Organic vs. Paid Social Media

Young people sitting on stairs using smartphones for organic and paid social media

Weighing up the options between paid and organic social media? Not sure where to start? We’ll save you some legwork: you’ll find everything you need to know in this expert guide.

As a digital marketing apprentice, social media implementation is crucial. For instance, you’ll need to show that you have a variety of skills and the ability to run digital campaigns across different social media platforms. In this guide we’ve outlined the main differences between organic and paid social media, as well as including some examples to help you understand better. We’ve also chucked in some useful links to help get you started to becoming a social media wizard!

The key to social media is being social

Eli Fennell

What is Organic Social Media?

Organic social media refers to the free content that all users, including business and brands, share with each other on feeds. For example, this could include posts, photos, videos, memes and stories.

As a brand, when you post organically to your account, you can expect that people who see it are:

  • A percentage of your followers (also known as organic reach)
  • Your follower’s followers
  • People following any hashtags you use

Brands use organic social to:

  • Establish their personality and voice
  • Build relationships through informative, entertaining or inspiring content
  • Engage customers at every stage of the customer life cycle journey

Example of typical organic content from a business:

Pantone leveraging user-generated content

Pantone excels at the strategic use of user-generated content to build a stunning feed. For example, the brand uses aesthetically pleasing, high quality content to grab the audiences attention. Additionally, the short, punny copy doesn’t detract from the image.

What is Paid Social Media?

Paid social media involves brands paying money to social networks such as Facebook and Instagram to have their content shared with specific audiences. Paid social posts will show up in the feeds of whichever audience you decide to target and can be filtered by demographics, likes, interests and more.

Cost-per-click (CPC) is one of the most common methods of charging for this type of promotion.

Businesses and organisations use paid promotion on social media to:

  • Raise brand awareness and attract new followers
  • Promote new deals, content, events
  • Generate leads
  • Drive conversions

Example of typical paid content from a business:

example of paid social media
Moz stands out with colourful ad creative

Similarly to the the organic social example, Moz uses bright colours to stand out in the audience’s feed. It grabs the reader’s attention with bold colour choices. However, this ad is targeted to people who like marketing and marketing agencies, so a case study link makes sense here. Moreover, the strong, minimal copy gets the point across quickly and efficiently.

While paid social and organic social vary in their scope it is useful to know the benefits and drawbacks of each.

The verdict on Organic vs. Paid Social Media

Both organic and paid social media suit different businesses with different priorities in different situations. If your business doesn’t have the budget to implement a paid social media strategy, then try focusing on organic social media. Write thoughtful content and actively engage with your customers online. However, if your business has a sizeable marketing budget, prioritise your paid social media efforts to immediately spread brand awareness and draw specific audiences to your profile.

Ideally, you will be able to find a way to incorporate both methods into your overall social media strategy to improve your online presence. To take your social media marketing skills to the next level, take a look at more of our digital marketing blogs to become a social media pro!

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5 Reasons to implement social media into your marketing strategy

Social Media Marketing Overview

Social media is growing by the day. With over 45 million active social media users in the UK, there is a whole market waiting for you to tap into. Marketing your products and services through social media is a simple and free way to raise awareness for your business. Express yourself with the complete creative freedom to show your audience more about your mission statement, core values and culture. Social media marketing enables you to grow brand awareness, provides customer interaction and increases traffic to your site. Read on to find out our five reasons for implementing social media into your marketing strategy.

  1. Grow Brand Awareness
  2. Engage With Customers
  3. Cost-Effective
  4. Market Awareness
  5. Increase Site Traffic
Image displaying different social media platforms used for social media marketing.

1. Grow Brand Awareness

Brand visibility is an integral part of any marketing strategy. Social media offers a way to increase your brand awareness across an array of platforms, connecting you to new audiences and potential customers. Given the vast quantity of users, adding social media to your marketing mix is a must.

Being seen regularly by customers can help build their trust which, if done consistently can lead to repeat purchases and visits to your site.

It’s important that when a new customer visits your site for the first time, they can see that the brand is reputable. Seeing your presence and legitimate following on social media will help… offer a level of validity that can lead to potential customers putting their trust in you and potential relationships being created.

2. Engage With Customers

The more you communicate with your audience, the higher chance you have of converting them into a customer and building customer loyalty.

Replying to comments left by your audience is key to retaining followers. Making sure you respond in the correct tone and manner, whilst also being prompt, will show customers you care. Thankfully you can answer any problems almost instantaneously through social media. As easy as it may be to reply to general queries, you must also respond to negative feedback in the same manner aforementioned. Providing insightful responses can even help to show other members of your audience that perhaps the negative comment may not be an accurate representation of your brand.

Some of the best platforms to engage with customers are:

  1. LinkedIn
  2. Twitter
  3. Facebook
  4. YouTube
  5. Instagram

While responding to comments may be time-consuming, it is certainly worth it. Growing relationships can help build customer loyalty. A direct impact of customer loyalty may be customers recommending you to their peers.

3. Cost-Effective

Social media marketing is perhaps the most cost-effective method of advertising. The reason being is that it can be completely free to create an account on the most popular platforms such as LinkedIn and Twitter.

If you do decide to pay for ads/promotion it is extraordinarily cheaper than alternatives such as magazines, mailshots and radio. In today’s society, it is also a more popular medium than the other alternatives mentioned. Do you sacrifice the quality of the results? The answer is no, social media advertising still offers the same level of awareness and engagement which further verifies that social media marketing is a must for your marketing mix.

One drawback is the time you will have to dedicate to creating content. Engaging and insightful content isn’t easy to produce and can take up a lot of resources, however, the return-on-investment social media marketing provides shows that this is time well spent.  

4. Market Awareness

As a business, it’s important to understand the needs and wants of your customers. Social media provides a way to monitor this. By monitoring the content your customers are engaging with you can see what interests them. This might have never been seen without having a social media presence, making social media marketing an extremely useful research tool.

Not only can you monitor customers, but you can also monitor the activity of competitors. You can use competitors to see what content and products are popular with similar audiences. You can find out if a competitor is using different keywords to you and if they’re taking advantage of these keywords and hashtags then you now have a chance to see which are performing well and in turn implement them for your own business.

Run polls and ask questions to find out more about your customers’ needs. Spark up conversations with customers. Find out their wants directly and you may even have a chance to reply imminently to any feedback they offer, ensuring they aren’t left feeling confused or helpless.  

5. Increase Site Traffic

Perhaps the best reason for implementing social media into your marketing mix is the countless opportunities for driving traffic to your site. Posting about products and services and linking back to your site is a great way to do this. The more engaging the content you post is, the better the interaction you’re likely to receive.

Post about your blogs, products and services through different social media platforms and link back to your site so any engagement with the post leads back to you. The level of engagement determines the amount of traffic to your site where you can then promote further products and services.

Using engaging content such as polls and videos can increase the likelihood of a post being read, shared and engaged with. If your content gets shared with new audiences then there will be even more awareness for your posts which in turn will increase the number of potential visitors your site gets.

Conclusion

Social media is rapidly becoming more popular and opportunities to grow brand awareness will only keep on coming. Remember your competitors are already increasing the value of their brands through social media marketing and interacting with audiences that you are missing out on. The sooner you implement social media into your marketing mix, the faster you will see the results reflected in your brand.

Check out some other Digital Apprenticeships blogs here.

Must Do’s when creating Social Media Strategies

Blog post of Must Do’s when creating Social Media Strategies – Tips for L3 Digital Marketer Apprentices

Tips for L3 Digital Marketer Apprentices

A social media strategy is a plan of action for using your social media platforms as a marketing tool. As a Level 3 Digital Marketing apprentice, being able to create and implement social media strategies is a key factor.

The objectives of any strategy are to increase brand awareness, build brand recognition and create brand loyalty.

The 4 Ps of the Marketing Mix on Social Media

Social media marketing strategies are typically executed by the following four P’s:

  • Product: What is being sold? Is it a product, service, idea or information?
  • Place: Where should it be sold? Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn?
  • Promotion: How should it be promoted on the platform? E.g. sponsored posts or ads on Instagram
  • Patience: How long will it take before reach goals are met?

Do’s and Don’ts of Social Media Marketing Strategies

We have gathered a guide listing the best practices, and things to do and to avoid when it comes to social media marketing strategies.

Social media marketing, when done right, can be a powerful tool. But many companies make mistakes in their approach to it. This section explores the common mistakes made by companies when they use social media in their campaigns and how to avoid these things when starting a campaign of your own.

Must Do’s of Social Media Marketing for businesses:

1) Have complete and updated profiles and pages on each platform. The saying “first impressions are everything” certainly rings true on the Internet. People might be meeting the company for the first time via these social media accounts and it’s vital that you depict the company in a positive way from the very start. If you want people to trust what you’re advertising, make sure your profiles are fully-fledged (completed), professional looking and that you upload high quality profile and cover pictures.

2) Post regularly. Make sure to engage with your community at least once or twice a week. Post too sparsely and you risk missing opportunities to drive awareness of your brand, but post too frequently and you might annoy your followers instead!

3) Nurture your followers by interacting with them. It’s important to show your audience that you’re active in social media. Not only active posting content, but also active listening to them, and caring for them. 1-2-1 genuine interactions can increase not only the engagement rate on your posts, but also the number of shares and even reach.

4) Post original content. The content you post must always be owned by you/your company. Not only that, but if it’s too similar and many ways to other content from competitors and other accounts, apart from plagiarism and copyright issues, you will be facing a bored audience who will lose trust. The reason for many people to follow an account is to see what original content they share.

5) Create a content calendar. This will save you tons of time and headaches. You can either use your own spreadsheets, or some more sophisticated ones, such as this HubSpot’s Downloadable Template for Excel.

Things to avoid on Social Media Marketing for businesses:

1) Using automated tools that promote your content and grow your audience. It’s tempting to use tools that do this for you but the problem is that the followers they create for you are not interested in what you have to say and will unfollow after a few days.

2) Posting irrelevant content. Always try to post content on social media platforms which are relevant to your business or industry. If your company is an app development company, don’t talk about how much weight people lost over the past year!

3) Posting uninspiring content without any call-to-action. Often times, marketers just post an image or video without explaining what they want their audience members to do.

Conclusion: Keep the Basics in Mind

As a Level 3 Digital Marketer apprentice, you will find yourself working on social media marketing strategies many times throughout your journey.

It’s important you always keep some basic guidelines in mind, and stick to them, breaking them only when you know it will work. The rules are made to be broken, but only with a study and research behind, that supports those decisions. Ideally, you should stick to the best practices, which have been proven to work.

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Top 5 tips for effective social media marketing

Social media is quickly becoming one of the most important aspects of digital marketing. It provides the most incredible benefits that help reach millions of customers worldwide. If you are not utilising social media in your digital marketing strategy, you are missing out on an incredible marketing opportunity. Below I have written up my top 5 tips for effective social media marketing.

Start with a clear social media strategy

Creating a well thought out plan is the key to a social media presence that is consistent and effective across all platforms.

A helpful way to structure your plan is by using a clear marketing framework.

I have provided a quick but helpful guide to ensure your social media has a clear direction:

Situation Analysis: where are we?

Objectives: where do we want to be? (e.g. gain followers, improve engagement, customer service, post frequency/quality) – make sure these are SMART objectives.

Strategy: how can we get there? (Consider insights on your current audiences and content formats)

Tactics: which tactics do we need to use? (e.g. which social networks to use, post frequency, content themes)

Actions: how will tactics be carried out and who will be involved? (Consider things like staff abilities/time, outsourcing, internal systems and processes, etc).Control: how will we know we’ve got there? (KPIs, analytics, customer feedback/surveys, reports, who monitors results?)

Know your audience

You can’t post relevant content if you don’t know who you’re posting it for. Make sure you learn about your audiences. This could be through market research, social insights, or social media listening/monitoring. Create audience profiles by defining exactly who your target customer is and make sure you include the four main principles; segmentation, messaging, engagement and measurement.

Have a read of article for more details on audience profiling.

Keep your brand image consistant

Your brand should always be reflected in the right way across every social media platform. It’s important that these themes link with your overall branding strategy – including your website. In addition to visual aspects, make sure to also includes things like tone, messaging and values.

Post Helpful and Valuable Content that fits in with business objectives

Make sure that your social media posts are meaningful and not posted for the sake of it.

When you’re creating social media posts or thinking up campaigns, ask yourself – ‘how will it help the business?’ and ‘how will it help the viewer?’ If you can’t answer either of these questions, maybe you need to rethink your social media strategy!

Examples of objectives that could be achieved with social media are:

  • Increase in engagement – shares/likes/clicks/replies
  • Increased customer satisfaction/service
  • More purchases of your product or service
  • More visits to your website
  • Increased followers
  • Brand awareness – how far is your message spreading?

Monitor your results

When you monitor your campaigns, keep the focus more on just likes. There are many other useful things to gain from social networks. This includes community engagement, customer service and sharing valuable tips and information about your service or product.

Once you know the types of metrics you need to measure, find a suitable tool to do so. Many scheduling tools and social media channels provide their own form of tracking, or it’s possible to explore using third party avenues or building your own APIs.

Overall, it’s important to keep up to date with social media trends, features and algorithms that social networks are always throwing at us. Make sure you are making the most of new trends and try out some new platforms to increase reach. This will be key to an effective and (hopefully) rewarding experience with social media marketing.

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The top 10 dos and don’ts of using social media for your business

using social media platforms for business

A lack of social media usually rings alarm bells when looking for a business. However, having a social media presence is crucial for today’s consumers and can be overwhelming for those just starting out. But simply having a social media presence is not enough; you need to know how to use it properly.

We have compiled a list of top 10 dos and don’ts to help you avoid common mistakes when using social media platforms.

Dos

Do – Set clear goals and objectives

If you a wanting a strong return on investment using social media activities, you need to start by setting clear goals and objectives. You could do this by setting your KPI’s, prioritize your goals, review your goals with the team or make your goals SMART. Your goals can be anything from building brand awareness to improving customer experience.

Without setting clear goals and objectives, you will never understand any tangible effects your social media activity has and even worse, you won’t be able to prove it.

Do – Analyse and track activity

Once you have set your goals and objectives clearly, you should have an established system for analysing and tracking your activity and results. To help you do this, you could use social media management platforms including Hootsuite and google analytics and even the built-in analytics tools in all social media platforms. When using these tools, it will give you an insight to your engagement, referral traffic, assisted conversions and revenue, plus many more.

Most of these social media management platforms offer a free trial period but it would be a worthwhile investment to purchase the packages they have to offer as they will provide more analytics and data that would be relevant to your goals and objectives.

Analysing and tracking activity on your social media pages are crucial as you will get to pinpoint any failures and guide future campaigns.

Do – Keep your branding consistent

One of the most common mistakes that businesses make is visual inconsistencies with branding across social media platforms. potential customers may become confused if they search for your business Facebook page and find your page with a different logo and colour scheme when they already know your brand. This will likely chase your customers away as they might assume they have got the wrong page, or they assume you don’t have one.

It’s important to keep in mind that you maintain your brand consistency throughout all your social media channels including logos, names, and colours as well as images you may share to your followers.

Do – Share valuable content

There are two reasons why you should always share valuable content:

  1. Sharing useful and interesting content is the only way to keep your customers engaged and coming back for more. If you post meaningless, boring, and poor-quality posts, you will start to lose traction and your followers will drop rapidly.
  2. Your chances of achieving a strong return on investment will be greatly improved by sharing valuable content that is relevant to your business:

Good quality content = clicks = conversions = revenue

Do – Make good use of social media advertising and promoted content

There are two main ways to use social media for business: organic, which is free to use, and paid. Paying a few pounds monthly can significantly boost the reach of your social media posts and content and can be used to target the right people at the right times in the right places. Additionally, if your posts contain a clear call to action, paid social media advertising will give more exposure which will drive your conversions and revenue for your business.

Do – Keep your messaging consistant

If you have just started using social media for your business and your managing multiple channels it can be easy for you to stray away from your tone of voice and messaging. You need to ensure that your overall brand messaging and tone of voice is as consistent as possible throughout all your channels so that your customer won’t get confused.

jigsaw of different ways of using social media
A jigsaw of different uses of social media

That’s all for the do’s but what about the don’ts…

Don’t – Overdo it

Overdoing it on posting on social media is just as harmful as posting to little. 46% of social media users unfollow brands that post way too many promotional messages on their profiles, which means you need to restrict how often you post per day:

  • Facebook & LinkedIn: 1 post per day
  • Twitter: 15 tweets per day
  • Instagram: 1-2 posts per day
  • Pinterest: 11 pins per day

Don’t – Use engagement bait tactics

“LIKE AND SHARE THIS POST TO WIN £££” is way to familiar when logging into Facebook. This type of engagement bait is currently being cracked down by Facebook as users are complaining that they are ‘spam’ posts. If you are thinking of using this type of engagement bait, don’t! as this will significantly reduce your reach and impact negatively on the return on investment of any future social media efforts.

Don’t – Use all social media platforms for the sake of it

Many social media platforms have a slightly different purpose and user base, so not all platforms are necessarily going to suit your business type, ethos or objectives. You should always avoid setting up profiles across all channels as this could dilute your brand and do more harm than good.

Don’t – Get hung up on numbers

Finally, don’t get fixated on numbers when it comes to your business social media profiles. While having many followers are certainly important, its not the end of the world if you don’t have as many followers as you would like. The real value is found in the amount of engagement you are receiving and the type of people you are receiving it from. These are the things that can make you real money, so pay more attention to this instead of how many followers you have. Remember, quality over quantity!

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3 Major Reasons you need Social Media in Marketing

Social Media in Marketing

Social media is at the forefront of peoples minds today with approximately 3.78 billion social media users worldwide in 2021. With so many users worldwide, if you’re not using social media in marketing then you absolutely should be! There’s an array of opportunities for marketing on each social media platform, whether you’re a B2C or B2B. The marketing sector has evolved over the years, especially with the likes of the pandemic pushing tech innovations to surface even faster than before. But what does this mean?

As more of us are working from home, using these tech devices, the marketing sector has had to adapt to these changes, pushing advertisements in other places other than the traditional methods. As an Apprentice Digital Marketer, you will learn the benefits of social media in marketing and how to curate social media campaigns subject to the Apprenticeship Standards.

However for now, we will run through 3 major reasons why you need social media in marketing…

The world is moving to Digital, and so is Marketing

The world is becoming more digital and self serve by the day, with innovations such as Amazon Alexa popping up. However, the 2020 Covid Pandemic had heavily increased the pace of Digital innovation.

Traditional marketing is still existing in the likes of radio, newspapers and billboards however, many sources are moving online. Newspapers and magazines have moved forward with the times and now operate online. They even have their own social media accounts where their audience can comment and re-share articles, which in term is getting lots of engagement and more views than traditional alone.

By being online this opens many more doors to obtaining customer data and behaviours, creating mailing lists, gaining subscriptions and much more than just paper alone: the possibilities are endless!

Social Media Advertising is noticed much more, and considerably cheaper

Although we still see traditional marketing around, it’s something we have all become accustomed to seeing and not being interested. Our mobile devices however, are getting much more screen time, therefore much more attention.

“In 2020, digital advertising spending in the United Kingdom (UK) amounted to 16.47 billion British pounds” – Statista.com

Additionally, social media advertising can be much cheaper than traditional. Some posts across platforms are as cheap as a few pounds with a much higher exposure. Generally, there is a much higher ROI with paid ads.

There are huge benefits to social media advertising, such as:

  • Targeting audiences at granular levels including demographics, behaviours, locations, interests etc.
  • Gaining back data on audiences to cater advertisements to them
  • Analytics on advertisements being so precise you can see how effective your ads are
  • Revising whilst they are active to gain the highest benefits from your ads
  • There are so many different formats of advertisements apart from the standard image

Read more on Digital Marketing tips in our blog

The rise of short video content – taking the web by storm

In 2021, the most downloaded app is of course, TikTok.

Unless you have been living under a rock the past year, everybody has heard of the video based app taking over the online world. But what does this have to do with social media in marketing?

Many social media platforms are turning to short video based content to follow in TikTok’s footsteps – as it’s success is very clear. What people want to see has evolved over time, and short videos show no signs of slowing down. The fact that TikTok has been the most downloaded app of the year, shows where people are visiting most. So, if you’re not creating this type of content and using it for advertising, you’re most definitely missing out on the 1 billion users alone on TikTok…

Although video content may seem harder to do, is it no doubt more fun to take part in rather than uploading a plain infographic. With the use of trending sounds combined with user participation – short video is so engaging that even the likes of huge corporations such as Innocent Drinks & Ryan Air are getting involved in the fun.

Read here to stay up to date with social media trends.

Conclusion

In short, social media in marketing today is a must. The audience on each platform is so vast there is no excuse NOT to include social media in your marketing plan! Talking of social media…

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Top features of Sprinklr – Monitor your social media performance with unique insights

Sprinklr is a customer experience management system that gives you plenty of opportunity to keep track of how your social media content is performing. Whether you are conducting an important paid campaign, or testing out new forms of organic content, this platform has multiple ways to keep of track of audience behaviours, demographics and so much more, which you can then easily share as results in a report or presentation. We are sharing our favourite Sprinklr features that makes social media monitoring and management a breeze!

Schedule your social posts

Readying your content to go live through Sprinklr is easy – once your social media accounts are linked to the platform, you can select the option to share content across all of them, or just a select few. Select your photos/videos and share them alongside your copy, and you are ready to schedule, or save it as a draft to come back to. This will then be added to the ‘Editorial calendar’ where you can edit and move content before it goes live. If you want to take it one step further, you can fully integrate your approval process into Sprinklr too by assigning a content approver – they will receive a notification once new content is uploaded to the calendar that needs their attention.

Create your own engagement dashboards

It is one thing to see those likes and comments come up on your Instagram, Twitter or Facebook accounts, but what if they all be fed in to one place? Sprinklr makes this easier with the ability to create your own dashboards to track content engagement, or any other interactions that your business would like to track. As an example, we have created our own dashboard that shows what we want to track from our social media accounts:

You can also adjust the time period that you would like to see results from. All these results tell a story of how a campaign or a particular post performed and serve as a great asset when reporting to stakeholders.

Monitor your business’ online sentiments

With an online presence, you can expect good and bad comments to come in, particularly if you are a brand offering a product or service. However, instead of going on each page individually to find negative comments, you can create a monitoring tool within Sprinklr that collects the engagements and user activity from your social media accounts and puts them into separate columns. We have collected one example of this below to show you how it could look:

Again, this data can be exported to include as part of a report or presentation to show how your content is being received. Analysing this data can be extremely helpful when making decisions on what trends/online activity to engage with, and which is best to avoid or report to the business communications team.

Identify your audiences’ patterns and behaviours

Sprinklr has a dedicated ‘Modern Research’ section, which allows you to learn more about your audience, including what topics and words are brought up most in their posts. These display in word clouds, pie charts and bar graphs so that you easily understand what format your audience commonly uses (i.e. carousels, video etc.) or what hashtags are most popular. Overall, this a great asset to utilise when you are trying to gauge what your audience is most interested in and how to use your content to get the most engagement.

We can’t recommend Sprinklr enough, particularly if you have multiple accounts to stay on top of – it can handle lots of online activity and can deliver understandable graphs and analytics into one place for a more efficient monitoring/management strategy. Let us know if this is something you would recommend to your company, and make sure to share further!

5 Tips for an Effective Social Media Strategy

Social Media is quickly becoming a big component of digital marketing for small businesses around the world. There are billions of us around the world that use social media on a daily occurrence to keep up with the lives of others. Businesses make good use of social media in order to promote their products and services, as the reach of social media is huge.

It is now common to see businesses of all sizes using social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook for their customer service. As social media is a key part of digital marketing now, an effective strategy needs to be implemented. In this blog post, I will be sharing 5 tips on how you can run an effective social media strategy.

Plan Ahead

Being organised and planning your posts ahead of time is crucial for running a good social media strategy. You should look to plan your posts one month before they are due to be published. Planning this far ahead allows you plenty of time to think about what you want to post. You will have enough time to produce anything creative on sites like Canva, allowing for a high quality post to be produced. Rushing your posts will cause you unwanted stress and quality of work will take a hit. Hootsuite is a great site to schedule your content to and there are a number of plans, dependent on your business needs.

Value Customer Service

It is now very popular for customers to use Facebook and Twitter channels as platforms for customer service. People may look to use direct messaging on Twitter, or instant messaging on Facebook to voice a complaint or ask questions about your products and services. The level of customer service you provide on these platforms is just as important as the service you provide on the phone or through email. In most cases, you will need to speak to the customer via private messaging so that information is kept confidential.

Engage with stakeholders

As well as posting to your social media channels, you should look to engage with posts from your stakeholders. These could be suppliers, customers and anyone else you see suitable. If you are regularly engaging with a stakeholder’s social media (i.e. liking, sharing, commenting), they should return the favour and engage with your posts. Making a habit of this will go a long way in spreading awareness of both you, and the stakeholder. It will also allow for a healthy business relationship to be built.

Good engagement is key in an effective social media strategy.

Show Personality

Social Media is the best way to show off your personality online to all of your stakeholders. They will be interested in knowing how the business works and what your team get up to with their time. If you are attending events around the country, post this on social media so people know to look out for you. If one of your team have achieved something big, congratulate them on social media to let your followers know about the talent of your employees. This could be anything from an award win/nomination to celebrating an employee’s anniversary at the company.

Monitor Analytics

With social media, you are fortunate enough to be able to analyse the performance of your posts whenever you like. Both Facebook and Twitter provide you with detailed analytics of your posts, allowing you to understand what works well, and what is poor. There are a few KPIs that will allow you to make these decisions:

  • Engagement rate
  • Bounce rate
  • Time spent on page
  • Click through rate
  • Post reach

You should review your analytics at least once a month, so that you can look for improvements in your social media marketing.

Conclusion

These 5 tips for an effective social media strategy will help make a difference for you. Building your experience with social media makes a big difference and you will naturally begin to find yourself running a good strategy. It does need time and effort, but the reward can often be very valuable to your business.

How to Pandemic-Proof Your Social Media Strategy

Mobile phone getting instagram likes

Want to Know How to Pandemic-Proof Your Social Media Strategy? Read on to find our top 5 tips for social marketing success in 2021.

Picture this… it is February 2020 you are catching the tube to work with your head under someone’s stinky armpit on your way to an office building with 1000 people ready to write your brands upcoming social media strategy. Little did you know, you would be sat in your bedroom turned home-office a year later having evolved that strategy beyond anything you could have ever imagined. This article summarises some of the biggest growing platforms and features, born or amplified out of lockdown that every marketer should be including in their 2021 social media marketing strategy.

Be Part of the Fastest Growing Social Media Network – Tik Tok

As of January 2021 it is reported that Tik Tok has almost a billion monthly users which is phenomenal growth for an emerging social media platform. The entertainment & escapsism appeal of the tool driven by creating 15 to 60 second videos enables consumers in lockdown to pass the time & showcase their creativity, dance moves and much more.

The Pros: It is one of the easiest and cheapest ways for your band to engage with the Gen Z generation. Moreover, the sheer scope of the tool can expose your brand to a broad range of consumers. It has an inbuilt algorithm promoting best videos & creatives so content can go viral and your brand can get broad organic reach cheaply (as long as you capture the users attention!)

The Cons:Unfortunately, right now you can’t easily link TikTok videos back to your website. This makes the consumer journey from social to your site clunky and measurement is harder to prove with organic analytics data only showing for 28 days. Also, given the young demographic of the users there are also some questions around the morality of marketing to children. That, together with a potential ban from the US government due to data sharing issues does pose some brand safety issues.

Whilst Tik Tok needs to be considered for your 2021 social media marketing strategy, there are some concerns around privacy and safety that not all brands would be comfortable with. In Aug 2020 Instagram launched Reels which has similar functionality to rival Tik Tok so if brand safety is a priority then Reels is your best strategy.

Drive Community on Facebook Using Groups & Communities

Community is King and never has that been more true than during the pandemic. Consumers are more engaged in their community and the area in closest proximity to them. This has led to rise in ‘localism’ and a push towards supporting smaller businesses.
Using Facebook features like Marketplace & Communities allows your brand to speak to consumers in a more relatable manner and to become a part of their community.

The Pros: Facebook is a relatively cheap and simple method of interacting 1:1 you’re your consumers. You can use community boards for social listening and to gain first hand insights from your Consumer. Although, Facebook may be on the decline for younger audiences, it is definitely the place to connect with your Gen X and Ageless consumers.

The Cons:The community & marketplace features may not be polished enough to be used for brands and any community engagements must be done in an authentic manner. Facebook has also been hit with multiple privacy & data issues. This has resulted in consumers losing trust in the Facebook brand.

Research is on the Rise so Make the Most of the New Guides Feature on Instagram

Your consumers have more spare time so are pre-planning purchases and researching more. You can help your consumer to discover products & services using the ‘Guides’ feature on Instagram. This new feature launched in Nov 2020 and allows you to create an editorial style ‘guide’. The guide can include multiple products & Instagram posts from your brand and also from influencers.

The Pros:Your consumer engages with new social formats as it drives their attention and clicks from your consumer. Additionally, it beats the algorithm as Instagram promotes new features. The guide can be used to build stories & education on best sellers, ingredients, product lines etc. These will help your brand to be more relevant for your consumer.

The Cons:There is no measurement built yet so you can’t measure the guides impact and success yet. For more information on how you can set up an Instagram Guide here.

Social Media Strategies Are Changing – Ensure you Have a Strong Presence & Advertising Budget on YouTube

YouTube is becoming the new Google. Your consumer is watch more videos & spending more time on YouTube due to the pandemic. They are using You Tube to search for product instead of using Google search and enjoying longer form content.

The Pros:Your content stays on the platform after posting and remains searchable by your consumers. This means, your consumers can continue to watch content and are not dictated by the algorithm as they are on their Instagram. You can use YouTube for targeted advertising & it is easy to link & embed content on your website.

The Cons:Content creation costs can be expensive. There is limited control over what may be advertised next to your content or the content you may advertise next to. This poses brand safety issues.

Cater For Consumers Need For ‘Escapism’ – Use Pinterest For Pre-Planning

With more free time and big life events like holiday and weddings on pause. Consumers are planning more than even for when they can get back to normality. Pinterest reported increased searches for dream holiday content & birthday party celebrations.

The Pros:Pins last a lifetime! Once on a consumer builds a board they rarely delete them. This means, they often revisit their boards time and time again. This gives multiple opportunities for adverts & content to be seen and shared. Content on Pinterest links with key life stage moments. This makes it easier to target consumers around key mindsets. Pinterest can also boost SEO and your rank in search engines.

The Cons:For the best results create content that is tailored for Pinterest. This ensures the content feels native to the platform. Pinterest can be expensive to automate although it can be set up without advertising spend & organic content.

Conclusion

With technology constantly evolving, keeping up to date with latest technology can feel like an uphill battle. Ensuring you have a consumer first approach and understanding the macro and micro factors impacting your consumer will ensure success. The mindset of your consumer drives their consumption and usage of social media. Optimising your strategy towards the consumer mindset will drive effective & impactful marketing decisions for your brand. No-one can predict how retail will evolve going forward, however ensuring that you are using the latest features and platforms on social media will ensure success in 2021.

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