For years, businesses have treated social media as just another way to talk about themselves. As a marketing tool, it was largely useless and a waste of time because they didn't get the type of results they were looking for. Of course, social media marketing is far from useless, but like every tool in your arsenal, you need to know how to use it properly or you will do more damage than good.
Naturally, when social media platforms began incorporating ways for businesses to advertise, many businesses jumped right on board without really understanding how social media advertising is different from other forms of digital advertising. Unfortunately, many businesses continued to use this to talk about themselves to no one in particular.
They paid to get in front of the platform’s audience without considering whether the platform and audience were even the right fit for their business and lost money in the process. These business owners blame the platform rather than their own lack of knowledge on how to use them.
Going into a social media campaign blindly is like standing on the roof of your building shouting about your business. Although this approach may make you feel better for a moment (because who hasn't felt the desire to go shout from the roof to let off some steam?) it is not likely to bring you customers. The same applies to social media - you can talk about yourself all day long and no one will care. People care about your social media when it involves them.
So, how can you make sure your content is perfect for your target audience on social media? Well, you are in luck because we've put together a short list of the types of tools we use to enhance our social media marketing techniques.
If you aren’t monitoring how your brand and business are represented in social media, there’s no better time to start than now. You can pay a subscription fee for a robust social listening software provide regular, automated reports based on the criteria you need to know. There are also free tools on the market that can help you keep an eye on how you are perceived online including:
Google Alerts: Google’s free software is one of the best to use when it keeps on monitoring your social media mentions. You can also add in various keywords, your competitors or trends in your industry to alert you when they are mentioned.
Mention: It works in the same way as Google alerts but in real time and offers you the option of responding to the customers from within the platform. The paid versions of this platform provide more robust features for social listening.
Social Media Management:
Automation of your social media can make your day to day much easier. You can schedule posts out in advance, plan a content strategy, and measure the effectiveness of each social campaign. Although we only list two, there are dozens that you could use for social media scheduling - even some that are for specific social media platforms.
Buffer: Buffer can let you plan your entire social media campaign from one place. You can custom schedule posts for different platforms and it also lets you to add articles and photos to your queue on the go. It also helps in shortening the links.
Hootsuite: This is one of the most popular tools since it offer many social media management capabilities free. Although the free version is limited in how many accounts you can have (3) and how many posts you can schedule in advance (30), the platform also allows you to set up RSS feeds, adjust images, find new images, find new content, and even find memes.
Do Your Research
Understanding your market is the foundation of a successful marketing strategy and constantly researching your market will help you stay ahead of your competition. Keyword research and market research go hand-in-hand. Not only are you identifying what makes your customer decide to make a purchase, you are also learning how your competition attracts the customers you want.
Buzzsumo: One of the most powerful tools to research keyword phrases; this can be used to share content that your audience is interested in. Or you can use it to find what your competitor is doing and how you can do it better.
Google trends: You can use google trends to do a broader research to find out what things are trending in your industry around the globe. This helps you in identifying changing trends and patterns.
Use Relevant Visual Content for the Medium:
Attracting customers on social media is not as easy as it sounds and you need as much help as you can get to make your content stand out. However, you can use your market research and keyword research to create visual content that catches your audiences attention.
Canva: This provides you with numerous templates to create things like info graphics, Facebook ads or a cover image. Its simple drag and drop format makes using it easy and the content is already optimized.
Meme Creation Sites: There are dozens of these sites available. They allow you to take popular pictures and add some text to create an amusing or relevant extension on your social media campaign. Memes add a bit of fun to your social media calendar, so I highly suggest using them where relevant.