Let’s start by assuming you are just killing it. You’re at the top of your game. Your brand offers a well-thought-out and innovative service to your customers.  Or maybe you make a product that works exactly as promised and you have the patent. However, you notice that somehow, despite all these good things, no one knows about you. That’s an exposure problem and we’re gonna talk about how to fix it.

Garnering exposure for your business isn’t rocket surgery… but it is tricky. With the social landscape changing at a rapid rate, it’s nothing to snub your nose at. Let’s get to it.

Social media experts shook their heads at the news of Facebook acquiring Instagram. “How can you monetize it?” they asked. “This platform is more worthless than even Pinterest,” they jeered. As it became facebook property, despite integration issues everything stabilized for a while. “Here’s an app where I can share a photo of my latte.” said the hipsters, “Who has time to just post pictures for other people?” said the parents. However, as time went on, Facebook proved them all wrong with the integration of Business Profiles and video into Instagram. Also, gone were the days of the chronological news feed, much to the dismay of those who actually liked seeing posts in that order. We’re sure those social media experts felt much like Mark Zuckerberg trying to explain ad revenue to an aging senator.

 

HATCH: “How do you sustain a business model, in which users do not pay for your service?” ZUCKS: “…Senator, we run ads.”

The example above is a heavily condensed view of a few years in the life of Instagram, and it brings us to the first tip: Learn to adapt. Facebook uses a complicated algorithm that dictates post engagement. As does Linkedin and Instagram. All of them do. But algorithms change often. That’s how it all stays fresh, new and difficult to use effectively. It’s beneficial to not just focus on the changes but to hold to the constants, so they will serve as anchors when you feel like you’re being tossed to-and-fro. Those constants include:

1. Knowing your ideal customer.

2. Providing useful and fun content to that customer.

The ideal customer idea isn’t our main focus here, but it is important because it decides everything from the content you need to be creating to the networks you should be on. With that mindset, even as your delivery method changes through the years, the goal stays the same. That makes things easier. Also, when you:

3. Create a schedule or a system that shows what you will be posting and when (based on data of best times to post on each platform).

4. Make time to learn what is happening with each platform, This helps you stay ahead of the curve and know the new developments so you aren’t caught unaware. A lot of the time, the platforms will even tell you what they’re looking for in a well-performing post! Check these out:

 

 

So, with our constants identified, all that really changes is how you go about presenting your material. You most likely do this already, without having to think about it. Let’s consider that 30 years ago, you may have used radio as a way to attract clientele – and if you were decent at that, you would have used different styles to reach different audiences among the top hits stations and the AM Public access stations. Social networks now require the same kind of adaptability. Even though they’re less static than radio stations of those days, the fundamental concept of catering to a specific audience remains the same.

Okay, tip 2: This one’s shorter. You have a boatload of eggs and about 11 baskets to put them in. Don’t put those eggs all in the same basket. PLEASE.

 

These are the top performers of the different social media platforms. There are many smaller niche sites to choose from but take these words as truth, one of the major networks is not right for you. At least. Probably more than one if we’re honest. You must do your research, and find the networks that are best for you, then concentrate on those. You can find all the demographics info you could need and a ton of other site-specific information for each network with a simple search. But don’t just concentrate on one of them. Why not? “How the mighty have fallen, and the weapons of war perished!”

 

RIP, KiK, and almost RIP Myspace.

"I'm not dead! I think I'll go for a walk!"

 

Tip 3: Treat social networking as serious art. The one major mistake that so many businesses make is to treat promotion (social or otherwise) like it’s unimportant or an afterthought. They delegate it to the newby or intern or take a flying stab at it in a twenty-minute window after lunch. Do not do that. For social media to drive business, it’s important to apply the same methodical, consistent approach that you would use when you’re dealing with any other part of your business.

Fourth and final tip: Put money behind it. You may be asking if it is possible to have great success without paying for advertising? Yes. definitely. Look, in 2001, Nickelback’s “How You Remind Me,” reached #1 on the Billboard Top 100, and it stayed there for 4 weeks. ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE. If you can get the results you want without advertising, go for it. However, adding paid posts to your mix is a great way to smooth out your social media marketing. Paid posts made up about 1.5 billion dollars of Facebook’s revenue in 2017. They boost exposure and offer smart targeting that will narrow the results onto your ideal customer. Some have a tendency to view paid advertising on social as either an unneeded expense or as a sign of failure. Try not to look at it that way. Statistics show that social ads are proving to be effective and continue to trend upward:

Social media ads drive 3x more new-customers than existing customers to retailer websites as of 2018.
(Adobe Analytics)

76% of U.S. consumers have purchased a product they saw in a brand’s social media post.
(Curalate)

Often, a well-placed Instagram ad can make the difference between getting your brand noticed and being lost in a flood of dank memes.

Social media marketing isn’t as easy as we wish it was, but it also isn’t as mysterious as we sometimes fear it is. It’s part strategic, part magic, and requires keen oversight and vision. In addition to writing and blogging about this topic pretty regularly, we’re also pretty great at helping you develop that effective social media marketing plan! Drop us a line.