When it comes to marketing your brand and raising awareness among your client base, online marketing is one of the best moves you can make. As any qualified Toronto SEO expert will tell you, tools like SEO and social media marketing are great for reaching a wide audience. With their help, you’re much better placed to reach more people and ensure regular growth.
However, like any other tool, it pays to know what you’re doing. To make the most of the tools you use it’s a good idea to know their ins and outs first. In the case of social media, it’s possible to encounter some pitfalls if you aren’t sure about what you’re doing. To help you navigate social media marketing, take note of these pointers to give you a hand when reaching out to a wider audience.
1. It’s not a shortcut
A common adage in social media marketing is that it’s a marathon, not a sprint. It takes time and effort to build a dedicated and authentic following, to get to know your audience and what kind of content they like. Success is ultimately the product of research and hard work.
Some people have the idea that they can create content that’s guaranteed to go viral. The truth is that it’s almost impossible to control whether or not your content goes viral; it either does or it doesn’t. What you can control is your approach to social media marketing. Commit yourself to posting consistently, creating fresh and interesting content, and engaging with your audience. It might take some time and effort, but it’s all part of the marathon.
2. Social media is social
One mistake many companies make is forgetting the “social” aspect of social media. Social media isn’t a billboard, it’s a forum. Platforms like Facebook and Twitter are places for people (and brands) to communicate and build connections. Forging connections with your customers is the key to long-term relationships and sales.
One advantage of community building is that it’s free. You don’t need a large budget to win over followers; all it takes is time. Set aside maybe 10 or 15 minutes every day to engage with your audience. Leave some comments, like some photos, and share some content. Not only is it a great way to grow a digital footprint, but it also lets your viewers know they’re being heard. Digital marketing is all about building a personal relationship with your customers, and taking the time to talk to them is one of the best ways to do just that.
3. Bigger isn’t always better
A common misconception for some businesses is that a bigger following is ideal, usually when compared to the competition. However, the size of your following isn’t always indicative of success. Too large a following may not have come about organically, and so retaining those followers is questionable. Rather than aim for a large following, aim for a reasonably-sized following that engages with you and is easier to communicate with. For example, instead of aiming for 50,000 followers, aim for maybe 5,000 followers who commit to engaging with you and can be converted into paying customers.
Keep in mind that everyone defines success differently; it’s not always about having more followers. Keep your long-term goal in mind, and set up your short-term goals as milestones to reach it. Stay focused on what you’re doing, and whether those short-term goals are serving the larger one.
4. The landscape changes very quickly
One thing to note about social media is that the landscape changes quickly, more quickly than many realize. Aside from regular updates to different platforms, there are also factors in the back end that not everyone is aware of, like algorithm changes or product offers ending. To make the most of your social media marketing, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on these changes to ensure better outcomes for your business.
Trending topics are a great way to engage with followers, increase your audience reach, and position your brand as a leader. However, it’s usually best to stick to topics that are relevant to the brand. As a rule of thumb, if you’re going to say something, it’s best to make sure you’re informed about the issue to avoid a faux pas.
5. You’re writing for an audience
When it comes to your content, it helps to remember that you’re writing for actual people. Your content provides an additional service for your viewers, above and beyond your regular services. It’s a chance to inform and educate your viewers, giving you a chance to share what you know.
One thing many companies do is create how-to guides and offer simple fixes for users at home. For example, if you offer counselling in Windsor, Ontario, you could create simple guides for managing anxiety or depression. This is a golden opportunity to make yourself useful to your readers, building trust and goodwill with potential customers. Building this trust is a reliable long-term strategy. Not only are you converting visitors into customers, but you’re turning them into repeat customers at the same time.
Some business owners on social media consider content creation giving away things for free. However, sharing your expertise is key to building trust. The more your customers trust you, the more they’ll be sure you know what you’re talking about. Online marketing is all about creating trust with your audience, so keep in mind who you make this content for.
6. Deliver on what you offer
Honesty really is the best policy, especially when it comes to promising your audience things in your marketing. The trick to successful online marketing is being sincere when engaging with your customers. Tricks like alluding to business opportunities but not elaborating aren’t ideal. You’ll get much better results offering your audience concrete content they can actually use. Useful content like how-to guides are always appreciated and are a great way to offer your clients some utility. Providing useful content is a good rule of thumb, so keep it in mind when thinking about your latest releases.
7. Sharing the spotlight helps too
There’s more to good social media marketing than offering good content. You can als shine the spotlight on others and raise awareness with your community. For example, you can share video interviews of people in similar fields to yours on YouTube. Viewers appreciate you doing a good turn for other producers, which can gain you some favour with your audience (and also your guests). Think of it as a way to show you care about others in your field and that you’re willing to share some exposure. Besides, it’s a great way to build some links in your niche and encourage more cooperation with related producers.
Sharing the spotlight is also a way to offer some fresh content to your viewers, particularly if you step out of your comfort zone. Collaboration with other producers is a chance to offer another point of view and give your audience something to think about. Fresh content is always appreciated, and it’s another way to give your viewers more utility.
Social media marketing is a powerful tool, but there are some things to be aware of before you start using it. Keep these insights in mind to give your social media marketing the edge it needs to help you stand out. To give your marketing an edge, you may also consider finding a Toronto SEO consultant to assist with strengthening your online presence.
And remember, engaging with your community is a two-way street. Your content is there to start a conversation; it takes some effort, but if you take the time to communicate, you’ll see results.
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