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How to Actually Make Social Media Useful for Your Business

Many brands look at social media as the be-all, end-all of their digital marketing strategy. For some businesses, it has eclipsed traditional marketing methods as well. Social media can be a great tactic to include in your marketing arsenal, but it must be integrated with other methods and used in a strategic way.

Focus on your audience

Before doing anything else, profile your audience. If you want any kind of social media marketing to be successful, you need to learn how to target and connect with your audience. Do your research to identify your target audience, what social media platforms they use, and what kind of content they prefer to see. Understanding your audience and putting in the time for research helps set up your social media plan for success. When the vitamin-enriched water company, Glaceau, conducted market research to target a specific age range that indicated they were interested in health and fitness, they grew by 28 percent in less than a year.

Conduct a social media audit

Before creating a concrete plan, audit your online presence and social accounts. There are several aspects to look at and if you want to do a thorough audit, take time to work through all of them. First, take a look at how your business shows up in search results when looking up your business name, industry, and relevant keywords. For a saturated industry or more competitive keywords, your business profiles may not show up, but that’s something you can work on or use as an opportunity to study what does show up. Second, look at your website and current profiles and any news on your company. Make sure all profiles are optimized and offer valuable information to users. Gather positive press in one place so you can reference it when necessary. Finally, study your competitors’ social profiles. Seeing how the businesses you’re competing with present themselves online gives you a good idea of what you should and shouldn’t do.

After you conduct an audit on your social media and brand, take the time to do one for your competitors too. A competitor analysis is vitally important in understanding what you’re up against as a company. You can save yourself time if you observe what your competition is doing that does and does not work for your audience and industry. Learn from others’ mistakes!

After you’ve audited your online presence, now it’s time to develop a marketing calendar. Plan a few months ahead of time and cover all your available channels. Identify overarching themes for different weeks and months and decide what works best for your business. Create relevant and engaging content in a variety of mediums – articles, images, infographics, videos, whatever makes sense for your company.

Create organic engagement

While you should schedule some aspects of your social media marketing because it frees you up to focus energy on other tasks, you need to maintain some amount of organic engagement. When followers comment on your content, respond. Follow other accounts in your industry and leave comments of your own. Organic engagement helps show a personal and genuine side of your company.

Stay consistent

Once you have a plan in place and have begun creating content, remember to stay consistent with your posting. Anything you create and share, keep it in-line with your company’s brand. Maybe you’ll occasionally go off-brand, but regularly doing so confuses people and makes it unclear what message your business is trying to send. Also, even when times get busy, do not let digital marketing fall to the wayside. If you want to see results and have it successfully bolster your other marketing efforts, you need to be consistent with posting.

If you have questions about actually making social media useful for your business, reach out to Gary Peterson today at: or call 717-823-6939.

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