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August 3rd, 2021 by Bryan

Stay Ahead in Social Media

By Manny Hondroulis

Staying ahead in social media is challenging. Understanding the workings and purpose of the platforms, creating content, targeting audiences and maintaining a consistent brand requires study and practice. The theory of managing a business’ social media presence is completely different than managing a personal profile. Any action you take on social media on behalf of your business can have positive or negative ramifications so it is important to have a strategy first.

For simplicity’s sake, let’s assume your social media strategy is a detailed account of how to drive leads.

1 Set Your Spend

First, how much are you willing to spend? Just like any other type of advertising, social media requires money. The truth is that you can get ads in front of a lot of people for very little money. That’s why many advertisers like social media marketing. Posting a picture to your timeline or page doesn’t require money, but it’s most likely not going to get noticed by prospective customers. The more you have in your budget, the more people you will reach. And what can you expect from that reach? Are you expecting your phone to ring immediately? That may not be a realistic expectation. But creating awareness of your products and services in your market is a good and achievable expectation to start.

2 Identify the Audience

Second, try to figure out who your audience is. If you’re an automotive tinter, that might be end-users that own cars. But what kind of cars? Do you want to market to owners of exotics, premium automobiles, or mainstream brands? And in what geographical area? The data that social media platforms have on their users is so extensive that it is possible to target a specific audience such as drivers under the age of 40 who drive a Tesla in the town of Rutland City, Vt. Next, what are you going to show that audience? You can show them pictures, videos and relevant articles such as how window film can reduce the likelihood of skin cancer. Pictures and videos of your installs taken with a high quality phone are powerful advertisements.

3 Maximizing the Content

Once you have the right content, what do you do with it? You need to pay the social media platform to display it to your audience. Content that plays well on one social medial platform may not necessarily work on another. For example, pictures of completed installations will resonate with the Instagram user more so than a Facebook user as the latter is a more robust platform that offers greater functionality. Alternatively, posting a link on Instagram to an article that you wrote may not drive engagement with users as well as it would on Facebook or Twitter.

You may ask yourself what “engagement” means in this context. Simply put, it is when someone responds to the content you promoted. It is then your responsibility to engage back, start dialogue, and work your way to a sale. You will find that engagement begets engagement. Don’t high-pressure sell your audience. Act as a passive authority that is eager to help with any end-user query.

4 Track Your Efforts

Social media companies provide their advertisers with analytical tools to determine the effectiveness of advertisements. You can, at a high level or in great detail, see how your ads are performing. You can view how many users saw your ad, clicked on it, and engaged with it. Ultimately you will be able to see if your ad resonated with your target audience. If so, you may put more money toward it. If not, you may tweak the message.

Social media advertising is cumbersome but is a major driver for how consumers spend money. An effective digital marketing campaign is integral for any small or large business. And you can go a long way on a limited budget. But so can everyone else. You have to separate yourself from your competition by having a better strategy and execution. Start out small with just a few simple ads to learn the process. If you’re not successful, try again. In fact, keep trying until you are successful; it is the future.

Manny Hondroulis is the vice president of Energy Distribution Products in Baltimore.

To view the laid-in version of this article in our digital edition, CLICK HERE.

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