Social media has grown exponentially over the past decade, and there is significant importance of social media marketing for business, regardless of industry or size. It is unfortunate, however, for a variety of reasons that a number of smaller companies do not recognise the importance of social media marketing for business. Social media enables businesses to engage and communicate with customers; build brand awareness; and ultimately drive sales.
A study by Sprout Social found that 94% of business leaders found social media to positively affect brand reputation and loyalty, reinforcing the importance of social media marketing for business. It is, however, important to develop a well-defined and achievable social media marketing strategy – this includes defining your target audience; tracking performance; and posting on a consistent basis.
So in this best practice guide to the importance of social media marketing for business, we’ll be covering how to decide upon the right platforms; how to create engaging content; the significance of interacting with your audience; and measuring the result of your social media marketing efforts. Let’s get started!
Table of Contents
Choosing the Right Social Media Channels
There is significant importance of social media marketing for business in choosing the correct social platforms because they’re all very different and will depend on a number of key factors. These include:
- Audience Demographics: For example, while the largest user base on Facebook are those aged 25-34, TikTok’s primary audience are those aged between 18-24. Or if you’re hoping to target a more professional network, LinkedIn may be the platform for your business.
- Social Media Goals: If your goal is to show off the aesthetics and visuals of your product or service, then Instagram or Pinterest may be the best social media platforms to achieve these goals. On the other hand, if you’re hoping to network with other professionals in your industry or build up a B2B customer base, LinkedIn may help you to fulfil these goals.
- Resource Availability: This is something important within social media marketing for business; think about your staff, the time you have, your budget, and your areas of skill and expertise.
- Take a look at your Competition: Analyse and review what channels your competitors are actively using – which platforms appear to work best for them and how can you adapt and differentiate based on your business goals.
- Review and Adapt: It’s important to pay attention to the built-in insights for each social media platform and focus your efforts on the ones which perform best for your business.
Create Engaging and Relevant Content
The importance of social media marketing for business relies heavily on the quality of your content. High quality, engaging and attention-grabbing content perform well on all social media platforms. Let’s take a look through the ways you can create relevant and engaging content:
- Your Audience: Create content that is relevant to your target audience; this is necessary to see the impact and importance of social media marketing for business. This will include aspects such as visuals and captions. Understand what their motivations, aspirations and pain points are and address these in your content.
- Storytelling: Storytelling is something that reinforces the importance of social media marketing for business. It’s important to adopt high-quality images, videos and infographics to capture the attention of users as they scroll through their oversaturated feeds.
- Captions: As stated before, captions are crucial. Pay attention to the language and tone you use (this should be relevant to your business and audience); use calls to action; and use attention-grabbing language to draw attention. You should also encourage audience participation – ask them questions, tell them to leave a comment, etc.
- UGC: Sharing user-generated content is a great way to show your appreciation for customers and also encourages other users to share brand-related content.
- Consistent Posting: It’s so important to develop a consistent posting strategy – we always recommend at least three posts per week to ensure your business remains in the customer’s consideration set. Another tip is to take a look at your in-app insights and see what times your followers are most active and post based on these times.
- Review Analytics: We always say this, but reviewing, analysing and optimising is crucial to see what posts are performing well and which aren’t. This way you can modify your posting strategy and create consistently engaging content that your followers enjoy.
Listen and Engage with Your Audience
The importance of social media marketing for business lies within the ability to communicate effectively with your audience. Listen to them and understand what type of content they want to see or what they want to see from your business in general such as new products or services. You can easily do this on social media through polls; analysing your in-app insights; and by simply reading comments and reviews.
Other ways that you can engage with your audience on these social media platforms include: responding to their comments (this could be as simple as a like or an emoji); host competitions to really drive engagement; create interactive content (e.g. Q&A sessions); and by hosting live sessions.
Social media platforms are a great two-way communication tool for businesses so take advantage of this by engaging and interacting with your customers and followers on these platforms.
Use Hashtags and Mentions
Hashtags and mentions are powerful tools that can help you connect with your audience; increase your visibility; and amplify your voice on social media. Hashtags allow you to categorise your content and make it easier for people to discover, while mentions allow you to directly connect with other users and spark conversations.
Hashtags are essentially keywords or phrases that you add to your social media posts to make them searchable. When you use a relevant hashtag within your social media captions, your post will appear in the search results for that hashtag, increasing the likelihood that people who perhaps aren’t even following you will see it.
Choosing effective hashtags is key though: you’ll want to use ones that are actually relevant to your posts/business/industry; use a mix of trending hashtags and niche ones; and don’t use too many hashtags.
Mentions are a way to directly connect with other users on social media. When you mention someone in your post, they will be notified and will be more likely to see and engage with your content. Some tips: mention the people you want to reach (these should be relevant to your business); respond to mentions promptly; and use mentions as a way of networking with other businesses or individuals in your industry.
Measure Your Performance with Analytics and Optimise
The importance of social media for business can be measured using in-app analytics and insights. Some key insights you’ll want to review include:
- Reach: Number of people who have seen your content.
- Engagement: Number of people who have interacted with your content.
- Followers: Have you gained or lost followers?
- Follower information: Some platforms enable you to look at your followers’ demographics; their location; and their active days and times.
All of this information can help you further define and understand your customers as well as get an idea of the content that they find most engaging and relevant. Use all of this data to optimise your content and social media marketing strategies.
Key Takeaways on The Importance of Social Media Marketing for Business
The importance of social media marketing for business is clear and it’s no longer really a choice if you want your business to thrive in the society we live in today. Social media platforms present businesses with the opportunity to communicate directly with their customers/followers; nurture relationships with them; while boosting brand awareness in a cost-effective manner.
Our best practice guide had a look at how to choose the social media platforms that best suited your business; how to create engaging content; and the importance of measuring and reviewing your social media performance.
By following this guide and focusing some of your business’ time, effort, and resources into social media marketing, it’ll help you to build communities of loyal customers and, in turn, this will hopefully lead to long term success for your business.