Everyone knows that social media is big business, it has 3.8 billion users worldwide making up 45% of the total population. With the average usage time being 3 hours per day (statistics taken from Oberlo) – the question isn’t whether you’re using social media, it’s whether you’re using it in the right way.
With the digital world firmly embedded into our daily lives, we now see a lot of articles saying ‘do you want 100,000 followers?’, ‘how to improve your growth’ and ‘is your social media plan bringing in followers?’
But do these so-called gurus really know what they’re talking about, and how do you know what will work for your agency?
Well, I’m going to strip it all back and focus on the important things you should be doing, the things you need to keep doing, and finally how to analyse the data from your social media channels and website to make it work for you.
Why use social media / what does social media achieve?
Social media provides some of the largest networks in the world, so why wouldn’t you use it to market your business? The reach of clients is global and the potential for growth on these platforms is much higher than an individual website.
Not only that, but social media is known to be the hub of social change – hot trends and infamous collaborations that can help you not only grow your business but transform a business into a content creator with multiple opportunities for a loyal customer base both internally and externally. So, the potential is endless! But the important part of understanding what Instagram, for example, can do for you is to find out what you want to get from it. Do you want brand awareness? Do you use it as a recruitment tool? Or to attract a bigger clientele? Think about what you want to achieve, then look at how social media can help you.
How to build an engaged audience
Size isn’t everything… especially when it comes to social media. What we see when a channel is underperforming is that you may have over 1000 followers, but very few likes and often no comments on posts. Some might say that you’re not using the algorithm effectively, or that you’re engaging with the wrong people – and they might be right. But the key element to why you are unable to get your audience to engage is because your content isn’t working. I’m sorry to burst your bubble, I’m sure you’re trying your best, but we see agencies time and time again achieving very small numbers when it comes to engagement. This is because the content they put out isn’t inspiring the audience they have tried so to desperately to build. There are two main principles when it comes to social media. You must entertain or educate.
People all over the world use social media, all of them using it for the vast amount of content they can consumer, as well as to connect with friends and companies. This is why content creators have made a profitable industry of their own. For your SMM (social media marketing) campaign to work, you need to look at what content performed best and build on it. Not only that, but looking for strong examples of competitor content can help you see what kind of content has worked for them. Just remember, your audience is there for you – so making sure you’re covering things they want to see is the most important element to consider when you’re creating content. Speak to your audience and find out what they want to see more of.
B2B social channel stats / usage
B2B channels can have a hard time finding the right social media platform to work with, and each platform as its pros and cons with some working better than others depending on your audience.
Articulate Marketing found that marketers find LinkedIn most effective for B2B channels. 66% of them in fact, while Facebook has only 30% singing its praise. Poor Zuck!
Instagram has two out of three marketers talking about using it to boost their organic usage, with B2B having 57% of the market share. One I’m not surprised to see making a stand in the marketing world is YouTube. Considering their launch of the stories feature in 2018, it has become a place where businesses are really driving their value marketing to the top. 56% of marketers say YouTube is important to their overall success. Video is on the rise. Articulate Marketing state that 77% of marketers said they were planning to grow their reliance on video – so it’s worth thinking about this in your content strategy.
Sharing is caring
With 75% of B2B buyers using social media to make purchasing decisions, you’ll want to ensure all the great content you produce is being seen and shared. Utilising your colleague’s professional networks is a great way to do this. However, you’ll need to make it as easy as possible for your time-poor team. I’ve found the simplest way to do this is to send round an email with ‘click to share’ links to ensure it takes people as little time as possible to share your content. The aim is to make sure that everyone in your agency is an advocate for your brand.
Should you be using paid media / advertising?
Now, this is something that is really up to you and your budget. There’s been conflicting reports on whether paid advertising is helpful to businesses – what I know to be true is that you will reach more people, but whether or not you gain anything from this is uncertain. I would say that working on more valuable content and making sure you’re providing content that works for your audience should be your first priority, but if you want to boost your reach then advertising can help. However, always look to improve your SMM plan before doing this as you could be wasting money for minimal gains.
Where is my audience?
This is a question that most agencies forget about, because it’s so painfully simple. If you know that Facebook isn’t driving any clients to your website and you’ve put time into growing it but it’s still not achieving the results you need, don’t just let it collect dust. Maybe your audience isn’t there? Or they just aren’t looking for your content on that platform because that’s not what they use it for. So, take a break from platforms that are more of a burden than offering you real value. Grow the platform that is actually bringing you the clients you need and spend more of your energy on that. Use your analytics to see where the most traffic is coming from and how that navigation process works.
Do they go to my website from my social channel?
Are all your bridges setup? Is it clear to the user where to access your website? This might sound like something that isn’t relevant to your current business timeline. If you have set everything up before, then it shouldn’t be an issue, right? Wrong! It’s easy for things to be overlooked when your team is busy acquiring new business and growing your agency. Sometimes it is as simple as the wrong link in your Instagram bio. Things will change as you grow so don’t forget to check the basic things like navigation, call to action and potential broken links. Also, make sure to look at what posts direct your clients to your website. Take a look into your social platform insights and look at posts individually to see if there’s a pattern in how your users interact with your content.
What should I change for 2021?
Possibly nothing – if it’s not broken, don’t fix it. Sometimes the best marketing strategies are the ones that don’t focus on changing everything each month, quarter or year. Remember, too much change is something users don’t want to see all the time. When posting content onto your social channels your user is going to want to see the page develop and grow. They are there for a reason. They like your brand and they like the content you already provide. So, the best thing to do is to step back, look at the analytics and see what actually works for your social channel and keep doing it. And if there’s just one type of post that’s not getting you anywhere, develop it and see where it goes. It might be that the content isn’t quite engaging with your audience because it doesn’t have the right call to action, or the copy isn’t valuable enough.
Overall, the best ways to keep the engagement high or improve on what you have is to just look at what works and what doesn’t. The secret hints and tips can only get you so far – what really stands out is consistent, creative and engaging content. So, what are you waiting for?
I’d love to know if this article has helped you with your social media strategy. Please do get in touch with us on our socials and let us know how you’re getting on – we’d love to hear from you!