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7 guidelines for simpler social media marketing

By Neal Schaffer

Although the use of social media in marketing is not new, it has undergone many changes in recent years. As most of us know, it has evolved from simple advertising inserted into our feeds to sophisticated content that is used today. In particular, we are now using influencers as our content creators and thought leaders.

So what should we marketers keep in mind when we control these changes? Here are seven things to consider to help you maximize the success of your social media campaigns:

1. Remember that social media in business is only a means to an end

In the past, social media was fairly easy for companies. Originally, we all only accessed one company page and linked it to our profiles to show where we work. That is far from enough. People no longer just write reviews on Yelp or Ripoff Report. And the Better Business Bureau, as important as it is, doesn't have the vast reach it once had. Nowadays, customer service is often done through social media. This also applies to advertising, regardless of whether it uses influencers or only company-generated content.

2. Know Your Goals For Social Media Advertising

This applies to your business social accounts, your paid advertising, and your use of influencers. Having trouble getting people to look at your current ad? Or are they following everyone else's side instead of yours? Do you hope if you advertise on social media, build brand awareness or generate sales leads? How about announcing the launch or improvement of an important product? All of these goals are great opportunities for social media to shine.

Accordingly, you need to carefully consider what you post on a social business page. For example, the hiring of an important employee on Facebook can be announced to inform people about exciting changes in the company. While this won't necessarily sell anything, it can increase brand awareness. On the other hand, posting content about a new product is for sale.

3. Determine what works and what doesn't

Companies that connect well with their customers on LinkedIn, typically B2B brands, should likely continue to use LinkedIn for future campaigns. But you should also consider whether your Instagram strategy works or how good your recent Twitter efforts have been. Ideally, you should find a way to make all social media channels work for you. There are several ways to do this, but many of them affect influencers.

For example, if you have a new product, it may be beneficial if an influencer talks about how the product made life easier at work. Or show that the new type of makeup you sell is more effective than the competition for people with oily skin. Whatever it is, you know what works and then determine a great way to adapt these effective techniques to other platforms.

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4. Know Your Competition

Most of you know how to do market research. If you can always stay on the pulse of the competition, your company can ensure that products and services remain relevant. But did you know that this also applies to social media? It's a war out there, so you need to have a feel for how your competitors are using social media and how effective their efforts are. Maybe they're stealing potential customers because they're constantly engaging your audience. Leave this activity unchallenged and they'll soon be wiping the ground with you in online forums.

5. Make sure your social media marketing budget meets your goals

It's easy to be a cheap skater when it comes to marketing. Most small businesses think about working hours and materials when deciding how to spend their money. But marketing is an area where you have to spend money to make money. Think about your goals and then determine how much money you need to spend on marketing to achieve those goals.

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