Keeping up with changing algorithm standards, posting at the right times, and ensuring your audience remains engaged are all reasons why social media marketing can be overwhelming. It seems like the trends and best practices change on a daily basis and it is exhausting to keep up.
It doesn’t help that most major platforms are focused on engagement and keeping audiences scrolling. For them, it’s more important that people are spending time on their apps than it is to improve ROI for brands. This means that if you want more followers to see your newest or most important posts, you will end up having to pay for advertising.
Since social media marketing is a mainstay for advertising, exhausted entrepreneurs need a new strategy to streamline social media marketing campaigns. There are three main keys that every marketer should adhere to in order to achieve consistent results and boost engagement without depleting all their time and energy. In this article, we’ll break down each of these keys so that you’ll be ready to create a more sustainable social media marketing strategy.
Utilize marketing automation tools
One of the best strategies for minimizing the time that you have to spend marketing on social media is to automate the process. When choosing the best marketing tool, make sure that it comes with features like advanced analytics, multi-profile management, and a content scheduler.
Analytics are vital for any marketing campaign, but especially if you have multiple business profiles across several channels. Without analytics, it’s almost impossible to draw insights from how your posts are doing and which channels are driving sales. Use in conjunction with a scheduling tool to maximize the benefits of your analytics. Scheduling your posts in advance allows you to step away from the computer every once in a while and still reach the right people at the right times of the day.
Automated tools are also great for generating leads. Most automated marketing tools will allow you to change the parameters according to your lead strategy, so use this to your advantage. Create a narrow lead focus so that you don’t become overwhelmed with data.
Don’t slack on email marketing either. There are numerous tools available to help create and send out mass marketing emails as well as automated confirmation emails. On average, 19% of emails are opened within the first hour. Social media marketing often takes center stage, but there is still much to be gained from a strong email campaign as well.
Build a loyal following
At first glance, you might be thinking that this step is easier said than done, and for the most part you would be right. However, there are some simple strategies that can be implemented to draw audiences in and turn them into loyal customers over the long term.
Before we go any further, let’s talk about the importance of customer loyalty. The rule of thumb is that it costs about five times more to acquire a new customer than to nurture a relationship with an existing customer. For small to medium-sized businesses that margin can have a huge impact on revenue.
When you build relationships with customers, not only do they become loyal to your brand, but they also can become advocates for your products as well. While word of mouth does not spread as fast as a viral social media post, its value can significantly outweigh a generalized message blasted across the internet.
Building a loyal following does involve a great deal of work to establish a community and constantly create useful and user-friendly content. For this reason, many businesses, including small businesses and sole proprietors, will outsource their social media marketing and other sales aspects. This frees up time and energy to focus on developing your products and establishing your brand.
There are many pieces that must fall into place when it comes to creating a community around your brand. Instead of hiring someone on and adding them to your payroll, you can get the same quality of work, and sometimes better, when you hire a freelancer that is dedicated to writing social media posts. For reference, you can expect to pay at least $25 an hour to hire a quality freelance writer in the United States.
Here are some areas to improve upon to focus on building up your following to cut down on your leg work in the long run:
Create quality content that is meaningful, informative, and attractive to your audiences. Spamming users’ feeds with unclear messaging four times a day will not be nearly as effective as two or three posts per week that are well designed and meet a need that your audience may have. And while you undoubtedly have an ideal customer profile in mind when creating marketing campaigns, consider that you might have a following that is made up of multiple audiences.
Use your analytics to discover what channels appeal to which audiences and go from there. Yes, this does mean that each post is going to require a little more work, however, quality content that is meant to drive engagement and boost loyalty is more effective and will make every advertising dollar and hour of labor go farther.
Customers that follow your brand want to know about upcoming products, sales, events, and other activities that your company is involved with. Keep them in the loop by creating a community (or at least a sense of community) and regularly post updates about your brand.
Establishing and nurturing a culture of connection with customers is how you keep them for life. People want to be in the know and be involved with their favorite brands. This also extends to the customer service aspect of communication. Be open about the progress of their orders and offer them extras while they wait like a newsletter filled with tips or news pertaining to your industry.
Customers notice the small details in your products, packaging, and comments that you post online. Create a brand image and stick to it. When you stay consistent, consumers know exactly what they are going to get and if they like it they will keep coming back for more. There is a caveat to this, however.
If you are consistently doing something that customers don’t like then listen to their feedback and change what they don’t like in order to meet their needs. Your customers will appreciate it and showing them that you care enough to listen to their input helps solidify their trust in your company.
Make your marketing strategy sustainable
The lifespan of a social media post is much shorter than you might think, so it’s critical to have a social media marketing strategy that is sustainable over the long term. Here are some examples of the lifespan of posts across several social media platforms:
- Instagram: 48 hours
- Twitter: 15 minutes
- Facebook: 6 hours
- TikTok & Snapchat: minutes (unless it goes viral)
As you can see, a post can fizzle out pretty quickly if it’s not backed up by a competitive marketing strategy. Sometimes the best way to sustain your marketing strategy and avoid additional costs and time expenditures is to find ways to repurpose your existing content. You can use one great social media post and expand it into a blog post, extract a quote and turn it into a tweet, or use it as inspiration for a tik tok.
You can also share user-generated content that is connected to your hashtags or hashtags that are relevant to your brand image. A simple call to action (CTA) is a time saver and engagement booster if you are in a pinch. And finally, you can always interact with your community by responding to comments or commenting on customer posts that your company is tagged in. This is a great way to forge a connection, without having to develop any creative content.
For a truly sustainable strategy, you must also consider your cybersecurity plan. A data breach can be a social media marketer’s nightmare and can be catastrophic for PR. Using a VPN is a necessity for social media marketers to protect themselves and customers when connected to public networks.
Your customers trust you with a lot of valuable information like their full names, shipping information, contact info, and credit card numbers, so it’s important that you protect it as well as any other market insights and internal business data.
As cybersecurity expert Ludovic Rembert of Privacy Canada notes, a VPN is one of the most effective measures for keeping your data encrypted when connected to public networks.
With a VPN “you’re able to securely surf the web without fear of having your identity or personal details stolen,” says Rembert. “The bottom line is a VPN hides your information from spies, hackers, snoops, and anyone else who might want to steal and monetize your information. Online privacy is a must and a VPN is the best way to incorporate privacy into your virtual world.”
A good marketing strategy can keep a company afloat for a short period of time until the leads run out or your marketer runs out of steam, but a great social media marketing strategy can sustain existing and new business through consistent engagement. Implementing a social media marketing strategy that is effective without being exhausting is totally possible with the help of freelancers, automated marketing tools, and a customer retention strategy.
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