A successful marketing strategy can help your business grow. Social media is one of the best marketing tools for businesses because it helps to solidify branding, create quality leads and deliver sales. However, social media can be time consuming. This is especially true if you don’t have a sound social media marketing strategy.

Businesses who want to achieve social media marketing success need to overcome challenges. Fortunately, all it needs is proper planning and companies can achieve a return of investment on their endeavours.

Here is a plan that you can follow for your social marketing strategy so that you can enjoy ROI for your business.

Identify Goals

It’s good practice for businesses to come up with goals before crafting any sort of strategy, marketing or otherwise. Using the SMART goals strategy can help create a good foundation for your social media strategy.

  • Specific – “get more business” sounds vague. It does not help your business pinpoint a goal and create measures for success. Goals must be nailed down to what you want to achieve.
  • Measurable – “yes we hit our goal” is not very definitive. It should be “we missed our target by 20%”.
  • Attainable – goals that are out of reach or unrealistic are frustrating and demoralizing. Having a challenging goal is good but don’t go overboard with expectations.
  • Relevant – a social media marketing goal should be in line with the overall marketing goal of the company. What is your goal? Is it to build an audience? Increase website traffic? Boost branding? Make sure that goal ties up with the big picture.
  • Timely – dates and times keep businesses accountable for their goal. Stay on track by breaking up large projects into mini-goals that have their own deadlines.

Once you identify the “why?” you can move on to the “who”.

Identify Audience

Your message will not be effective unless you know who your target is. Developing a persona is important in successful social media marketing.

These pieces of information can help you pinpoint your target market.

  • Happy customers – are pleased with the company’s product or service. They are good starting points when building a buyer’s persona. Study their industry, demographics and their goals to understand who you should be targeting.
  • Recognize pain points – what does your product answer? How does it make your buyer’s job easier? Understanding this can help you identify your product or service’s value.
  • Survey customer support – talk to the people in your front line. What are the questions they hear most often? Knowing these will help you go forward with content you should be providing and help you to keep audience engaged.

Now it’s time for the “where”.

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Select The Best Platform

Cultivating followers on all social media networks is very time consuming not to mention unrealistic. Even if you just focus on 6, it’s gonna take a lot of time, effort and money. This will stretch your resources thinly and results can be puny.

Facebook is the biggest social media network in the planet. It’s also great to have a LinkedIn presence if you’re a business. So which platforms should you focus on?

  • Who needs your product? – Facebook is a good platform if you’re selling directly to consumers. If your target is a younger audience, Snapchat and Instagram might be better. If you’re marketing to other companies, LinkedIn is a good bet.
  • Where are your competitors? – do some detective work to figure out which platforms your competitors are using. Study their presence and check out their followers. You’re not required to be on every channel they’re on but if they do have tons of followers and engagement in a particular platform, that channel should be on top of your list.

Social media channels take a lot of time to manage. It’s better to choose 1 or 2 and really invest in them compared to being in 5 or 6 and spreading your message and resources thinly.

Get A Qualified Manager

As we’ve said, social media can take up a big chunk of your time. Aside from that, it also takes a special savviness to become a social media manager. These people are truly qualified for the job.

Social media managers know how to think strategically. They understand what content to post, choose content and engage followers in ways that build success. Social media managers also have good organizational skills. They have strategy that is detailed in a step-by-step approach. They don’t simply post because they want to. Lastly, they have branding expertise. They may not be your company’s “face” but they are your “voice”. They understand your company’s brand at the basic level, have strong grammar skills, and always exhibit professionalism in all situations.

Consistency

A strong social media presence takes time to build which is why you need to be consistent with your content and engagement. A strong social media presence is nurtured continuously by:

  • Writing content with the buyer in mind. They are also foremost on your mind when sharing content, writing white paper, creating webinars and other relevant content.
  • Content should also be curated by posting relevant industry information written by authoritative sources. Avoid posting anything “salesy” because it turns off followers.
  • Listen to what competitors and followers are interested in and talking about. They can be used as guides to what you should be writing about or sharing.

Woo Influencers

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According to studies, up to 50% of buyers seek out influencer reviews when looking for products to buy. This is how big and important influencers are. Why? Probably because the audience trusts them.

This is why you should find out who the influencers are in your industry. Find people who have big following.

Reaching out and building relationships with them can help expand your branding. You can extend an offer because there will be influencers who will ask “what’s in it for me”? maybe they can join you in a webinar, tradeshow or they can promote themselves on your tutorial videos. It’s important to show them that you also bring value to them as you foster this relationship.

Monitor what influencers say about your brand. It should be cohesive with your message. For example, they might not like your product. It’s always best to know upfront. Always communicate with them and pay attention to what they are saying about you.

Grow Your Audience

They more eyes that see your message, the better it is for your company. Social media managers need to find ways to grow your audience across all platforms that are relevant to your brand, product or service.

Make sure that your current customers are happy and that they follow you on social media. They are good audience for new products, content and industry information. Do this well and it will prompt them to buy again.

People who stumble upon your content are prime audience that can be turned into followers. It’s important to encourage them to subscribe to your blog or make it easy for them to learn about your upcoming updates. Good content is a good way to get new followers.

Organic traffic is awesome but it’s not the be all and end all of social media. Paid ads is a great way to increase following. Paid ads are a great way to get in contact with buyers who would otherwise not come into contact with your product or service.

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Engage Audience  

Social media is not a one-way street which is why you need to respond personally to followers, answer their questions or engage them in discussions. It’s also good practice to comment and like other people’s post.

Tag people that might be interested in a particular piece of information. Personal touches like this can help drive quality traffic to your website and other social media efforts.

Depending on the goal of your post, link to relevant post, pages in your website or CTA. Encouraging customers and followers to take action is one of the goals of social media marketing

Help audience find you by using relevant hashtags. Identify in advance hashtags your business will be using because these neon signs can help your message be discoverable.   

Measure Results

Take a look at the result of your efforts to know if you’ve achieved your goals. This will help you identify which strategies are working and which ones crashed.

  • Likes/Shares/Comments – this is the amount of engagement per post. You will also be receiving retweets, shares, comments and likes. Note which type of content gets the biggest responses.
  • Clicks – this is the metric to know which social media effort did or did not start the metric needle moving. Were there clicks to your blog or website? Did followers take the next step? A successful social media campaign is drawing more visitors into the sales funnel.
  • Downloads – how many followers downloaded high value content like ebooks and white papers? If your audience responded by downloading these content, your social media strategy is a success.
  • Leads – it all comes down to how many followers became leads. A successful social media campaign turns followers into high quality leads for the company. This is the most important metric that tells you about your efforts. It takes time to nurture followers into leads so be patient. Continue posting amazing content and they will eventually trickle down if your strategy is executed correctly.

Rinse & Repeat

Metrics show you where you’ve been and serve as a map on where you need to go. Companies need to gather metrics and use them to craft better message. Which type of content gets better engagement? Which days do posts get more attention? Which type of content does better on which platform?

Social media is always evolving so it continues to post a variety of challenges for businesses. This is why you need to stay with it. Staying focused and following our tips can give you valuable ROI. It will also give you quality leads and boost your website traffic.

Creative Digital can help you craft and execute social media marketing strategies and help you achieve your goal. We can help you nurture customer relationships to grow your online community and boost your brand awareness.  

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