Social media used to be the king of free advertising options. Back then, the question wasn’t “why” you should be on social…it was “why not?”
Things have changed. Brands are bringing their A-game online, so you may need to spend a fair amount of time building a great presence to get on their level. Moreover, true advertising value on Facebook and other social media websites comes with a price tag. The question you need to ask yourself is whether that price tag is going to make a difference for your business goals.
In Chapter 4 of our “No-BS Guide to Digital Marketing on a Budget,” you’ll find the answers to questions like:
- Do I need to be on Facebook?
- What other social media platforms are a good idea?
- What goals can social media marketing help me achieve?
- How can I save money on social media marketing costs?
Do I need to be on Facebook?
When choosing which social networks are worth using to advertise your business, the first question you should ask is: Where are my prospective customers hanging out online?
Chances are, at least one of the answers to that question will be “Facebook.” The demographic data speaks for itself:
With 2 billion active users worldwide, almost everyone will find their target audience on Facebook. Creating a profile is free, while their paid advertising options are affordable with great targeting. There are still some businesses who might not benefit from Facebook advertising, however, so be sure to review who you are and what you are looking for before jumping into anything.
What other social media platforms are a good idea?
Twitter is a good idea for:
- B2B businesses – many established companies have Twitter accounts
- Companies with a high number of customer service inquiries. Twitter thrives on interactivity, making it a good platform to open up a dialog with people who may need technical help or want to set-up a sales meeting.
- Businesses with lots to share – successful users tweet 5-6 times per day, so consider whether you can keep up with that kind of content creation.
Instagram is a good idea for:
- Businesses which are highly visual – design companies, florists, tourism destinations and so on.
- Businesses which want to connect with a younger audience
- Businesses with a mobile-optimized web presence
Pinterest is a good idea for:
- Businesses who want to drive web traffic – Pinterest is a great referral tool and operates more as a visual search engine than a true “social network”
- Businesses which are highly visual and want to attract “impulse buys” from online shoppers
- Those whose target market is women – according to eMarketer, women account for 85% of Pinterest users
LinkedIn is a good idea for:
- B2B businesses and professionals
- Those looking to target professionals in a certain industry or geographic area
- Businesses with content that would interest their target market professionally, such as industry research, job postings, or enterprise solutions
What goals can social media marketing help me achieve?
Before jumping into social media marketing, you should always establish goals. Are you heading online for more brand recognition? Are you trying to grow your influence, drive people to your website, or target individuals who could become customers?
The answer to these questions will help you decide which platforms to use, your strategy in using them, and how you will measure success. One advantage of digital marketing is the access to highly advanced analytics. These can be used to better understand the progress of your campaigns.
Social media marketing can help you reach any goal you would set with traditional marketing – in essence, it is just another platform like radio or television was. The only difference is, you get to create your own channel.
How can I save money on social media marketing costs?
Creating and posting content, engaging with followers, and running ad campaigns on social media is pretty much a full-time job.
There are a few options to handle this:
- You can make the time to do it ALL yourself
- You can hire an employee or freelancer
- You can bring a digital marketing agency on board
- You can automate some tasks to make it less time consuming
Running social media in-house with the help of affordable automation (hey, that’s what we do!) is often the most affordable option. However, if your business starts growing, it might be a good idea to call in some back-up to create content and keep an eye on followers.