Social media marketing has a huge impact on our daily lives that far transcends everything else like politics, work among others.
Today, social media marketing presence is found in almost all the brands around the world and is one of the most effective ways from them to connect with their target audience.
It is through social media marketing that marketers have the chance to engage their prospective clients. Remember that clients actively tune into your platform for information.
Therefore, as a social media marketer, you have to leverage social media marketing techniques in order to build your brand, interact with clients and drive demand.
With this guide, you will not only gain an understanding of social media marketing but also learn how to implement the various strategies to attain success.
How to create a Social Media Marketing Strategy:
In order to come up with the best social media marketing strategy, it is important for you to understand that for your strategy to work, you need a plan. Think of your strategy as the end goal, and a plan, as a means to get to your destination.
In order to create a social media strategy, you have to address the following-
- Why you want to be on Social Media
- Who your Target Audience is
- What you intend to share with them
- Where you are going to share
- When to share
Why you want to be on social media:
This is something that is in relation to your social media goals. To understand this, you have to determine whether you are using social media to promote products, drive traffic to your website or serve clients.
Who your Target Audience is:
Once you have figured out your reasons for using social media, the next thing is to know who you are targeting. Knowing your target audience will help you understand what you are going to share, where to share and the when to share. For instance, if you run a cooking website, your target audience is probably the people who are interested in learning new cooking tips and meals.
What you intend to share with them:
Most people think of this question in the form of the ‘type’ in which the information or content will be packaged. However, for the sake of this guide, I would like us to think of this as the ‘theme’ of your content.
The best way to determine your most suitable theme is by asking yourself what goals and challenges your target audience have and how you can help them solve them.
Where you are going to share:
Here, it is important to understand what social media platform you would like your brand to be. So many marketers think that they have to be on every social media platform in order to cover their customer base.
However, when you determine the best social media platform he has a good percentage of your target audience, you will place a good focus and time on creating high-quality content that is relevant to your target audience.
Here, you have to understand your target audience well enough to know what platforms they are active on, the reason why they visit those platforms among other important factors.
Secondly, what is your brand’s X factor? The main reason for this question is that certain content blends well with certain social media platforms. For instance, you will find that pictures are good on Instagram; videos are great on YouTube among others.
However, this can change considering that social media is rapidly evolving with time. Finally, it is important to consider smaller niche social media platforms.
When you are going to share:
The last thing here is determining the best time to share your content with the target audience. Take a step back, pause and take a deep breath.
Before you can decide what time to share with your target audience, it is important that you understand their behavioral patterns. In other words, when are they active on social media for them to find your content?
Now that you have all that figured out, the other question is how you intend to measure how effective your social media marketing campaign is.
Which Brands should be on Social Media?
A common question that routinely irks many brands is whether their brand is a good fit for social media or not. Let us get one thing clear- all brands should be on social media, period!
Whether you are a B2C brand or a B2B brand, you should definitely be on social media. Yes, there is always a possibility of exploring which platforms would work best for you.
In my experience, I have found that brands from industries like food, clothing, lifestyle, and travel do incredibly well on Instagram. This is because of the visual attraction of products, influencers, showrooms have a great audience on the platform.
Brands who are into news broadcasting, educational institutions, hospitals, and educational content providers perform well on Facebook. The platform offers interactivity and engagement that suits brands related to the above-stated industries.
A B2B brand, which is into manufacturing cables, pipes, heavy engineering, and similar products finds LinkedIn as well as Facebook, quite beneficial for putting forward its personality.
If you are a celeb, or a television star, or a movie star, you will definitely want to have your presence on Instagram, Snapchat, and even Pinterest.
Home décor brands have created quite a stir on Pinterest, as the platform provides the best user interface for displaying design inspirations and real work by interior designers.
No matter what industry your brand belongs to, with the right creative strategy, you will be able to open up newer markets. This will help you in sales, marketing, reputation building, as well as establish your presence on the World Wide Web.
Social Media Measurement Analysis:
These refer to event analytics with a clear start and end. They play a critical role in helping us understand what impact our targeted marketing initiatives has on social media.
They often vary from one campaign to another as well as the goals that each campaign seeks to achieve.
This refers to activities that are ongoing over time. These are usually very important in keeping up with general brand communications and engagements with target clients.
Many social media platforms provide analytics of how well your page is doing. In terms of visitors, engagement trends, and other important details.
For an effective social media marketing campaign, both types of measurements should be paid attention to closely to monitor success.
A key question that is put forward by individuals starting out on social media, as well as some brands, refer to measuring engagement. Here are some of the ways to measure the success of your strategy
A number of Social Media Followers:
Once you have implemented everything that we have discussed above, it is time to determine whether it worked or not. One of the ways to determine is checking whether the number of followers increased from the last time, you make changes.
Remember that social media popularity of your brand depends on the number of followers you have. If there is again, this is an indicator that the social media marketing strategy was a success.
Consider your followers as your target audience. This means that you have to keep them happy by actively engaging with them and the numbers will grow over time.
Audiences’ Engagement with your Social Media Posts:
Have you ever posted something that did not yield the reaction you expected? Alternatively, have you posted something that you were not sure what reaction to getting and many people reacted beyond your expectations?
This is one way of knowing whether your strategy is working or not. By determining what the target audience like, you will focus more on stuff that makes them engaged.
Social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter among others have inbuilt analytics that will help you analyze whether your readers are reacting to your posts or not.
You also can determine where people are tagging you or mentioning your posts. When you tag many users, you are simply increasing your chances of reaching a wider customer base. Because of this, you stand a chance of increasing your business visibility.
Referral Traffic from other Platforms:
At this point, I hope that you are familiar with Google analytics. This plays a critical role in helping businesses and social media marketers to monitor their website activities.
This way you know what does not work and put more effort into coming up with strategies that will help your business grow. You can redirect people from Instagram to your YouTube channel in case you have made a bigger brand video (more than 59 seconds).
Using referral traffic helps you to get a clear picture of how your social media marketing is doing. The best way is to measure the difference between your set target and the target you have actually achieved.
This way, you will know how much effort you need to put in. If you discover that one of your social media channels is not driving the right amount of traffic, it is important that you reconsider your continuity on the platform.
This is because; the traffic is often an indicator of whether your content is resonating with your target audience. Otherwise, there is no point in wasting time, effort and resources on something that is leading nowhere.
This is one of the most important factors associated with the direct rate of conversions. It is through click-through rate that you are able to determine whether your campaign is being properly optimized or not.
If your click-through rate is high, it means that your social media marketing campaign is effective. This is because, when you have more clicks, it means more visitors are visiting, coming, or engaging with your web page and will even attract more and more visitors.
A good social media strategy does not exist in a vacuum; it needs to have at its base, a solid foundation. This foundation is often what we refer to as in the industry as ‘Social Media Hygiene’.
Very simply, it means that all your page information is listed correctly, and informatively. It also means, using the right links to your website, contact details, and other important information that consumers would usually look for.
In the next section, we look at some of the key mechanisms that will help you support your Social Media Strategy effectively.
Social Media Marketing Guidelines:
Remember that your main aim is to market your products on social media platforms. This means that you have to have tools that will make it easy for you to market on the social space.
Your social media marketers are your company representatives. This means that whatever they post has to be consistent with the brand’s communications.
The first thing is for you to determine what platform is best suitable for your brand. Train your marketers or brand managers on how to use it. This is your opportunity to communicate how your platform of choice fits well into your content strategy.
You have to ensure that you know what the vision, mission, and values of your business is so that you know what voice to employ with your target audience.
During the onboarding process, ensure that you know what your content requirements are and how best you can interact with your prospective clients.
Emphasize on Employee Participation:
The only way you are going to do well in social media marketing is by participating in your social media strategy. You can employ such things as whitepapers, research articles, and infographics among other types of data.
According to LinkedIn report, the content that is shared with your employees goes a long way in boosting the overall engagements of the company with a target audience as well as doubling the click-through rate.
The best way to drive traffic to your business and attain social media marketing success is by encouraging employees to be the company’s independent brand ambassadors.
The company executives can post on social media platforms in order to set a good example to the rest of the team. When an employee is your ambassadors, the truth is that your employees will have a picture, style, and values that the company upholds are highly likely to emulate.
Tap into their expertise and encourage them to update on their LinkedIn profiles current information about the brand. When employees are passionate about their places of work, it is a strong tool in attracting new potential clients.
Provide them with custom hashtags they can use when posting about such activities as conferences, company events as well as webinars. When an employee endorses their company, it sends a good image to clients and hence boosting the success of social media marketing.
Like all channels of digital marketing, Social Media Marketing to has its share of risks involved. This reality is hard to brush under the carpet. Some of these include feedbacks from clients that are quite unfavorable to employees.
However, regardless of how low the impact may appear to be, there is a significant chance that employees may respond out of an impulse sending the wrong image of the company.
In order to prevent this from happening, it is important that you have a plan in place to guide your social media marketers/employees on how to respond when caught in a difficult situation.
Many global brands have had torrid experiences of not dealing with social media responses in the correct manner. This has resulted in losses of millions of dollars and badly hit reputation.
On the other hand, a good social media response has helped brands build their reputations favorably, and added millions to their revenue streams.
In the same manner, you need guidelines on what, when and where to post your content, you need to have guidelines for reacting to social media users and establish the underlying consequences.
No matter what the situation may be, your brand has to be committed to maintaining a respectful relationship with customers, and your employees should demonstrate that.
Does Social Media Marketing lead to Actual Sales?
When brands are investing a considerable amount of money to maintain the presence of four or five different platforms, chances are that this question will feature.
To people who are wary of whether Social Media Marketing leads to actual sales, I have a one-word answer for you- Yes!
Social media as a tool is evolving every day, bringing forth newer avenues of connecting with audiences and implementing actual sales strategies.
Facebook’s store feature, along with Instagram’s newest checkout feature (they are beta testing it currently), offers brands the choice to sell their products on social media.
This is not only evolutionary but also revolutionary, to say the least. If you doubt if people buy directly from social, check out some brand pages of organic/handicraft brands. You will be amazed at the kind of responses they get in the comments section.
Some small brands operate exclusively on Instagram, without having a website, e-commerce site, or any other digital presence. They just concentrate on Instagram. They post product pictures if someone is interested, s/he comments or DMs and the sale happens. Simple as that!
Social Media Marketing: Concluding Remarks:
One of the toughest things that businesses face is developing an effective social media marketing strategy. This is mainly because it involves taking a step back. You need to start and looking at things through a different lens system to visualize what the bigger picture is.
In other words, it is important that you shift your mindset away from routine activities. This will help you respond to customers in a more respectful way that demonstrates a higher level of thinking for the company.
Having a definitive social media marketing strategy is more than just posting content for the sake of doing it. There should be a concept, a story-telling narrative embedded into your social posts.
Always remember that people on social media are always looking for authenticity and originality. Original content along with your original product will help you improve your business remarkably on social media.
It is not only the rational aspect of how good your product is, or how it is situated conveniently that will help audiences. You should also be able to connect with audiences in an emotional capacity.
Everyone is offering products, and most of them are pretty much the same. How you are able to stand out on social will depend on how well you narrate your brand’s story to audiences.
Social Media Marketing is probably the only platform of marketing in the world where the brand’s personality is under examination in such an acute fashion. This has its pros and cons, but if a brand is able to navigate it, chances are that it will get quite successful.
I want to end with a question and ask you people as to how you are going to address Social Media Marketing in 2019. Whether you are an entrepreneur, a digital marketing expert, or a copywriter, do hit us up in the comments section.
If anyone needs further assistance or clarity on any point raised in the article, please feel free to reach out to us through the call, email, or the website. We will be more than happy to guide you on Social Media Marketing or any other forms of Digital Marketing.