There are billions and billions of social media users all over the world, so it is pretty safe to say that social media is a game changer when it comes to marketing your brand. In this day and age, companies need to have a social media presence to increase more brand awareness, connect with a larger audience, and expand their market into a more global scale. If you want your business to grow and to keep growing, social media is your top marketing go-to.  There are brands who use social media; but there are brands who become the superstars of social media. How do they do it?

Plan Ahead

Before you plunge into the world of social media, you should first examine what will be your goals are. What is it that you are trying to achieve with social media?

Do not be too vague about it, using blanket statements like “grow my followers” and whatnot. Be specific and as much as you can, use quantifiers or numbers (for example, to gain 10,000 likes on Facebook; or, to increase audience engagement to 80% on your website). A great is example is Dallas Hood Cleaning who set a goal to acquire 100 grease trap customers through advertising, and they achieved it because the goal was specific. A realistic, concrete target is much easier to achieve than a pie-in-the-sky number.

Research and learn more about your competition (a.k.a. stalk their social media profiles) and set a benchmark. Do not be too hard on yourself and set an unrealistic goal. Work on goals that may not be too easy but you know is something you are capable of achieving.

Setting a deadline for these goals may also help you be more motivated. And to make it less overwhelming for you, you may use the ‘level mode’ of achieving your goals, that is, setting deadlines for smaller goals until you reach the bigger goals (for example, if you want to gain 10k likes by six months, perhaps you need to achieve more or less 2k likes each month).

Capture your Market

It’s time to do more social media stalking – er, researching – about your target market. Study your audience’s demographics, their lifestyle, their industries, their hobbies, and even their routines (such as what time are they most active on social media because that is the most perfect time to post, etc.). You should first understand your audience before being able to choose your platform and tailor your social media content to their fit.

Choose your Platform

Social media isn’t clumped into this one big thing, there are a lot of nooks and crannies to navigate to.

Now that you know who your target market or your audience is, you may have a pretty good idea which social media sites they frequent to. Also, observe which sites your competition is most active on and gets the most audience engagement. Some of the sites to consider:

Facebook – users on this site are widely varied because almost everyone has an account. Entertaining videos are mostly shared among friends. Aside from creating a page for your brand, you may also create a group to really capture your niche market.

Instagram – fit for younger audience and is visually-driven. Pleasing and coherent aesthetics is the key to this site. Best for brands that rely heavily on the looks (e.i. fashion, home decor, cosmetics, architecture, and the like).

Twitter – tweets have a 280-character limit. Best for short, quick updates and for engaging with your audience at real time. Wit and humor usually gets the most exposure among users.

LinkedIn – this site is best for brands with a more professional image and audience.

Pinterest –  a visual search engine and is similar to Instagram. Most studies suggest that Pinterest is best in driving traffic back to your main website. Most popular for do-it-yourself projects, arts and crafts, or home/garden improvements. But the range of topics/subjects on the site can be very diverse.

Focusing on a few social media platforms is also better than not paying enough attention to any of your twenty or so social media profiles. Having less platforms means having more time to create good content and engage your audience. Do not spread yourself too thin.

Check out and test some advertising tools for each social media platform to figure out which will give you the most exposure and drive the most audience to your social media profiles.

Create Your Content

To drive your audience to your social media profiles, you should offer them quality content that speaks to them and that they can share among family and friends.

Determine your social media persona that ties up well with your brand. Create a ‘voice’ that your audience can most relate to while still flaunting your brand’s unique identity.

Incorporate your brand into your content with such subtlety and avoid making it too in the face. Your audience will find it annoying if they think you are trying to sell them something all the time.

Curate your content well and post only what is relevant and coherent to your voice. You do not want to have a confused social media profile which in turn may also confuse your audience.

To make things more efficient, create a social media calendar: plan out a schedule to create and post your own content, to share related content made by other users, to post updates, etc.

Aim to make your content as original and creative as possible for better chances of making it go trending and viral.

Interact with your Audience

Maintain your social media presence and make sure to not miss any opportunity to interact with your audience. Your audience must walk into a party and not a ghost town when they visit your social media profile so that they will be compelled to follow and get more engaged.

Team up with Influencers.

Another way to drive traffic to your social media sites is to team up with like-minded people who already got the following. Build a good working relationship with these social media influencers and make sure that their content also resonates with yours.

Analyze your Stats and Keep Improving. Your social media stats are good indicators of how well (or how bad) you are doing.

With sophisticated social media analytical tools available nowadays, you may identify which areas you need to improve the most (e.i. a particular post may not do well as much as the other posts in terms of comments/likes and so you may stop posting something similar in the future).

Listen to the valid concerns and suggestions of your audience.

Keep updated of the trends and take calculated risks in trying these out. It may just be what you need to boost your social media presence even more.