How To Create A Successful Social Media Marketing Campaign

social media marketingAccording to the Pew Research Center, only about eight percent of Americans used social networking sites in 2005. Today, that number has risen to 72%, with Facebook leading the pack with more than 1.1 billion members. Predictably, businesses have realized they can use social sites to market their products to a captive and wide audience. However, creating a successful social media marketing campaign is not always a walk in the park. With that in mind, here are some great tips to get you started:

Create shareable content

People who use these sites generally love to share content including inspirational quotes, funny videos, breaking news, or sports events. In some cases, shared content can go “viral” within a relatively short period of time. A good example is the South Korean singer Psy’s video “Gangnam Style,” which garnered 1 billion views within five months. Currently, the video has had more than two billion views on YouTube. This clearly shows the power of creating shareable content. You, too, can use the same approach to reach a wider audience.

Choose the right platform

Besides creating and sharing great content, you should choose the right social platform. Currently, there are literary hundreds of social media platforms, according to Forbes contributor Drew Hendricks. As such, it would be unrealistic and impractical to target all social sties. A better approach would be to identify your audience and target them. For instance, if you run a video game company, you should upload videos onto a site such as Twitch, where millions of gamers congregate to compete or simply to showcase their skills. On the other hand, to share pictures, you should use platforms such as Instagram or Pinterest. In general, explore other options beyond the big networking sites such as Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter.

Timing

You should not post or upload content onto social sites haphazardly. Instead, schedule tweets or video posts to reach your audience when they are online. A study carried out by Buddy Media, an online-marketing firm, in 2013 found that brand interaction rates on Facebook were higher during weekends than on weekdays. In addition, posts published between 8pm and 7am achieved 14% higher interaction rates than posts published earlier in the day. This is because most people tend to visit social network after work or late at night. However, this does not work for all audiences. For example, a company that tracks prices of stocks or currencies should post content during the day when most traders are active.

Interact with consumers

Although posting content on social networking websites is a good marketing strategy, interacting with consumers is even better. The aforementioned study by Buddy Media also found out that brands that post questions on Facebook tend to have a much higher engagement rate than brands that do not post questions. Another study carried out by Twitter found that tweets that have links or request the target audience to download a file generally generate 13% more click than tweets that do not require the target audience to engage in any activity. These statistics show that it pays to interact with people who visit social networking websites. In fact, many companies now hire a professional social media manager to engage consumers on these platforms.

Use analytics

When running a social network marketing campaign, you should have a data analyst at hand to help you analyze all the relevant data. Such analysis can help you tweak a campaign to increase conversion rates, sales leads, or brand exposure. If you cannot afford to hire a data analyst, you can use open source or commercial web analytics tools such as Hootsuite, Google Analytics, Brandwatch, SproutSocial, and 33Across. The good news is most of these tools allow users to monitor the progress of their marketing campaigns across multiple websites by presenting it on one platform.

Use images

Visual marketing is all the rage for a good reason; it works. In fact, according to a study carried out by HubSpot, posts with photos generally receive 53% more likes than posts that only contain text. In addition, photo posts receive up to 84% more clicks than posts that contain text and links. Therefore, if your photography or graphics design skills are not top-notch, you should hire a professional to create visual content for your marketing campaign. However, this does not mean that you should shun text-based posts. In fact, you should find a balance between the two. The rule of thumb is to use visuals to hook consumers and a link to guide them to a website/landing page that offers more information about your company’s products or services.

In conclusion, both small and established businesses can use social media platforms to market their products/services to their target audiences. In fact, social sites reach more people than traditional media outlets such as TV, newspapers, and radio. More specifically, figures published by YouTube show that social networking sites reach more American adults between the ages of 18 and 34 than any cable network. To create a successful marketing campaign, you should use images, choose the right platform, create shareable content, as well as interact with consumers.