Social Media needs no introduction. It is a platform that most of the world connects on and consumes media With almost four BILLION users, having a presence on the different social media platforms would mean reaching out to more than half the world. That statistic alone should already interest you to market your products on social media platforms.
But of course, Social Media Marketing requires a strategy. You have to craft a content strategy, figure out where to post them and how to get your target audience engaged. It isn’t as simple as just posting stuff on to your Twitter, Facebook or Instagram and hoping for people to randomly land on your page and liking your posts. There must be a game plan in order for your company to succeed.
Today, MarketingGuru will guide you through the crucial steps required to craft a social media marketing strategy
What is Social Media Marketing
Before we start helping you plan a strategy, we must first establish an understanding of what social media marketing is. Social Media Marketing is a format of online marketing that involves the creation, curation, and sharing of content on social media platforms. Its purpose is to help businesses gain traffic, brand awareness, and attention through social media platforms.
Some companies may think that getting organic traffic through search engine optimization or having a well-optimized pay per click campaign is enough. What these companies have to understand is that social media and SEO are closely related.
Social Media mentions are beneficial in helping with search engine rankings. When you build your brand’s content and get people talking, your webpage’s search engine performance will be positively impacted. Social mentions are a factor in Google determining which websites have more authority which will in improving your rankings. This is why you need a good social media strategy to complement your search engine efforts, which also explains why digital marketing agencies tend to recommend using their SEO services and social media marketing services together.
Step 1: Setting Your Social Media Goals
There could be many reasons why your business is doing its marketing on social media platforms. Generally, companies use social media for purposes such as generating community engagement, increasing brand awareness, driving sales and boosting web traffic. However, before you embark on your social media marketing journey, it is important to establish which of these is your main objective.
Choosing an objective would impact the way your social media marketing strategy is crafted. The types of content would differ from objective to objective. Here are some social media goals that you can set and examples of content that you would be looking to produce for each goal.
Generate Community Engagement
Community engagement can be increased by giving your target audience something to do. Be it a question or contest that encourages user-generated content. Engagement will be generated if you get your community working!
Hosting live streams are also a great way to get your community to hop on to your stream and interact with you. These engagements can help to increase brand loyalty as it adds a personal touch for your business.
Increase Brand Awareness
Increasing brand awareness is different from driving sales. The kind of content that you would be looking to publish would NOT be content that hard sells your products and services. Instead, look to create content that shows your brand’s vision and values. This is the primary focus when it comes to increasing brand awareness as you want people to know your brand for more than just the products that you are selling.
Increase Sales and Traffic
When your goal is to be increasing web traffic and sales, it is more appropriate to be coming up with content that has a strong Call-to-Action. These posts can usually be boosted through the social media platform that you are marketing on. One crucial component in having a goal like this is to ensure that they are measurable, as such, you should make use of tools like Google Analytics to keep an eye on acquisitions through your social media channel.
Step 2: Determine Your Target Audience and Platform
Social Media Marketing isn’t just marketing on Facebook and Twitter. There’s a whole array of platforms out there for you to choose from to market on! To find the right fit for your business, you must first establish who is your target audience and whether or not they use the platform that you’ve selected to market on.
To help guide you along, we have compiled a list of social media platforms and which demographics are they appropriate for.
Total Users: 2.5 Billion
Good For: Advertising Products and Services, Increasing Brand Awareness, Engagement
Main Demographic: Gen X, Millennials and to some extent, Boomers
What’s Special: Facebook Business Page – Allows for you to have a community hub for your customers to interact and communicate with your brand
Total Users: Over 1 Billion
Good For: Visually Appealing Content, Visual Promotion, and Advertising, User-Generated Content
Main Demographic: Millennials
What’s Special: Instagram Stories – which are short-form video content for you to promote your business’s offerings
Total Users: 330 Million
Good For: Audience Engagement, Audience Interaction, Brand Awareness, Customer Relations
Main Demographic: Millennials
What’s Special: Tweets are short-form messages that allow for witty engagements with your target audience, helping your company build a brand personality
Total Users: 575 Million
Good For: B2B Businesses and Business Development
Main Demographics: Gen X and Millennials
What’s Special: LinkedIn Publishing Platform – Allows for your company to publish articles on LinkedIn’s platform and for the content to be distributed organically within your network on LinkedIn.
Total Users: 800 Million
Good For: Short-form videos content, Companies that can produce creative and attractive video content in 15 to 30 seconds, Increasing Brand Awareness and Advertising
Main Demographics: Millennials
What’s Special: 66% of TikTok users are under the age of 30. If your business can produce visually striking video content and is targeted at young adults and teenagers, TikTok is right for you
If you still have trouble deciding on how and where to market your products or services, you can refer to HubSpot’s extremely useful Make My Persona tool. The tool can help you to create your target audience’s persona to give you a better idea of how and where should you be targeting.
Step 3: Content Creation
Having decided on the platform, your next step will be to create the content that you will be sharing on your social media platforms! If content creation is new to you, you can read up on how to get started with content marketing.
Based on the platform chosen, you will have to add value to give your customers reasons to follow your brand on its social media account. Content creation is an absolute must as it is the easiest way for you to start adding value to your audience’s lives on social media.
It isn’t easy to immediately think of ideas to generate content on social media. One useful tip to get you started would be to look at your competitor’s content. Through analyzing the kinds of content posted by your competitors, you can identify gaps in content and ways on how to improve on existing content from them. This will give your target audience reasons to follow your brand over your competitors.
Additionally, make sure to utilize your platform fully for content creation. For example, if you are going to be running your social media marketing on Instagram, fully utilize functions such as Instagram stories and Instagram product tags in your posts. For Facebook, you have to utilize its dynamic product ads to help you in converting leads.
Social Media Marketing is also good for using your customers to help your business generate content. You can either get social media influencers to help your brand generate content by reaching out to them to repost your content or gain organic content from your customers. Organic content can be created by creating your own hashtags and encouraging your audience to utilize the hashtag to share their stories and experiences of your products and services.
There is an endless variety of formats for you to create and present your content, find inspiration and create valuable, unique content to maximize your social media marketing!
Step 4: Create a Social Media Schedule
To keep your content fresh and up to date with trends, you can create a social media schedule to help plan ahead on what’s to be posted.
An easy solution to keeping a schedule for all your social media content would be to use a social media management software. SproutSocial and Hubspot both offer social media management solutions that allow you to plan and write posts ahead of time. They also help you to share the created content on the different social media platforms based on your schedule and help to monitor engagements and interactions of your posts.
Keeping a schedule will ensure that your business is able to consistently post content and create content that is relevant to the trends. For example, you can plan for blog articles related to things to do in the New Year when it is nearing New Year’s Day.
Step 5: Assess and Analyze Your Social Media Campaign
To measure the success of your social media marketing campaigns, social media metrics can be tracked and analyzed. The metrics will allow you to understand how well is your content engaging your customers and how much reach it is getting from the platforms.
Some of the metrics that you can measure include:
- Impressions: The number of people that your content has been seen by
- Engagement: Interactions with your post. This refers to things like clicks (even on the view more button in a Facebook post), likes, comments, replies, etc. Different platforms may have different engagement means. For example on Instagram, posts that are “saved” by users are also considered engagement
- Mentions: The number of times that your company’s page has been mentioned in a post or tweet by the public
- Shares: The number of times your content has been shared by people to their pages.
To track these metrics, you could use built in tools on different platforms such as Facebook Analytics and Instagram Insights. The social platforms would usually have tracking tools for social accounts. But do remember to set a conversion path for your website on Google Analytics if you want to track your campaign’s conversion!
These metrics when tracked will help you to plan for future content as they give you a clearer picture of what your target audience wants from you.
Help Your Business Float Like a (Social) Butterfly on Social Media!
The 5 steps listed above should help you get a good idea of how to create a social media marketing strategy. With the amount of time the world is spending on social media platforms as well as the reach you can gain from it, it isn’t hard to see why businesses these days see social media marketing as one of their key efforts. Get started today with these simple steps and help your business become the social butterfly it deserves to be!