Fact or Fiction: You Don’t Need Social Media in Your Marketing Strategy

Developing a solid marketing strategy for your business is how you establish your brand, engage with your customers and increase your profitability. But oftentimes, many businesses forget to consider one of the most powerful, dynamic marketing tools they have available to them: social media.   

The idea that you don’t need social media in your marketing strategy in today’s technology-driven world is FICTION.

Having a social media presence should be seen as an essential part of your marketing strategy. If you’re having trouble believing social media is relevant in the building materials industry, consider these facts

  • The internet has 4.4 billion users.

  • There are 3.499 billion active social media users.

  • 91% of retail brands use social media.

  • 81% of small and medium businesses use social media platforms.

Let’s take a closer look at how social media impacts your business, how you can target the right audiences and how to incorporate it into your marketing plan.

Growing Your Business Using Social Media

If you aren’t using social media as part of your marketing strategy, you are missing out on a huge opportunity to not only engage with current and potential clients, but also have those audiences market your services for you through their shared experiences. 

One of the most important reasons to be fully engaged on social media is user-generated content (UGC). When your current customers talk about their experiences with you, the impact can be far-reaching. Not only does UGC strengthen your existing client relationships, but you become noticed as a trustworthy business in the eyes of their followers — your potential clients.

Here is a quick overview of five of the biggest players in social media and how using these platforms can help grow your business.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn has successfully modeled itself after Facebook while also separating itself from the social pack as the go-to platform for professionals to connect. And the results have been very positive. LinkedIn allows you to participate in many industry-specific groups and engage in conversations with professionals from your industry. Users can react and reply to posts now, creating more opportunities for UGC that can help grow your business.

Another new feature that is expected to appear soon on LinkedIn is the ability to allow members to post searches for vendors and products, asking other users for their suggestions. This gives your business the opportunity to be featured and recommended to a large audience of decision-makers. 

The best way to utilize LinkedIn is by getting your employees involved. First, create a business page for your company and then have your employees connect individually to that page. Because LinkedIn is quite protective about keeping the platform profesional, they don’t allow businesses to be active as themselves. However, your employees can. Empower your employees to share their knowledge of your company, products, services and industry news (and make sure they tag your company page) to grow brand awareness. This also helps position the company and employees as helpful guides or even industry experts. 

YouTube

YouTube is the largest and fastest-growing social network. In fact, its 1.9 billion users spend at least 40 minutes watching content each time they engage with YouTube. It also reaches more people than any TV network in the world, giving businesses an opportunity to share their content and advertise to bigger audiences.

Developing video ad campaigns is a great way to leverage your business. You have the capability to target users based on their Google search and YouTube watch history. This means you can target very specific audiences based on search terms that are associated with your business. Click here to learn more about launching and optimizing video advertisements on YouTube.

Creating a YouTube channel is another great way to promote your services and products. This is especially important in the building materials industry where customers must often choose from several patented and innovative products. Creating informational and how-to videos helps you showcase your business and promote what sets your products apart from the competition. 

Check out Smoke Guard’s YouTube channel to see how a building materials company can successfully utilize this social network.

Facebook

Facebook is the social network with the most users and should not be ignored. As a result, one of its greatest benefits is the ability to help your business find better prospects within your targeted audience. You can communicate with groups for architects, contractors, builders, fire safety professionals and more.

In addition to your business profile, Facebook Messenger gives you the opportunity to create more meaningful one-on-one connections with your audience. Being able to speak directly on Facebook helps you acquire customers, enable transactions, drive awareness and show customers you genuinely care.  

A great way to leverage Messenger is through the use of Facebook Chatbots. A piece of automated messaging software, chatbots use artificial intelligence to communicate with your audience 24/7. Chatbots are designed to understand questions, give answers and provide solutions for your customers instantaneously. You could use them to automate answers to frequently asked questions and help customers navigate your website, quickly getting them to the info and products they are looking for.

Facebook is also a great way to create and share events that will further engage audiences

and create opportunities for more interactions. Click here for a more in-depth

look at setting up an amazing Facebook business page.

Instagram

Instagram has evolved into a platform that is about more than just sharing pictures and connecting with friends. There is now a stronger brand presence as more people use Instagram to research and shop.

Because Instagram is so visual, it gives you a unique way to engage with your audience and build brand (and product) awareness. You can use images and videos to showcase how your products work. Plus, it offers a variety of places in the app to post your images and videos — newsfeed, stories, IGTV, direct messages — so you can maximize the amount of eyes on your posts. Posting images and videos of products in use or behind-the-scenes process shots is a great way to put content in front of your audience that they want to engage with and follow.

Pinterest

Pinterest is a social network that is part inspiration resource and part search engine. Users search for inspiration and create their own reference boards using content that interests them. With more than 291 million active monthly users, Pinterest is a great way to give businesses a direct connection to potential clients and drive traffic to their company website.

93% of users use Pinterest to make their buying decisions. This means users are taking the time to research products shown, read user reviews and actively engage with the product to learn more. Advertising is another way to make your products even more successful.

Typically, 57% of users buy products after they see a Pinterest ad, known as a Promoted Pin. Promoted Pins make it easier for users to discover your products. Your business is also shown as the ad sponsor along with a link to the product page. Regular Pins don’t have this capability, which gives advertisers an advantage. 

Take advantage by creating a smoke control or fire safety board. Then, fill it with pins that lead back to your product pages or your blogs. 

Targeting the Right Audience

Targeting the right audience with your advertising and content is a crucial part of a social media marketing strategy. If you aren’t reaching the right audience, UGC and other forms of engagement will dramatically decrease.

Target audiences can be broken up into two categories:

  1. High-Level Audiences: The general group of people you want to target. They all will typically share similar basic demographic information or have the same general interests. You will target a high-level audience to gain followers and attract leads. This would be architects, designers and builders.

  2. Campaign Specific Audiences: These are groups of people you will choose from the high-level audience based on more specific information. At this level, you can target content to niche audiences that show an interest in a product or subject. This would be your high-level audiences, architects, designers and builders, but narrowed down to specific locations or industries. As an example, you could target architects working in New York City that are designing high-rise office buildings.

Getting Started on Your Social Media Strategy

Social media outlets are full of valuable marketing potential that will help your business grow leads, increase sales and outperform the competition. Now that we’ve reviewed the basics of developing a social media strategy, think about how you can incorporate this into your current marketing plan. 

Remember, adding social media to your current strategy doesn’t have to be expensive or time-consuming. All it takes is organization and planning to make a greater impact on your overall marketing plan. 

One way to get started is to choose one social media platform to focus on. Check out our article on How to Use LinkedIn to Grow Sales and use it to help guide the creation of your LinkedIn strategy.