Do you know what it takes to set a successful social media marketing strategy?
You will be making a terrible mistake to underestimate the power of social media in today’s world. Facebook, Instagram and Twitter provide marketers with powerful tools to help them hone in on demographics and really make an impression for their brand.
Of course, there is no one-size-fits-all solution to social media – different companies need to take different routes. Here are 9 tips for a successful social media marketing strategy.
Set clear and realistic goals
When you first get into social media marketing, the opportunities can seem endless and the audiences can seem horrifyingly huge –Facebook alone has 2.27 billion active users.
Nonetheless, social media is over saturated with companies just like yours trying to break through and reach their followers and potential customers. Therefore, you should set clear and realistic goals on what exactly you want to achieve before you even jump into the bandwagon.
It could be brand awareness, increase sale leads, drive traffic to your website or even drive e-commerce revenues, nonetheless, make sure you set this clearly before you start investing time and money.
This is by far the most important step towards a successful social media marketing strategy.
Assign who will be in charge
As in the case with many team-based projects, you need a competent leader who can be in charge of your social media marketing strategy. This should preferably be someone who has experience with social media marketing and the steps necessary to carry it out successfully.
Hands on involvement is very critical in such initiatives. You need people who have experimented on any of the social networks you decide to focus.
Select the right channels
This is one of the most important decisions you will have to make before setting any social media marketing strategy in place. You need to ask yourself “Where is my target audience hanging out? “ No matter how much money you spend on ads, if you get into the wrong social network, you will not see any results out of your efforts.
Not all social media channels are created equally. For example, if you’re trying to appeal to young people, you’ll find that Facebook has been “uncool” with youngsters for a while now – as of 2018, a mere 11% of Facebook users are between the ages of 18 and 24.
On the other hand, “trendier” social media channels, such as Instagram and Snapchat, are more suitable if you’re trying to reach a younger crowd. Around 22% of Twitter users are 18-24-year-old, and more than 31% of Instagram users between 18-24 year-old. Instagram has 3 times as many 18-24-year-old (proportionally) as Facebook does.
Focus on a few types of content
Play to your strengths and hone in on creating content which you’re going to be strong at producing. Rather than spreading yourself too thin, focus on a few types of content which are going to resonate with your intended audience and support your social media marketing strategy.
The key to social media marketing is to create content which is “engaging”, and this should be your primary goal.
Yes, you need to increase brand awareness and generate leads, but people are used to whizzing by ads on their social media feeds all day. If you can create a video which is informative and entertaining, then you make your audience to like, share or comment on your content.
This is called engagement.
Health and beauty companies are very good at creating this kind of engaging content on social media.
For instance, rather than a makeup company advertising its latest eye shadow palette with a generic poster, they might post a video makeup tutorial featuring their new product, showing their potential customers how to use it and how looks like on someone’s face.
Nonetheless, throughout this educational “tutorial”, they will make sure that their brand is being advertised and promoted.
What kind of content is going to engage and entertain your audience? What can you teach them which is relevant to your products/services? Think about it very carefully and select the few which are the most appealing to your brand and audience.
Put a content calendar in place
Great content is the foundation of a successful social media marketing strategy. You need to drip-feed content to your audience rather than force it down their throats all at once. There is a fine line between consistently promoting your brand and becoming straight-up annoying.
In order to keep your audience engaged without intruding upon their social media feeds too much, put a content calendar in place and plan what and when to post.
It’s hard to know exactly how often you should post your content, as the algorithms which rank content are always changing. However, studies have shown that posting frequency primarily depends on the network you are focusing at.
For instance, posting once a day on Facebook is good enough, however, you will need at least 15 daily tweets to get someone’s attention on Twitter.
The more content you produce and distribute the more data you will collect and it gets easier to set in place a schedule that fits your brand identity.
Social media scheduling tools
Thankfully, there are plenty of services available that allow you to schedule your social media posts way in advance, hence giving you the time to brainstorm for more great content.
Here are few to consider:
Stay consistent and execute
Execute your plan consistently and according to your decided schedule. Sometimes your posts are not going to perform as well as you had hoped, and that’s okay.
Perhaps the content wasn’t as good as you thought, or perhaps you just posted at a bad time of day or during major world events which consumed people’s social media attention.
Nonetheless, remain determined and stay consistent! If your content is strong, things will pick up again soon.
Evaluate results and adjust
Is your social media marketing strategy helping you achieve the goals? Time to evaluate results and see what works and what does not.
Social media channels typically have lots of detailed insights regarding your content, with Facebook being particularly well-known for its strong data analytics and insights.
For example, with Facebook, you can use its tools to analyze exactly how many clicks, impressions, conversions, comments, likes, and shares your content received, in addition to much more.
Using in-depth metrics, you are able to evaluate your results against your initial projections, adjusting your future game plan in order to increase the probability of success. Whatever your results happen to be, learn from them and adjust your social media marketing tactics moving forward.
Be prepared to spend money
Gone are the days where you just had to post content regularly and reach pretty much your entire followers’ base. Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat are traded public companies which means, they have to make money. And they all rely on advertising opportunities.
Start experimenting with a small budget and test the water, see what works and how you can scale things.
You can easily spend thousands of dollars if you target everyone but this is not marketing. Set clearly who your target audience is and focus just on it.
You can aim on various ad targeting options with few of the most powerful being:
Location: You can target users by country, state, city or even postal code.
Demographics: Age, gender, income, marital status
Interests: This is probably one of the most powerful targeting option. If you sell radio control air planes or drones, you need to find audience with interest on it.
Behaviors: You can target audience that has demonstrated a specific set of behaviour, such as has been to your website, or uses a mobile device.
Engagement: Another way to target your audience is by focusing on those who have taken action on your content, which is engaged. Engagement can be in the forms of likes, comments and shares.
Automatic Optimization: If you decide to let Facebook run the show, then you can set automatic optimization. Adjustments will be made based on data collected and goals achieved.
Never stop learning
One thing is certain in the social media world, nothing remains the same. The speed in which trends and best practices change is phenomenal, hence the only way to stay up to date is to keep reading and educate yourself.
There are plenty of great blogs to read as well as some amazing courses at Udemy at the cost of couple of Starbucks coffees. Most of them start as low as $15 and can go as high as $70 depending on the instructor’s experience and course curriculum.
Here are few great social media marketing courses at Udemy worth exploring:
Social Media Marketing Masterclass
How to create brilliant Facebook ads for your business
Social Media Marketing MASTERY | Learn Ads on 10+ Platforms
Social Media Marketing – Complete Certificate Course
Gone are the days where social media presence was just good to have option, with billions of active users using these services daily, your business needs to have solid presence with a very clear goal and strategy in place.