Overall, 3.81 billion people worldwide are active social media users, around 49% of the global population. Given this, it’s no surprise that many businesses, from large corporations to independent shops, turn to social media to market their goods. Demand for advertising on social media sites is at an all-time, high with Facebook alone projected to generate $94.7 billion in ad revenue.
For most business owners, breaking into the social media market brings its own unique set of challenges. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn, and other social media platforms all have a unique demographic, and if you don’t know how to optimize your content to suit the preferences of the users on each platform, your social media campaign is bound to fail. This is why there’s a growing demand for people who are experts on social media marketing.
You may be wondering how you can get started on this career path. Read on to learn how you can be a social media marketing strategist any social media agency would be itching to hire.
It’s not as easy as you think
You can’t brand yourself as a social media expert just because you use Facebook or Twitter every day. Besides managing a brand’s social media account, you’re in charge of relaying relevant brand information, gathering followers, and planning what content to publish and when. If you’re a social media marketer, your job expands to advertising the business by developing ad strategies.
Part of the job is to remain keenly attuned to each social media site’s key differences because this helps determine the most effective ways of promoting your client on each platform. For example, since Instagram videos don’t have a slider feature, it’s better to use short and to-the-point videos. If your video is a few minutes long, consider Facebook or YouTube as the main platform and uploading a compressed or teaser version on Instagram. Additionally, you should also be aware of how the site rules, algorithms, features, and user preferences are changing. Intimate knowledge of the algorithm can expand your reach to people beyond your followers, and accurately predicting user preference shifts means you can meet user demand faster than your competitors.
If it sounds tough, that’s because it is. Being a social media marketer is a full-time professional job. Companies like Las Vegas Social Media Agency have experts who spent years studying social media ecosystems and testing different strategies to determine what works. If you want to join their ranks, you need to get educated on the subject. Take a course on social media marketing, either online or at a university of your choice. Decide if you want to brand yourself as an expert on a specific platform or if you want to broaden your options. If you’re short on time and funds, it would be advisable to focus on the top 3 most-used social media sites in your country. Remember that studying social media isn’t a one-time thing. Platforms are constantly evolving, and you need to stay on top of these changes throughout your career to remain successful.
Building a strategy for your client
Understand that social media platforms are like different tools. Depending on what you want to achieve, some tools are better for the job than others. Most companies don’t need to maintain a social media presence on every platform. In actuality, this approach is actually very inefficient. You could be wasting manpower and money maintaining five different social media pages when your biggest ROI could be coming from just one or two. Understand what your business or client hopes to achieve. Facebook is good for building a community; Instagram is good for visual content; Twitter is good for short promotions.
Besides using the right platform, you also have to use the platform right. As mentioned earlier, each site’s users have a preferred way of viewing content, so as a social media marketer, you need to develop a content calendar that matches these preferences. You could use short, witty captions and hashtags on Twitter, teaser photos or videos on Instagram, then release the full details on Facebook. If your business has multiple social media pages, ensure they are connected through links on your caption, bio, or About tab.
Once you have your social media sites set up, you also need to gather an audience. This starts naturally by posting the right content at the right time and setting up ads and sponsored posts. Different platforms have their own unique features and filtering schemes that can target ads for a specific demographic. By taking advantage of these, you can ensure your ads are seen by people who are already interested in what your client or business has to offer. Ensure your ads and other contents are in formats that maximize user engagement to get more shares and likes. For example, Lonely Planet uses 3D, interactive ads to show users a more in-depth view of famous sites around the world.
Track metrics and report results
Once you have a strategy set up for your client or business, the next step is to launch it and see how it performs. Even if your first attempt fails, you have the data needed to improve your approach. Data can tell you lots of valuable information, from the ideal time to post for maximum engagement to what content resonates with your followers. Properly tracking your metrics is the key to ensuring the success of future strategies.
Even if you’re not part of a social media agency, you can still start as an independent social media marketer. Use your skills to build a social media presence to show your clients what you’re capable of. Once you get your first client, it’s best not to overpromise. You should clearly explain to the client that building a strategy that works will take some trial-and-error. Give them a realistic timetable and a price reasonable for your services and experience. It won’t be easy, but if you continue to build your portfolio and gain success, you’ll eventually get big names to start hiring you.