Planning and crafting strategies are necessary to ensure that your social media marketing campaign is a success. This article will guide you in creating a social media marketing strategy for your business that will help you generate leads, boost conversions, and increase brand awareness.
The Importance Of Social Media as a Marketing Strategy?
Social media is a growing trend. In fact, according to Hubspot.com, the number of social media users worldwide surpassed the 3 billion mark in 2021.
This was concurred by a research conducted by Global Web Index, where it found out that 53.6% of the world uses various social media apps. These users have average daily use of 2 hours and 25 minutes.
Thus, it will be beneficial for you to take advantage of social media. It's one huge platform where your target market hangs out, and that means it's the place where you can reach them instantly.
What is social media marketing?
Social media marketing is a technique for making your business' presence felt on different social media platforms. It can also be defined as getting people to use, share, and like your brand through various social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, and so on.
Why invest in social media marketing, then? Because one of the biggest reasons why social networks have become so popular is because they're a great way to reduce business costs. A survey conducted by Oberlo found out that 73% of marketers who participated in the study believe that their use of social media marketing is somewhat effective or very effective in their business.
What’s more, social networking sites have more than 1 billion active users and this figure is growing continuously. Aside from that, social media marketing allows businesses to connect with their customers directly by communicating with them through different media – especially through instant messaging!
Social media is a great way, too, to do customer service, improve your reputation and increase your brand's awareness in the market. You can use social networks as a research tool, too. By listening to what people have to say about you and working on their feedbacks, you can greatly improve your brand.
Social Media is also a platform for building relationships and have interactions with other people around the world. Social networking sites allow you to connect to like-minded people - in your locale or abroad. You can also use it as a way of receiving feedback from customers when they are having problems using your product.
What is a social media marketing strategy?
Simply put, a social media marketing strategy is the best way of using social media platforms to market your business. There's no doubt that social media is an extremely powerful marketing and branding tool today. And there are no signs that it is stopping anytime soon.
Thus, using social media as a marketing strategy is a tremendous opportunity for businesses to expand their reach as well as leverage the power of social communities.
To guarantee that you'll gain more leads, sales and increase awareness of your brand, you have to make sure that you use social media the right way. It's not enough that you have Facebook, Twitter, and other social media accounts; you must use them strategically. Simply posting your business' latest news on all of your social pages will not suffice.
How to create a social media marketing strategy
Creating a social media marketing strategy is as simple as understanding what type of content your audience likes, which platform they are most active in and how to reach them.
For a guided approach, follow the steps below:
1. Choose your social media goals
The great thing about social media is that you can set your own goals and objectives to suit your business. What are you looking for? Is it increased traffic, building brand awareness, or establishing yourself as an authority in your field?
If you have selected specific goals, create a strategy for meeting them. For example: If your goal is to increase traffic on your blog and sales of online courses, then you need to include these in your social media marketing plan. If you are looking to build up your followers, make this clear in the objectives as well.
2. Analyze your target audience
Although this seems like common sense, it is an important step that is often overlooked. Consider the following questions: Who is my target audience? What do I want to achieve with my social networking site and what do they want? How can social networks be used to improve my relationship with my customer or potential customer base? What platform or platforms will reach the most people?
3. Conduct Competition Analysis
In studying your competitors, you want to learn about their social media strategies. Find out what they post, the content they published, the frequency of their posts, and how often they interact with followers; all of this can be learned through Facebook Insights and Twitter analytics. You should take a moment to think about why your competitors chose a particular platform over another. Understanding which social media marketing channels are the most effective for your competition can inform you which are the platforms that you can focus on. You have to keep in mind that social media is all about interaction.
4. Do a social media audit
Conducting a social media audit is an essential step in creating a social media strategy for your business. A social media audit includes investigating all aspects of the company's social media performance, including their performance on various platforms and how they interact with followers and other users through these channels.
These are the information that you can use in creating your goals for your future campaigns. Take note that effective social media strategies are based on knowledge and research of what others are doing in the business community.
Social media is a form of marketing that requires regular maintenance, which means you have to consistently analyze it to see if there are any trends or changes in your followers' interactions with your company or your content. You can also mine these for your guidance in the creation or improvement of your social media marketing plan.
Decide on what social media platform to use
To create an effective social media marketing strategy, you must determine the type of platform which will work best for your business. If you sell a product, then Facebook is not the right place for you. Facebook is more oriented towards businesses that provide services or make sales. For example, if you were a small, independent clothing store and sell your clothes through social media platforms, Facebook would be a viable platform because people can either buy your clothes or get in touch with you for more information.
Social media sites are businesses that sell advertising space to companies so they can promote themselves. You need to have a better understanding of what social media sites are before you buy ads from them. Because without it, your marketing plan may be ineffective.
If your business revolves around social media, then there is no right or wrong platform to use as a marketing tool. You have to choose based on the demographics of the people that are most likely to buy from you. With this knowledge in mind, it's time for you to select the platform that is going to get you sales.
If you're a business owner and looking for more customers, then social media marketing should be your first option for two reasons. First, it's affordable. Second, it doesn't require any website development or web design knowledge on your part. All you need to do is to go on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and start sharing. This strategy will not only help you attract more clients, but also improve your brand awareness.
5. Set up accounts and improve profiles
Once you have decided on the platforms to use, setting up your accounts in your chosen platforms is the next step. Fill out your profile information as much as possible and optimize it to attract traffic, particularly from targeted customers. You can use various tools like Hootsuite to understand how social media sites rank your profiles so you can fix any errors on them.
Social profiles that are more complete get higher search engine rankings compared to those with less information. If you are using social media to get more visibility for your business, one great way is to create posts to link back to your website or blog.
6. Create a social media content calendar
A social media calendar is a way of planning the posts you want to make for your brand. Making a social media calendar can save you time and help optimize your posting schedule.
You can create a social media content calendar using any spreadsheet software like Google Drive or Microsoft Excel. Or if you don't have these programs, then use an online template tool called Canva.
You can make your social media calendar as detailed or simple as you like. Another good idea is to use a template that you can reuse time and time again, saving you valuable time.
When creating your social media calendar, it's important to include the date, platform used (for example Facebook), what type of content you want to post (for example an image, a video, or a blog post), and your deadline. And don't forget to include hashtags (between 1-3 max).
You can have one social media calendar for all social media networks or you can create separate calendars for each service based on the type of content you're posting. If you're aiming for a simple social media calendar, you should create columns as follows: Date (in the format of year/month) and lastly you can add your deadline. You can choose any date and time formats that work best for you just remember to check it's compatible with all the services used in your business.
7. Create (and curate, if needed) engaging social content
Now it's time to create content. You can create a column for each post you'll be crafting, and another one for curated news. You can either use Buffer or Social Oomph. The first one offers a free version, while the second charge $10 per month (if you choose to not purchase it, you can look for an alternative). They both allow you to include images and videos. This will be the moment you can finally use those images that have been sitting on your hard drive for years; make some gifs, or even include Vine and Instagram videos. You should consider scheduling your posts so that they'll go viral as soon as possible.
8. Establish your most important metrics and KPIs
Establishing your KPIs is essential to understand how your social media strategy works. This will allow you to take advantage of different metrics and tailor your strategy to the numbers, instead of doing things blindly.
One of the most important KPIs to use is to monitor engagement. Look at your Facebook page, make a list of the most engaging post in the last 6 months and use them as benchmarks to check if your future posts will work.
Another important metric that you can monitor is the click-through rate. If the CTR on your social media posts is notoriously low, you need to be aware that your engagement numbers won't carry much weight when benchmarking your new content.
You may also opt to track the volume of shares instead, as this is a great indicator of how popular your content is.
If you want to take it one step further and if you have some money to invest into analytics software that will allow you better insights on social media analysis, you may use SEMrush. There are also free analytics apps that you can utilize, but their free features are limited.
9. Evaluate and adjust your strategy
Evaluating your social media marketing strategies is a necessary step that enables you to quickly adjust your strategy based on the results you are getting. Do not neglect this step, as it is often difficult to tell if your social media marketing strategies are successful or not until after a month of content marketing has passed.
If you do not wish to rely on analytics for benchmarking success and social signals, there are some general rules to follow. For social media marketing, you may want to wait at least a week or two before you decide if your social media marketing strategy is successful or not.
What you can do is try to find the trends in the data and take your time in studying them, so that you can gain insight into how to make your social media marketing strategies more effective for next month.
Tips for effective social media marketing strategies
As mentioned earlier, the social media industry is ever-changing. That's why it is important for you as a business owner to find out what is trending among your target audience.
One of the best ways to do this is subscribing to social media engagement tools such as SocialOomph and TweetDeck. You will be able to see what kind of posts are getting retweeted, how often they get shared, and which of your posts gets the most response.
Also, make sure that you follow people within your industry or field of expertise. This will help you gain more insights into what they are doing right when it comes to social media marketing strategies. Participating in conversations is another great way for you to learn from people around you. This can also help you gain more followers.
A survey conducted claimed that about 90% of consumers buy from brands that they follow on social media. This is the reason why your social media strategy must be implemented across all platforms you are currently using or planning to use shortly. You can't just focus on one platform.
Getting to know your target market is essential, too. To know your target market, you have to ask a lot of questions: Who is my target audience? What is their age group? What are their preferences and interests? We live in a world where consumers' lifestyles and behaviors are changing. New trends in markets emerge every day which may lead to higher competition for you. You need to be updated with these changes if you want to keep your business afloat.
Examples of successful social media marketing strategies
Some of the examples of successful social media marketing strategies include:
Starbucks is one of the most successful brands on Twitter because of its dedicated team that is constantly online to answer and initiate conversations with customers and fans. They put a hashtag on every tweet depending on what they are talking about. This helps new and existing followers find relevant tweets in their timelines. This initiative has led to an increase in followers and constant engagement because of the targeted audience of Starbucks customers. They have tweeted over 1 million times as of this year.
Southwest Airlines has been all over social media platforms ever since they set up their social profile. From their main website, Twitter page, Facebook Page, and blog, they keep customers updated with new flight promotions and interactive engagement through social media channels.
While interacting with fans on different social networks, Southwest Airlines has seen a huge increase in its fan base growth. In an interview conducted by eWeek, CEO Gary Kelly said he was surprised to see the growth of a social media customer base for Southwest Airlines from one million to over seven million in just six months.
Firestone is doing a great job engaging with customers on Twitter. They reply and retweet their fans, which gives them an interactive platform where they can engage with the company by sharing valuable feedback. Firestone has also used many promotional opportunities to post discounts and coupons.
Adidas has an exceptional social media marketing strategy. Some of the best practices of Adidas include:
• Using Facebook tabs to promote specific product lines. For example, during a 2011 sale event, they included a " Sale" tab on their Facebook page; fans were able to click that link and see all the items that were on sale. It's also interesting to note that they included a tab for " Adidas Originals," which is one of their most popular lines.
• Whenever they post photos on Facebook, they consistently use the "boost" feature, thus ensuring that people interested in their products will see them.
• They have an interactive Facebook application that allows fans to create their personal Adidas shoes online; the application is called " Canvas."
• Adidas has also used Twitter effectively. Here's an example of a recent tweet: "#Bouncebackability – @DwightHoward and @StephenCurry30 hittin' the court in new colorways soon."
• Adidas has also heavily utilized the YouTube.com website. They have their channel on the site, and they regularly post videos (such as commercials), as well as clips of athletes talking about specific products.
• Lastly, Adidas makes good use of Facebook's "Facebook Places" feature. The company has set up a store at the mall of Berlin Germany and allows people to check-in when they visit it. These people then get special discounts while they're there.
Social Media Marketing as a Strategy is extremely powerful because it taps into a niche group of people who are very passionate about what they buy. It also provides direct communication between the consumer and the organization, allowing for better relations. The possibilities with social media marketing are endless; by implementing these tips to your marketing strategy you can be a sure success in whatever goal you have set out!
Social media marketing allows companies to promote deals and discounts directly to consumers through social networking sites. This means that you're not bombarded with advertisements that interrupt your day, but rather are notified of these great discounts when you go online and check out what all your friends have been up to on Facebook or Twitter!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Below are the most common questions asked by people new to social media marketing:
How social media affects marketing strategy?
Social media has made it possible for companies to reach customers directly through announcements, sale information, and promotions.
You can use social media to promote your business and expand your brand awareness like any other form of advertising. Not only that, but social networking also provides you with the opportunity to connect with existing and potential customers – the people who may be interested in your business and what you stand for.
What is a social media marketing strategy?
Social media marketing strategy is the process of integrating social media into the business marketing and communication plan.
A company's social media strategy is generally created to increase brand awareness, visibility, and trust. Just like traditional marketing, it aims to give your brand identity and builds relationships between customers and the brand.
Social media has become a powerful medium for companies to introduce themselves or their brands by telling a story or creating an experience. This is where Social media marketing comes in. It helps build your brand's identity and tells your customers who you are, what your business stands for, and how you want them to feel about it.
This is done by engaging in activities like producing video content, blogs, images, and other 'shareable' stuff. These social media platforms create communities of like-minded people who then promote your business to their friends, followers, and contacts…the idea being that the more people you have promoting your brand, the more powerful your brand becomes.
Social media marketing is no longer an option…it's a necessity; without it, a man with a mediocre product and service will never make waves in today's competitive business environment.
How to improve social media marketing strategy?
Find a brand that's active on every social media platform you can think of and check their engagement, interaction, and user stats. This will give you an idea of what the best networks for your business are...or if any at all.
Why? You might be thinking: "I just want my Facebook page to get more likes."
Not to burst your bubble, but Facebook is not the only social network out there. However, it's one of the biggest. It has 1.86 billion monthly active users, so it's a good place to start if you haven't already!
The fact is that different social media platforms appeal to different users and demographics, and you're not going to be able to reach everyone on just one or two social media platforms.
For example, LinkedIn is a great platform for B2B businesses in the professional services industry. The average user there is an executive in his/her mid-forties or older, so it has its place. On the other hand, if you're marketing a fashion-related business, you might not find as much success on LinkedIn.
Why an effective social media marketing strategy is important?
When it comes to a business, social media is undeniably an important marketing tool. Here's why: you can reach more people faster, easier, and cheaper in today's tech-driven world.
While some marketers use social media as their primary online marketing channel, others integrate traditional marketing strategies with social media for greater effectiveness.
Social media makes it possible for you to reach and communicate with new and potential customers in real-time, allowing them the opportunity to engage with your product or service. It also allows you to connect with influencers and celebrities by sharing tips, tricks, or promotions using their social handles.
Not only do you have an amazing way of reaching out to new prospects but you can monitor sentiment and track, measure, and analyze your success.
What is a social media marketing plan?
A social media marketing plan is a detailed outline of the social media strategy using online platforms to communicate with existing and potential customers. The marketing plan should include goals, audience demographics, key messages, metrics to measure success, content calendar, and resources required to execute.
Social media marketing is as much about listening as it is about talking. Monitoring what people are saying about you can provide valuable insights to you which you can use to improve your service or product. You should use social media as a way to get closer to your customers. This way, you can encourage interaction and get advice from them.
Once you have started using social media, don't give up too easily if at first, it doesn't look promising. Even big businesses suffer the occasional setback on social media channels, so expect some teething problems.
As well as keeping an eye on your own social media channels, check out those of your competitors and other companies in the same sector.
You can also develop a social media budget to show the return you expect on each platform and determine how much time you can afford to spend maintaining it.
Ensure that all of your staff are aware of the benefits social media can bring and do not consider it to be 'just the young staff' domain.
Finally, have a plan in place to measure results and review your strategy regularly.