Social Media Marketing Strategy
Social media marketing might have started as a small add-on to a traditional marketing strategy. But in the past few years as the world of social media grew, expanding to users over more than half the world’s population, social media marketing is now a must-have for many businesses. But it can be a mysterious process – with all the different social media platforms out there, how can you come up with one unified strategy that works for your business? We’ve got the answers you need to sort out the confusion and get on the road to success.
What is Social Media Marketing?
Social media marketing is creating content for your business that you post on social media channels, like Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter, to promote your brand. Social media marketing can help you promote brand awareness and boost your conversion rate, when it’s used thoughtfully.
At its core, social media marketing is about connecting with your prospects and customers in an environment that prizes authenticity and engagement. Almost all of your target audience likely spends some time every week on social media. If your target consumer is younger, that time spent is probably every day. Social media marketing lets you speak to your ideal customer where he or she spends time naturally.
But it’s not a simple marketing medium to master. That’s because every social network is different – they have different audiences, goals, methods of engagement, and promotional opportunities. Your social media strategy needs to be tailored to each platform to get results – there’s no one-size-fits-all solution here.
How to Build Your Social Media Strategy
Every business’s social media strategy will look different. There’s no one path to success or strategy template in social media marketing. Actually, consumers have gotten quite wary of marketing in our advertising-saturated world, so creating anything cookie-cutter style is ineffective at best. Building the social media strategy that works for your business requires thoughtfulness and a targeted approach.
Set Your Social Media Goals
Most businesses don’t have great success on social media for one simple reason – they have no overall goal they want to achieve with their social media presence. They just set up an Instagram account or a Facebook page and wait to see what happens. And if there’s no goal? Then nothing big will happen.
Before you set up or refresh your social presence, think about how it will align with your business goals. Do you want to build brand awareness – making more people aware of your company? Do you want to build relationships with existing customers and prospects? Or do you want to boost your conversion rate for your online business or services?
Each goal requires a different approach. And make sure your goals are both relevant and realistic. Get clear on your goals before you put time, effort, and money into creating your content.
Find Your Audience
On social media, it can seem likes getting the most followers is the goal – the brand with the biggest audience wins. But you don’t just want to amass the most followers to succeed. You need to be reaching your ideal customers, your target audience – the people who are most likely to actually purchase your product or service.
Once you know who your target audience is, you need to do some research on where they spend their social media time. You’re not going to reach many 20-somethings on LinkedIn, or many baby boomers on Snapchat. But one of the great benefits of social media is the specific data they have on their users – there’s a platform for every business.
You might think that a successful social media strategy means having a strong presence on most or all social media sites. But that’s a mistake – there are so many platforms, with such different audiences, that spreading your social media campaigns around too much will give you fewer results. It will also waste your valuable time. Pick the few sites that are most relevant to your target audience and stick to using them well.
Come up With a Content Plan
Now that you have figured out your goals, your audience, and your networks, you can start planning your content creation. First, break out your digital marketing strategy. You want your social media posts and profiles to have the same look and feel as your website and other parts of your online presence. If everything looks different, consumers won’t recognize your brand as easily. And that recognition is critical for building brand awareness.
Next, what kinds of content resonate with your audience? What are they looking for – information, insider access, inspiration, an emotional connection? It can help to scout some of your competitors’ social sites for more information.
You can create content on your own, with the help of your marketing team or by yourself if you’re a small shop. Just make sure your images are clear and your content like captions and descriptions are error-free and professional. You can also use user-generated content – posts that your audience creates and shares with you using your handle or hashtag, that you then repost on your account with credit to them. This gets you free content creation and engages your most dedicated followers.
Promote Your Social Media Content
To maximize results, you should mix creating organic content with paying to promote posts. Social media advertising can help your brand get engagement and results even if you’re newer to the social media space. Without paid ads, it can be difficult to stand out from your competitors if you’re in a crowded industry. But think even more carefully about the goals for your paid content – you don’t want to waste money chasing vanity metrics that don’t actually help you achieve your business goals. Don’t spend money on Facebook advertising trying to get new followers when you really want to increase conversions.
But paying for ads isn’t the only way to increase your social media reach. You should also incorporate your social channels into your website and your content marketing. Adding social share buttons that make it easy for your audience to share content they found valuable with their own network increases your social reach, and it’s also beneficial for your organic search rankings.
Engage With Your Audience
Once your channels are set up and the content is flowing, your work isn’t done yet. To truly build the authentic relationships that social media is built upon, you have to continuously engage your viewers, customers, and fans. Be sure to build in a regular process to review your feeds for comments and questions, and respond in a timely fashion.
And don’t just stick to the main feed for interaction. Many platforms like Instagram and Facebook now allow multiple ways to engage with your audience, like posting more casual Stories that disappear in 24 hours. These can be great for a behind-the-scenes video or live updates.
When You Need Social Media Strategy Expertise
Social media marketing can yield huge rewards for your business – if you know how to use it right. But as a business owner, you already have a lot of hats to wear. And social media guru might not be one you can take on right now.
That’s when you need to call the marketing experts at ContentFirst.Marketing. We’ll build a complete digital marketing plan, including the social media strategy you need, that works for your unique business. Schedule your free business review today and find out how we can grow your business for the future together.