21 Nov Can Social Media Strategies Be Successful?
Social media has opened a great many opportunities for both large and small businesses. When used in the right manner, social media can help increase brand awareness and improve customer loyalty. People now use social media not only to digitally engage with family and friends, but also to hear what people are saying online about other brands, businesses, and corporations. If you’re not using social media marketing to your advantage, your business may be missing out on many opportunities for growth.
However, using social media to connect with family and friends is different from using it to promote your business. If you want to reap the full benefits of the social media revolution, you need to make sure that you have a sound social media marketing strategy in place. Let’s go over the most important steps to developing an effective social media marketing strategy.
What Is a Social Media Marketing Strategy?
Social media marketing strategies utilize social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc., to communicate with existing customers, potential customers, and larger communities by using text, images, videos, or a combination of all. Both organic posts and paid campaigns work together on social media to increase your brand awareness and drive traffic to your website. A social media marketing (SMM) strategy itself is a specific set of actions you decide to take and the corresponding goals you hope to accomplish on social media for your brand through those actions.
Everything you do on social media should serve a purpose toward reaching your overall goals (increasing brand awareness, increasing web traffic, driving leads and conversions, connecting with your audience, etc.). These goals should be SMART — specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-sensitive.
Follow these steps to develop an effective social media marketing strategy:
- Define your target audience. — If you don’t know or understand your target audience, all your marketing efforts can go down the drain. Research your audience to develop your buyer personas with customer demographics, behaviour patterns, motivations, interests, and goals to specifically target your audience on social media.
- Develop a content strategy — Your social media content needs to be relevant, meaningful, and valuable for your audience so that they can engage with it. Again, do a bit of research, learn what your audience wants, and produce content that resonates with them.
- Research your competitors — See what is working and what isn’t on social media by researching your competitors’ social media activities. You might pick up an idea for your own social media strategy. There is no need to copy your competitors, but you can certainly take inspiration and adapt those ideas to fit your brand.
- Allocate your budget and resources — Your business goals should fit your budget and resource allocation. You cannot reasonably put your entire team on achieving your social media goals, but they still need to be accomplished by a specific few people. However, be careful not to ask employees with existing work to overload themselves with social media responsibilities.
- Measure your progress — For any strategy to be successful, it is important to measure your progress. You need to know what you have achieved against the goals you have set for your business. Use metrics (number of followers, likes, comments, inbound messages, etc.) to help measure your social media marketing efforts. Unless you measure your performance, you cannot fine-tune your efforts.
- Align Your Business Goals – Make sure that your social media efforts are in line with and are set to help you achieve your overall marketing goals for your business. If they aren’t in congruence, you risk wasting time and resources.
- Use social media management tools — Social media management tools help automate posting, scheduling, and data tracking. They are great time-savers and efficiency-improvers. These tools also provide useful insights about your audience and how well your content is performing.
- Choose the right platforms — Not every social media platform is ideal for every business or every campaign. See which platforms your competitors are using, how they are using them, and try them out for yourself. Then, continue only with the platforms that work best for reaching your goals.
- Review your performance — It is vital to regularly analyze and review your performance in order to know which strategies are working, which aren’t, and where there is room for improvement. Social media is ever-evolving, and your strategies must evolve with it!
How to Get the Attention of Your Customers
Your social media strategy can only be effective if it is gaining the attention of your customers and driving them to take the desired action. Targeting your specific audience on the social media platforms they use most frequently, you can see which types of content earn the highest engagement from customers, along with the ways in which they interact most with content. The better your content, the more you will see an increase in your conversions, sales, and brand loyalty.
Google Analytics is a great tool to learn more about your target audience. You can find detailed information about demographics, purchase history, and online behaviours — which can help you customize your social media campaign to reach your goals. Social media platforms also provide internal analytics reports that offer more insight into client behaviour. This can help you analyze what types of content perform best — such as statistics, videos, polls, etc.
Which Platforms Are Best for Your Brand?
It’s important to understand the major social media platforms and how they differ from one another. Not every platform will be the best choice for your brand and your target audience. There’s no need to waste time, money, and resources on social media platforms that aren’t going to reach your audience.
Here is a run-down of the most popular social media platforms:
- Facebook — Facebook is a great social media platform for all businesses due to its global popularity and specific Facebook for Business page options. You can post and share text, images, and videos on Facebook — as well as take advantage of features through Facebook Messenger to improve customer service and ad campaigns to target your specific audience.
- Twitter — Twitter allows businesses to connect with new and wider audiences as a primarily text-based platform, although images and videos are becoming more common. The focus of Twitteris to spark conversations with your audience, with short 280-character posts that incorporate relevant #hashtags.
- Instagram — Instagram is the place to be if your products or services are visually appealing, as Instagram is a platform focused on images and videos. (Surprisingly, Instagram has a whopping 2,200 character limit!) It’s a great platform to connect with younger audiences aged 18-34.
- Pinterest — Pinterest is a visual platform, but different from Instagram. It is popular as a source of ideas for interior decorating, fashion, beauty, bridal, cooking, gardening, parenting and other lifestyle-related topics. While it skewers female, 50% of new signups are men. Pinterest allows users to “pin” favorite images and links from across the internet to themed boards that users or brands can crate. Pinterest is ideal for ecommerce businesses as a way to increase sales.
- LinkedIn — LinkedIn serves as the social media platform for business professionals. Create a Company page for your business to build your brand authority, share industry-relevant content, advertise position openings, and build a network of your employees. LinkedIn is the place to connect with industry-based communities.
- YouTube — If you use video marketing, you need to post on YouTube. Whether you want people to access your informative video content or increase your brand awareness through your video, you can use YouTube to your advantage. Video marketing is only expected to increase, as consumers want a more interactive and personal connection with their favorite brands.
Getting Started with a Social Media Marketing Strategy
Developing a marketing strategy is the only way to see long-term success for business on social media. However, if you are still new to the world of social media, coming up with a social media marketing strategy on your own can seem overwhelming. Our experienced social media specialists with Virtual Stacks Systems UK can help you establish your brand and increase web traffic with social media marketing services. Contact us today to discuss your social media marketing dreams!