Successful social media marketing is exactly what you need to grow your business.
Social media marketing can be a dynamic power that solidifies branding, creates quality leads, and drives sales. Or, it can be a big, task-oriented dud. The key is how to strategically create, execute and measure the overall plan.
There are several common challenges that businesses trying to achieve with their social media marketing success. Giving themselves enough time, creating high-performing content, and properly measuring the resulting metrics are all aspects that, if not addressed properly, can overwhelm the plan and leave them with a big goose egg as a result.
Do not do that!
With some planning, businesses are more likely to achieve and exceed the payoff that they were passionate about in the first place on social media marketing.
Lucky for you, we’ve got the step-by-step plan.
Follow these 6 simple tips to rock your Social Media Marketing strategy.
1. Identify your goals
It’s a smart business practice to start with goal setting before any new plans, and social media marketing is no different. After all, you may be the best bike seller in the state, but you still fail if you’re supposed to sell ice cream.
Use the SMART Goal Setting Strategy to build the foundation for successful social media marketing.
- Specific . Vague goals such as “get more business” do not help companies identify their goal and create metrics for success. The objectives should define exactly what is expected of the initiative.
- Measurable. Being able to definitively answer “yes, we reached the goal” or “we missed the goal by 20%” is a good goal standard.
- Feasible. Unattainable goals are demoralizing and frustrating. Having to stretch to reach a goal is productive, but don’t go overboard with expectations.
- Relevant. A social media marketing goal should relate to the overall marketing goal. Is it to build an audience? Increase website traffic? Strengthen the brand image? Make sure the goal relates to the big picture.
- Timely. Dates and times hold companies accountable for their goals. Stay on track by breaking down a big project like this into mini-goals that each have their own deadline.
Once companies have set the goal, which is essentially the “why”, they need to decide the “who”.
2. Identify your audience
Your message will only be effective if it is specifically designed for the people you are trying to target. Developing a relevant buyer personality is essential for successful social media marketing. Three pieces of information help you locate your audience.
- Review happy customers. Customers who have been satisfied with a company’s product or service are the first place to start when building a buyer persona. Take a close look at their industries, demographics, and goals to understand who you should target.
- Nail the sore spots. What question does your product answer? How does this make your buyer’s job easier? Only by fully understanding this can an organization show its value.
- Customer service survey. Talk to the people on the front lines. What questions do they hear most often? Knowledge shows you the direction to take in the content that will interest and most likely interest your targets.
Now let’s answer “where”.
3. Select the best platforms
It is usually a mistake to try to cultivate followers on half a dozen or more social networks. The person managing the social media efforts is overwhelmed, off track, and the results end up being puny.
Facebook is the social media giant, of course. LinkedIn is also great for businesses to have a presence. But neither should be the one businesses should be focusing on.
- Who needs the product or service? The offer is the key to the platforms you should choose. Sell directly to consumers? Facebook is your best bet. Target a younger audience? Snapchat or Instagram might be the best. Marketing to other businesses? LinkedIn could be your golden ticket.
- Where are the competitors? Put on your investigative hat and figure out which channels your competition is using. Study their presence and watch their followers. You don’t have to be on every channel they’re on. But, seeing a competitor with tons of followers and engagement should inspire you to move that social media channel to the top of the list.
Successful social media marketing takes a long time to manage. It is better to choose one or two channels and actually invest in those rather than five or six channels and spread the message in a fine way.
4. Woo influencers
Did you know that nearly 50% of shoppers look for influencer reviews when looking for a product to buy? This is the size of recommendations from influencers. Why? Well, probably because they trust these influencers. These people have already established their credibility and therefore their recommendations are important to most users.
So find out who the experts are on the product or service you are selling. Those who have a large following on social media are influencers.
- Network. Reach and develop relationships with these dynamos to reach more targets and further expand the brand message.
- Extend an offer. Be prepared to answer the “What’s in it for me?” Question. Maybe they could join you at a trade show or promote themselves on one of your webinars. It’s important to show how you give them value while fostering these relationships.
- Monitor. Watch what the influencer is posting about your brand and make sure it is consistent with your image. If, for example, they tried your product and didn’t like it, you’d better know that up front. Always communicate with influencers and pay attention to what they say, so there are no nasty surprises.
Extra tip: For Instagram, if you want to increase your reach when collaborating with influencers, use Instagram Stories. It has been voted as the second most popular format for Influencer Marketing on Instagram. It actually reaches 500 million users every day and is 15 times faster than other types of feeds.
5. Develop your audience
The more eyes that see your post, the more results you get. The social media manager should work to increase the number of subscribers on all social media channels deemed relevant to the product or service.
- Current customers. Make sure current happy customers follow your social networks. Product updates, new content, and industry information are all valuable to customers. Do it right and the message might get them to buy again.
- Content fans. The people who browse and digest your content are ready to follow you. Encouraging them to subscribe to your blog and making it easy for them to follow you for future updates is essential. Contests are a great way to increase subscriber numbers.
- Paid ads. Bio is great, but some companies are also opting for paid advertising to increase their subscriber volume. Ads are a great way to reach your buyers who otherwise would never get in touch with your message. To learn more about Paid Ads, read our 10 Essentials for Running Successful Facebook Ads.
6. Engage your audience
For social media marketing to be successful, businesses must find ways to increase engagement with the followers they have and the ones they want.
- Reply. Managing social media is not a one-way street. Respond personally to new subscribers, respond quickly to questions and troubleshoot comment, and like other posts.
- Label. If there are any subscribers you know who are interested in a particular piece of information, tag them when you post about it. Showing personal touches like this helps improve the quality of your social media efforts.
- Link. Depending on your goals, include links in your posts. Otherwise, subscribers don’t know what you want them to do next. Link to blogs, your website, or other call-to-action (CTA). Encouraging consumers to take action is essential for successfully developing social media marketing.
- Use hashtags. Help the audience eliminate the huge amount of noise with valuable hashtags. Decide ahead of time on a list of hashtags the business will use. These are internet neon signs that help make your message more visible.