It is crazy to think that just fifteen years ago Facebook was created. A college student’s dream has now turned into one of the most influential inventions in history. Facebook ushered in the age of social media, and now, social media has completely re-written the way humans interact and communicate with each other and the world around them.
Social media has become ingrained in our lives. Millions interact with it each and every day. As social media has evolved, it has been adopted into the business world. Almost every major company in the world is active on social media. Social media has proven to be an effective marketing tool as well as a communication tool.
While many businesses have adopted social media as a viable marketing tool, their efforts are often falling short. Just a few adjustments could be the difference between a trendy social media account and a ‘bleh’ account. Follow our guide to make sure that your company’s social media presence is up to date.
5 Ways To Enhance Your Social Media Marketing Efforts
1. Take Time to Learn
While social media may be trivialized by old-school marketing professionals, it is definitely a bonafide way to market a company. Social media is an ever-changing tool that cannot be easily conquered. It takes an intelligent, dedicated, creative individual to master social media marketing.
Social media professionals must be able to do graphic design, be an excellent writer, take photos, and think strategically about marketing among other things. If you want to take your company’s social media presence to the next level, it will take a lot of dedication and learning.
Try to think about yourself as a marketer. What are your weaknesses? What about your strengths? Make a list of what you excel at, and where you are lacking when it comes to social media skills.
After you create your list of strengths and weaknesses, seek out ways to improve those skills. Devote yourself to studying this skill. Luckily, in the age of the internet, you can learn new skills from the comfort of your own home. Companies like Coursera or Skillshare host thousands of classes taught by industry experts from a variety of professions. Some of our personal favorites include:
- Dynamic Brand Identity: Designing Logos that Evolve – taught by Paula Scher
- Photography Basics and Beyond: From Smartphone to DSLR Specialization – taught by Pete Glendinning
- Become a Social Media Authority – taught by us here at Marketing Sparkler!
2. Invest In the Department
While talent and knowledge go a long way when it comes to improving your social media skills, they can only take you so far. There comes a time when equipment is a factor that impacts the quality of your work.
It is extremely obvious when a company uses stock graphics and templates instead of having a graphic design team create them. Invest in Adobe Suite. It will upgrade the look and feel of your graphics and videos. If you don’t already have a decent DSLR camera, it may be worth investing in one. Some other items you may want to invest in are:
- A laptop for editing
- Hootsuite for social media scheduling
- Camera accessories (tripod, grip, lenses)
If you want your social media posts to look as good as a global brand, you need to have the correct equipment. Any average person can pick up an iPhone and take a decent picture, but that is all it will be: decent. To truly push your content to the next level, you need to pair talent, and tech.
Remember that these tools will cost a pretty. A new camera alone will be north of $1,000, but it should not stop you from exploring new equipment. Just be sure to have a budget before hand of how much you want to spend.
Not every business owner will have the capital on hand to purchase all of this expensive equipment. Your business just might need to apply for a business loan. Make sure to research the different types of lenders in the space. If you just need a loan for equipment, an alternative lender may be an option worth exploring.
3. Hire an Outside Agency
Sometimes, learning and fancy equipment can only take you so far. Some people are just more naturally talented than others when it comes to social media skills. If you feel that your business has taken the steps to improve your social media marketing and it hasn’t happened yet, an agency may be the answer.
Marketing agencies employ an array of creative minds that hone their craft and focus their energy towards helping make your brand stand out. These professionals have dedicated their lives to becoming the best artists that they can be.
Not all agencies will be the same. Some agencies will be full-service, meaning that they do everything from public relations to graphic design. Other agencies may be more niche and specialize in one concentration. There are pros and cons to each type of agency. Make sure to do your research to better understand what kind of agency is a good fit for your business.
Larger agencies are considered full-service agencies. These companies will offer an arrangement of services that businesses can pick and choose from. Full-service agencies usually cost more money than a specialized agency but are convenient if you need a lot of help across multiple departments.
Specialized agencies are smaller agencies dedicated to helping companies optimize one area of their business. These agencies typically will have more expertise in their specific space over a large scale agency. A specialized agency will usually be more involved in the day to day activities of a client.
4. Look Over Your Numbers
One of the most useful tools that each social media platform provides is the analytics tool. They are very robust and completely free to use. As a marketer, you should constantly be pulling reports and studying the correlations between certain posts.
When studying the data, be sure to go over your posts’ engagement numbers as well as their reach. Observe if video-based posts performed better than pictures or graphics. Did customers interact with polls? How about giveaways? Did men or women resonate with your posts more? Really break down this data to a minute level.
Once you study your analytics across each platform, set some goals to strive for in the coming year. Now that you have a better understanding of your average interaction with each post, you should be able to set a realistic goal. If you want, set a short-term goal to motivate your team now and then, set a long-term goal to keep their eyes on the big picture.
Whatever you decide to do with this data, it provides valuable insight into what is working and what is not working when it comes to your company’s content.
5. Establish a Social Media Strategy
Even after all the work you just put into evolving your social media presence, it still can fall short. We often think that to be successful on social media, all we need to do is produce excellent content. This is just half the battle. To be successful on social media, you must create engaging content that is timely, emotional, well-thought-out, funny, plus a million other things.
It is easy to put your social media marketing on the back burner and just post when you have time. This is the downfall of many businesses’ social media accounts. They have no plan. Having a thorough plan in place is key.
Establishing a social media plan should be approached the same way you establish any other business plans. When drafting a strategy, ask yourself a few important questions:
- What is the current state of our social media presence?
- What are our goals?
- Do we have a brand identity online and does it match our in-person identity?
- What type of content do our customers want from us?
- How often should we post?
- Do we have the resources in place to meet our goals?
Your social media plan should encompass some short-term goals as well as a longer-term goal. A short-term goal may be to have at least three posts go out this week, while a long-term goal could be to gain 5,000 followers by the end of the year. The strategy should set you up to crush your goals and ultimately optimize your social media marketing efforts.
Social media has become extremely important to brands. It is used by millions of people worldwide and is continuing to grow. As social media becomes more sophisticated, so too will the brands who use it.
Do not let your company fall behind the pack. Social media is a constantly evolving beast and it can be difficult to keep up. Remain diligent with your skills and the hard work will pay off.