Developing a social media marketing strategy is crucial if you want your business to stay competitive. It has been one of the best tools to connect with potential and loyal customers. Sadly, even modern organizations fail to maximize social media to gain an edge in the industry. A possible reason is the lack of a strategic mindset when marketing via social media platforms.
Some believe it involves creating accounts on popular social media platforms, but it requires more. Generally, it involves a comprehensive knowledge of social media. Let’s take a close look at what social media is all about.
- A Close Look At Social Media
- Defining Social Media Marketing
- Importance Of Social Media Marketing
- What’s A Social Media Marketing Strategy?
- Guide On How To Develop A Social Media Marketing Strategy
- Final Thoughts
A Close Look At Social Media
Nowadays, almost all individuals have social media accounts. All of the popular social media accounts, such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, to name a few, allow people to connect and create or share content with ease.
Unlike traditional marketing methods, social media platforms enable businesses of all sizes to spread the word about their brand without geographic limitations. With this in mind, the constant development of social media presents itself as a way for businesses to conveniently approach and market their products and services to their target audience. In no time, it gave rise to social media marketing, a crucial consideration for businesses eager to maintain a competitive edge in the industry. With this in mind, it may be time to know what social media marketing can do for your business.
Defining Social Media Marketing
In simple terms, social media marketing involves utilizing social media sites such as Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter to spread the word about your brand.
If your company recently launched a new product or service and plans to publicize the launch on social media, that’s social media marketing. Taking advantage of social media is crucial since an average person is likely to spend 2 hours and 32 minutes per day on them.
When your company engages with customers via comments, it’s also social media marketing. Another example is developing engaging content that presents the values and story of your brand.
Generally, it’s a form of marketing involving social media tools and skills. Similar to preparing for your company’s marketing strategy, developing a plan for your social media marketing is crucial.
The success of social media marketing will depend on your capability to find and cater to the needs of your target audience. That way, they’ll love your brand and share your stories or posts with others. Remember that your social media marketing efforts will be in vain if your content isn’t worth sharing.
Importance Of Social Media Marketing
Today, social media will always be part of daily life. Consumers check social media if they want to know about a company, product, or service. Generally, social media platforms are where you can find the information you’re looking for. With the power of social media nowadays, you’ll miss out on the opportunity to readily reach out to your target audience if you fail to prioritize it.
On the other hand, if you want to gain insights into the interests and tastes of your target audience, social media is also the right place to start. Companies nowadays are prioritizing social media marketing as a way to achieve sustainable growth.
Due to the increasing competition in almost any industry, your business shouldn’t miss what social media can provide.
What’s A Social Media Marketing Strategy?
A social media marketing strategy consists of objectives you want to achieve using social media. It also includes an outline of actions to maximize social media and your company’s resources to accomplish the core goals. When creating a strategy involving social media, it typically involves the following elements, such as:
- The main objectives of the social media marketing strategy
- Target audience with elaborate personas or profiles
- Budget range and resources
- The core message you want to convey using the strategy
- Types of social media you’ll use to implement the strategy
- Time frame to publish the content on social media platforms
- Tools to measure and optimize the performance of your strategy
Making your social media marketing strategy specific is the key to ensuring effectiveness. Make it as concise as possible and avoid making it broad otherwise, it would be hard to measure.
Guide On How To Develop A Social Media Marketing Strategy
Social media can be complex. A glimpse isn’t enough to know its intricacies and how to maximize it for the benefit of your company. Most find it overwhelming to come up with a strategy for promotional endeavors. However, developing a successful social media marketing strategy doesn’t have to be a complicated ordeal.
One way to go through the process is to think of your strategy as a plan covering all aspects, starting with your objectives and all the actions you need to take. Making sure you have a straightforward plan will ensure it stays result-oriented. With this in mind, plan everything to keep it attainable and measurable. Once you have a clear outline, it’ll serve as your guide for a seamless campaign.
If you want a good start with social media marketing, here are some crucial steps to help you create a successful one:
1. Establish Objectives And Metrics
Decide on what you want to gain from your company’s social media presence. It’s crucial to define your goals and metrics clearly.
When setting goals, it’s best to utilize the SMART framework, which stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely. The objectives should be based on this framework.
Let’s take a close look at what your goals should be:
- Specific. Your goals should be specific so that it’ll be easier to set a straightforward strategy and know what to expect. For example, one of your objectives is to increase Facebook’s engagement rate by 50%.
- Measurable. Having specific goals will make it easier to measure success. If you cannot reach an engagement rate of 50% in one month, you can make the necessary adjustments to improve the outcome.
- Attainable. The goals should be achievable based on the resources you have.
- Relevant. When creating goals, you need to know what they can do for your company. Based on the example, you should determine if increasing the engagement rate can be beneficial in achieving your business goals. Relevant goals should align with the core business objectives.
- Timely or time-bound. Deadlines should be considered when setting goals, but they should be practical.
As for the metrics, you need to know the value social media brings. With this in mind, metrics such as click-through, conversion, and engagement rates should also be a priority. Depending on the social media platform you’ll be using, you can set distinct goals and track your performance accordingly.
2. Know The Target Audience
When creating a social media marketing strategy, you should make an effort to know everything about your target audience. Generally, it’s a group of individuals most likely to be interested in what your brand has to offer and most typically share common behaviors and demographics.
As you try to get to know your target audience, you should be precise throughout the process. Doing so will provide you with valuable insights to create relevant content.
Creating audience personas involves the development of a fictional representation of your model customers. In simple terms, personas allow you to draw a clear picture of your perfect audience.
Whether your audience is seniors, millennials, or baby boomers, it’s best to create a persona to help you attain a more actionable and focused strategy. Some factors you can utilize include interests, location, age, spending capacity, average income, and pain points, to name a few.
For example, your target audience can be a group of millennials within the 20–30 age group with full-time jobs in an urban city. Using this as a basis, you can create more specific characteristics to create the ideal persona.
Data should also be a priority. Avoid the mistake of making assumptions when researching your target audience. Utilize data to make well-informed decisions.
3. Research The Competition
Almost every business today has social media accounts. If your competition has one, you can readily know what they’re doing. Apart from knowing your target audience, you should also know about your competition. Doing so will allow you to gain valuable insights. And the best way to do this is by utilizing competitive analysis tools.
Competitive analysis helps identify the competition while providing insight into what to expect from your social media presence.
These are the steps to consider to gain a clear picture of the competition:
- Know the keywords the competition is using and who are ranking for your targeted keywords. You can do this by conducting a search using the top relevant keywords for your business.
- You need to check social media for the keywords you use, so you’ll know who appears on the top results.
- Lastly, you should also figure out the brands your target audience is following. Analytics by social media platforms will come in handy in gaining insights into what your audience follows.
It’s best to narrow your list to only five brands competing with your company on social media. Consider using a SWOT analysis to know the competition’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
Remember that analyzing how the competition utilizes social media for growth will help you pinpoint opportunities. For instance, if the competition solely focuses on Instagram, you can try other social media platforms where your target audience is underserved.
As an additional tip, you should closely observe the reviews and comments on the competition’s social media pages. Doing so will give insight into any complaints or requests. As you outline potential struggle points, create relevant content based on complaints and requests to gain an edge over the competition.
4. Decide On The Social Media Platforms To Use
Every social media platform is unique. One stands out from the other in terms of the users and the form of interaction. For example, individuals in certain age groups will have a preferred social media platform. In one source, baby boomers and seniors are less likely to use Instagram, mostly preferring Facebook.
Since you have an array of social media platforms to choose from, it’s impossible to use them all in your strategy. Additionally, you cannot publish the same content on every platform. If you want to ensure success with your social media marketing strategy, make an effort to do research when selecting the social media to use.
Keep in mind the demographics of your target audience when identifying a suitable platform for your strategy. For example, creating a social media presence on Instagram may not be reasonable if your target audience is baby boomers or seniors.
In most cases, Facebook and YouTube likely deliver the best outcome. But for some, it might be LinkedIn or Instagram. Remember that gathering data about your audience plays an important role in figuring out what social media platforms your target audience uses most of the time.
Additionally, it would be best to consider your company’s goals when selecting the social media platforms for your strategy. If you want to showcase your brand visually, Instagram is a good choice, but if you want to improve customer connections, Twitter would be best. The key is to align platform benefits with your business objectives. In summary, look for a platform your customers are happy to use and that you’re comfortable using.
5. Create Engaging Content
Once everything is in place, it’s time to create engaging content.
Creating content requires knowing your audience, especially what makes them happy.
Remember that content is anything you share or post on social media platforms, such as a status update on Facebook or a photo of an upcoming product on Instagram. Make sure you customize your content for every social media platform while keeping it relevant to your audience.
During the creation of content, make it a priority to perform keyword research. It plays a crucial role in improving visibility on social media. Knowing which keywords your audience uses can uncover their needs and wants to construct your message effectively.
6. Promoting On Social Media
Once your content is ready, proceed to promote it on social media. Although it can be challenging to get your content viewed, it’s best to follow the 80/20 rule, which involves spending 20% of your time generating content and the remaining 80% on promoting.
Generally, the creation of content takes time and effort. However, it’s all worth it if you end up with good-quality content, making it easier to drive engagement. So, make it a priority to start with good content right from the beginning.
All the content you create should be what your target audience needs. The next move is to encourage engagement and reach with paid campaigns. The majority of popular social media sites allow paid social campaigns.
7. Routine Analysis Of The Results Of Social Media Promotions
Always remember that your social media marketing strategy is vital in your marketing plan and in establishing a solid online presence. Likely, you might not get it right at first. As you implement your strategy and monitor performance, you’ll discover that some tactics might not work as planned. With this in mind, analyze the results to pinpoint potential issues.
When analyzing the results, monitor the right metrics depending on your goals. Some of the metrics that truly matter are the following:
- Volume is the number of people talking about your brand or campaigns and the easiest metric to measure
- Reach is how far your content spreads
- Engagement is how your audience interacts with your content and how they spread it.
- Influence is whether your social media content is captivating enough to encourage followers to take action.
Share of voice is the percentage of how the industry is talking about your brand compared to your main competitors. It’s a key metric to guarantee that your strategy is doing well. Make it a priority to reassess your strategy based on data and insights.
A social media marketing strategy should be your priority if you want to spread the word about your brand and engage customers effectively. Creating the ideal strategy has a comprehensive scope that involves planning, setting objects, conducting customer research, pinpointing aspects of your strategy to optimize, and many more. Whether you want to widen your brand’s reach using social media or boost your company’s social media engagement, creating a streamlined social media marketing strategy is crucial.