In our regular series helping businesses to generate sales and leads online, Grant Thomas, the Hereford Times digital marketing expert, explains the basics of social media marketing. LocaliQ, the company behind the Hereford Times, has invested more than £230 million in our new digital marketing platform. This means we are becoming one of the UK’s fastest growing digital marketing agencies, using our best-in-class marketing technology to generate leads for our clients

What is social media marketing?

Any form of activity a business conducts on social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and more, whether organic (unpaid) or paid to market itself.

What can social media marketing do for local businesses?

Organic social media marketing, which includes running a social media page but not paying for advertising, is an effective way to grow your brand awareness with your existing audience.

Your status updates and posts will reach those who have liked or followed your page. But, social media sites, just like search engines, are constantly changing their algorithms, making it a little harder to ensure your organic posts are seen by your fans and followers.

That’s where paid social media marketing, such as Facebook or Instagram ads, come in. With paid social ads, you’re able to note a specific target audience so you have a higher chance of reaching more people.

This is a great way to reach new audiences, get more leads, as well as increase your brand awareness. So, the best bet for most businesses is to take a paid plus organic approach to social media marketing, so you’re engaging with your existing audience as well as growing a new audience.

How does social media marketing work with other marketing tactics?

Social media marketing goes hand-in-hand with a number of activities. For example, I usually do some searches for businesses after I see them on social media. So, if they have paid search marketing and good SEO, I’m going to find a lot of information about them right away on the search engine results page.

How do I get started with social media marketing?

If you want to get started, the five things you need are:

  1. Consistent names for your social media pages. If you haven’t set up your accounts yet, you’ll want to make sure your business name is available on sites like Twitter and Instagram.
  2. A clear idea of which sites work best for your business. This will likely include Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, but could also include LinkedIn, depending on your industry.
  3. Pictures for your pages. You’ll want to keep your profile picture consistent across all sites, which makes your logo the best bet. Your cover photos and other images for your Facebook page should represent your business and what you want people to know about you.
  4. Updated information on all your social media pages. Business information like your address, phone number, services, and more.
  5. A posting schedule. If you set up social media pages, you’ll need to start posting and engaging there so it’s not a ghost town. You’ll also want to regularly monitor your page for any comments, messages, or reviews that come in.

It can easily become overwhelming, and social media can be a full-time job. If you don’t have the time or, let’s be real, the interest in running your own social media marketing campaigns, a marketing partner can help you get everything going and make sure it’s working. LOCALiQ (that’s us!) can help you determine which social media sites will be best for your business and what types of campaigns can help you reach your specific marketing goals.

  • For more information call Grant Thomas on 07785 696781 or email