Defining your social media marketing strategy
Social media marketing strategies are simple to execute because they usually generate an instant response. An example of a common social media marketing strategy is a company that sets up an optimized profile on any of the big social networks to start composing updates that are also optimized to generate organic reach.
The outcome of this strategy is that the company that created the social profile to run the optimized updates will start getting followers in a matter of hours. A good percentage of those followers will convert into referrals, brand ambassadors, as well as into customers down the line.
What do you want to achieve from your social media marketing campaign?
Consider the following when planning your social media strategy:
- Do you want to increase sales?
- Do you want to build brand awareness?
- Is your main goal to build leads?
- Do you need to collect information?
Identify your audience. Collecting data helps build an avatar of your target visitor.
Create a strategy for how you will use each of the networks independently to strengthen your brand. Then, develop a plan for how these strategies will work together to develop your social media marketing plan overall.
I would recommend opening, minimally a Twitter and Facebook account. You may also want to set up a Pinterest, Instagram, and YouTube account. Choose which is relevant for your business. I would advise you not to have social media links just for the sake of it. Make use of your social media accounts and learn how to use them to your advantage. Depending on the nature of your business, some may work better than others.
Keep the branding consistent across all your social media platforms. Use the same logos and make sure that your posts are in keeping with the tone of your business.
How to build the perfect social media marketing plan
Step 1: Track and audit your previous performance
It is important that, before you plan out and execute your social media strategy, you track and audit the performance of your brand so far on your existing social media channels.
It is crucial that you take a detailed look at what you were doing the previous year. First, take note of what you wanted to achieve. It’s possible that you wanted to achieve something specific like making sales.
Now take note of metrics such as traffic, click-through rates, social follows, and generated leads on each one of your social channels. Pay special attention to those channels where you were the most active, as they will be a greater source of accurate information about your performance.
Then audit your social media profiles. Check your usernames, your bios, your links, and your images.
Once you have all of this information, determine if your current social media marketing strategy is helping you reach your objectives in terms of generated leads, sales, revenue, and return on investment. If you haven’t been getting the results you want, it’s possible that you’ll have to shift your attention to a different objective, such as boosting brand awareness first.
Lastly, check user statistics such as number of profile views and the time that users spent checking your profile. If the numbers are low, it means that you’ll have to improve your social media image.
Step 2: Define your social media marketing objectives for this year
Your social media marketing objectives for this year should be aligned with your current situation. For example, if you’ve already built an audience, then your goal should be to move that audience further down the funnel until they convert into leads, and then into customers.
Define goals that are achievable and make sense in your current situation. If you don’t have a solid audience, then don’t define sales as your marketing objective.
Instead, define brand awareness so you can build an audience first.
Remember, there are branding objectives and then there are revenue-based objectives. Branding objectives have to be achieved before revenue based objectives because almost no one will buy from you if they’re not familiar with your brand.
Step 3: Create audience personas
Knowing your audience well is going to define the success of your social media marketing plans. Audience targeting can make or break your social media marketing efforts.
This means that you have to learn all about the audience that you’re going to talk to even before you start posting content.
Creating audience personas can help you to define who is in your target audience. An audience persona is simply the average description of the typical member of your target audience, including its demographic information, its location, its interests, its online behaviors, and where in the buying cycle it is.
By creating audience personas, you will be able to better tailor your social media marketing strategy.
Step 4: Identify the best distribution channels for your business
Distribution channels are simply the social media sites where you’ll publish your content, and you have to identify the ones that fit your business the best.
You can do this by first identifying the purpose of each platform.
Although there are a lot of social platforms where you can build a presence for your business, we have prepared a break-down of the best social networks for brands and businesses and their purposes:
- Facebook is the platform that generates the most traffic. Its purpose is to serve news and entertainment, and it benefits basically any type of business.
- Twitter is a platform for news and content curation, and it best benefits Information-based and tech-focused companies.
- LinkedIn is a network for professionals and business managers. It best benefits Business-to-Business companies.
- Instagram is a visual discovery platform that best benefits clothing companies and other businesses selling products that are visual in nature.
Step 5: Monitor your competitors
You can monitor your most successful competitors to check the sentiment around their brands, to identify relevant industry keywords, search terms and trends, as well as to understand their social media marketing strategies. This will help you to reverse-engineer their formulas.
When monitoring your competitors, you should take note of the following criteria:
- What are their main distribution channels?
- What are they doing well? What could they improve?
- What type of content are they producing, and how is it performing?
Tools for researching trends
- Search Metrics
- Google Trends
- Google Keyword Search
- Google Ads
To view the number of unique visitors to your website, and obtain other useful statistics about your website visitors, set up a Google Analytics account for your domain name.
Create a social media content calendar and re-post high-performing content.
Social media content strategies
Useful social media marketing tools
How to build positive sentiment
- Use visuals, e.g. infographics, cute animals, etc.
- Run a video series
- Offer a free download
- Run a contest
- Write how-to-articles