A few years ago, social media was this shiny new past time where no one really knew what they were doing. You could post on the fly or share anything that came to mind. Simpler times, right?

But you can bet things have changed.

If you haven’t jumped on the social media bandwagon yet, you’re missing out. In fact, here’s a gentle wake-up call. If you aren’t using social media marketing for your business by now, you’re way behind the times.

But fear not! It’s never too late to get up and at ‘em.

Feeling reluctant and skeptical? We get that you shouldn’t follow what everyone else is doing just because everyone’s doing it. And you shouldn’t.

But you need a social media marketing plan catered to your business and audience. A plan that works for you and you alone.

Because that’s how you’re gonna stand out, that’s how YOUR social media marketing is gonna work for you.

We’re sure you already know this, but it takes plenty of moving parts to gain traction on social media (not to mention keeping up a consistent presence with enough flavor and wow factor to ensure your biggest fans stay your biggest fans).

If you’re still feeling unsure, or breaking a sweat just thinking about how to get started, don’t worry we’ve got your back.

But first, let’s shed some light on why social media marketing matters, and what it can really do for you when done right.

1. Organic Posts vs. Paid Ads

What’s the difference and why should you lean towards one or the other?

An organic post is free and what people come across organically. This means you don’t have to whip out your credit card and “pay” so more people can see it. It’s the most basic level of social media where you hit send and let things happen.

The beauty of organic posting is that the more followers you have, the easier and faster it’ll be for your social media marketing to work its magic.

In a perfect world, this sounds great doesn’t it? You spend time instead of money to craft an awesome post and the right people will naturally stumble upon it.

Unfortunately, these ever-changing social media algorithms don’t make it that easy. Ready for the truth?

Your followers will only see 10% or less of what you post.

If your reaction is, “Whaaa? What witchcraft is that all about!?” We don’t blame you.

If you’re posting consistently everyday but you stay stuck at only 60 followers, in reality you’re busting your butt for nothing since:

  1. A) You don’t have a big enough audience right now to make an impact with your posts, and 
  2. B) Barely anyone is actually seeing your posts because of these pesky algorithms.

For organic posts to truly work on your gorgeous behalf, you need to have the numbers. You need to get more followers, which then equals to more people seeing your posts.

The next reality is that you need to spend money to make money, right?

Organic reach, especially with Facebook, has been on the decline for awhile.

So if you want to take your social media marketing to the next level, get more people to see your posts, it may be time to shell out some cash and “boost” or “promote” your top posts.

This brings us to paid ads, which are dominating the social media landscape lately. No matter what platform, people are only starting to see select pieces of content and the most relevant content.

So why venture into using paid ads? The upside is that you can increase your reach and customize the post to target a certain demographic, industry, or location.

You don’t have to spend a ton of money either. Even as little as $5 could get your post an extra 1,000 views.

They say you gotta pay to play, and when it comes to paid ads? They do in fact lead to a larger reach than organic content.

If you haven’t explored the world of paid ads yet and want to give it a shot (or you want to grow your following like a mad magician), reach out to our team of experts and we’ll get the ball rolling for you!

2. Engage to Grow Instead of Ignore

If you aren’t authentically engaging with your audience or creating opportunities to grow your followers, why is your business on social media?

Maybe you don’t have a clue on how to engage, or how to create those opportunities (which is totally fine by the way, that’s why we’re here to do it for you!)

First things first, here are some quick and dirty ways to create and maintain engagement.

Let’s start with contests and giveaways. Who doesn’t love freebies, goodie bags, or even a coupon to use if you spend over $50 at your fave store?

People LOVE free stuff and they love winning free stuff even more.

Hosting a giveaway or contest over social media is an awesome way to generate buzz about your business and to start collecting more likes and followers. How? As part of the contest rules, be sure to say you need to “like, share, and tag a friend.”

Next, you might wanna think about going a step further. Ask everyone to answer a question like, “If you were given $1,000 but had to spend it immediately, what would you spend it on?”

If you’re looking to build your audience or grow your followers, make it easy for them to follow you in the first place. But remember to make it fun for them too of course.

Here’s another important engagement tactic—social media customer support. When you get a message or question from someone online, are you replying to them right away?

Even if it’s a gut-wrenching, horrible comment, are you responding with dignity and professionalism? Because the last thing you want to do is ignore the negative messages.

Heck, positive or negative, you should respond to every comment even if it’s as simple as:

“Thank you! You’re the best!”

“Great question! We don’t have an immediate answer for you right now, but we’ll look into it and get back to you ASAP.”

“I’m deeply sorry you didn’t like the item you purchased. We gladly accept full refunds or exchanges within 14 days.”

Trust us, potential clients and customers will respect the fact that you responded to a bad comment or a question you didn’t have the answer to—it shows you care about their concerns and how you’re willing to solve their problem.

3. Content is Everything

When it comes down to it, content will make or break your social media marketing.

Everyone says content is king (or queen) and the same holds true for your social media.

For starters, you need to create content that ties into your business identity. Sharing irrelevant content about your business is a huge no-no.

For example, just because it’s National Pierogi Day doesn’t mean you need to participate in the celebrations too.

If your business has nothing to do with pierogies whatsoever and you can’t contribute anything relevant or clever, it’s probably better to keep quiet on this one.

Because if you continue down this road of irrelevant posting, you’re on the fast track to saying see ya to your followers.

So what can you do to achieve relevant, consistent, and super cool content?

Plan ahead of time, build a strategy, offer truly valuable content, and work with themes. If you’re on Instagram, working with a visual theme in the form of filters or colors will do wonders for your engagement and lead to an eye-popping feed.

Or if you’re on Facebook, for goodness sake remember to optimize your business page to the max. How you ask? Don’t forget to fill out the “about” section with your business contact info, address, hours, or website.

Treat your social media platforms like a storefront. A storefront where anyone can come across what you do, and don’t let them escape!

If people are interested in your services or products but can’t for the life of them figure out how to reach you, then you probably lost them for good.

As much as your content should be varied and different, you also gotta remember to stay true to your business’ brand.

For example, say you’re always sharing vibrant, positive photos on Facebook. Then suddenly, you’re in a cold and wintery mood so you choose to post black and white snapshots instead.

If any potential clients or customers see this stark change, they’ll wonder what’s up and could very well change their mind about doing business with you.

Another juicy tip if you really want to keep things interesting for your audience: go for a triple-threat combo of using words, photos, and videos in your social media marketing.

Now if you’re thinking, “Holy moly, who has time to do all this?” Well, we do!

With our tribe at Zonion Creative, we do more than just the strategic stuff when it comes to social media marketing. We help you make a statement, we help you grow and connect with your online audience, and the best part?

You can sit back and relax because we’re more than happy to navigate through this social media minefield for you.

Just say the word!