The term Social Media refers to a wide range of electronic instruments of communication through which users create and share content, ideas or exchange information. This includes the applications and websites which emphasize on communication, networking, interaction and community input, sharing of content and collaboration. Social Media is accessed through the internet and is consists of a wide range of types. Some examples of Social Media are bookmarking sites, media sharing, microblogging, blog comments and forums, community blogs, social networks and review sites, and social news.
The popularity of Social Media has been increased by the creation of mobile applications like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. While many persons use social media to for and for interacting with friends and family and for entertainment, businesses are capitalizing on the widespread use social media platforms to promote their business, raise brand awareness and market their products. But how do they do this? Firstly, to effectively and efficiently use social media for marketing, businesses need to develop a Social Media Marketing Strategy.
What is a Social Media Marketing Strategy?
A Social Media Strategy is the method that a business creates geared towards setting and achieving long term goals with the use of social media. This strategy requires the definition of goals, your objectives, specified actions and the creation of a plan in achieving your goals.
How to Create a Social Media Marketing Strategy?
Your Social Media Marketing Strategy may not be the same across all your social media accounts. What may work for Facebook, may not work for Instagram and vice versa. It is necessary to research your audience before defining your goals so you can be able to bridge the gaps of communication between you and potential customers. Read on to learn how to create a Social Media Marketing Strategy.
1. Setting Goals or Objectives
The most important part of creating an effecting Social Media strategy is setting realistic, achievable goals. Your business goals would vary according to the type of business. For example, a bakery would not have the same goals as an accounting company. However, goals fall under a few categories which will cover a wide area. Some examples of goals you can set includes:
- Generation of Leads and Sales – This means being able to use social media to convert a potential buyer into a sale and even a loyal customer.
- Growth of Audience – Posting is practically useless if there is no one to view your content. To grow your audience, you need to find ways to introduce your brand to people who have never heard about it.
- Increasing Brand Awareness – Making consumers aware of your brand means getting them familiar with the qualities of your business and its goods and services.
- Increasing Engagement – To do this you need to experiment with the content you post and may include the incorporation of
- Increasing Web Traffic – You can also increase the number of visitors to your website with the use of a Social Media Marketing Strategy.
SMART Goals: Always remember to set SMART goals, that is goal must be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound.
Some examples of objectives are:
- Increase sales by 25% by 2021
- Achieve a market share of 30% for Product C within 3 years of launch
- Increase the percentage of customers who rate service as “excellent” from 80% to 85% within 18 months
2. Learn about your Audience
Knowing your audience and potential customers is an integral part of acquiring followers. You need to study your audience to understand the content they would like, share or comment on. Creating an audience or buyer personas will help to put yourself in the shoes of consumers and be able to better access their wants and needs.
“If you try to sell (market) to everyone, then you’ll end up selling to no-one.” – https://fabrikbrands.com
Some questions you can ask to determine your audience includes:
- Who are they? (E.g. job title, age, gender, salary, location, etc.)
- What are they interested in that you can provide? (E.g. entertainment, educational content, case studies, information on new products, etc.)
- Where do they usually hang out online? (E.g. Facebook, Instagram, etc. or niche platforms)
- When do they look for the type of content you can provide? (E.g. weekends, during their daily commute, et)
- Why do they consume the content? (E.g. to get better at their job, to become healthy, to stay up to date with something, etc.)
- How do they consume the content? (E.g. read social media posts, watch videos, etc.)
3. Monitoring Metrics: MEASURE
One of the most important things in creating a Social Media Strategy is data and the ability to efficiently analyze it. There are several metrics that need to be regularly monitored.
- Clicks – Clicks is the number of “clicks” made on your content, logo or company name. To understand what encourages curiosity it is essential to track links per campaign.
- Engagement – This is the number of intersections divided by the number of impressions, which shows who interacted with your post displays how your audience perceives your page.
- Hashtag Performance – Hashtag Performance deals with the most used hashtags for your brand and analyzing which got the most engagements.
- Organic and Paid Likes – Organic Likes refers to the standard count or Likes of people who came across your post in their newsfeed without any sponsored and ad posts. Many brands use Facebook Ads which make use of paid content which vary across social media.
- Reach – This is the number of unique users who have seen your post. It shows the spread of your content across the social media network.
- Sentiment – This is the assessment of the reactions of users to your brand, content or even hashtag. Were they offended? Surprised? Pleased?
4. Keep an Eye on Competitors
Conducting an analysis of your competitors will help you to learn what they are doing. You can learn what works and what does not simply by checking up on your competitors. You can see the gaps in their content strategy of meeting the needs of consumers and you can know how to bridge these gaps in your content and ultimately winning over some of them.
5. Auditing your Social Media
This step is necessary especially if you already have active social media accounts and are making use of social media tools. To evaluate your social media efforts, ask yourself the following questions and make modifications where necessary:
- What is working?
- What is not working?
- Who is connecting with you on social?
- Which networks does your target audience use primarily?
- How does your social media presence compare to your competitors’ presence?
6. Creating Content
“Content is King.” – Bill Gates
Like Bill Gates said, “Content is King.” In this case, content refers to articles, blog posts, audio, emails, basically anything published online. The creation and sharing of content is a key part of any social media strategy. Not just any content should be shared but that which relates to your brand or your vision.
Creating A Social Media Content Calendar
A Social Media Content Calendar can be either a spreadsheet or an app used to schedule posts in advance for different social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Not only creating a posting schedule but sticking to it is important. After creating a Social Media Content Calendar, you need to define what you are going to post, on which platforms and when you are going to post.
What to Post?
Posting should not just be selecting random content to post. You need to decide what percentage of your overall content will be devoted to which goals. For example, you can decide:
- 50% of the content will direct web traffic to your website.
- 20% of the content will be obtained from other sources.
- 20% of the content will be used to support the goal of your company including, lead generation, selling, and brand awareness.
- 10% of the content can be used to enhance public relations by promoting the culture of your company.
Each image, video, or blog should have a purpose and be thoroughly researched. Studies have shown that video content normally acquires more Likes, Shares and Comments.
Where to Post?
Different Content works best on different platforms. For example, if your Instagram Stories are a hit, it does not automatically mean your Facebook Stories will be as popular.
How Often to Post?
Some platforms like Twitter and Pinterest requires content to be posted about three to ten times per day. However, this will vary across the different types of social media.
Some of the most effective posting frequency looks like:
- Facebook – Once or twice per day
- Instagram – Once or twice per day
- Instagram Stories – Eight to 16 Stories, twice per week
- LinkedIn – Once or twice per day
- Pinterest – Five to ten times per day
- Snapchat – Five to 20 times per week
- Twitter – Three to ten times per day
When to Post?
You should schedule your post during the time most of your audiences are active (are online). This varies for different industries and you will have to fine-tune this over time by reviewing your page analytics. Below is only a guide of where you can start out for the different networks.
- Twitter – 1-3pm weekdays
- Facebook – 1-4pm weekdays
- LinkedIn – 7-8:30am and 5-6pm Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday
- Tumblr – 7-10pm weekdays and 4pm on Fridays
- Instagram – 5-6pm weekdays and 8pm on Mondays with a sweet spot at 6pm
- Pinterest – 2-4pm and 8-11pm weekdays with weekends being the best
- Google+ – 9-11am weekdays
7. Analyze, Evaluate and Adapt
The creation of a Social Media Marketing Strategy is not enough to maintain your brand on social media. You need to test various components of your strategy. For example, you can check the effectiveness of hashtags and if they are not working, toss them out and create new ones until you find what works best for your business. Social media is in a state of constant change, what may work today, may not work tomorrow. This is the reason why it is important to stay updated and test various strategies until you find one that will be most effective. Test the effectiveness of your post. Test the reach of your content, test the engagement of your audience.
A Social Media Marketing Strategy is one of the most vital part of a business’s social media. For a business looking to go digital navigating the waters of the ever-changing social media can be a challenge. Simply posting is not enough to garner followers or maintain the attention of your desired audience. You need to provide content that will align with their interests. To do this, the development of a Social Media Marketing Strategy becomes necessary. Before you create a Social Media Marketing Strategy you need to define your goals. Do you want more sales, engagements, leads? Then you need to understand your audience and who they are. Find out what works and what does not by studying your competitors. By fully optimizing all of your social media accounts, you build trust and encourage people to like your page. Lastly, the content creations should of great quality and should be posted at the optimal time. Constant evaluation of your strategy and content will help to improve your brand and your reputation on social media, allowing you to achieve the goals you set out to meet. After creating a Social Media Market Strategy, you would have a fair idea the basics of social media marketing and the role a social media marketing strategy plays. A bit of advice – stay updated with the new trends!
Do you need help with your Social Media Marketing? Contact us at GxMedia to connect your business with customers on Social Media today!
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