“I’ve spent lots of money on social media, but it seems useless.” “It’s very complicated.” “I don’t understand how social media fits into my business.” Throughout working with many people and helping them grow their business, I’ve learned two things:
- People think social media is a miracle cure that will turnaround their business and help them achieve their million-dollar sales overnight (not true)
- People think social media is really complicated and no one will be able to do it unless you have a PhD in computer science (also not true)
This blog post will cover key questions you’ve had about social media:
- What is social media?
- What are examples of social media marketing channels?
- How social media helps in marketing?
- What is a good social media strategy?
- What is a bad social media strategy?
- An Advanced Social Media Strategy you can use
#1 What is social media?
According to Wikipedia:
“Social media are interactive computer-mediated technologies that facilitate the creation or sharing of information, ideas, career interests and other forms of expression via virtual communities and networks”
For our purpose, let’s keep things simple:
Social media comprise of two different terms coined together “social” and “media”
Social – refers to groups of people either niches or mass public
Media – refers to contents or messages that are created
Put these two together – Social media is any website or app that allows you to create and share contents, ideas or messages with other people.
The idea is anything that allows you to feel connected or in touch with other people can be considered social media.
Don’t be too hung up on the definition but just have a general idea on what to expect when someone says social media.
What are examples of social media marketing channels?
There are many types of social media out there, but some key ones include:
- Blogs – WordPress, Blogger, and Medium
- Forums – Reddit, user group forums
- Photo- sharing – Flickr, Google Photos, and Pixel
- Product service reviews – Bookreviews, Ratemyprofessor
- Social websites/app – Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Tik Tok
Some even term messaging platforms like Whatsapp as social media but we’ll leave that up to debate. The critical thing to remember is – the term is broad and covers different channels.
Many people make the mistake of assuming only household names like Facebook and Twitter deserve to be recognized as social media. But the term is big and encompasses many other things. So keep this in mind when you craft a “social media marketing” plan.
# 3 How social media helps in marketing?
Say you’re planning to launch a handmade soap store online and you’re contemplating whether to use Social Media as part of your marketing mix.
Here are examples of how social media can help your business grow:
Find new customers – typically you’ll be constricted by geography. Only customers who walk by your soap store will be able to purchase from you. But through social media, you now have the chance to reach an audience outside of your geographical proximity. Ever seen those advertisements that target you out of nowhere? Well, that’s an example of social media helping you find new customers.
Engage users – social media enables you to share contents that engage your customers. In this case, sharing videos or tips on how to make homemade soaps could help stimulate interest among your customers.
Social Listening – want to get feedback from your customers on how you’re doing? Don’t worry, at this age – you’ll be the first to know if someone hates your brand. You’ll get tagged or mentioned in social media about something. It also works if people really love your brand. So social media enables you to get direct feedback from people – some solicited, some well – brutal.
#4 What is a good social media strategy?
All good social media strategy have some common traits:
- Clear objectives
- Measurable progress
Clear objectives – having a clear goal and knowing the difference between a goal, strategy, and tactics will help you define what to do and avoid costly mistakes.
A good rule of thumb when it comes to goals is using the SMART format – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time Bound.
Many first-time business owners write their goals down for visual reminders too.
Measurable – all social media marketing in the world can’t help you if you don’t measure it. Think of it this way – how would you know which social media site helps you bring in more customers if you don’t measure it? How would you know which advertisement do you phase out or which one you double down?
All these questions can’t be answered without measurement. Lucky for us – many important software that does this are readily available AND free for us. Example includes Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager, and UTM Builders.
Sign up for it and makes sure you use it to gauge your marketing strategy progress.
Engaging content – all the clarity coupled with ruthless measurement won’t help if your contents simply aren’t engaging. A typical person browsing social media gets bombarded with tons of ads and videos. This naturally makes people pay less attention to contents.
If your contents are not unique, it won’t stand out and likely to be forgotten.
So how do you create unique content? Ask yourself how you can be more useful for your customers. If you’re selling hand soaps and you keep reading Facebook posts that say “dry hands”. Then experiment with a video or blog post on tips to keep your hands moist despite regularly using horrible sanitizers. Get the idea?
The most successful people I know always create a buyer persona to help them create remarkable contents.
#5 What is a bad social media strategy?
Bad social media strategies often have common features:
- Uses the same technique to find the same group of customers
- Assume all customers are the same
- Hope for a single-hit approach
Uses the same technique to find the same group of customers – A simple analogy is picking the low hanging fruits on a tree. Eventually, all the easy pickings are gone, and you’re left with more challenging and more complicated challenges.
In this case, customers who are likely to buy from your one single advertisement running on repeat will eventually decline to leave you to feel as if social media is no longer working.
The truth is, however, that “easy targets” are not forever, so understand that it is expected that your cost per click will increase and marketing spend will increase as Facebook starts targeting harder customers.
So remember – $5 dollar today, will not return the same number of clicks as when you first started
Assume all customers are the same – Say you have two guys who visited your website:
- Guy A – visits your website, and within seconds leaves your page
- Guy B – visits your website, watches your videos for a good 10 minutes, and clicks other pages and finally leaves
Who do you think is likely to be a customer? Hint: Guy B.
The truth is, remarketing be a giant waste of money when you don’t know how to use it. In this case, remarketing it to Guy A will not likely help you.
Facebook despite all it’s greatness does have its flaws when it comes to remarketing. It tends to equate all people that visit your website as potential clients to be remarketed – better safe than sorry I guess?
That’s why you have to explicitly pick candidates who are likely to convert and chose them for your remarketing campaigns
Hope for a single-hit approach – Imagine this – say you’re waiting in traffic and a young seller carries around a board saying “buy our pickles for $5”. If he’s only there once, and you happen to drive in the same road once – the chances of you buying is pretty low.
Let’s flip it – say every time your driving regardless of the road you select, the pickle seller is always there waiting for you to buy from him. Now, what are the chances of you buying it from him? Definitely better than your one-hit-wonder.
According to CXL, the key is being available over and over again so that you grab a piece of “attention” in the minds of your customer. Lucky for us, Facebook is the master of remarketing and now through a series of simple clicks you get to strategically place yourself in front of the same customer over and over again for just cents.
So why not use it?
#6 An advanced Social Media Strategy you can use
Keep the funnel going – As you keep targeting the same group of people, and remarket to them, you start to squeeze out potential customers and end up drying the funnel.
That’s why it’s key to always keep expanding your target audience to test which segment is likely to “bite” or leave.
A good rule of thumb is adding new targeting every month to test out. For example, if you’re a baby product seller, targeting mothers with kids might work, but eventually, you want to test out grandmothers or grandfathers who want to buy gifts for their children.
Consistently testing out and marketing to new groups will keep your funnel fresh.
Is there a limit to it? Of course – eventually, your product will reach its decline stage. The key is to keep innovating and finding new products that will help reach move audience.
The BELT Method
A way to visualize funnel is by using the BELT method to drive customers from one funnel to another.
B- Belief. Find or create contents that will help you engage your customer’s beliefs. For example, if you’re selling an ecofriendly product, videos about environments or impacts of plastic on human can be a reasonable belief signalling content.
E- Engage. Retarget the same group of people who engaged with the belief portion and this time share the benefits of your products or features that can help you win them over
L – Lead. Now that you’ve targeted their belief, and share details about your product, it’s time to offer them a sweet deal or buying nudge to let them transact with you
T – Transaction. Make things easy for them, help them directly to ensure an effortless buying from you.
So now that you’ve learned most things about social media – what are you going to do about it?