Most brands are already on board with social media marketing. If nothing else, they do it because they feel they’re supposed to. But many brands aren’t seeing any monetary benefit from their social media marketing efforts and there are still brands that aren’t investing in a social media strategy because they don’t see how it can be profitable. After all, what’s the point in amassing 5,000 followers or getting x number of likes on a Facebook post if sales don’t go up as a result?
The truth is, social media marketing can be a very profitable channel if it’s done right. The following advice can help you turn your social media marketing strategy into a profitable one.
Invest money (to a reasonable degree)
A blessing and a curse with social media marketing is that it’s free to get started. It’s a blessing because you can get your feet wet without spending a cent and it’s a curse because we tend to not value things that are free. Investing money into social media marketing not only forces you to take the channel more seriously, it ensures that your social media presence is more far-reaching. You can invest in more advanced analytics tools beyond what’s included for free. You can boost posts so that people who aren’t already following your brand still see them. To truly be profitable, you’ll have to invest at least some money into social media marketing.
Have a strategy
Strategy is the operative word in social media strategy. Very few brands actually have a strategy going in. They create a page, pick a profile picture and begin posting and interacting with followers. That won’t do if your goal is to actually make a profit. You need a formally documented strategy that includes your target audience, how you plan to appeal to them, and most importantly how you’ll grow your presence over time. A content calendar should also be a part of your social media strategy.
If you treat social media as something you do when you have some spare time, it’s not going to be profitable. If you post daily one week, and then go a month posting once or twice a week, you won’t come across as a reliable brand. The exact amount you post is less important than the consistency. If you can only post once a day, make sure you post approximately once every single day.
Less isn’t more when it comes to posting across social media platforms. The more frequent your posts the more likely you are to be seen by your target audience. Returning to the previous tip however, don’t let frequency overtake the importance of consistency. Don’t post so often that you can’t keep up with the pace.
A key to social media profitability is getting followers to view your brand positively. A great way to do this is to be prompt in responding to people who interact with you there whether you’re praising, asking questions, or venting about a negative experience with your brand. If you can’t check in daily to respond, then hire someone who can. A chatbot that can chat with customers on the social media platform’s messaging service may also be a wise investment.
Followers will stop following if they don’t get anything out of the relationship. Value can come in the form of social media exclusive offers that customers can’t get through any other means or it can come in the form of entertaining or informative content that will keep them coming back for more.
Promote follower engagement
Passive followers won’t do you much good if your aim is profitability. You need your followers to be actively commenting on and sharing your content across social media platforms. Follower engagement translates to free advertising as your follower’s friends on social media will see these conversations.
Social media platforms already have free analytics tools for businesses to track how effective their various posts are. There are also third party analytics tools that you can pay to use that will allow you to see in more depth how effective your efforts are. Whichever tools you use, recognize that you need to look beyond vanity statistics such as the number of likes, comments, and shares because these tend to be poor indicators of profitability.
Make profitable calls-to-action
Finally and most importantly, to be profitable, you need to ask followers to spend money. There’s no way around it. So why save the most important tip for last? Because if every post is an attempt to sell products or services to followers, they’ll lose interest fast. You have to be doing all of these other things first and foremost but mix in just the right amount of calls-to-action to see monetary results as well.