The future is social. But where exactly will it be? While no social media platform can last forever, there are significant marketing gains to be made by claiming your profile, advertising and using an organic strategy, and converting those users into customers in-store or online.
Social Media Marketing & Strategy
What Is “Social Media Marketing”
Social media marketing begins at home. The home page, that is.
When you think of social media marketing, you may be thinking of Facebook posts, Instagram Lives, TikToks, Google My Business updates, subreddits, LinkedIn Pulses, etc. And you’re right, those are all things you do with social media marketing.
But none of them make sense if you don’t have a solid, consistent brand and marketing strategy behind them.
Take a look at your website, particularly the home page, main service pages, and blog (I hope you have a blog). Does your brand-voice sound consistent? Are your colors and logos the same throughout? Do your images all give off the same feel, or look like they come from 12 different stock photographers?
You’ll need to have a consistent brand voice, a solid strategy, and knowledge of where your target market is spending their time in order to target them You might use organic social media marketing (such as making text, image, or video posts), or you may want to use paid social media marketing to start building your audience faster.
Let’s talk more below about what platforms your audience might be on, and what strategies you may want to use to turn your audience into paying clients.
Social Media Platform Options
As always, it’s best to do your market research and figure out what your local audience or target market is using. Start with one social media platform, and expand from there after building a following. Try to keep your posts unique in each platform so that a person has a reason to follow you on multiple platforms.
Ever the most popular social media platform with almost 2.8 billion monthly active users (MAU) as of 2021, Facebook is an easy choice to at least have a presence on for any business. Depending on your target audience, Facebook may or may not be the place you want to invest your time and treasure.
Easily the most popular video-watching website in the world, YouTube reached nearly 2.3 billion MAU in 2021. Doubling as a social media platform, this is a great place to build a channel, host branded videos, and either run video ads or just host the videos for embedding on your website or other media.
Third in line in our list is Instagram with almost 1.3 billion MAU in 2021. Instagram is great for very visually-based businesses like restaurants, boutiques, and even nonprofits or others who are out in the community.
The new quick video app TikTok reaches more than 730 million MAU in 2021. TikTok is geared toward younger audiences and rewards virality very quickly, so being well-planned but authentic is important. Being cute doesn’t hurt either, so it might be time to get an office mascot.
SnapChat and TikTok are very similar, with SnapChat reaching almost 530 million MAU in 2021. While TikTok encourages businesses to grow with virality and organic posts, SnapChat encourages the use of more traditional video ads.
Pinterest comes in with more than 450 million MAU in 2021. Pinterest serves as a unique mix of a search engine and image-based social media platform. Most of the searches are unbranded, so it can be a good way to reach new clients if your products or services are photogenic.
With 430 million MAU in 2021, Reddit is an interesting entry in the social media landscape. Without profiles tied to a real-life identity, people can get more anonymity here and ads can be harder to target. But, interest groups segment themselves more, allowing for unique opportunities to engage with hard-core interest groups in your industry.
Twitter seems to have an outsize impact on our culture, with just over 390 million MAU in 2021. Many businesses use Twitter as a form of customer service and tech support, fielding issues and complaints right on the platform.
LinkedIn is the business professional network with 310 million MAU as of 2021. You may find more luck here as a B2B business, building a personal and professional following.
YouTube competitor Vimeo comes in at a much smaller 170 million MAU in 2021, but many tech-savvy and privacy-aware customers tend to use Vimeo instead of Google’s YouTube, so you may find your audience here.
For local neighborhood restaurants, boutiques, or other local service businesses, Nextdoor may be your best bet. With 27 million MAU as of 2021, Nextdoor boasts that it has one user in nearly 33% of American households. You’ll find many users sharing information about their neighborhood here, similar to what you’d find in local Facebook groups.
Social Media Marketing Strategies
Can you recommend a social media marketing strategy for a family business?
Without knowing anything besides that you’re a family business, the social media marketing strategy we would recommend is family/community over business. Make sure you treat everyone who walks through the door – especially employees – like family, and that reputation will pay dividends especially on social media and in online reviews.
Take that further online by getting very personal, and using your own personal pages often to comment on your business posts.
Whatever you do, make sure you get the people from social media into your store or onto your website, and get their contact information so you aren’t dependent on social media forever.
Can you recommend a social media marketing strategy for multiple locations?
For multiple locations, only create multiple profiles on a single social media site if they’re going to have highly unique information. If you have a few locations in towns near each other and most of the posts are going to be the same, keep them as one social media presence.
If you have multiple locations with a widely-varied stock and different priorities/marketing strategies, then it makes sense to separate these locations on social media.
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