Understandably, social media is one of the most popular and useful means of marketing today. Social media provides a platform to reach millions and millions of people who likely could not be reached otherwise. Social media marketing can be very effective when used wisely and strategically. While there is no perfect, "one-size-fits-all" formula, there are some things that social media marketers can do to ensure that they get the most out of their marketing endeavors. Consider just a couple of these things.
Look For a Role Model
Whether you are a freelancer promoting your skills and services or are marketing for a company, it is wise to look for a role model. This involves a bit of research and effort, but it's worth it to examine the competition. Look for those who have been successful in a similar industry to yours and examine their social media profiles. How can you know if they are successful? For one thing, you can compare their profiles to your goals (i.e. the number of followers, the average number or likes, retweets, etc.). If they are where you would like to be, so to speak, then you've found a good starting point.
Consider the things that have made them successful on social media platforms such as what kind of content they post, how often they post and how much they respond to and interact with their followers. You may find that several of the role models that you consider have used some of the same techniques successfully. You can then use the same strategies in your marketing campaigns, hopefully with the same result.
Pick the Right Platforms
While there are a vast amount of people on numerous social media platforms, every person is not on every platform. Therefore, you need to determine what platforms will help you to reach the most people in your target audience. In order to do that, you must know who your target audience is. What age groups are they in? What are their interests? These are just a couple of questions that can help to narrow down which platforms will be most beneficial and yield the best results.
And again, your role models can be of extraordinary use to you in this matter. On what social media platforms are those in your industry active? Are they connecting with the kind of people that make up your target audience? This will give you a good idea of where to start.
Keep in mind that it may be more appropriate to focus on and establish a following on only one or two platforms in the beginning before branching out. The goal is to post high-quality, interactive content on a regular basis and that can be a challenge to do on several platforms. It is far better to have one or two thriving, active accounts than to have five or six with sporadic posts and little engagement.
As stated before, there is no foolproof recipe for success when it comes to social media marketing -- or any type of marketing, for that matter. That's exactly why it's necessary to constantly reevaluate and readjust in order to find the best methods for you or your company. Above all things, marketing by means of social media requires patience and persistence. It may, and likely will, take some time to achieve whatever goal or goals you've set, but with persistence, it will pay off.