So, you’re finally ready to create the marketing engine you’ve been promising yourself you’d build for a long time. You’ve seen your competitors out there promoting themselves, and you know that you’ve got to, as well. These days, for any marketing plan to be successful, a solid social media presence is an absolute must.
Think you don’t need it? Not sure which channels are right for you or exactly how to go about getting social? Let’s figure it out.
The number one reason: Nearly everyone in the United States (78%) is on some type of social media. Your customers and your prospects are social, which means you need to be, too.
Reasons number two and three? In the third quarter of 2016, Facebook had 1.18 billion daily active users worldwide. Yes, that’s billion with a “b.” And, in 2016, 191.3 million users from the United States accessed Facebook from their mobile devices or desktop computers.
Oh, and reasons four and five: As of August 2016, Facebook accounted for 42.4 percent of all social media site visits (more than YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and Yelp combined). And, 80% of Facebook users use it at least once a day, while 43% access it several times a day.
Simply put, you need to make sure your company’s online presence is solid, and Facebook, as a marketing tool, is too big to ignore.
This is an important distinction to remember when you’re working on your social media presence. You need to have a focus on search engine marketing and social media marketing, but you need to know the difference between the two.
Effective search engine marketing is focused on intent – when a user plugs a keyword into a search engine box, they typically have a very specific intent behind that query. Think of Google as the world’s largest question and answer box – you ask it questions, it scours the entire internet and gives you back, very quickly, what it believes are the best answers to that question – whether or not you posed it as a question.
Effective social media marketing is much more focused on interests. Users do not go on Facebook or Pinterest or LinkedIn looking for answers to questions. Instead, they are engaging with their interests – whether those interests are their high school friends, their favorite TV shows or bands, pictures of their grandkids, etc. They aren’t looking for the best veterinarian or dry cleaner in town when they’re on Facebook, but seeing an ad or a post might very well trigger an interest.
Social media sites may just seem like fun and games (or a waste of time, depending on who you’re talking to) but they are actually revenue generating machines. Facebook makes A LOT of money by attracting users, understanding those users, and then selling advertising to businesses that want to reach those users. In fact, social media marketing is just like traditional media (television, radio, newspapers) – but it’s:
Social media sites make money by building audiences and selling access to those audiences to advertisers and then injecting those often very subtle advertising messages into a user’s feeds and streams. That’s why knowing your ideal target client’s profile is key to building an audience of those kinds of people and then advertising to them.
Typically, when building out your target client profile, you need to start with criteria including:
Just that information alone can enable you to begin building an audience in most social media platforms that you can modify over time as your efforts expand. As you become more comfortable with your marketing program, you can refine your audience with dozens of other criteria.
If you’re ahead of the game in online marketing, you may already have an opted-in customer list that includes email addresses. With that list you can begin to build “look-alike” audiences in social media sites (especially Facebook) that closely resemble your existing customers – and then target advertising to them.
And, if you’ve built your website correctly, you can gather information from your site visitors to build additional audiences for advertising targeting websites all over the internet. Have you ever searched for something on Amazon and then seen an ad for it on a completely unrelated site? You’ve got the same capability available to you.
What social media sites have achieved is an immense aggregation of attention and eyeballs, simply by getting consumers to share information about themselves in creative ways and by connecting them with their friends and networks.
Small businesses can develop a very profitable social media marketing strategy by taking advantage of social media’s greatest value – the interests and profiles their users. To be clear, this is not “personal” or “1:1” marketing where Your Pet Vet Clinic can specifically target Ashley Smith. But what Your Pet Vet Clinic can do with social media is:
All effective marketing can be described as, “fish where they’re biting.” Building a profitable social media program is very similar to successful marketing overall. You must:
An effective social media presence is definitely a matter of quality over quantity. When it comes time to develop your strategy and think about how you’ll get the work done, consider:
If social media is something you’re trying to figure out, but you don’t know where to start or just don’t have the capacity to get all the work done, I would love the opportunity to discuss how my team can help you succeed online. Simply visit www.fortunemarketinginc.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at (501) 485-3048 to set up a FREE initial consultation to discuss how best to get your company taking advantage of the many benefits social media has to offer.
Notes / Sources:
 Edison Research; Triton Digital
 Facebook Quarterly Report
 Statista (Digital Market Outlook)
 Experian; MarketingCharts
 Pew Research Center
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