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Social media has become essential for businesses to connect with their target audience. But with so many platforms and strategies, how do you create an effective social media marketing strategy that will help your business stand out from the competition?
Social media marketing allows you to reach many potential customers, build brand awareness, and drive website traffic. However, without a well-defined strategy, it can be easy to get lost in the noise and fail to achieve your marketing goals.
If you want to harness the power of social media for your business, it's essential to have a solid social media marketing strategy in place. A well-crafted plan will not only help you reach your target audience but also engage and convert them into loyal customers.
This article will explore the critical steps to building an effective social media marketing strategy to advance your business.
Social Media Marketing
PPC stands for pay-per-click, a model of digital advertising where the advertiser pays a fee each time one of their ads is clicked.
Creating a Social Media Strategy
While you may have a solid social media marketing strategy in place now, this time next year, it's likely most of it will have changed.
To help you stay on top of your game, here are some steps you can take to improve your social media marketing strategy in this year and beyond.
1. Set your business goals
Before you do anything else, you need to outline what it is you want to achieve with your social media strategy. Do you want to generate more sales? Is your goal to build brand awareness? Do you want to attract more followers?
Your goals should be clear and measurable.
For example, an objective such as
“To increase brand awareness” isn’t a goal. A goal is something like: "To grow the number of our followers on Facebook from 100 to 1000 in 3 months." Or, "To increase the number of shares on our posts from 10 to 75 in one month".
2. Research your target audience
Once you've identified what it is you want to achieve and set your goals, the next step is to identify who your ideal customers are. This will help you determine which social networks are going to be most effective for your business.
It’s no secret that social media is a powerful tool when it comes to reaching your target audience. After all, there are over 4.62 billion active social media users in the world — around 58% of the global population. Plus, more than half of all internet users are active on social media.
But the key here is “active”. If you’re looking to create a successful social media marketing strategy, then you need to understand who is using which platform — and why they’re using it.
Take Facebook, for example. The platform has 2.9 billion active users each month — Facebook is the most popular social media worldwide. But when we look at who actually uses Facebook and how they use it, that paints an entirely different picture.
Understanding who your audience is and where they spend their time online is the first step in creating a new strategy. You should be able to identify what platforms your audience uses, who influences them, and what type of content resonates with them.
For example, if your ideal customers are of a younger demographic, then, Instagram and Snapchat are probably going to be more effective than LinkedIn and Twitter.
If they're B2B customers who work in a particular industry, then LinkedIn might be more effective than Instagram or Snapchat.
3. Establish your most important metrics and KPIs
The next step is to establish your most important metrics and KPIs. This will help you determine what success looks like for your business, as well as which tactics you should use to achieve your goals.
For example, if your goal is to increase brand awareness on Instagram, you might measure your reach or impressions.
If you want to drive sales through social media marketing efforts, it's best to focus on conversions or revenue generated by channels such as Facebook Ads or Google Shopping campaigns instead of vanity metrics like likes or shares.
4. Create and curate engaging social content
The key to a successful social media strategy is to know who your audience is and what they want. Once you know this, you can create and curate engaging social content that keeps them coming back for more.
Creating and curating content for your brand’s social media channels is an important part of engaging with your audience and building a strong community.
But before you dive in headfirst, you need to have a well-thought-out strategy.
That includes knowing:
- Your business goals and how social media can help you achieve them.
- Who your target audience is, and what platforms they use.
- What type of content performs where?
- Your brand’s identity, including the tone of voice you’ll use when posting.
Knowing these things will help you determine what types of content you’ll create, how to organize your content calendar, and much more.
Creating shareable social media content goes hand in hand with creating helpful social media content. When creating social media content for your business, ask yourself: "Would my followers find this interesting?"
A simple way to create helpful social media content is to answer questions from your followers.
Content Creation Tips
When creating engaging social media content for your business, keep these tips in mind:
Keep it short.
On social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram, you have only a few characters to get your message across.
Consider your audience.
What kind of content do they enjoy? Which topics would they find helpful? What kind of information would they find entertaining? Consider the demographics of your audience before deciding what type of social media content you'll post.
Make it personal.
Make sure the tone of your posts matches the overall tone and personality of your brand.
Here are some ways you can curate relevant content:
- Look in relevant communities and groups for interesting posts to share with your own audience.
- Follow keywords or hashtags related to your industry on social media.
- Follow influencers and thought leaders in your field on social media and share their posts when appropriate.
5. Make your social presence as timely as possible
Many business owners think social media is a channel for broadcasting promotions and messages about your company, but that’s not the case.
You can do so much more with social media than just post updates about your business. When you know how to use it correctly, you can use it to build relationships with your customers, encourage repeat sales, improve your search engine ranking and engage with the rest of your community.
Here are some of the best practices for building and managing a successful social media marketing strategy for your store:
- Make sure you have a presence on all of the major social channels, including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram.
- Make sure that all of your brand's profiles are up-to-date and filled out completely.
- Create a calendar for planning promotions, content creation, and other actions in advance.
- Set goals to help guide your strategy. These should be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely (SMART).
- Be consistent in posting new content and responding to comments frequently.
6. Assess what works, what doesn't, and then, keep improving
At this point, you should have a clear view of your social media strategy. Now comes the hard part, adapting your strategy through the year.
Your efforts from now on going forward starting implementation are to monitor and analyze your social media efforts. This means looking at your content performance objectively to see which one performs and which one doesn't.
When you have this information, you can now start adjusting your campaign parameters. The fact is in social media there is a lot of trial and error, the advantage you have is your ability to adapt quickly and readjust your strategy to suit your needs.
There are tools to help you monitor your social media activity and growth. Having all your social media activities monitored in one place can help you get results much quicker, which is where tools like Sprout Social, Social pilot and Buffer, and Hootsuite come in.
Looking at the data you collect, you can clearly assess your Key performance indicators (KPIs). If there is a need to change your goals, do so, do not hesitate because you still feel good about a content piece that performed during the campaign.
7. Don't leave out other departments from your strategy
When it comes to social media, the data you collect does not only inform your social media strategy. It can transform your entire business.
Here is why, according to sprout index data, only 39% of marketers use social media data to help other departments in their organization. This is not good for businesses. It means a lot of useful data is going unnoticed, and therefore not benefiting businesses for them to improve.
Some of the departments that can benefit from social media include
- Human Resources: When you use social media in your hiring strategy, you can attract more qualified candidates to your business.
- Sales: Sales reps can work with data to better help their prospects along the buyer's journey.
- Merchandizing: Some of the inquiries from your customers can help you better package or develop your products.
Build a Social Media Marketing Strategy
In the ever-evolving digital landscape, a well-constructed social media marketing strategy is the compass that guides your brand toward success. You've journeyed through the essential steps and insights, understanding the importance of defining your goals, understanding your audience, crafting engaging content, and measuring performance.
Now, it's time to put your newfound knowledge into action. Your brand's online presence is a dynamic force capable of connecting with a global audience, fostering engagement, and driving growth. To truly harness the potential of social media, consider seeking expert guidance.
The Brand Shop is your partner in crafting a social media marketing strategy that aligns with your brand and captivates your audience. Our team of experts specializes in creating and executing strategies that resonate, ensuring that your brand stands out in the digital crowd.
Ready to elevate your social media game and unlock your brand's full potential? Contact The Brand Shop, and let's build your brand's social media success together.