The Importance of Social Media Marketing in 2022 2021 cemented a lot of changes in our professional lives. Zoom became our default meeting room, and webinars are regular events. But the most impactful change was how social media became the go-to window to learn, find new career opportunities, and grow our brands. It just goes to show the importance of social media marketing.
Social media allows you to connect and engage potential customers where they are at: LinkedIn, Twitter, Youtube, Facebook, Instagram, and even some of the younger platforms like TikTok. With a strong social media strategy and the ability to create engaging content, you can engage your audience easily.
Why Is Social Media Important for Your Business?
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1. Build Brand Awareness Across different platforms, companies can tell their story, why they provide the services they offer, and keep audiences updated with customer and employee stories. If B2B leaders are able to leverage the voice of their employees, they can extend their brand reach even further. Every employee has a personal network, and each network has potentially hundreds of contacts. In turn, each of those contacts is connected to hundreds of other people.
2. Generate Leads Create meaningful conversations and engagement within their target industry by posting videos, news, data, and interesting trends. Not only do you build credibility with potential customers, but these strategies can result in gaining leads.
3. Nurture Leads Social selling enables sales professionals to build relationships with leads. By leveraging their thought leadership pieces, social proofing and other content, they can help potential customers solve problems. In turn, this allows your sales team to build trust and credibility.
4. Implement Social Listening Listen to customers and what people are saying about their company. This gives you a chance to get candid feedback about how others view your brand. It opens a window into improving the weaker areas of your business while reinforcing aspects that already resonate with people.
5. Connect Social Posts to Opportunities With the right enterprise solution, leaders can drive customer posts to their CRM to understand customers more fully.*
6. Measure Marketing Efforts Social media platforms and management tools enable you to track key performance metrics (KPIs). You can even assign a monetary value to organic social media engagement. Earned media value (EMV) offers an idea of how much organic
social engagement and reach would have cost if you paid in ads.
7. Build Brand Authenticity Engaging on social media gives brands the opportunity to build trust with potential customers, partners and talent/employees. This is especially true if other people are promoting your brand or products/services to other people. People are almost three times as likely to trust advice or recommendations from family and friends than official brand channels.
8. Drive Thought Leadership Social media is a great way to learn about the problems and interests of people. In turn, being on social gives brands an opportunity to drive thought leadership by solving problems. Create how-to guides, webinars and other content to help people and, in response, people could trust your brand as their source for guidance.
9. Grow Your Audience In 2021, 4.48 billion people were using social media. Not only does social give you a window into the largest addressable market online, but it shows you what actual people talk about or like. Once you learn how to solve this market’s problems with thought leadership content, you can build an audience that believes in your brand and products and services.
10. Build a Community
With planning and engagement, you can build an active community around your brand on social. You can leverage employees and customers alike to generate immediate Likes and Shares for your content so that it reaches new audiences.
11. Generate Unique Content at Scale Social media communities can also be an excellent source of original and thoughtful content. User-generated content (UGC) and employee-generated content (EGC) can speak to brands in authentic ways, but they keep your content publishing pipeline flush with lots of fresh options.
12. Stay Top of Mind With Key People Spreading thought leadership through social media is a go-to method of meriting the attention of decision-makers and other top stakeholders. Leverage webinars, ebooks, one-pagers, podcasts and other content types to solve problems for other people. If you want to connect and engage with your future customers, you have to be where they are. And that’s largely on social media.
How to Get Started With a Social Media Marketing Strategy
1. Create a social media strategy by answering key questions Before publishing posts, develop a social media strategy that executives, the legal team, marketing, and sales will all agree on. Identify why social is being used as a marketing and sales channel, and if there will be any roadblocks. Consider the following questions when developing a strategy:
What are your goals and how will you measure them?
What type of content will you post?
When will you post?
What channels will you prioritize?
Who will create and distribute content?
How will you encourage employees to share content?
2. Choose a social media management tool There are several social media management tools that help social media managers plan and distribute their content. Top tools include Buffer, HubSpot, Zoho Social, Falcon.io and Hootsuite. Many of these tools are designed to help companies reach audiences on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. To reach target audiences on LinkedIn, LinkedIn Sales Navigator is a premium tool for information on leads and it gives you the ability to send InMail messages to target accounts.
3. Train employees Once you have a policy developed and tools set in place, it’s time to train employees. Whether they must attend a training webinar or read an employee social media handbook, it’s important employees know what the expectations are. Be sure to include the regulations, but also train employees on what drives engagement with future customers. Not everybody will be a natural social media pro at first, but most people can get the hang of it when they understand its importance and how their contribution helps drive revenue.
4. Identify and collaborate with industry influencers. Influencers aren’t just for B2C. Identify employees who are savvy on social media, and who would be a good fit to partner with your industry’s influencers by interviewing them on a live stream, webinar, or podcast. No matter how you choose to partner with an influencer, the content can be later reused for social media posts.
5. Create a content calendar and approval process
One key to successful social media marketing is organization and attention to detail. In order to publish engaging content, social media teams need to establish a content calendar and approval process. With an editorial calendar, marketers can schedule out content on a weekly, monthly and quarterly basis. Beyond publish dates, editorial calendars help content teams track content type, purpose, authors, channels and more. When creating this calendar, don’t forget to track the most successful posts in order to republish your most popular content.