Social Media

Social media usage is one of the most popular online activities and in 2021, 82 percent of the population in the United States had a social networking profile, representing a two percent increase from the 80 percent usage reach in the previous year.

Social Media Marketing

What is Social Media Marketing?

Social media marketing is the use of social media platforms to connect with new customers, engage with existing customers, and increase brand awareness in an effort to promote your business. It consists of creating custom content tailored to the platform you are on and the audience you are marketing to.
Social media marketing is all about connecting with your audience on a personal level. While social media marketing can be incredibly valuable to your business, you have to understand how to translate your business goals into the social media sphere.

The Five Core Elements of Social Media Marketing

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Strategy

Before posting content, it is important to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. The foundation of a strong social media presence is creating a social media strategy. Not only will a strategy give you a consistent direction, but it will also save time and resources by allowing for clearer course corrections.
A good place to start is by figuring out your goals and how they can be translated into your social media presence. Are you trying to grow your brand awareness? Or maybe you want to see an increase in sales? Whatever your goals may be, you can approach them using the S.M.A.R.T. method to keep the process realistic.
Your goals should be:

Who to Target on Social Media?

Creating a buyer persona, or a representation of your ideal customer will help you decide what platforms you want to focus on. For example, if your target audience is people under the age of 18, you’ll want to focus your resources on TikTok and Instagram.
Some factors to consider when identifying your target audience:
What type of content do you want to publish? This should be tailored to your target audience and the platform you are sharing the content on. Is it educational, inspirational, or both? It is recommended to share a variety of content, such as videos, pictures, and text. You should create content and messages that will get your audience’s attention to make your brand familiar and memorable. Audience members that build trust and familiarity with your content will be more likely to follow your calls to action.

Planning & Posting

Consistency is the key to any successful social media marketing campaign. There are currently close to 4 billion people using social media. In order for your brand to reach potential new customers, you have to be consistently present on your social media accounts.
Planning your content ahead of time will help you keep on schedule and ensure you’re posting quality content. This also gives you the chance to brainstorm your captions, which is a great tool to boost your engagement. But, just posting content isn’t enough. You have to make sure you are publishing content your audience likes at the right time and frequency.
There are many social media management tools that will track your analytics in order to optimize your strategy to encourage engagement. If you don’t have access to these tools, you can post at different times of the day to see which posts get the most engagement. This is also good when figuring out what content your audience likes best.

Engagement

Engagement is a way to measure how people are interacting with your content and accounts. It can be anything from likes, favorites, shares, retweets, comments, or DMs. Every platform has a different set of indicators that measure engagement.
Engagement has become one of the most important factors in boosting your social media reach. Social media algorithms like to share content that has a lot of user interaction. For example, Instagram now values saving and sharing a post over comments and comments over likes.
As your brand’s reach on these platforms continues to grow, so will the conversations surrounding your brand. You’ll want to monitor these and make sure you are engaging with both the positive and the negative.
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Analytics

Keeping track of your social media analytics is important, as it indicates how your content is performing. The metrics of individual posts will give you small insights into what kind of content is worth investing in, but monitoring the performance of account metrics over time will indicate the success of your strategy. Most social media platforms offer access to a basic level of this information. To get more in-depth and detailed analytics, you can use a variety of social media analytics tools or create a spreadsheet to keep track of your growth from month to month.

The Benefits of Social Media Advertising

Social media advertising is an effective tool to reach a new target audience fast, as well as to retarget your returning customers.
There are many different types of content you can use for your advertising such as pictures, videos, carousel posts, stories, etc. Similar to your organic posts, this type of content should be tailored to the platform you are on and your target audience.

Targeting

These platforms collect and monitor user data. This is typically both their behaviors and interests. This data can be used by advertisers to create detailed campaigns, which allows them to only target higher-quality leads.

Awareness

Social media advertising is a great way to increase your brand’s awareness. The “hierarchy of effects” model has been used to explain the process a customer goes through before purchasing a product. Social media advertising addresses the cognitive and affective stages in the process.

Hierarchy of Effects

Cognitive – awareness and knowledge
Affective – liking the product/service and preference
Conative – conviction and purchase

Measurability

Every impression from a social media ad can be recorded and tracked. These behaviors and characteristics are recorded and are used to represent connections from your content delivery to its outcome.
With so much data being collected, it is important for you to be able to decipher what is important for your campaign. Make your campaign too specific and you’ll miss out on potential buyers, but make it too vague and you are wasting money on people who aren’t interested in your product.

Flexibility

An advertiser has complete control over the implementation (budget, time span, targeting, and creative) of a campaign. They have the flexibility to test, learn, and adjust these metrics at any time in order to optimize the campaign. No campaign will be perfect at launch. How you will react to different results should be included in your initial strategy.
Social media advertising is beneficial no matter the size of your business because it has scalability. Small businesses that start by targeting a local audience will likely have a smaller budget. As they grow, increasing their budget to target more people will be dictated by the business’s capacity for growth.

Triggers Action

Social media advertising is not only great for building awareness but also for also triggering desired actions from your audience. Instead of just likes or follows, you can create a call-to-action that directs them to your website or landing page. Now, social media advertising can even feed the customer right into the conative phase by allowing them to purchase directly from social media.

Social Media Marketing and Management with Second Nature

As you can see, the inclusion of social media in your marketing strategy can be equally fruitful and complex. The right partner to help leverage the possibilities social media has to offer will depend entirely on what a business is attempting to achieve. At Second Nature, we take a hands-on, tailored approach to each client’s social media presence. We understand that a large portion of a social presence rests in the hands of the client. That is why we divide our Client Social Strategy into two parts: consultation and collaboration.

Consultation

Understanding the potential and best practices of each social media platform are seldom listed under the skills of business owners. We start each partnership with an educational portion to discuss the client’s options and what they can expect from each. A single doctor veterinary practice in a small town will, and should, have a different approach than a multi-practice conglomerate that services a large county. After goals are established, we can decide how to implement a strategy.
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