In a marketer’s mind, social media comes at an instant when they think about digital marketing. The huge user base undoubtedly makes social media a lucrative marketing opportunity for them.
However, social media marketing is not only about publishing contents. A lot of things- from setting the goals to managing multiple accounts come into play.
With the right strategy and tools in place, your business too can win in the social media marketing world. This blog will help you right with that!
1. What Is Social Media Marketing?
Social Media Marketing refers to all marketing efforts done on social media to achieve certain goals. These efforts range from publishing content, advertising, running campaigns to managing customer relationships. The goals may include increasing brand awareness, generating leads, and raising conversion rates.
There are thousands of social media sites out there. Prominent among them are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Snapchat. These sites also provide features that make it easy for marketers to start their social media marketing efforts.
2. Why Do You Need Social Media Marketing?
Facebook has 2 billion users, Twitter has 330 million users, Instagram has 500 million users- all these statistics goes to show that social media is an important part in the lives of millions of people across the world.
If so many people are out there on social media, won’t it be foolish to let your business out of social media?
Moreover, social media sites often provide marketers with the right tools and features that can help them win. There are social media management tools as well which helps users to manage multiple social media accounts.
3. How to draw a Social Media Marketing strategy?
The Social Media world is like a huge ocean. Opportunities abound here. But at the same time, it is a huge threat here as well- high competition from rival brands, negative publicity, and regulations from social media networks.
In order to wade through these uneasy waters, you need to have a good social media marketing strategy. This section goes through an 8 step process to help you build a social media marketing strategy for your business.
Select Relevant and Realistic Social Media Marketing Goals
One of the most significant problems faced by many businesses engaged in social media is that they have never spent the time to set relevant and realistic social media marketing goals. They know they need to be on social media, but have no idea why they are there.
Of course, your social media marketing plan needs to fit into your business planning as a whole. Ideally, you will have set strategic goals for how you want your business to progress. Your social media marketing goals should complement your overarching business goals.
Determine Your Most Relevant Metrics
Too many businesses create a social presence and spend time and other resources on using their social accounts, without ever establishing whether they see any success or not.
Unfortunately, social analytics can be a gray area because they are not the same for every business. Once again, your most relevant social metrics will relate to the goals you have set yourself.
Understand your target audience with an audience profile
To be successful in your social media marketing plan, you need to be successful with your target audience. That’s why it is important to know about your target early on.
One way you can try to understand your target audience is to build a number of audience profiles. An Audience Profile is a set of information about your ideal audience. It may contain the following information:
- Personal Information: Age, Place of residence, family size, education background, and income level.
- Activities: Hobbies and interests.
- Pain points: Problems facing the audience, how he/she wants to solve it, barriers to solving
- Interaction with social media: How does he/she use social media, when and for what purpose(s)
You can also use social media dashboards like Facebook Analytics to develop a profile of your target audience.
Set metrics to measure your goals
Having set your goals and your target audience, you now need to set how you are going to measure your goals. This is where you need to choose your metrics to analyze your performance on social media.
A common mistake made by social media marketers is to use “Likes” or “Retweets” as metrics. However, these vanity metrics usually do not bring in any insights that are consistent with your marketing goals.
To actually measure whether you are keeping up with your set goals, use the following metrics:
- Reach: How many people have seen your posts, how many of them have shared these posts, how many views of your ads on social media.
- Clicks: How many people clicked on the links on your posts, what is the cost per click, how many people clicked on your ads.
- Engagement: How many people interact (like, comment, share) your posts, how many people use your hashtag in their conversations, what is the nature of engagement (positive or negative).
Investigate How Your Competitors Approach Social Media
Most firms don’t operate in isolation. You will usually have competitors who will also run a social strategy. You will definitely need to know what they are doing. What is their focus? Whom are they targeting? What key phrases are they trying to dominate?
You can quickly conduct a competitor analysis to help you better understand their strengths and weaknesses. This should give you a better understanding of what potential customers expect from businesses in your industry.
Establish a Realistic Social Media Budget
Let’s be realistic. No business should merely pay lip service to its social media accounts. Social media marketing is as viable a form of marketing as any other marketing type for most companies, and you should be prepared to allocate a budget accordingly. You can’t expect social media success if you simply tag it onto the pre-existing list of duties your existing office staff performs.
On the other hand, you shouldn’t spend more on your social media activities than you can realistically earn in increased sales, or at least in brand recognition and awareness if that is more where your goals lie.
Create engaging, consistent and regular content
In step-5, your strategy comes into reality. After deciding on your goals and your audience and knowing what kind of content is being favored by your target audience, you can set to create content.
Your content on social media sites must possess the following three characteristics:
- Engaging: The contents must be worthy of sharing and discussion by your audience. Not only does this help your goals, but it also helps reach a greater number of users.
- Consistent: Your content must have a unifying theme and convey a consistent message. People associate a personality to brands and inconsistent messaging can lead to people having negative experiences.
- Regular: So that your brand has a space in the minds of your audience, post content regularly. Too frequent posting can, however, be seen as intrusive. So strike the right balance in the frequency of your posting.
While creating content, do not rely on only one kind of content. Experiment with content in image, video, or text format. This way, you can have a wide variety of content to post throughout the month.
Schedule your content so that you can post content in a planned manner instead of making content at the last minute.
Be responsive to your audience
Do not just post content on social media and assume users are going to engage with it. You need to take an active role in the process of engagement.
Social media users prefer brands to display human-like qualities. Therefore, they would want you to respond to them on social media.
Whenever someone comments or asks a question on one of your posts, answer them. People like brands to engage with them much as brands want people to engage. Even a short comment such as thank-you develops engagement with users.
Promote Your Social Channels
Although good content will ultimately sell your social channels, you still need to gain your initial following. People have to find your channels before they can choose to follow you.
You can promote your channels in various ways, some highly visible, others more subtly.
You should place buttons for all your social accounts at various places on your website – on your home page, in your footer, on your About and Communications pages, for example. If you have an email list, you should include a reference to your social channels in any emails and newsletters you send. You can easily add buttons to your social channels in the footer of every email.
Consider Paid Promotion to Boost Your Audiences
Most social networks allow you to buy some form of paid ads. Most will enable you to demographically target your ads, making them only visible to your preferred target audience.
Paid promotions allow you to reach relevant audiences to whom you don’t currently connect. You can use advertisements to build brand recognition, promote particular posts/videos, or even to sell products.
Consider Working with Influencers to Widen Your Reach
We obviously understand the advantages of working with influencers and engaging in influencer marketing. If you select the right influencers, you have the chance to reach a whole new audience, who hopefully will have an interest in your business and its products.
Influencers have already mastered the art of social media marketing – that is their strength. They have built a solid reputation online, and have a large number of keen and interested followers.
You might consider working with influencers, having them to direct their followers to your social sites. You will, of course, have to create content that will interest them when they arrive at your pages, however.
Run Cross-Channel Campaigns
Many businesses now have more than one social account and tie them together with cross-channel campaigns. You can even include your influencers and brand advocates in these campaigns too.
Of course, if you sell multiple products targeting different groups of people, you might have quite a few business social accounts. That doesn’t mean that you need to include every social account in every campaign. Focus on those accounts that match the target audience for a specific campaign.
Evaluate your results and optimize
After posting content for a while, check their performance. Using the metrics you set up back in step-3, evaluate the performance of your content posts.
If some of the activities you are doing on social media are not up to your expectations, improve them. See the performance of those posts that are faring well and use it to improvise your poor performance ones.
Another way to improve your social media marketing performance is to experiment. Experiment with different types of content posts. That way, you can evaluate which contents are doing well and which ones are not.
Communicate your results
Social media marketing is an important marketing tool for a lot of businesses. Therefore, your company’s higher-ups might be interested in knowing the marketing performance of your business on social media.
Report your results based on the metrics you set up before. You can also report the ROIs of your social media marketing efforts to the top management.
Reporting your results to help bring in accountability and at the same time, you can get important feedback to improve your performance.
Use these tools to track your success. If they show that you are producing popular, well-shared content, create more of that type. If your content doesn’t perform so well, take note of what does work, and adapt your social sharing to focus on the kind of material your followers preferred.
You could also consider surveying your social audience to discover what they think of your social media marketing strategy. Your followers may come up with valuable ideas that you hadn’t thought about. Don’t be afraid to make changes if there is a chance that you can further improve your social success.
4. Creating a marketing funnel that integrates all your social media marketing efforts
You might have multiple social media accounts and even two or three under the same social media site. Managing them is undoubtedly not an easy task.
Managing multiple accounts therefore can lead you to mismanagement. You might not be able to meet your goals and end up wasting efforts.
To integrate all your social media marketing efforts, you should therefore create a social media marketing funnel.
A social media marketing funnel will help you set goals for each of your accounts, develop content accordingly and measure efficiently.
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