Have you ever started a project with high hopes, only to realize midway through that you're not sure what your broader goals are? One of my hobbies is a saltwater aquarium, and I've found that it's easy to get the tank set up and start filling it with fish and coral, not thinking about how these animals might not get along very well as they grow. I'm usually better off when I create a cohesive plan ahead of time before I have a glass box full of hostile critters trying to take each other out.
In light of that, I want to talk today about the major goals of social media marketing. Everyone knows that social media is promising. Every major company has at least one page, social media influencers make six figures posting selfies and subtly representing brands, and empires like Facebook and Twitter dominate our headlines and business news. So when you start up a new page, you know you're joining the mainstream. However, just having an online presence isn't enough. You need goals and a sense of purpose to make the best use of your social media accounts.
Start by asking yourself the question at the top of this post: what am I trying to accomplish, anyway? This is worth considering, because it will strongly influence the direction of your social media use. Some possibilities to consider:
1: Connect and relate with an established group of fans who use social media
Some companies and individuals use their social media accounts primarily to interact with people who are already enjoying their services, and engage them in a new way. This can be a great strategy to involve people who already care about what you have to say and just want to see more of you and what you offer. Examples include musicians, politicians, bloggers, and traditional media companies like radio stations and local newspapers.
2: Advertise products or services
Plenty of companies use their social media bandwidth to advertise to their customers. This can be done with targeted ads (see below) or with ordinary posts that your audience sees. There are dozens of ways to advertise in a way that's appealing to social media users, and I'll go into these in a future post.
3: Target brand new customers in a chosen demographic
For some business owners, the best way to use their social media platform is through aggressively seeking out new potential customers. They can use paid advertising to get their message to specific groups of people who have expressed interest in their product, who fit into certain age groups, and other categories. If your business is small with a niche market, this may be the goal for you.
4: Announce events and new information
Many social media pages are primarily about information sharing; making sure that your followers get all the data they need to make decisions and be aware of what you want them to know. These kinds of pages might post attractive flyers containing announcements, photos from events, and other primarily informational material. Examples of such organizations include churches, libraries, and local government departments.
For some businesses, the answer to "what am I trying to accomplish, anyway?" might be a combination of these goals, or all of them! Before you get in too deep, it's worth taking a look at what you're offering to your audience, and think through what you really want to achieve with your social media efforts.
Trajex is here to help! If you're unsure what the right goal is for you, reach out to us at trajexms.com or give us a call at 845-417-6828. Good luck as you seek success in online marketing!
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