Social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn are teeming with prospects. In fact, 30% of all time spent online is now on social media. As a business owner or marketer, it’s easy to see the vast opportunity to reach your audience on these sites. Yet only a small percentage of business owners who try social media marketing actually get tangible business results from their investment in this channel.

Why do so many businesses fail at social media marketing? The truth is, social campaigns fail for the same underlying reasons other marketing campaigns fail:

  • Marketing to the wrong audience
  • The offer is not enticing or appropriate for the channel
  • Content isn’t informative or persuasive 

Social media sites are free to join and free to engage on, and because the barriers to entry are so low, it’s easy for the time-pressed business owner or marketer to jump in without a clear strategy. However, this is the single biggest mistake you can make, and one that’s practically guaranteed to result in failure. The top social media marketing companies approach this channel as strategically and tactfully as with any substantial advertising investment such as radio, television, or direct mail. 

Establish a Solid Social Media Strategy

How does social media fit into your overall business mission and marketing strategy? Do you need to deepen relationships with your audience? Establish brand awareness? Will you use social media to build your email list, generate leads, or drive online sales?

To answer these questions, put yourself in the shoes of your target audience and consider how they may want to engage with your brand from a social media platform. For example, is someone going to get in the car and show up at your restaurant after seeing your ad on Facebook, or more likely click the ad and download a buy-one-get-one-free coupon that they may also share with friends?

The low-friction offer will usually work best in this channel. Remember, people generally do not log into their social media profiles to make purchases. They are looking to be entertained, be inspired, and sometimes even learn something new.

How does your brand fit into that?

Once you have decided how social media fits into your overall strategy and have established goals for the channel, it’s time to choose the tactics that will help you achieve those goals. Below you’ll find three areas: 

Generate Leads with Direct Response Campaigns 

One common goal, and the best way to generate lead, is through direct response advertising. The term “direct response” means that you are asking your audience to take a specific action, such as place a phone call, RSVP for an event, download a PDF, sign up for a webinar, or buy a product. In addition, direct response campaigns are by definition 100% measurable.

The fact that social platforms are free to join and often inexpensive to run ads on presents an opportunity to dramatically improve your marketing results if you do it the right way. Plan2Profit recently replicated a direct mail campaign on social media and reduced cost per lead for a client from $163.80 to $29.92 – a huge win for the firm.

Social media sites earn most of their revenue from advertisers, and have built some of the most sophisticated and powerful advertising platforms ever created. As a social media advertiser, you have the ability to pinpoint a very specific target audience, from standard demographic information – such as age, gender, race, income, and education – to psychographics such as interests and even online behavior. For example, you can run a targeted campaign on Facebook to married men, ages 45 to 55, who live within 10 miles of your business, earn more than $100,000 per year, and like to play golf.

When you have the right target audience for your strategically chosen offer, now all you need is great copywriting and design to make your direct response ad campaign a success.

Build Brand Awareness with Consistent Posting

You have to regularly post content on your social media page to remain at the forefront of your customers’ minds. If you don’t, your competitors certainly will. There is no single rule on the frequency of your posts, but there’s a guideline you can follow.

For Facebook, you can post once or twice a day during weekdays and once a day on weekends. If you’re more into Twitter, you can post 8 to 12 times a day, depending on where your market is. On the other hand, a post per day may be enough for Instagram.

One rule of thumb to follow in terms of frequency is discretion: Post just enough to let your customers know you are still around and what you are offering, promoting, or supporting that day or week—but, all without bombarding or belaboring them with content. Some concise frivolity or humor in your posts helps in this regard. Make it fun!

The timing of your posts also matters. Think of social media as traffic. Users come and go at particular hours, creating periods of peak traffic. You must determine the times most conducive for your message. For instance, the best time to post on Facebook is in the early afternoon, between 1-3 p.m. The best days are Thursday and Friday because many users are in the workplace, where energy and motivation start to wane during those hours and days.

Deepen Relationships and Grow Engagement with Conversation

As the name suggests, social media is for socializing. Leaving comments and questions unanswered defeats that purpose. Remember that the reason for social media pages is to interact with your customers and respond to their needs or queries. So, be conversive and try to perpetuate your conversations while avoiding the trap of idle, repetitive or petty message content.

Take engagement a step further by starting and moderating groups. This builds your authority and helps you steer the conversation in the direction you’d like it to go.

Contact Plan2Profit for Expert Help with Social Media 

Whether your goal is to generate leads, build brand awareness, or increase engagement on social media, Plan2Profit can help. As one of the top social media marketing companies, we will assess your market, make recommendations, and provide a free quote to execute your campaigns for you. There’s no cost or pressure to speak with us, and you’re bound to get some good ideas from your marketing consultant even if you choose to go in another direction.

Contact us today! 

What are the Best Times to Post on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram?, Adweek.com
Best Foot Forward: 10 Do’s and Don’ts of Social Media Branding, Business.com