The good, the bad and the ugly
Social media platforms were initially designed for socializing; however, for some time now, they have gained serious momentum and turned into a prevailing and often preferred tool for marketing businesses online. In 2020 Facebook reached over 1.5 billion users worldwide. Those numbers, alone, are staggering. Yet, these numbers are not going to guarantee you anything. In order for your local business to reach new prospects, get conversions, and repeat loyal clients, which your business depends on, you will need to understand the dark and light sides of social media marketing. More followers will not necessarily translate into more sales. Social media algorithms have noticeably tightened up, making social media marketing strategies more complicated and laborious.
Understanding how social media and social media marketing works
All social media platforms are rented space and are not infallible. Social media engagement rates and views can be terribly disappointing if you are considering embarking on a social media marketing strategy for your local business. In that case, a basic understanding of metrics is required so you can successfully steer your marketing strategy. Here are the basic units, in use, for measuring social media marketing campaigns.
- Impressions: refers to how many times your ad on social media was displayed.
- Clicks: Refers to how often people engaged with your ad by clicking to learn more
- CTR: Refers to the click-through rate on your ads. This is calculated based on the percentage or number of clicks divided by the number of impressions.
- Conversion: conversion happens when a person actually takes action after clicking your ad. Ideally, the action includes them making a purchase. It could turn into a lead if they fill out a form or subscribe to your mailing list.
- CVR: Refers to conversion rates, which is essentially the percentage of clicks that led to an action. It is calculated based on the number of conversions your ad received divided by the number of clicks.
- Viewability: Refers to pricing and performance metrics which pay and track only for impressions which can reach and be seen by prospects. The IAB and Media Ratings Council stipulate that a minimum of 50% of your ad has to be viewable for at least 1 second, 2 seconds for video, in order for it to be considered viewed. The idea behind viewability is to reduce the amount of ads that are never viewed by people.
The above-listed metrics should be applied to your social media marketing campaign, as these will help you evaluate the success of your marketing strategy. Using these metrics will provide you the data needed to analyze and optimize your campaign strategy.
Pros and cons of social media marketing
The costs of social media marketing are attractive. No matter how much or how little you spend, it becomes a moot point if you don't get results. While more traditional marketing will cater to a pre-determined audience, you have no limits with social media marketing when it comes to your audience. You can choose your demographics according to age, sex, social status, and locations. It may sound simple. However, many things can go wrong. For example, if you choose too broad an audience, you risk diluting your marketing strategy and not reaching your ideal audience. Sometimes less is more.
If you've read this far, then you've probably got some idea of the effort and time required for a successful social media marketing campaign. You'll need to keep your audience interested, and this means new content, on a steady basis, needs to be uploaded to your social media page. You will need to monitor and give prompt replies to people making queries about your services and/or products. Regular engagement with your online customers or potential customers builds trust and gives your brand credibility.
Designing an effective social media marketing strategy for your business requires time and skills. There are no shortcuts if your goal is to improve your customer base, see increased traffic, and a return on your investment. There are many ways to make mistakes. If you are too pushy and aggressively blast your audience with ads, it can have the opposite effect of what you intended.
When you expose your brand and business online, you also leave yourself wide open to criticism and negative feedback on your social media feed. It takes one dissatisfied customer to undo everything you've done.
The ultimate goal of any marketing strategy is to increase brand awareness, educate, inform, and convert to true leads. Many case studies show businesses, including small local businesses, turning to a social media marketing agency in order to get an effective marketing strategy designed for their business and budget. An agency can provide different options, including social media marketing. A study conducted by The Content Factory found the average spent on social media marketing, if you go it alone, is between $200 to $350 a day. If you outsource to a social media marketing agency, the average cost is anywhere from $4,000 to $7,000 a month, which is no more than the per day cost of doing it yourself.
Whether you are a contractor, an electrician, a veterinarian, or a shop owner, your website is the most important marketing asset your business has. There are many ways of promoting your business online, and social media marketing is not the end-all, be-all. If you are a small business owner, consider contacting a local social media marketing agency, such as Cube Creative Design, for a winning marketing strategy. A smaller agency such as us will give you reliable, successful, long-term marketing strategy designed for your business.