Marketlend Academy: Is Social Media Marketing Worth It?
Is social media marketing like using Facebook and Twitter still worth it? That’s a question many small businesses might be asking these days, considering these trends:
Globally, Twitter is reported to have lost 1 million monthly active users in the second quarter of 2018, while Facebook is expected to lose as many as 2.2 million users by 2022. In Australia as many as 1.8 million Facebook users have reportedly deleted their accounts. All this comes in the wake of the Facebook data privacy furor, which left users wary of social media.
How should this affect your use of social media in marketing your business? It’s more challenging, but still valuable, if you are mindful of these guidelines:
Have a strategic plan
Posting on any social network without a plan or understanding of what you want to achieve will get you nowhere. Decide on your goals and think about how social media can help you achieve them. Define your audience. Otherwise you’ll never break through all the noise, or reach the users that are likely to engage with your brand. Do your research, and keep in mind that the way you need to approach social media marketing may different for each social network.
Post engaging content
Yes, it’s harder to get noticed. But you won’t be noticed at all if you don’t take the time to plan great content that stands out. The same tricks of the trade still stand. You can always pay to advertise branded posts, but this doesn’t replace looking for ways to engage directly with users while promoting your brand, or posting something that helps you make an emotional connection with your intended audience. Offer information or advice that they can’t get anywhere else. You can also run contests, promotions and other fun games that attract engagement. Using social media management systems like Hootsuite can also help with planning.
Don’t over post
Don’t add to the clutter by tweeting randomly 24 hours a day. Your audience will just tune it out. It’s more important to make fewer, more strategic posts, and to engage in a conversation. Do your research by looking at what people are discussing, find something relevant to your brand, and try to target a few smart tweets or posts into the discussion. Make sure to take the time to respond to your audience.
Evidence shows that the content that performs best on Twitter and Facebook includes visuals. In 2017, Cisco estimated that video in particular will represent 82 percent of all website traffic in 2021. That’s why it’s crucial that you look for any opportunities to include photos, videos or gifs in your posts. These are the kinds of posts that are likely to get more views, and more clicks.
Branch out but choose wisely
Considering the negative trends impacting the two juggernaut networks, it may be a good idea to branch out. If you’re not already utilizing Instagram, consider developing a marketing strategy that includes it. Instagram is growing in popularity because of its reliance on the visual. In general, it’s a good idea to go where your intended audience goes. But make sure to limit your marketing to no more than 3 networks, because trying to do everything at once can make it harder for you plan and execute the right strategy for each.
The bottom line
Don’t swear off Twitter and Facebook just yet. But understand that you may have a tougher time being noticed, so it’s doubly important to make sure that you understand your target audience, posting engaging content that appeals to this audience properly and reflects your brand. Don’t make the mistake of just posting content into a vacuum and hoping it will get noticed. Amid all the noise, give those quality users that are still there a good reason to engage with you and your brand.