It has been a long time since a simple social media presence would suffice when talking about social media marketing. But this is no longer the case. Today, marketers look at the success of social media as an essential part of their overall marketing initiatives.
Alongside other digital marketing strategies such as email, or content marketing, social is among the most efficient and cost-effective channels for customer retention. Aside from this, marketers also use social media to increase engagement and brand awareness, generate leads, or increase traffic.
These are not the only benefits that social media has to offer, however. Marketers also point to an improvement in search rankings, better marketplace insights, and better sales due to social media marketing.
But without a sound marketing plan, the results can be called touch-and-go, at best. Here are some critical steps to a robust social media marketing plan.
Set Your SMART Goals
The first step to any strategy, not just social media, is to establish a series of Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely (SMART) goals. Just asking for more sales, for instance, is too vague, while asking for a million new followers in a couple of months is unrealistic.
Achievable goals, however, are easier to measure and more likely to stick to the original idea. It is this reason that you shouldn’t over complicate your plan by asking for too much, too early.
Know Your Audience
Social media is all about engagement. But for it to be successful, you must first get to know your audience. What is their average age, location, job title, income, likes, dislikes, pain points, etc.? All of this information will help you develop a so-called buyer persona which will then dictate the type of engagement.
It will also help you determine which social platform will work best for you. Social media analytics will provide you with much of this information. The rest can be gathered from surveys or other similar strategies.
Social Media Content
The content you create and post on social media needs to fit with your brand’s identity. Not every industry is suited for funny or uplifting images, for instance. Adversely, not every brand or industry will work well with highly-analytical and factual content. You will also need to pay attention to the amount of promotional material you post. Statistics indicate that 46% of users will unfollow a brand if there are too many promotional messages.
Try finding the perfect balance between promotional ads and target content should be a priority. It’s also important to remember that 41% of users will unfollow a brand if it shares too much irrelevant content. Relevant content includes things that your audience will find useful in their personal or professional life.
How-to videos were shown to be particularly useful, with 65% of millennial users viewing them regularly as a means of picking up a new skill. Video content, in general, and other similar graphics, are also shown to have a positive impact on audiences.
Consistency is also an essential element of content creation and posting. Make sure that the language used is consistent throughout all content and channels. Likewise, make sure that your posting frequency is also regular.
Do keep in mind that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to creating a social media marketing plan. If it were this simple, all businesses would be marketing geniuses by now. Every company needs to find its way, set their goals, and get to know their audience. These steps presented here, however, will set you on the right track.
Until the next time,