Having a social media marketing strategy involves summarizing everything you want to achieve on social media, as well as a plan of attack. Having a strategy provides you with an outline of actions you need to take, and will help you to analyze your actions to see if what you are doing works. When it comes to social media marketing tactics, having well-defined goals is key.
While everyone wants the best, it’s important to have realistic goals, expectations, and to ensure that you aren’t making any general statements.
Social media is not a sprint, it’s a marathon. If you have an understanding of that, you are well on your way to build a successful presence online.
Let’s get to it! We’ll discuss 8 social media marketing tactics that you can use to map out a successful social media marketing strategy.
Social Media Marketing
Using social media platforms to promote or sell a product, service, or brand is called social media marketing.
This has become an essential part of running a business in the 21st century. With proper social media marketing you can:
- Build a community
- Increase brand awareness
- Monitor your brand through social listening
- Advertise products and services
- Sell products and services
- Provide customer service
Social Media Marketing Strategy
When creating your social media strategy, you will make a document outlining your goals for your social media presence, and outline the tactics you will use to achieve these goals.
Also, include the metrics you are going to track in order to measure your progress.
This marketing strategy should also include a list of your current and future social media accounts and outline the goals you want to reach for the specific platforms you are using.
Lastly, your social media marketing strategy should include your team. What roles and responsibilities will each member have in regards to your strategy? How will they report their progress?
Creating Your Social Media Marketing Strategy
Ensure your social media marketing goals are in line with your brand’s objectives
The first thing you will do when creating your social media strategy is setting your goals and objectives. Without this, there will be no clear way to measure the success of your campaigns and ROI.
When creating goals, follow the S.M.A.R.T. goal framework:
An example of a S.M.A.R.T. goal is:
“Our businesses will use Facebook for customer support and lower our average response time to under three hours by the end of the quarter.”
It’s easy to track social media numbers such as like and follower counts, but it’s not always clear if these are of any REAL value.
A better way to track your business’ success on social media is to track click-through and conversion rates, as well as engagement.
You can track individual goals for separate social media channels, such as Facebook and Instagram, or even use different networks for separate uses.
As an example, if you use LinkedIn in order to drive more traffic to your website, you’d want to measure click-through rates for this network.
If you want to use Instagram mainly for brand awareness, you can track the number of times your Instagram Stories have been viewed.
As for Facebook, which is a fantastic advertising platform, you’d measure CPC or cost-per-click metrics.
Your goals for social media should always align with your overall marketing objectives. This will allow you to easily see the value of the work you are putting in.
Don’t let yourself get overwhelmed.
Everyone wants to shoot for the moon right away, but when you are getting acclimated to marketing your brand on social media, you want to start off slow and steady.
We recommend setting three marketing goals that you’d initially like to reach. This will allow you to focus on these objectives, without overlooking something important.
Know Your Audience
Defining Your Target Audience
Understanding your audience is a key factor for any social media marketing plan.
By knowing your audience you can create content that will attract them, thus garnering more engagement. This is a critical component of gaining customers.
You’ll want to have an understanding of demographics:
- Typical job or industry
- Average income
By getting to know your potential or existing followers and customers, you’ll get a better understanding of their needs and wants.
This will go a long way in letting you know how to target and engage with them on social media channels.
Don’t make the mistake of making assumptions.
For example, while you may think that Facebook is a better social media network to advertise to Baby Boomers than Millennials, according to the numbers there are more Millennial users on Facebook than Baby Boomers.
Using analytics for social media can provide a lot of great info about your potential and existing customers.
It can provide details such as their age, their location, and how they prefer to interact with brands on social media. Knowing this will allow your business to create the best strategy possible.
What Are Your Competitors Doing?
It is more than likely the case that your competitors are also using social media in their marketing strategy. You can take advantage of this by looking into their strategies.
Run a Competitive Analysis
By doing a competitive analysis you can understand exactly who your top competitors are, and what they are doing that is working (or not working).
This will allow you to know what is generally expected of your industry, and help you set attainable goals for your own marketing campaigns.
Doing this will also help you to see opportunities where your business can be a top competitor.
Take a look at the different social channels that your competition is using.
Maybe they have a strong presence on Instagram, but are lacking in Facebook or Twitter. You can try focusing on those networks where your customer base most definitely is, but isn’t being reached to its full extent.
The Art of Listening
You can use social listening as another way to keep tabs on your competition.
Search your competition using their account handles, relevant hashtags, and keywords on social media. Look at what they are sharing and what users are saying about their content and products.
While you are tracking this information, you may notice that separate social channels are being used for different purposes. You may also come across a specific post that is either wildly successful comparatively or it will miss the mark entirely.
This is a great opportunity for you to hone your own skills so you can create a better social media marketing strategy.
Conduct an Audit
If you’ve been using social media for your business thus far, take a look at what your efforts have done for your business. You’ll want to take a look at:
- Who is engaging with you?
- What networks does your customer base use?
- What is working, and what is not?
- How do you measure up compared to the competition on the same social platforms?
After you’ve looked into answering these questions, you should be ready to make a plan for ways to improve your own presence on social media.
After your audit, you should have a good idea of how each of your social media accounts serve your business. If you aren’t clear on these after an audit, it may be worth thinking about whether the account is worth the time and effort.
In order to decide, you can ask yourself if your audience is on the platform, and if so, how are they using it? You can then decide if you can use the account in a meaningful way in order to reach your goals.
These are tough questions to ask yourself, but doing so will allow you to remain focused on your goals without the extra baggage.
This looks sus
Keep an eye out for imposter accounts.
These are fake accounts that use your business name, or copy the names of your products.
These can be very damaging to your brand, and are stealing your audience.
Report them right away.
A good security measure is to have your Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter accounts verified so that your target audience knows you are the real deal.
5. Get Your Accounts and Profiles in Order
What Networks Will You Use?
Once you decide what social media networks you wish to use, you’ll want to get your strategy in place for each individual network.
For example, if your business is in the beauty industry, visually compelling platforms will probably be the best choice.
Platforms such as Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok are great for this. This will free up Facebook for ads, and Twitter for more customer service related content.
We recommend setting a missions statement for each platform, so you can refer back to it to ensure you are keeping in line with your goals
If you are unable to have a solid mission statement for a certain social media network, it’s important to ask yourself if it is worth having it at the moment.
Setting up Your Profiles
After you’ve chosen what networks you will focus on, it will be time to create your profiles, or alter existing ones so they match your social media strategy.
When doing this, you’ll want to keep a few things in mind:
- Be consistent with your branding (images, logos, etc) across networks so users can recognize your profiles.
- Fill out all profile fields
- Include keywords that people may use when searching for your business.
Another thing to remember, when it comes to images, make sure they are high-quality and in line with the recommended dimensions for each network.
If this all seems overwhelming, remember that it’s better to start off slow, maybe using one or two networks, until you’ve gotten them down, instead of trying to do too much too soon.
Give yourself a chance to perfect a network as much as you can before expanding to several platforms.
6. Get Inspired
While your brand’s uniqueness is important, you can still benefit from drawing inspiration from other businesses that are on social media.
Look at Case Studies
Checking out case studies of brands that inspire you can offer insight on how to manage your own social media.
These can generally be found on the business section of social media platforms websites.
We also recommend checking out brands who have won awards. Both The Facebook Awards and The Shorty Awards offer great examples of brands in various industries who perform well on social media.
Other great resources for this include Fridge-Worthy, and Hootsuite’s bi-weekly awards show which highlight brands who are keeping on top of ever-changing trends on social media.
Don’t forget your personal favorites! You follow them for a reason! What are they doing that you and many others enjoy?
More than likely, you enjoy their content because of the consistency. Their tone and style are always on point. These points are key takeaways for anyone looking to get ahead in social media. So think about your own account when looking at these.
How are you going to present yourself? How will you gain a loyal following?
Even if you have multiple hands in your social media pot, you can all work together to keep your brand consistent.
Take Notes From Your Followers
Knowing your consumers is a great way to get inspired on social media.
What are they interested in and talking about online? How can you learn from this so you can meet their wants and needs?
If you already have a following on social networks, don’t be afraid to ask your followers what they’d like to see more of. Take this information to heart and do your best to deliver.
7. Create a Content Calendar
You already know that sharing content people want to see is essential. So how do you stay on top of that? It’s important to have a plan for when you’ll share your content in order to maximize your impact.
When creating a calendar make sure you are accounting for the time you will spend interacting with your audience.
Keep in mind you will need to account for time spent for spontaneous engagement as well.
Set Your Schedule
Your social media content calendar is the perfect place to organize all of your content that you plan to share on each network.
It will list the dates and times when each piece of content will be shared to your networks. This includes images, videos, blog posts, and link sharing.
Your calendar will also help you to make sure that your posts are appropriately spaced, and set for the best days and times in which to post certain content.
Mixing it up
It’s important to make sure that your calendar reflects your content strategy that you’ve already assigned to each network, so that your posts will be working to support your goal.
You can try different types of call-to-action posts such as:
- 40% of content will drive traffic to your website
- 30% of content will support lead-generation such as ebook downloads, or newsletter signups, etc.
- 25% of content will be curated from other sources, such as user generated content
- 5% of content will showcase your company culture
Having this mix of content will not only keep things interesting but will help you reach your goals faster.
If you are just starting out and not sure of what kind of content you would like to post, a good place to start is the 80-20 rule.
- 80% of your social media content should entertain, educate, or inform your audience
- 20% of your social media content can directly promote your brand
You can also try the rule of thirds:
- One-third of your content is composed of personal interactions with your audience
- One-third of your content promotes focuses on promoting your business through conversions or generating profit
- One-third of your content shares ideas and stories from industry leaders or your businesses who are like-minded.
8. Making adjustments
Because your social media strategy plays such an important role in your social media marketing tactics, don’t assume that you’ll get it right the first try.
As your strategy comes into play, you’ll want to track your results and adjust as necessary. You may find that some strategies that you planned aren’t working as well as expected, while others fare better than expected.
Along with each network’s analytics you can use UTM parameters in order to see how visitors move through your website.
This will allow you to see exactly which of your posts drive traffic to your site the most.
Put it on Repeat
It’s important to re-evaluate your strategy regularly.
Don’t be afraid to play around and test different posts, strategies, and campaigns.
Frequent testing will allow you to understand what is working for your business, which also allows you to alter your strategy as you go.
Surveys can be a useful tool in finding out how well your strategy is working for you.
Ask your website visitors, email list, and followers what they think. Are you meeting their needs? Take suggestions to heart and always try to deliver.
Just as your business grows and changes over time, social media is ever changing.
Demographic shifts and new networks means that your business will have to pay attention and adjust their social media marketing tactics in order to keep up and get the most out of social media.
Keep your social media marketing strategies fresh, and adjust as much as needed to align with new tools, plans, or goals. Keep it clear and refer back to it in order to stay on track.
And of course, when you update your social strategy, make sure everyone on your team is in the loop so you can all work together to meet these revised goals.