Social media marketing forms a sizeable chunk of many businesses’ marketing strategy. But to maximize your chances of success on social media, you need a clear, concise, and a well-planned social media marketing strategy. Here is how you can do it.
According to Statista: Facebook is ubiquitous, Instagram and Snapchat are hot favorites among teenagers and young adults, YouTube has millions of subscribers, while TikTok is taking over Gen Z. LinkedIn and Twitter are where most professionals are.
A Quick Guide to Social Media Marketing Tools for SMBs
An updated GreenZone, few additional features evaluated and here comes the refreshed Buyer’s Guide no SMB can afford to miss!
Social media has come a long way from being merely a fad. For businesses big and small, devising a carefully planned, focused social media marketing strategy is a mandate. But how will you ensure that your marketing message cuts through the noise on social media and reaches your target audience?
To accomplish your social media goals, you will need a clear and specific strategy which can help you identify what you want to achieve and maneuver your execution to better engage your audiences and accomplish your marketing objectives.
Learn More: How to Ace Your Social Media Marketing Strategy on a Budget
Here is a simple step by step guide for your social media marketing strategy.
How to Create a Superb Social Media Marketing Strategy in 8 Easy Steps
There are multiple ways having a social media presence can impact your business. We’re taking you into the details of an approach that’s sure to help your business grow on social media.
Step 1. Research Your Audience, Competition and Trends
Conducting a social media audit for your social media efforts, getting to know your audience, and analyzing what your competitors are doing is the first step to understanding where you stand in your social media efforts. Here is what you could do.
Gather real-world data on your customers(prospects) to build buyer personas to understand their requirements. This will enable you to create the right message in the right tone and format that relates to your audience.
Once your target audience and their needs are identified, use social media analytics to identify their favorite social media platforms and the time(s) they are most active on those channels.
Conduct a competitive analysis to understand what they are doing. This will help you identify your social media targets and also track opportunities in the areas where your audience is underserved.
Engage in social listening to keep track of your customers’ likes (and dislikes) and determine how your current campaigns are performing.
Learn More: How to Market on Social Media: Genius Pinterest and Instagram Marketing Tips for 2019
Step 2. Set Goals
The next step is to identify your marketing objectives and align them to the goals. This will help you keep an eye on your performance and guide future actions. Tackling smaller, attainable goals can help you better scale your social media efforts and is more budget-friendly.
For example, your goal could be to increase brand awareness. Once your goal is clear you will be able to optimize your budget and content for this goal and identify metrics to measure success.
Step 3. Determine Budget and Allocate Resources
Whether you are an SMB or an established brand, it is essential to allocate a healthy budget and the right resources for each of your social media activities.
Once you have identified your goals, you can rank them based on priority. You will then need to allocate your spend and other resources according to priority.
For example, a new upcoming business would want to spend more on creating a buzz on social media, while an established brand would want to create a loyal fanbase.
Step 4. Identify Metrics
Your social media marketing strategy must be data-driven; it will also help you evaluate your progress as you go. Are the number of likes enough for brand awareness? Does the follower count really improve the bottom line? You can’t answer these questions until you align your goals to metrics and continually track them and keep tweaking your campaigns accordingly.
For example, if your goal is improving brand awareness; the number of shares or mentions could be the metrics that you could track. Analyzing email signups or landing pages will help track your conversion goals.
Step 5. Create Killer Content
Although most businesses start churning out content way before they have executed the initial steps. It is advisable to create and curate content based on the above steps for maximum impact. This will help you identify what kind of content works best for your target audience. Will they be interested in watching videos or is an ebook preferred? What is the right time to post content?
You will also need to create a social media content calendar that can outline your posting schedule and type of content. This helps you plot the right content mix and ensures your posts are evenly spaced out.
Your content will have to be highly engaging and should add value to your customers, to be able to shine.
Step 6. Identify the Right Tools
The right tools can help improve the productivity of your team and reduce the scope of errors. Thus identifying the right tools that fit your marketing objectives and budget is a must. You would need tools for automating, scheduling your posts, analytics tools to track campaign performance, social tools to communicate with customers, competitor analysis tools, monitoring tools, etc. — a comprehensive social media management tool that can cover all the bases is more convenient and economical.
Step 7. Test, Evaluate, and Tweak
You may not get it right the first time, given the scale of social media and when everyone is trying to capture audience attention. This is where you have to test, evaluate, and tweak your social media strategy.
Track your social data to analyze which posts (content) drive the most traffic and which ones don’t yield any traction. Test different versions and different types of content. Conduct surveys to better understand what your audience wants. Continuous testing helps you identify cracks in your strategy. Evaluate what worked (or went wrong) and refine your strategy to deliver up to your audience expectations.
Step 8. Experiment
Allocate a small budget to try out something new. Experiment with content and platforms that’s different from what most brands are doing. You just might hit a jackpot there. For example, social media platforms such as Pinterest and TikTok are widely popular among audiences but not effectively utilized by businesses to reach out to their audience. It doesn’t take time for a post to go viral, you just have to identify a novel idea and amp it up to reach maximum users. Don’t shy away from reaching out to audiences who are not presently in your target demographics. Who knows, they just might need what you have to offer.
Learn More: 10 Ways to Ace Social Media Marketing In 2020 And Beyond
A social media marketing strategy involves a lot of research, analysis, creativity and experimenting. To summarize, here are some key action points:
- Study your audience, competitors and trends on social media before you begin.
- Plan your goals and identify key milestones to achieve.
- Identify budgets and key metrics you want to improve with ads.
- Create appealing, engaging content that informs or entertains your audience.
- Experiment, test and modify your social media strategy to innovate and improve results.
Social media is more trial and error but having a clear social media marketing strategy in place does help you focus on what you want to achieve. Simply be, consistent, patient and keep an eye on your goals, the results will follow.
Have you documented your social media marketing strategy? Do tell us your social media approach on Twitter or LinkedIn or Facebook; we’re always listening!