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Advice and Knowledge from EXPERTS

Should You Still Bother With Social Media Marketing?

Thanks to evolving algorithms and saturated content strategies, social media marketing looks different than it did just a few years ago. You can see it every day for yourself. Between sporadic posts and photos from family and friends, you’ll see ad after ad in your newsfeed. With such a ubiquitous brand landscape, you may have this question rolling around in your head:

Does social media marketing still matter at all?

Despite your personal feelings about social media, there are certainly compelling reasons to create a strategy for your business that uses your social media accounts. Take for example the little statistic that points to the idea that 98% of consumers plan to make a purchase through social media this year.

Still, creating an effective social media marketing strategy isn’t for the weak. That’s why we’ve put together some thoughts to help you decide if social media marketing is the right tactic for your business.

What Do We Mean By “Social Media Marketing”?

Simply put, social media marketing is the use of social media profiles to promote your business- your product or services. This can be accomplished by regular posting on these channels or by using paid aspects of that individual channel.

Your goals for using your social media channels may be different, but you can increase leads, make sales, and create brand awareness through your social media marketing efforts.

But hold off on creating a profile for every popular social media profile out there. Before you toss yourself down those rabbit holes, you need to first identify who your target market really is. You may have several versions of “ideal customers” which is great. Develop a persona for each one and ask yourself, “What social media channel does that persona spend their time?”

This helps you identify where you should be investing your time.

It’s much more worth your time to carefully research your audience’s ideal social media channels and put your energies into swimming in the waters with your ideal customers.

Creating your social media strategy will take some brainstorming with your team. you’ll want to identify your core audience through marketing personas.

There are often clues to your customer’s social media behaviors through referral data in Google Analytics. If you don’t have that data available yet or it’s inconclusive, ask your customers in a survey how they found you to gather information. Make social media channels based on your findings.

Maybe your company is focused on Gen Z. You might want to use TikTok and influencers to focus your social media efforts on your target audience’s ideal channels.

Leveraging social media to meet your marketing goals takes careful goal setting with defined KPIs. Tracking the ROI on your social media efforts is essential to gauge how well it’s working. You’ll use Google Analytics to see which social media profiles are driving traffic to your website and generating conversions. We’ll discuss this in-depth later.

The Problems with Social Media

Of course, social media is a massive part of our culture in 2022. Some social media users are a bit less impressed with the major platforms than they were at their inception. Given their ubiquity, these platforms are certainly not flawless. Consider these negative aspects of social media before implementing your strategy.

Culture of Negativity

These days it seems that algorithms often promote negative news and rage. It makes sense from the social media platform’s perspective: negativity fuels engagement among users. But it’s no wonder that so many people report feeling worse after spending too much time online. In fact, 64% of Americans think social media has a negative effect on our culture.

We’ve even heard people say there should be an age limit on social media channels.

Many people also take to their social media profiles when they want to rant about politics or bash a brand online. It stinks to say this, but every business owner needs to prepare to be on the receiving end of some negativity at some point. Respond accordingly and respectfully. Remember, your response is less for the initial person who posted and more for future customers that will read your response down the line. You may even get some valid criticism that helps your business in the long run, but for the most part, it’s probably a good policy to avoid trying to ever win any arguments online.

Good Strategy Takes Effort

Unfortunately, social media marketing is not something that will take only seconds out of your day. Prepare not only to post, but respond to customers’ reviews, comments, and form fills. Luckily, you can use a social media scheduling tool to cut down on time posting.

But be warned, even the most diligent social media poster will get nowhere if they don’t look at the results of their efforts. Your strategy could go nowhere fast if you don’t actively pay attention to metrics and make changes where they’re needed.

The Benefits of Social Media Marketing

Get a Bang for Your Buck

Yes, social media takes effort. But as a small business, your marketing dollars are likely limited. Posting on social media profiles is totally free. Plus, you can kick your digital marketing strategy up a notch and run ads to complement your strategy.

The cost of running ads varies depending upon the channel you’re working with, but you can often achieve a strong ROI with a good ad spend.

Facebook ads, for example, can reach thousands of users on an affordable CPM basis. You can also reach users at the exact moment they’re searching for answers on Google Ads.

Boost Brand Awareness

Using your social networking sites is a great way to boost your brand awareness. You can easily legitimize your brand and build up your clientele in your area through social media. Multiple social media channels help legitimize your brand to customers.

Not only do your social media profiles help familiarize customers with your brand, but it also is a viable way to improve your search engine optimization. While social media won’t directly affect your ranking, it can drive more visitors to your website which helps give your site relevance in Google’s eyes and can improve SEO. Create engaging content and boost it on your profiles.

The Chase For ROI

With all this effort, obviously, you want to know all about the ROI on your social media marketing. You know your KPIs best, so keep them in mind when scaling your campaigns.

Most typically, you’ll want to understand the return you’re getting on any ad spend, cost per lead, and cost per result. Ideally, any paid ads you run should have a low cost per result with a high return on ad spend. Your ad dollars should translate directly to conversions, so you can make your money back and then some!

Use Google Analytics to measure which social media channels have the best performance. You may hypothesize that your customers will interact with a certain channel, but Google Analytics could prove you wrong. Google Analytics can show you where to post more content and where to spend more ad dollars.

How to Make the Most of Your Social Media Channels

You’ve created your social media marketing strategy, and you know how to scale it, but how do you know you’re doing your best? Consider these tips to ensure your strategy is appealing to your customers.

Be authentic

No one wants to engage with a brand that bombards followers with sales posts. Engagement comes from real conversations. Speak like a human when writing copy and responding to criticism.

Provide Valuable Content

Consider your audience and create posts that they actually want to read and comment on. Write blog posts and social media posts from the perspective of your customer for optimal engagement. Creating high-quality content will also help your SEO, as customers can find you through keyword searches.

Many businesses get stuck only posting one type of content and it’s important to mix it up depending upon the channel. Using written content, videos, podcasts, infographics, and more can really increase your engagement.

Stay Up to Date

Social media is by no means static in this digital age. Algorithms will change and evolve. So, it’s essential for you to watch your performance carefully. Read up on any industry news and see if anything has changed on these platforms. Make changes accordingly to keep your posts in people’s newsfeeds.

Is Social Media Marketing Still Relevant?

It begs the question: should brands still invest in social media in 2022? Social media marketing is still worth your time. But it will take effort on your part. That’s why it’s so important to have a social media marketing plan. With so many people spending hours on social media and willing to pull out their wallets, you’re missing a massive pool of customers by staying off social media.

Create a viable strategy with social media channels and social media ads that coincide with your ideal audience. Your analytics will tell you what you’re doing right and what you need to fix.

Need some help getting started? Contact us to revolutionize your social media strategy!

author avatar
Cliff Tillery COO
Cliff Tillery, MBA is the Chief Operating Officer and SEO Director at Make It Loud which is a digital marketing firm located outside of Atlanta Georgia. More than 15 years ago, he started search engine optimization at this award-winning agency and has taught digital marketing skills to interns and new employees, business owners at the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce, the Gwinnett Entrepreneur Center, and other groups.
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