Are you using social media to attract customers to your business?
I see you sheepishly nodding probably because you created accounts a while ago and there haven’t been much going on, but you still keep accounts anyway.
I am with you. I was there.
Social media is a noisy place and sometimes it feels like there are people talking everywhere on your right and left, up and down, non-stop.
But when you don’t have many followers, it feels like you are just outside looking in with not much to show for it.
You are not there just to see celebrity gaffes, cat or dog photos. You are using social media to make a positive impact on your business.
But the thing is, how exactly do you do that and why should you be on social media?
Why Should You Be on Social Media?
Well, it’s simply because people love being there.
Obviously, most businesses’ goals are driving sales, and it starts from efforts to let people know what you do.
So, you should be where they are.
But like I already said, social media is a busy place. It can overwhelm you and you can easily get sidetracked looking at others sending out all kinds of messages out there.
Businesses have goals, but human nature is you want them so quickly.
But achieving big things take time. So, you really need to break it down to smaller tasks and just focus on getting small things done on a daily basis.
If you do this regularly, more people will start to take a notice of you.
Social Media Marketing Tips for Beginners
Overwhelmed and don’t know where to start? These are the things you should try to focus on.
1. Be Consistent
Being consistent is the first prerequisite if you want to see any results out of social media marketing. Just like in real life, the more people you meet, the more opportunities you are giving yourself to succeed.
That means posting on platforms, engaging with your followers and connecting with more competitors and fans on a daily basis.
Having a hard time choosing which social network to focus on? Then this blog post, Choosing social media marketing platform, will help you understand how each platform works. Read this post and now you can pick a few sites that fit your business goals.
2. Know Your Target Audience
Having followers irrelevant to your business doesn’t help at all unless simply having a large number of followers is what you are after. So, be clear about who your target audience is and create content according to your target audience.
You should also keep in mind what time of day your audience is likely on the platforms you are sharing your posts on.
Does your business target local or global audience? That dictates what time you are going to be sharing your posts. Share your content when they are around.
Another major factor that has been gaining importance in recent years is increasing mobile usage. If you haven’t yet optimized your website for mobile audiences, you should learn how to write for mobile users.
3. Share Useful Content
Not everyone is serious on social media. That’s for sure.
As you can tell from the study by Global Web Index, lot of people are just hanging out on social media because their friends are on there or just want to see entertaining content to fill up spare time.
Only 29% of people go to social medias to buy something.
But that’s not to say there aren’t people who are there to find products or services they are interested.
According to Disruptive Advertising, 86% of women will look at social media before deciding to make a purchase.
So, providing useful content can certainly help nudge them into buying later on. They may not buy immediately, but if they find your content interesting, they are more likely to come back to your site again and chances of them buying later on are much higher.
What Influences People to Buy?
Offering promotion seems obvious, but providing educational content and visuals are some of the top factors that can influence people to buy.
That’s what content marketing is all about.
Content marketing is a style of marketing where you try to educate or entertain visitors with content related to your products and services rather than simply throwing ads in front of people in an intrusive way hoping they will buy.
In traditional advertising such as billboards, TV commercial, newspaper or magazine ads, publishers would put out the ads that are simply meant to sell something.
With content marketing, you try to educate viewers about issues and topics that you know they are interested in, and the selling part becomes secondary.
With TV commercials, it’s totally different. Most of the time you are not interested in products you see in TV commercials. Brands just want you to see commercials even if you are not interested, which is quite intrusive.
In content marketing, blog and video are popular types of content. If you run a yoga studio or sell yoga wear, for example, you could write blog posts about a variety of yoga techniques or physical and mental health related issues.
You might be selling your products in your article by placing links to the product page, but that is not the main focus. You are educating readers first. That’s why this works very well.
Content marketing is more user-centric than conventional advertising whose focus is more about brand themselves and profit.
4. Align Your Social Media Presence with Web Content
Social media posts are usually short, so it’s important that you get your point across succinctly and urge them to take a certain action
It’s time to flex your copywriting muscle and write a convincing call to action whether a newsletter subscription, sales page or inviting readers to a landing page.
Or perhaps you simply want people to read your blog post. Whatever it is, keep it short and sweet yet convincing so that visitors will immediately know what they should do next.
And more importantly, make sure that the content on your website grabs their attention and it makes them want to stick around.
5. Use Automation Tool and Curate Content
Are you worried because you don’t have much content on your website?
No need to worry if that’s the case. You could still curate articles by other people you love to read.
This is a legitimate way to share content and you can still build relationships with others on social media. Creating content is hard work, and while you are working hard creating one of your own, you can keep the line moving.
As far as automation tools, there are so many of them out there, but ones I am talking about here are content curation tools like Buffer, Hootsuite, Post Planner and many others.
Using these tools, you can choose your preferred time slot and post content.
Automation Tools at DIfferent price options
Many of these tools let you try out for free, but with paid plans you will get features that help you find interesting content that is already out there. You don’t have to bounce around all the different sites to dig up interesting content.
Whether free or paid plans, you should use one of these automation tools to keep your feeds busy. Otherwise, your will give an impression that you are not active and really not into it.
With these convenient tools available, you can’t make any more excuse you don’t have time to post your content.
6. Connect with Peers and Influencers
It’s human nature to want to try out a restaurant with a long queue than ones that look always empty.
Social media is no different. The more like-minded people you are connected with, the more people will feel curious and want to join.
While some influencers have built up celebrity-like status and it will be hard to build a personal relationship, some people are approachable. So, always be on the lookout for opportunities to connect with influencers and people who have the same interest as you do.
7. Recommend and Teach People How to Use Tools, Gadgets, etc.
When you want to buy a smartphone, tablet or computer, I am sure you will go online and try to find reviews and compare it to other ones that interest you.
For bloggers and online business owners, online marketing tools and social media automation tools provide valuable metrics, but some of the paid plans can get quite pricey.
In fact, 81% of shoppers conduct online research before making big purchases according to HubSpot.
Obviously, most people want to know what they are getting before paying the full price and see if it’s really worth.
What’s great about creating product reviews is that visitors who visit these pages are likely at a stage where they are ready to buy the product you are talking about.
So, your review could have a big impact on potential buyers’ decisions.
8. Use Appropriate Hashtags
Originally used in Twitter, hashtags have become prominent on almost all social media platforms. Using popular hashtags can increase your reach and you should definitely use hashtags if you want your posts to have maximum exposure.
Different Types of Hashtags
There are different types of hashtags and you can use them according to the type of content you are sharing.
Trending hashtag If your topic matter has something to do with breaking news people are talking about, seasonal events, popular events or celebrity news, trending hashtags can get a lot of attention quickly, but you shouldn’t use it just to get attention.
For example, when Apple announces iPhone related news, it always becomes big news and naturally you see hashtags related to iPhone go viral.
Content Hashtags It might be a very general broad topic, but we all need it to categorize topics.
For example, you might use #smartphone, #gadget if you are talking about smartphones.
Brand-specific hashtags If you want to coin your own phrase, you can create your own.
Just like Coca Cola does it here.
— Coca-Cola (@CocaCola) June 28, 2018
If you want to research which hashtags are popular, these sites will help you pick ones.
Which Hashtags to Use?
Now you know what types of hashtags are out there, but which hashtag you use will have a lot of impact on your post’s reach. So, you want to use relevant, popular hashtags, but using ones too popular, it will be buried under thousands of generic hashtags. Try to be too niche and you will reach no one. So, it’s a fine balance.
This is exactly like choosing a keyword for your blog post. If it’s too broad, it will be hard to get noticed. Pick a long-tail keyword and you will more likely have someone who is really interested in the topic. So, being more specific helps than being general.
How Many Hashtags to Use in Each Platform?
I think now you have a good idea of which hashtags you need to use, but here is where a lot of people do it wrong.
There is common sense on each platform as to how many hashtags you should use.
“The more you throw them out there, the more they stick” type of mentality doesn’t work with hashtags.
Sometimes you see tweets with no description and nothing but hashtags, but they are doing themselves disservice because using too many hashtags will lower the reach. There is even a research that proves it.
So, these are the ideal numbers of hashtags to be used in each platform.
Seeing nothing but hashtags can make yourself look spammy and greedy, do be careful!
Marketing on social media can move the needle on your marketing efforts if you do it strategically.
As online content continues to increase, you cannot simply rely on organic traffic. There is no doubt organic traffic offers higher quality traffic, but in this day and age social media marketing is one of the marketing channels you must have in your arsenal.