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 MarketingUsing 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 StrategyWhen 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
Get S.M.A.R.T.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:
Metrics TrackingIt’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 AudienceUnderstanding 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
Data GatheringDon’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 AnalysisBy 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 ListeningYou 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 AuditIf 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?
This looks susKeep 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 ProfilesAfter 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.
6. Get InspiredWhile your brand’s uniqueness is important, you can still benefit from drawing inspiration from other businesses that are on social media.
Look at Case StudiesChecking 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.
Award WinnersWe 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.
Favorite BrandsDon’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 FollowersKnowing 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 CalendarYou 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 ScheduleYour 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 upIt’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
- 80% of your social media content should entertain, educate, or inform your audience
- 20% of your social media content can directly promote your brand
- 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.