Social media is a powerful marketing channel. It’s a great way to market your brand, generate leads, and attract new customers.

Many of us are aware of the benefits of social media, but few do social media well. Those who do, reap the rewards. But for everyone who does social media well, there are hundreds of others on social media that aren’t getting results.

One of the most common mistakes that businesses make is to use social media to push out their content and directly sell their products and services. This approach is used on every social media network, and every network looks exactly the same. It’s not surprising that this approach doesn’t bring results. Consumers are increasingly tuning out this approach, considering it to be spam.

Social media is social, and like anything social it takes an investment of time and effort. It takes an understanding of whom you are communicating with and why you are communicating with them. It also requires active listening and responding to your audience’s needs and wants.

Here are a few tips and tricks you can use to become more effective on social media:

1. Know your target audience

The most important rule of social media is to know your audience. If you already have a business, you will have given some thought to your target audience.

You should know what they like, what they want to read about and what they will consider valuable content.

The more narrowly you can define your target market, the easier and more effective you can tailor your social media posts to suit them.

2. Start simple – focus on a few key social channels

There are so many social media networks that are available, and they’re constantly changing their algorithms or adding new features. Each network has its own audience, feel, style and way of communicating. You don’t need to be across every social media channel to effectively market through social media.

Start with one platform where your target audience is most likely to spend their time, and focus your effort on building, nurturing, and sustaining a community there before moving on to other channels. You don’t have to be on every network, just the ones where your customers are.

3. Plan out your marketing in advance

If you’ve ever experienced that head scratching moment when you ask yourself ‘what should I post on Facebook this week?’ you will understand the importance of planning ahead for your social media posts. Spend an hour each week collecting post and content ideas that are relevant to your target audience. This will keep your ideas fresh, relevant and help you plan your weekly editorial calendar.

Tip: Use a site such as Feedly to find content from across the internet. Feedly compiles news feeds from a variety of online sources, filters the best articles and organises them into a single dashboard. Whilst you don’t want to be directly copying these posts, it can give you loads of inspiration for what people want to read about and you can take these ideas and come up with your own variations.

4. Schedule your social media posts

If you’re not using social media management tools, it’s time to start. It is a small thing you can do that saves a lot of time and energy.

Hootsuite and Buffer are great services for automation of social media. It can really save you a lot of time by scheduling your posts in advance and turning the daily task into a weekly one.

Tip:While scheduling is great, you’ll still need to supplement these updates with on-the-fly content to respond to customers or post content as it happens.

5. Engage with your audience

Don’t make it all about you, your brand and your business. Involve your audience in the conversation. Make them feel included and involved. Ask them questions and ask them for advice. Engaging your audience is an effective way to convert your followers in loyal fans who will then go on to buy your products/services.

If you want to become more effective at social media marketing this week, use the methods above and you’ll be well on your way.

Have other ways to improve your social media marketing? Tweet us @agiletransition



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