use to increase your brand’s visibility on social media.
What Is Social Media Marketing?
Social media marketing is a method of advertising that uses platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and TikTok to make an impression on a wider audience and communicate with your target demographics.
In 2023, social media marketing is a must for any business, regardless of size. Successful businesses put most of their advertising dollars into social media marketing, and it’s easy to see why.
Using social media to market yourself as a business gives you a unique opportunity to connect with potential customers. It will help to drive traffic to your website and increase brand visibility, but that’s not all. It can also generate new sales leads, provide a platform for customer service, and so much more.
Why Social Media Marketing?
Social media marketing has many benefits. Aside from giving you more exposure and boosting brand awareness, it will also help to give you better credibility with your audience and drive traffic to your website.
It is also effective for businesses without a large marketing budget. If you only post content organically, all your marketing will cost you is your time. You can put as much or as little money into social media as you see fit to boost that initial reach, refine your techniques, or create the content itself.
How To Better Reach Your Audience Using Social Media
To reach your target audience, you first need to identify who your audience is. Don’t make the mistake of trying to appeal to everyone. Social media marketing is more effective when you get your message in front of the right people.
“Social media is an advertiser’s dream. Getting your ad in front of a specific group has never been easier. Imagine trying to do that with a billboard,” comments Anthony Siskos, COO of 10PM Curfew
Based on the nature of your business, you can probably identify your audience yourself. If you’re unsure or want to be more thorough, use social media analytics to compile data. You can also look at your competition to see who they advertise to and how they do it.
1. Know Your Audience
To be successful on social media, you need to identify your audience and understand who they are: How old are they? Where do they live? What are their interests? What kind of vernacular do they use? Where do they spend their time online?
“Spend as much time getting to know your audience as possible. Learn how to appeal to them. Talk to them like they’re your best friends. This is how you make connections through social media,” explains Ubaldo Perez, CEO of Hush Anesthetics
Once you get to know your audience, the person running your socials will know how to better communicate with them. This will help you appeal to your target audience by forming parasocial relationships. That is how you connect with customers and build trust in the age of social media.
2. Be Present on Multiple Platforms
If your goal is to reach as many people as possible, you must have a presence on most (if not all) of the major platforms. While this may seem overwhelming, you only need to implement strategies on several key platforms. The rest are for visibility.
“The job of a marketer is to become unavoidable. You want your customers to see your branding everywhere they spend time online. Never make it hard for them to find you,” describes Bradley Hall, CEO of SONU Sleep.
Depending on your target audience, your time and effort may be better spent on certain platforms. For example, younger demographics frequent TikTok and Instagram, whereas older ones can be found on Facebook or LinkedIn. Consider this when deciding where to focus your social media marketing campaign.
3. Keep Up With Posting
Once you decide which platforms you’d like to focus on, you need to maintain them. This includes posting regular content relevant to your brand and the current environment. This will show your audience that you are active and responsive as a business. It also allows people to engage with your content more often.
“A marketer’s job is never done because the landscape is always changing — and your target audience is always scrolling. You have to innovate every day because yesterday’s posts are already old news,” says Nabiha Akhtar, CEO and Founder of Lil Deenies.
The more you post, the more your content will appear in people’s newsfeeds. Regular, relevant posts with decent engagement are good for the algorithm. The algorithm is responsible for your posts getting shown to more people. This is key when looking to increase your reach.
4. Interact with Your Audience
Your social media accounts double as a customer service tool. Interacting with your audience on social media is not only good for engagement, but it is generally good for business. Customers value businesses where they can easily communicate their concerns.
“Engagement has to be built, not bought. That’s part of the appeal of social media marketing; all of your leads have been well and truly earned, meaning they’re legitimately interested in the product or service you’re providing,” explains Maegan Griffin, Founder, CEO and nurse practitioner at Skin Pharm.
If you have someone dedicated to social media, part of their job will be to respond to messages, comments, and tags. If your audience feels seen, heard, and understood, they will want to interact with you more. This increase in engagement will only help further your reach.
5. Know When To Post
If you aren’t posting during the hours when your audience is most active on social media, your posts will likely get buried in their timelines, never to be seen again. This is why when you post matters. Use social media analytics to determine when your audience is most active, and save your posts for then.
“Social media is a game. Like any game, there are rules and strategies you need to learn if you want to play. Plus, it can be a little fun, too,” says Andrew Chen, Chief Product Officer of Videeo.
You can come up with the wittiest and most clever content — but if no one sees it, is it really effective? Make sure you are posting when the time is right.
6. Be Authentic
People like authenticity, especially when it comes to social media. Many brands lack authenticity on their social media accounts, despite audiences responding well to them.
“People crave authenticity on social media, but it’s surprisingly hard to find. Your authenticity is what will make you stand out as a brand. You want to feel like your followers’ friend, not a corporation,” says Josh Keller, Founder of OTTO.
People prefer to interact with a brand that feels like a real person. Talk to your followers as if they are your friends while still maintaining a degree of professionalism. This will help people to better connect with you.
If you have the budget, influencer marketing is one of the most successful ways to increase your reach. Partnering with an influencer that shares your target audience is a great way to increase brand visibility. They come with a built-in, captive audience often willing to buy anything their favorite influencer endorses.
“Influencers have taken over the advertising world for a good reason,” says Max Schwartzapfel, CMO of Fighting For You “Celebrity endorsements have never been that believable. We know how good they are at acting! On the other hand, an influencer has a working relationship with their audience built on trust, risking that would be risky business. If they endorse a product, odds are high that their audience will buy in”
Influencer marketing is incredibly effective, but it can also come at a high cost. Getting one of the top influencers to advertise your product will be out of most small businesses’ budgets. Cost is typically based on followers, so find someone with a smaller audience that shares your target audience.
Do You Need a Social Media Manager?
You may wonder if you should allocate resources to hire a social media manager. The consensus is if you have the resources to do so, it will be money well spent. Having an expert on board eliminates the guesswork and allows them to engage with your audience more.
“Social media managers are highly skilled individuals trained to understand each platform’s nuance. Many universities offer entire degrees on the subject. The importance of having a social media expert on your team cannot be understated,” describes Den Montero, Marketing Director of Moeflavor.
If you have limited money for marketing, it would be wise to put that into social media. If you feel confident that someone on your team is up to the task, you can use those resources for things like influencer marketing. Still, bringing an expert on board is never a bad idea if you can afford it.
Measure Your Results
Another great reason to have a person specifically dedicated to social media is so they can regularly track and measure the results of your efforts. This will help you know what areas to focus on and when to pivot your strategy. It also helps with optimizing campaigns and creating new goals.
“Your social media strategy should never be stagnant. Nowadays, trends move at the speed of light. You need to make it your business to keep up with them,” states Ryan Rottman, Co-Founder and CEO of OSDB.
When tracking results, some common metrics are used to measure success. These are reach, engagement, impressions, mentions, clicks, and views. Pay attention to these areas when analyzing results.
Widen Your Reach
Social media advertising is a tool that all businesses should use to the best of their abilities. There are many different ways to utilize these methods, regardless of your budget. Start increasing your reach with some of these tips and tricks to succeed on social media.
McClatchy newsroom and editorial staff were not involved in the creation of this content.
This story was initially revealed April 24, 2023, 7:00 AM.