According to Statista, Facebook is the most popular social network in the world, with a staggering 2.2 billion users worldwide.
That’s an audience that’s impossible to ignore for any business.
Billions of people spend their time browsing and communicating on social media every day, so the potential for companies that are able to join the conversations and become visible is basically limitless.
In fact, companies that don’t have an effective social media strategy will have a tough time trying to compete in the marketplace – 92% of small business owners agree that social media plays a vital role in their success, with the majority of them using Facebook as the primary medium for their efforts.
But making a social media strategy work is becoming more difficult every year.
With the competition as high as ever, businesses are struggling to reach their target audiences, remain in their feeds, and consistently grow the number of followers. What’s more, Facebook has been tweaking its algorithm and making it more difficult to reach audiences if the content isn’t engaging.
However, even though it may be more challenging, that doesn’t mean it’s not worth pursuing. If you know how to approach social media marketing, this year can become the year that you make your social media campaign a resounding success.
To get you started, here are a few tips that can help you maximize the chances of your social media campaigns paying off.
Start with a Solid Marketing Strategy
If you want to have any chance of making your social media campaign a success, you must do your due diligence and map out a strategy for the entire process.
The process may seem complicated, but if you break it down into manageable parts, it will become much easier to tackle. One thing to remember is that every social media platform requires a different approach, so generating leads on Instagram would not involve the same steps as attracting prospective customers using Twitter.
But even though the technical aspects may be different, most social media campaigns have the same underlying principles and milestones that need to be achieved.
The first step always involves setting clear goals that you want the campaign to accomplish. Whether it’s driving more leads to your site, growing your list of followers, or just engaging your current social media audience, your goals will dictate everything else that you do.
Once you know what you want to achieve, you need to figure out a way to track your results – social media campaigns can get costly when using paid advertising, so you need to be able to measure your performance and have a way to determine if the campaign is meeting your goals.
You should also take the time to define the audience that you want to target. Social media ad platforms allow you to reach hyper-targeted audiences, so the more information you can come up with, the better your chances of success.
Once you complete the previous steps, you will have a much better idea of how to craft the messages that have the strongest impact and allow you to achieve the best results.
When starting out, you can always study your competition to see what they’re doing and get ideas for how you can tweak your campaign as well.
Offer Something Worth People’s Time
Regularly posting content on social media can be challenging – you need to be able to come up with new ideas for engaging your audience and keep them reading and reacting.
But you can’t just post for the sake of doing it – even though it’s essential to update your social media feeds regularly, the messages should always serve a clear purpose and provide value to the reader.
To make the process easier, map out topics that you want to cover in sequential order, from the most basic problems at the beginning of the buyer’s journey, to the advanced content that’s geared towards the more advanced prospects and customers.
This way, your posts will be more organized, and each time that you’re not sure of what to post, you can just look over at your list of topics and pick one that you think’s the most appropriate.
Finally, you should always monitor how each post is performing – look at your best posts and try to understand why they did so well, but also analyze the ones that didn’t get as much engagement and look for ways how you can improve next time around.
Over time, you should be able to get a better understanding of who your audience is and use your social media posts to engage them and get them to come back for more. If you’re able to connect with your audience on social media consistently, it will become much easier to increase customer loyalty and make the most out of each new lead that you attract.
Don’t Be Afraid to Use Paid Advertising
Running ads on social media can be scary – if your campaign doesn’t work, you can burn through a lot of cash quickly with nothing to show for it.
However, paid social media ads have too much potential to ignore them altogether – if you can develop a strategy that’s profitable, you can grow your list of customers at a rapid pace.
If you know your audience well, it will be much easier to develop ads that produce results, but an often overlooked part of social media ad success is picking the right platform in the first place.
You should figure out where your audience likes to hang out online – while Facebook is often the first choice, and for a good reason, sometimes you may achieve even better results if you try other platforms such as Instagram or even Twitter if you know what your audience likes to hang out there. Even Pinterest, which may not be your first choice, can be tremendously powerful, especially if your audience consists mainly of women.
Always Include a Clear Call-to-Action
No matter how well you develop your social media campaigns, you can’t expect success if you don’t tell the prospect what to do next.
You need to be able to articulate the next steps that he needs to take clearly, or else there’s very little chance that he’ll put in the effort to figure it out on his own.
But how can you develop irresistible call-to-action for your campaigns?
Well, the first step, as mentioned before, is simply being straightforward and not trying to be too clever. You should never assume that your audience knows what to do next – you need to spell it out and leave no room for interpretation.
If they need to click somewhere, you need to tell them where to click and what they’ll find once they do.
Alternatively, if your goal is to get more email subscribers, be as transparent as possible and make your call-to-action something along the lines of “subscribe now” or “subscribe here,” and then tell them what they’ll get if they do.
Make Sure Your Website is On Point
Although you can engage your audience in countless ways on social media, it’s likely that you’ll want them to visit your site at some point as well.
Therefore, once they do, you need to ensure that your website provides the best possible experience for each prospect and guides him toward becoming a customer.
The first step of making that happen is providing a seamless experience for all of your visitors, no matter the device that they’re using. Almost 80% of all social media time is spent on mobile devices, so you should take a mobile-first approach when designing your site to provide a seamless user experience to mobile users because mobile lead generation will be a crucial part of your success.
You can also use your site to boost your social media marketing efforts as well – it’s very simple to add social media icons to your website, which will help direct some of your website traffic to your social media sites, where you can turn those visitors into followers and, eventually, customers.
Dave Schneider is the founder of LessChurn, churn reduction app. In 2012 he quit his job to travel the world and has visited over 65 countries.