What is Social Media Marketing?
Social media marketing is a form of digital marketing that utilizes social media platforms to connect with your audience, build your brand and achieve marketing objectives. To drive website traffic and increase sales, it’s crucial to create and publish relevant content that will reach your target audience.
Social media marketing strategies:
1. Address your business objectives (set goals)
The first step before implementing your social media strategies is to set your marketing goals. Ask yourself what would you like to achieve from social media marketing? This will give you a clear understanding of which approach to take and establish your marketing persona.
There are many different goals you can set for your social media marketing whether you want to increase brand awareness, build a customer support network, drive website traffic and sales or if you own a physical store, increase in-person sales. Deciding on a goal will allow you to set the tone of your marketing persona and take a step in the right direction to attract your target audience.
When deciding what type of content will attract your audience best, consider the industry your business is in. Does your target audience engage with more image content, videos or links? Will your posts be more educational or entertaining? This will help you plan and create content centered around your brand.
2. Research your audience
Once you establish your social media marketing goals and have a better concept of what content you will be posting, you will need to determine two things:
When to post
We can all agree social media platforms move fast and content is flooded through user timelines every day. By posting at optimum times on social networks when your target audience is active, your posts will have a higher chance of being seen by your followers. You want to get the most eyes seen on your content to maximize your engagement. To find out when to post, there are a myriad of resources on the internet that display the best times to post on each different social media platform.
However, try to ensure that your social media managers/support are readily available to respond to any questions or concerns that customers may have when you post. Finding the balance between the optimum time to post and having an available team ready to engage and respond promptly is essential. Posting organic content that reaches the majority of your audience is tough as it is due to the nature of algorithms, so the last thing you want to do is not respond to the engagement you receive and lose out on potential customers.
Where to post
Now to determine where to post your content, you will need to research your audience. Luckily, there are many resources out there such as social media demographics and analytic tools, to take actionable steps in your strategy.
Here is a social media demographic of Social Media Use in 2018 that you can use to track which platform the majority of your target audience is on. Using this data can give you a head start and avoid wasting any time!
3. Create and curate content that is engaging
No matter how detailed and advanced your social media strategy is, it’s pointless if your content isn’t up to scratch. The content you create is centered around your brand goal and identity. However, it can be a struggle to find the harmony between entertainment and promotional content. You want to advocate your brand without driving followers away, but at the same time you don’t want to post too much irrelevant content that can cause customers to be uninterested.
Let’s start off by ensuring your content is informative yet engaging.
Video content does significantly well, having the most views and shares across all social networks, as well as content with illustrations. A study shows that people following directions with text and illustrations do 323% better than people following directions without illustrations.
Now, we all know a ‘Call to Action’ can be the step that converts your audience into becoming your customer, but can you imagine what a call to action with illustrations will do…
User-generated content is also a powerful form of content that people appreciate. Posting content your users have created that represent your business can really build trust with your audience and prove your authenticity as a brand. Plus, it can take some work off your plate and give exposure to your customers – it’s a win win!
4. Listen and engage with your audience
The next important stage of your social media marketing strategy is listening and engaging with your audience. Your audience can provide you with valuable constructive feedback by helping you discover any issues with your product/service or your overall marketing strategy. Not to mention, the respect and trust you will gain for your brand through interacting and building connections. Hence, it would be wise to ensure engagement and conversation opportunities aren’t left unattended.
Social media conversations can be through comments, direct messages, posts your business is tagged in, etc. If someone leaves a positive comment, be sure to surprise them with a nice message from time to time. Whilst also providing care and support to those customers who incur any issues.
5. Research and track your competitors
Tracking your competitors isn’t an unknown secret. Take it as a form of research. They can provide social media marketing insight on valuable data such as: keyword research, hashtags, etc. Once you analyze multiple competitors, you can have a better understanding of what your own audience wants.
Don’t copy your competitors; you do not want to compromise your authenticity. But rather, piggy bank on their methods and use successful strategies that you can adapt to your own SMM campaigns.
You can simply find your competitors through google searches by entering valuable terms related to your industry. Once you find them on Google, you can easily find your way to their social media and analyze their strategies.
6. Measure your success and adjust what isn’t working
Social media patterns/trends are always changing and evolving so to stay on top, your social media marketing strategies need to adapt with these constant changes. Measure the success of your strategies and adjust what isn’t working. This can be done using social media analytic tools – a popular one being Google Analytics. To learn how to add Google Analytics to your WordPress website, click here.
Start by analyzing all platforms to get the best idea of what type of content your audience likes. Monitor your metrics such as: Reach, Clicks, Engagement, Hashtag performance, sentiment (which can help adjust the tone of your brand), etc. Determine which strategies are doing well and which to abandon.
Constantly refine your strategies and implement them on your next social media marketing campaigns for ultimate growth.
We understand knowing all these strategies of what to post and when can be a bit overwhelming. We suggest coming up with a Social Media Calendar to stay on top of your social media posts. Not only will it help you strategize and organize your social media marketing. But it will save you a lot of time and help you become more efficient.