In this day and age where 42% of the world’s total population is on some type of social media, it is no wonder why more and more companies are hopping on to the social media marketing bandwagon. With such a huge user base, it would just be natural for businesses to take advantage and use this platform to extend their brand reach, enhance their customer service, and boost their sales.
However, with its popularity, it also means that the competition in the social media space these days is quite tough to overcome. With so much noise from big brands competing for the likes and shares of the users, it’s easy to wonder how small businesses and those new to the trend could possibly stand out.
However, this should not deter you from using social media in growing your company. Whether you are just getting started with this tool or want to further solidify your current approach, the key to using this platform successfully is to create an effective plan. Without further ado, here are the steps that you can take to create an effective social media marketing strategy for your business.
1. Identify and Set Your Goals
Whether to increase brand awareness, generate leads or make sales, your social media marketing goals will define the extent of the activities you need to include in your strategy as well as identify the best tactics that will help you achieve these goals.
When identifying your goals, it’s important to ensure that they are S.M.A.R.T.:
By following the SMART framework, you can ensure that the goals you will set can actually lead to tangible business results rather than just idealistic notions. Some of the social media goals you can consider are:
- Increase brand awareness
- Drive traffic to your website
- Generate new leads
- Increase revenue
- Boost brand engagement
- Build a community around your business
- Effective social customer service
- Increase PR mentions
It is also important to document your social media goals so that your team will have a basis to consult forward, as well as to improve your chance of achieving them. According to a recent study, people who write down their goals are 1.2 to 1.4 times more likely to accomplish their goals successfully than those who don’t.
2. Analyze Your Target Audience
All your social media marketing efforts would all go to waste if you don’t select the right target audience for your campaign. Identify and analyze your targeted audiences through their demographic segments, psychographic characteristics, and social profiles to help you identify what types of content, themes and topics would appeal to them as well as identify the best and most appropriate social media platforms that will reach out to them.
To help you get started, here are the most popular user demographic profiles of the top social media platforms in the market, based on the in-depth guide from SproutSocial:
- Women users (89%)
- 18-29 year olds (88%)
- Urban- and rural-located users (81% each)
- Those earning less than $30,000 (84%)
- Users with some college experience (82%)
- Women users (38%)
- 18-29 year olds (59%),
- Urban-located users (39%)
- Those earning less than $30,000 (38%)
- Users with some college experience (37%)
- Women users (25%)
- 18-29 year olds (36%)
- Urban-located users (26%)
- Those earning $50,000-$74,999 (28%)
- Users with college experience or more (29%)
- Men users (31%)
- 18-29 year olds (34%)
- Urban-located users (34%)
- Those earning $75,000 or more (45%)
- Users with college experience or more (50%)
3. Identify and Monitor Relevant Metrics
Once you learn about your target audience and decide which social media channels where you will focus your efforts, you must then pick the relevant metrics to determine if you are inching towards your goals or not.
When setting social media metrics, it is best to assign a separate metric for each channel you’ll use, or separate metrics for different features of each channel. For instance, you should assign brand awareness metrics for your paid social media marketing but assign engagement metrics for your organic social posts.
4. Create, Curate and Share Engaging Social Media Content
The right content plays a huge role in the success of your social media marketing campaign, especially if your goals are about brand awareness, thought leadership, audience engagement, and lead generation.
If you already have blogs on your website, you can compile them and pick the ones that you think will resonate the most with your target social media audience. If you have none available, you can start by sharing content from industry authority websites, or start from scratch and create your own epic content that gets maximum social media engagement.
5. Track and Optimize Your Efforts
Finally, an important part of your campaign is to effectively track and monitor your social media marketing performance. Through analytics and data monitoring, you can gain valuable insights that can help you formulate changes in your campaigns to make them better and more effective towards achieving your goals.
There are several third-party social media analytics that can provide you with insights like which type of content attracts more of your targeted customers, which content generates higher engagement rates, and which content generates higher click-throughs. You can understand which timing and posting frequency would be best for getting results. There are various tools and applications that can help you track your performance, on top of the native analytics tools most social networks offer users.
Social media, just like other digital platforms, is ever-changing and evolving. So, even with well-planned and detailed social media marketing strategy, you must constantly monitor and keep track of the trends and shifts in the industry so you can make adjustments and incorporate new tactics as you move forward. With that approach, you are more likely to gain significant returns from all of your social media marketing efforts in the long-run.