As a small business, it can be daunting to dive into the world of social media management. Often called the “new frontier of marketing”, social media is a valuable resource for brands to elevate their online presence and boost sales. It is estimated that approximately 3.8 billion people globally have regular access to at least one form of social media. For brands, that creates endless opportunities.
1. What is social media management?
Social media management is the process of managing your online interactions and social media accounts to promote a product, person, service or brand. Social media management consists of creating content, scheduling content, analyzing social media data, and engaging with an online audience. There are a variety of social media tools that can be used to maximize your social media presence, but they all center around a comprehensive social media strategy. A comprehensive social media strategy is comprised of five integral parts: listening, content strategy, engagement, promotion and analytics. Learn more about everything that’s included in digital marketing.
2. Why is social media marketing important for small businesses?
Engaging with customers, and potential customers, on social media is an important marketing strategy for any small business. Social media can elevate brand awareness, expand or create a customer base and can be used as an effective customer service tool.
Small businesses can often stretch limited marketing dollars more effectively through the use of social media than through more traditional marketing strategies. In general, you don’t have to invest a significant amount of money to see the benefits of social media. While advertising is a primary tool of social media platforms, organic content (otherwise known as free!) can have a profound impact on your small business success. In many cases organic growth, rather than buying followers or impressions, is a more sustainable and beneficial social media strategy.
3. What is a social media consultant?
A social media consultant uses technology and specific skill sets to manage social media on behalf of brands or individuals. The goals of a social media consultant should include: raising brand awareness, expanding to new customers, driving website traffic, and managing your social media community.
A social media consultant is a valuable member of any organization or marketing team. Traditional marketing strategies are often time consuming and expensive, however social media can be effectively managed with little to no cost.
4. Why hire a social media consultant?
A social media consultant contributes to a business’ bottom line by encouraging a strong social media presence. There are a variety of tools and software that help to manipulate, elevate and analyze a brand’s social media. However, this software cannot replicate the authenticity of a social media consultant and a comprehensive strategy. The goals of a social media consultant should include fostering meaningful relationships with your customers and driving traffic towards your website or sales portal.
As part of their role, a social media consultant becomes the online advocate of your brand. They generate sales leads, manage issues with clients or customers, and can help to keep an edge on your competitors through valuable brand analysis. Social media consultants are experts at ‘social listening’, the process of using social media analytics and digital conversations to gain valuable insights on your brand and industry. This research is critical for small businesses in competitive industries or markets.
5. How to use Instagram for business marketing
According to the most recent stats released by Instagram, there are currently over 1 billion monthly users on the platform, with 500 million people using Instagram Stories every day. Instagram is an excellent platform for businesses in part due to its visual, highly curated content. Instagram boasts higher engagement than other social media platforms and the number of daily users continues to grow your internet marketing.
As a small business, the primary goal of marketing on Instagram is to find and retain loyal and engaged followers. The first step towards this goal is to create aesthetically pleasing content through photos, videos, and thoughtful captions. It is important to remember that the content you produce is the storytelling mechanism of your brand and can personify your account to your followers. Some effective engagement strategies include comments, likes, direct messages, tagging, mentions and hashtags.
Instagram has a number of additional features to promote your brand content within the platform. Instagram long-form videos (IGTV), Stories, Shoppable posts, sponsored content and the Discover page all help to drive traffic to your business and introduce your products and services to a new range of clientele.
6. How much does Instagram advertising cost?
It can be difficult to provide a range of Instagram ad costs partly due to the highly customizable function of the platform’s design. Sponsored content on Instagram can take varying forms with the brand being the sole driver of cost. Factors to consider include type of ad, the target audience and the type of content – whether the ad is a photo or video, single photo or carousel etc. A highly competitive market or large location range can also have a significant impact on the cost of the ad.
As a general rule, a highly targeted Instagram ad usually costs approximately $5 per CPM or cost per thousand impressions. Impressions indicate the ad appeared on someone’s feed, it does indicate the user read, clicked on or even noticed the ad. Therefore, it is important to garner as many impressions as possible.
7. How much does Facebook advertising cost?
Facebook has long been considered the most effective form of social advertising. Due to Facebook’s expansive data mining abilities, brands are able to target niche markets and fine tune their marketing strategies to optimize their campaigns on the platform.
Facebook ads can be slightly more expensive than Instagram and other social media ads, but Facebook’s increased data capabilities still do set it apart for digital marketers. Facebook continues to be king of social media ad content and for some audiences, may still be the most used social media platform. As a starting point, Facebook ads usually cost approximately $10 per CPM or cost per thousand impressions.
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Mixing search engine traffic with social media is an excellent way to dramatically improve your existing traffic.