Over the years, social media has become indispensable as a marketing tool for businesses of all sizes. This is due to its ability to reach a wider audience compared to other marketing strategies; in fact, statistics show that 3.5 billion people use social media on an everyday basis. Moreover, 73 percent of marketers believe that social media marketing has been effective for their businesses. With such a huge presence and positive results, marketers cannot afford to dismiss social media in their marketing plan.
Developing a solid and viable marketing strategy is a requisite for successful social media marketing. From choosing the right channels to creating content that appeals to your audience, here we discuss essential points to consider in order to develop a marketing strategy that pays off.
Set realistic goals
Before you even think of the social media sites you are going to use for your campaign, you first have to know what you want to achieve by the end of your campaign. Here, there are a few basic goals that you should consider; for instance, work on increasing your brand awareness by creating content that offers actionable advice and solutions to your audience. Equally important is to increase community engagement and web traffic, which is a sure way of letting your audience feel more connected to your brand.
To set realistic goals, experts recommend you segment your overall plan into realistic and reasonable objectives that will be affordable to implement, and will not overwhelm you and your team. In any case, you are more likely to achieve success if you have a plan that dictates how you are going to approach your marketing strategy from beginning to end.
Research your target audience
Without the knowledge of your target audience, you cannot manage to create a strategy that is specifically suited for people who associate with your brand. Thanks to technology, social media analytic tools have made it feasible to assess and analyze social media demographics. As such, you can easily understand your audience to create a marketing plan that works for them.
Notably, different social media sites attract a unique kind of audience; for example, a large percentage of Instagram users are Millennials and Gen-Z, while Pinterest attracts more women than men. Analyzing social media platforms in relation to your target audience can help you invest more resources on platforms that are more convenient for your business and products.
Develop success metrics
Developing success metrics allows you to track the effectiveness of your marketing strategy. This way, you are able to tell whether you are making progress and if you need to adjust your current strategy. Key metrics you should keep in mind are; reach (how your content is spreading across platforms), clicks (how people move through the marketing funnel), hashtag performance, and engagement.
Marketers ought to understand that developing applicable and effective metrics is a process rather than a quick fix. This requires investing more time and resources in the planning stage to ensure that you are applying metrics that will work well for your business.
Know your competition
The upside of knowing your competition is you can determine what works for them and the loopholes they leave that you can exploit to market your product. You can achieve this by conducting a competitive analysis where you assess how competitors use social media. For example, if your biggest competition invests more on Facebook, you can opt for Twitter and Instagram to access people who may be less targeted.
The point behind understanding competitors is not to mimic how they use social media; instead, it is to inform your strategy and make sure you improve on the areas that are largely ignored, and hence better your marketing plan.
Create engaging social content
Content is what communicates to your audience about your business and products. Therefore, you need to pay more attention to the content you are posting on social media sites. Usually, content can be in the form of videos, images, company information, interviews, eBooks, and so forth. The idea is to focus on content that relates to your audience and aligns with your mission statement.
While here, it is recommendable to create a content calendar to inform you when to post on your social media platforms and the type of content you should put out. This helps to create order and consistency that is essential for social media engagement.
Invest in social media management tools
With your business leveraging multiple social media platforms, it can prove hard to utilize all of them to the fullest without technological assistance. This is why you need to consider social media management tools before you roll out your marketing campaign. In any case, these tools help you to scale your efforts more effortlessly; without them, you may experience difficulties achieving your goals.
Furthermore, social media management tools allow you to schedule posts ahead of time. This means you only need to automate the process, and the tools will do everything else for you. With the need to have a constant presence on social media, it is crucial to invest in the right management tools.
We understand that it can be pricy and confusing to pick the right social media management tool. At Think Forward Media we already have tools we use for our clients – leaving all the hard work in our hands!
Customers expect you to respond to queries as soon as it is possible. Keeping them waiting could see them seek services elsewhere, which is not suitable for your business. This should prompt you to know the right time to engage your audience. More importantly, consider having a social media management team that is always there to sort out customer issues.
Engaging your audience in a timely manner may require you to use social media monitoring tools. Among other benefits thereof, you can achieve the maximum of four-hour waiting time that customers expect from brands.
Track, analyze, and optimize
After developing and employing your social media marketing strategy, you need to keep assessing its functionality to identify the areas that are working well and those that need some tweaking. For example, you need to determine the platform that is more engaging for you so you can leverage it to the maximum.
Every marketer knows that marketing strategies need to be tried before being deployed. Therefore, for your social media marketing plan to work, you have to ensure it is efficient, reliable, and compatible with your mission and goals.
Building a social media marketing strategy is a continuous process that you need to keep on fine-tuning to get the best results. The tips mentioned here can help you develop a plan that will see your business benefit from social media marketing.
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