11 Steps In Creating A Smart Social Media Marketing Strategy
A successful social media marketing strategy doesn’t just require you to announce your existence, it’s pretty much deeper than that. Unlike few years ago, competition has tightened up more, as cyberspace is becoming increasingly crowded. What – marketing and business strategies – worked a few years ago is becoming less effective in light of dynamics – technological and demographical – of today’s social media environment.
What social media content strategy is effective in engaging the digitally literate users of social media?
Well, read on to learn more about the eleven ways your marketing team should leverage to win the hearts and minds of the digital generation. Let’s dive deep!
1. Set Up What You Want To Achieve With Your Social Media Marketing Strategy
It’s difficult to undertake a journey without a purpose. You need to set up what you want to achieve at the end of your journey; you need to create goals. However, you can’t set up goals if you don’t know exactly what you want. At the same time, you want social media marketing strategies that work; you’d not be wanting to waste your time, resources and effort on things that aren’t workable. While plenty of options exists, it can confuse and overwhelm you. However, if you’re clueless about what you want, don’t fret.
The secret lies in providing a great content; a content that appeals to everyone. In addition, strive for content that’s not just eye-catching, but also easily readable and shareable. All your readers, despite their differences, should be able to savor your content. While creating a great content is one thing, an engaging one is a different kettle of fish.
But, how do you create visually appealing yet engaging content?
Your content should arouse the emotions of the readers. To do so, it’s crucial to understand who you’re communicating with – your audience. Remember, these are the people your business is targeting. They’re more likely to become buyers of your goods and services; hence, you need to understand them. What appeals to them? What are their tastes, values and preferences? While nothing’s further from the truth of the saying, “one man’s meat is another man’s poison”, you should always keep this in mind while developing your content.
Once you attain a firm understanding of your target audience, it’ll be much easier to draw up your goals of social media marketing strategies. And those goals should be realistic. Like, you don’t expect to gain more than 100,000 followers per week. Break down your goals into achievable bits; start small and build up piecemeal.
Furthermore, avoid setting up too many objectives and targets, as this would create lots of diversions from your main goal. Concentrate on a particular goal or target, and maximize on it. And most importantly, write down your goals so that you don’t forget them. Recent statistics seem to indicate that individuals and companies who pen down their goals are 30 times more likely to achieve them than those who don’t.
What Kind Of Goals Should You Consider Setting Up For An Effective Social Media Marketing Strategy?
- Promote your brand: Strive to leave a lasting positive impression on your users. One way is to create a great content that’s engaging and appealing to your audience. Incorporate an emotional aspect in your messages, and don’t sound too promotional.
- Aim for higher conversions. While high traffic is good, it isn’t of much use if a great bulk of it doesn’t convert. It’s better to have a lower traffic with higher conversions than vice versa. To get to people who’re more likely to buy your goods and services, center your content around what they’re looking for. For example, you can use tools like Google Keyword Planner, Ahref or SEMrush to find what keywords or phrases people search for most often. Then, you can create a social media post around them.
- Aim for in-person sales. Someone – if they’re not your regular buyers – who’s visiting your physical store is more likely to have learned about your business online. In addition, it’s more probable that the person has already made up their mind by the time they step inside your store. That’s how important is to sell your brand online and to leave a lasting positive impression. What could be appealing about your online business? Things like keeping users up-to-date with your products and rewarding loyal customers.
- Maximize returns on your investments. It won’t hurt if you regularly audit your sales and marketing channels on social media. This would enable you to know how much you spend on posting ads, developing and managing products, etc. With this knowledge, you’d know which channels work much more effective, and invest in those ones accordingly.
- Build loyal followings. While this can’t happen overnight, it requires lots of patience and persistence from you. Getting to understand and build a persona list takes time, but it pays off eventually.
- Imitate your competitors. Because a social media content strategy works for a competitor doesn’t necessarily mean that it’d work for you. However, it’s a good idea to learn from your competitors to get a pulse of what’s happening in the industry. While there’s no one-size-fits-all approach, learning from your competitors can inspire you to innovate a bespoke approach that works for you.
2. Set Up A Social Media Management Budget
Once you set up your attainable goals, it’s a good idea to know how much money your social media marketing strategy requires. How much you allocate depends on how you perceive social media as a marketing channel. However, there’s little doubt that the power of social media is growing when it comes to marketing. Increasingly, many young adults are using social media to interact with brands. Hence, it’s important that you invest more money in social media.
However, if your budget can’t allow, don’t worry. There are resources to assist you. Just ensure that you’ve allocated these areas sufficient funds:
- Analytics tools
- Community engagement
- Social media management
- Paid ads
3. Understand Your Target Audience: The Most Important Social Media Marketing Strategy
Understanding your target audience is very important because it enables you to create a message that they can relate (or resonate) with. As such, you need to create a message that’s in sync with the feelings, moods or emotions of the specific audience at a particular time. This is a segment that should engage with your content the most – and possibly become your buyers.
Moreover, analyzing the characteristics of that demography – age bracket, income group, gender, occupation, etc. Fortunately, social media have some metrics that you can track – likes, retweets, shares, claps, comments, etc. And the good thing about social media channels, whether they be Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Snapchat, is that they give you a breakdown of engagement levels. Most have a dashboard that displays charts, graphs or statistics in your account. While it’s a good idea to have a general data about what demography uses what social media the most, it’s good to get insights about your customers.
4. Find Out About Metrics That Matter Most
While measures of social media engagement give you a clue about how effective your social media marketing strategy is, not all provide a whole picture of your brand strength. For example, having many followers and likes don’t necessarily reflect high levels of engagement with your brand, content or business. However, what measures really matter the most that you need to keep in mind when pursuing your goals?
- Link clicks. This figure represents how many times users click your name, content or logo. It reflects the level of advancement of your users down the marketing funnel. Hence, it enables you to understand what turns the heads of users to click or what motivates them to buy your products.
- Reach. It shows the extent to which your content arrives at the screen of your users. The higher the reach, the more likely users see your content.
- Engagement. This is perhaps the most important metric you should be keen about. It shows how users react or respond to your content whether it be through comments, shares, likes, etc. It’s found by dividing the sum of all interactions by the number of impressions.
- Hashtags. Tagging your content with #’s helps users to reach your content or website from social media. The more popular a hashtag is, the more likely people are going to click it and arrive at your content for more information.
- Paid and organic likes. Getting people to like your content naturally isn’t a bed of roses. It involves more than providing great content; it involves having a higher authority. While it’s not easy to get people to like your posts on social media channels such as Facebook, LinkedIn or Instagram, it’s much easier if you pay for them.
- Sentiments. People express their emotions by how they react to your content – images, and texts. Your content should have enough emotional appeal to move people to respond to it. If a content touches upon an issue people care about, they’re more likely to respond to it either through excitement, laughter, smiles, anxiety, grief, anger, etc.
5. Allocate Duties And Responsibilities
If you’ve a marketing team, then it’s good to allocate duties and responsibilities. This not only avoids confusion and overlapping of roles, but also boosts your productivity. While starting out may be turbulent, eventually things would fall into place and everything would be streamlined. For example, you can assign one person to create visual content and another to manage social media.
It’d be much easier to execute your goals when everyone knows exactly what’s expected of them. Plan to execute short-term goals as quickly as possible. This could be on a daily or weekly basis. Anytime longer than that, things would become complex because other issues tend to crop up. There are various tools, which are excellent for teamwork like Toodledo, Todoist, Wunderlist, Nozbe, etc.
6. Get Competitor Insights
It’s good to learn about who you’re competing with, what successful social media marketing strategy tactics they employ, and what their client base is. While it’s good to borrow ideas from your competitors, a much more effective method is to capitalize on their weaknesses. However, this would require you to conduct a thorough analysis of your competitors. While it isn’t easy, you’d be able to provide what they couldn’t. That’s what would give you a competitive edge over them.
The easiest way is to google for the keywords or phrases that people search for most often. What search engines would return are lots of pages, but it’d be a good idea to go for the top rankings. Find out why they rank higher than others. For example, you can research how they structure the content, examining specifically the position and size of texts and images. You can also look at how they structure their paragraphs and headings. Things like the number of plugins, links, content length, CTA buttons or ads on a web page are also important to look at.
In addition, investigate competitors who sell exactly what you’re selling or at least those who’re within your specific industry or niche. Next, monitor their activities on social media channels. A competitor analysis tool can help you to determine their social media presence and engagement levels. These statistics are only available to the competitor, but with the tool, you can view and analyze them.
7. Post Valuable Content
This can’t be stressed enough; a great content is a very important aspect of your social media marketing strategy. However, it’s nearly impossible to create a great content if you don’t know exactly what you want, you haven’t set up goals, you don’t know what engagement metrics are important, and you don’t know your target audience and competitors. In addition, content should be relevant to your business and industry.
Be careful, though. While it’s important to promote your brand through content, don’t overdo it. Research indicates that almost half of users of your content can unfollow your brand if your messages are overly promotional. Be sure to make your content visually appealing – use custom themes, images and videos to promote your brand or content.
8. Select Best Marketing Channels and Tactics
There are various social media channels – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, LinkedIn, etc. However, depending on your business model, there’s at least one that works optimally for your business. Your duty is to identify which one works best for your business. The list of buyer persona can help you decide on which social media channel is the most appropriate.
It’s very important to know what channel your customers spend most of their time. That’s exactly where you need to be all the time. Your goals and objectives determine what social media marketing strategy you’d implement. For example, if your goal is to get conversions, a social media marketing strategy should involve moving your target audience down the marketing funnel.
9. Interact With Your Audience
Interacting with your audience is very important. Responding to every review, criticism, praise or sentiment indicates that you care about the welfare of your customers. Hence, it enables you to engage with them much more closely. While it takes a lot of effort, because you can’t be available all the time, it pays off handsomely in terms of increasing engagement levels and brand awareness. This, in turn, boosts your presence on social media.
10. Choose the Best Time to Post
This is one of the toughest decisions you can undertake. While you don’t want to post too often, you also don’t want to post less often. Other than frequency, you ought to know what time is best for you to post. However, you must always respond to queries or concerns about your post. While users expect you to respond almost immediately, that’s not always the case. There’s a huge disparity between user’s expectations and what they get.
11. Monitor Your Efforts and Strive to Improve
It’s always a good idea to evaluate how effective your strategies and tactics are. If they fail to meet your expectations, you can rethink it. And since you employ several marketing and business strategies, results could be mixed. Hence, you’d be able to know which ones work and which don’t. While this isn’t always straightforward, even for the most seasoned marketers, engagement metrics seem to be much more predictable.
It’s always a good idea to create and evaluate your social media marketing strategy. This would enable you to put things in perspective. Getting insights into what posts, messages or hashtags are effective is very important for increasing engagement levels.