As a part of our new series 5 Essential Elements of a Successful Web Strategy, we’re going to look at social media marketing to understand its role in an effective web strategy.
We sat down with Joshua Brown, who founded Soulheart in 2013 and used social media to grow its reach, to learn some more about the work he does.
What do you like about social media marketing?
Social media gives us the ability to connect with people we might not otherwise meet. When I was a teenager – I’m going to date myself now – I remember that Hotmail blew me away. It was great because it was a way for me to forge an independent identity. My friends and I could message each other through our own addresses instead of having to go through our parents’ home phones. In a way, it helped each of us find our own voices and discover who we are.
Social media combines lots of things that I’m interested in. When Facebook came out, it really changed the game for me because it provides a network to exchange more than just text. Today, Instagram combines so many of the things that I love – photography, social connection, and storytelling – and it’s my favorite social media platform right now.
The potential for social media to be a powerful marketing tool struck me from the get-go. It’s probably the best way to grow your network and expand your audience because it gives your voice exposure. You can share stories, ideas, and new insights with thousands of people with a click of a button. As I learned and experimented with it, I realized I had a knack for it and enjoyed channeling my creativity to share a positive message or spread the word about a service or product.
What is social media marketing?
Social media marketing revolves around two things:
- Gaining exposure
- Solving Problems
Exposure is important because people have to know that your company exists before they buy something from it! Social media is the way to get exposure fast. You can make a page on Facebook and easily invite your friends to follow it and share it. This creates an audience even early on in your marketing process.
That audience is important because they’ll be seeing your posts – and it’s in your posts that you should communicate how you solve a problem that they face. The root of all advertising is showing people a problem that they have and why you offer the best solution for it.
When these two things are done well, social media helps you create leads that have a high potential of converting.
How does it work?
All social media marketing successes lie in a strong marketing strategy.
Before we ever log on to Facebook, it’s essential that we clarify a client’s goals when it comes to social media. We have to understand why social media is useful to a brand to know how to maximize the return on our investment.
After that, we also have to know the narrative of the brand. We’ll ask questions like these:
- What is your story?
- What problems are you solving?
- How is your company unique?
- What is your ideal customer journey?
The answers to these questions will help us establish the tone, design, and content of a social media page as well as individual posts. We’ll go back and forth until we find the sweet spot of an interesting brand aesthetic and a compelling presentation of their message.
As we get social media content rolling, we’ll monitor the analytics for each post and the overall pages. We’ll learn what engages an audience and which methods work for a steady uptick in the number of followers, likes, and ultimately conversions.
It’s definitely a challenge because social media is always changing, but the same things that make it difficult are what also make it exciting. I know that when I’m working on a social media marketing project, I’ll be pushed to be creative and think hard to find great solutions for great companies.
Thanks, Josh, for talking to us about your work!
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