With the time to bid bye to 2016, we’ve clearly got to know that Social media is a vital marketing channel for businesses of all the sizes. Still, there are many businesses who’re trying to market through social media without a documented strategy.
Do you know the key elements of social media marketing?
Your business goals and objectives are the elements that guide your Social Media Marketing strategy in order to connect your brand with your targeted customers.
How do savvy businesses use social media marketing to effectively grow their customer base, boost their online reputation and make more sales?
In this post, I’m going to share seven essential steps you must take for your business to create an effective and successful social media marketing strategy..
1.What you stand for, Identify your business goals?
Every effort of your social media strategy is a step to serve the goal you set. You cannot simply move forward without knowing what you are working for.
Determine your company’s overall needs before deciding on how you will be using social media to help reaching your goals.
You’ll find up several personalized goals on your way, but there are few which almost all the companies seek to include in their social media strategy – improving brand awareness, customer retention and the goal to reduce the marketing spend is relevant to everyone.
The best way is choosing two primary and two secondary goals and focus on them because having too many goals may distract you and end up achieving none of them.
2.What are your marketing objectives?
Your goals would not be useful unless you have specific objectives that define when each of those goal is achieved. So, you need to set parameters to consider that goal as a success factor.
Be SMART, by making your objectives Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound – this will help you identify your social media marketing objectives.
For example, if your primary goal is to generate more leads and sales for your online business, then you need to define a specific objective like increasing leads by 50% or having 30% more sales.
Of course, choose an objective which you can achieve with the resource you have, don’t set up unrealistic targets like increasing sales by 100%.
You need to choose the analytics and tracking tools to measure the progress of your social media campaign and the goals you’ve set.
Another important aspect is setting up a time-frame to accomplish a particular goal. In the above used example – the objective to increase the leads by 50% may be S, M, A and R but by adding a T, a deadline; to achieve this goal is crucial to take your efforts to next level.
3.Who are your Ideal Customers?
“The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well that the product or service fits him and sells itself.” – Peter Drucker
It’s crucial to target the right people, at the right time and right place with the right message. Usually, businesses suffer low engagement because they don’t have the ideal customer profiles. If you successfully identify your target audience, then it gets easier for you to target them on any media.
Even the best social media marketers often fail in their efforts if they are targeting the wrong audience. Buyer Personas is a good way to know your target audience. You can figure out the age, interests, pain points, job title, income, habits, likes, dislikes, motivations and most importantly the most used social platform by these personas.
4.Who are your online competitors?
Competitor research plays an important role when it comes to social media marketing. It not only keeps you updated of their activities, but also gives you an idea of what’s in trend so that you can integrate their successful strategies into your marketing efforts.
Start searching which social networks they are using to analyze their content strategy, the number of their fans and followers, number of posts and the time of the posts. Besides, focus on the type of content they’re posting and the context (promotional or humorous) and how do they respond to their followers.
5.Which platform is the best for you?
Many businesses create profiles on all the famous social platforms without researching which network can help them bring the most returns.
Again, think about where are your target customers and avoid wasting time in the wrong place.
If you prefer Twitter for marketing and your customers spend most of the time on Facebook everyday, then probably you need to make Facebook your primary business venue. Because, you need to be present on the platform where your customers are – not anywhere else.
6.What is your Content Strategy?
Social media and Content have a unified relationship. Social media marketing efforts are meaningless without great content and nobody will know about your content without social media. The best strategy goes with using them together to reach your audience and convert your prospects.
There are three main elements to design an effective social media content strategy:
- Type of content to be posted on each social platform highly depends on the context and the form. Context goes with the network trends and your company’s voice, whether the content should be serious, funny, educational or humorous. Form is how you present the valuable information – images, text, links, video etc.
- Frequency of posts is important. A perfect posting frequency can get you more engagement or even get you more unlikes and unfollows.
- Posting time is a specific time for you to post on a particular social platform. You need to do research and figure out the best time to post.
You can use facebook insights to analyze when your audience is online and engaging with your content.
7.Which tools and Resources do you use?
You can do amazing things using the right tools. Most social media marketers leverage the best tools to boost their productivity. When it comes to social media, having a social media management tool can help you scale your marketing efforts with great ease.
Allocating a specific budget for social media marketing, you can find out the best tactics that fit in your budget. Or, you can also go for the opposite approach – First, determine the strategy and then allocate the budget that fits your strategy.
Still, if your strategy spend exceeds your budget estimate, it’s wise to prioritize your marketing tactics according to their time-frame and ROI.
Bonus Tip – Track, Analyze and Optimize
This is the most important of all the above steps when it is about succeeding on social media networks. Even the best marketers today work on trial and error basis. Though it looks basic, but tracking your marketing results, analyzing the data and tweaking your marketing tactics to optimize them is critical.
Remember, no single strategy is set in stone. It’s your constant efforts and work in progress that may change when required. So, simply create a strategy, start tracking the progress, optimize it as your business grows and keep learning more about your business and your audience.
Do you have a defined social media strategy? Which tools do you use to keep moving ahead? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below!