You know that social media is a key component of any online marketing strategy. But maybe you’re not quite so clear on the details of how to best approach it. Should you be focusing on generating followers and engagement through an organic approach? Or is it better to undertake a paid social strategy?

Paid and organic offer different benefits to businesses, so in the end, it’s best for you to undertake a joint approach. We’ll cover the reasons why below.

First Thing’s First: Everyone’s on Social Media

Well, not quite everyone, but the number of consumers on social media increases every year. According to Pew Research Center, seven in 10 Americans are on social media, and for most users, checking social media is a part of their daily routine. Think about your own routine: You probably look at at least one social media site every day, and you might even check it as soon as you wake up and right before you go to bed (not speaking from experience, obviously…).

This means that if your business isn’t on social media, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to reach the majority of consumers on the platforms they use every day.

So, now that you know why you need to be on social media, how can you get started? And how you can take advantage of both a paid + organic approach? Let’s explore!

Create Your Page to Get Started

The first step to getting onto social media is establishing an official presence. When setting up your accounts, include all your business information so social media users know this is your business’s page and link out to your website.

On Facebook, you can take it a step further and create an official page for your business. This page can contain contact information, location and hours, posts and photos, and reviews and comments from customers.

Building trust is an essential factor in winning new business, so it’s critical that you make sure your social media profiles represent your brand. Pick a Twitter and Instagram handle that make sense for your business and are professional. Make sure that any unofficial pages on Facebook are claimed and updated by you.

Build a Personal Connection

Organic social media allows you to build a genuine personal connection with consumers. When people tweet at your business or comment on your Instagram story, take the time to respond.

Consumers love hearing from a real person behind the brand. It helps to build trust, and that level of personal attention is a key part of creating a strong customer experience.

Organic social media also allows you to respond to critical feedback. On Facebook, users can leave reviews, and consumers will often take to Twitter to reach out to a business if they have an issue or complaint.

Reviews are a critical part of earning consumers’ trust online, so be sure that you stay on top of responding to all reviews”“the good, the bad, and the ugly. If you’re not sure how to respond to negative reviews, we’ve got you covered.

Join Broader Conversations With Hashtags

Social media isn’t just about interacting with your existing audience. It’s about broadening your horizons and getting in front of new consumers.

Using hashtags is a great way to do that organically. Hashtags allow you to join an existing conversation and get noticed by people who are already following that thread. If the topic is something that’s relevant to your business, start posting with the hashtag to share your opinions and hopefully gain the attention of some people who are interested in the topic at hand.

Hashtags can also be a great way to create buzz around your new products, services, or events. Start your own hashtag, and encourage customers to get involved and share content with their audience that’s related to your business. This gets you noticed by friends and followers of your existing customer base. For more on using hashtags or creating your own, check out our other article, Your Guide to Using the Right Hashtags.

Get in Front of a Whole New Audience

While organic social media can allow you to engage with your existing audience one-on-one, paid social ads can help you reach a wider audience of people who just might love your products or services.

Social media platforms allow you to target the users who are most likely to be interested in your business through advertising. One way to do this is through a lookalike audience, which means that you can upload information about your existing customers, and the platform will help you target your advertising to users with similar attributes.

Creating lookalike audiences allows you to get noticed by new people who are similar to your existing client base. This is truly a win-win for you and for consumers. You’ll reach those who are most likely to love your brand, and consumers will discover new solutions from your business that they otherwise might not have encountered.

Both paid and organic social media strategies have unique sets of benefits. When you combine the two, you give your business the best shot of being seen by the broadest possible audience. Contact us today to learn how we can help with your holistic social media strategy!

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