Companies all over the world are looking to maximise revenue, grow their brand and engage their target audience – but how do you accomplish this? Without a doubt social media marketing is the way forward. Findings from a survey, carried out by the Chartered Institute of Marketing, reveals that over two thirds of managers admit they are ineffective at using social media. With the way that the internet has revolutionised, there is no room for inadequacy when it comes to social media and it has become more important than ever to embed it within your marketing strategy. Here’s how to make sure that you stay ahead of the game.

Choosing the right social media network

Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+ and Instagram are just a few examples of the social networks that could be used to promote your business. There are so many more out there to choose from, but don’t make the mistake of using it just because it’s used by your competitors or because you’ve heard so much about it, but for the reason that it works for your business.

Mapping out a strategy

A good way to get started is by identifying what your business is trying to achieve through social media marketing. This process is like a maze. Imagine the scenario – it may take time to go through a series of routes, you may go back and forth but this will enable you to learn from your mistakes and eventually find the path to your destined place. For social media marketers, the key to solving the puzzle starts by answering a series of questions. This will set you on the right path by enabling you to consider the benefits and risks, both part of a strategy which help you to achieve your end goal. You will need to consider:

  • Who your target audience is
  • What type of content will be shared
  • What the key messages to reflect your brand will be
  • What social media goals you have
  • How you will measure impact
  • What social media networks and tactics your competitors use

Importance of a social media dashboard

Social media can be hard work and challenging to find the time to stay on top of it. Wouldn’t it be ideal to create, share and schedule content in advance? Keep an eye on the competition? Track your brand growth? If you answered ‘yes’, then I would definitely recommend using a social media dashboard to manage multiple social media networks in one place.

Hootsuite – what is it?

Hootsuite was formed in 2008 by Ryan Holmes to create a better social media experience for businesses. The global social media company claims to be ‘the world’s most widely used social relationship platform’ with more than 10 million users around the world. Hootsuite has continued to grow in strength, and is now available in 16 languages in more than 175 countries. Small businesses can subscribe to the pro plan, costing £6.99 a month which will enable them to manage multiple social networks including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+.

Benefits and features

American business magazine, Forbes claims that Hootsuite is a ‘company that has made managing multiple social media properties easy and convenient’. Here are some of the benefits and features to consider if you want to grow your social media marketing presence.

  • Social listening – using Hootsuite means that you’ll never miss an important conversation again. You’ll be able to track and monitor what customers, competitors and industry influencers are talking about on social media. When working on campaigns this feature will enable you to respond to attitudes and opinions in order to keep momentum going
  • Collaborative working – businesses can invite team members to their Hootsuite account so they can work collaboratively to manage accounts, topics and projects. Like other dashboards, it will enable levels of access and team members’ permissions so only certain users can securely modify the details of assigned social media networks
  • Improve time management – with Hootsuite, you’ll be able to simply log into one account to manage more than one social media network, helping to save essential time in your day. In addition to this, its scheduling functionality will give you the freedom to plan, create and schedule content in advance. With the end-user in mind , it also enables you to customise streams and tabs, making it more efficient and easier to find what you’re looking for
  • Discover what content resonates – the dashboard will help you to discover what content works and doesn’t work for your business. What’s more is that it will evaluate the effectiveness of content by providing analytical insights. You’ll be able to measure clicks, likes, retweets, most popular links and more. With these analytics you can create detailed social reports with summary statistics to share with the rest of your company. Evaluating progress is good because it takes you one step closer to reaching your outcomes
  • Visualise social demographics – getting to know and connecting to your target audience is an absolute must for any business. With Hootsuite you’ll be able to see how many followers and fans you have, keep an eye on whether this increases, gain an insight into their age, location and more factors which will help you to tailor your content and business strategy to meet their needs

Find out more about Hootsuite online.

Social media marketing can have a big influence on your target audience so take the time to consider what works for your business!