Creating a social media marketing strategy
Social media is everywhere.
It has changed the way people live and communicate. 2.77 billion people have some active social media profile. It’s addictive.
Half of the social media users check their social media platforms first thing in the morning. 71% of social media users are likely to purchase a product or service based on social media referrals.
Social media is the new television now. People watch videos, search for the latest news, and consume commercials. It has its downside, too. It’s more work than creating and maintaining a TV commercial, but it’s cheaper and creates a relationship between your company and the customer.
In this article, I will show you how to plan your social media strategy, create the kind of shareable, relevant, and valuable content that makes costumers pay attention and share your content, creating a word-of-mouth effect.
Table of content:
- Identify social media goals
- The ideal customer
- Research your competitors
- Choose your channels
- Create a content strategy
- Interact with your customers
Which Social Media Channels Should I Invest In?
A report from eMarketer attempted to project social media penetration by social platform through 2022. Some results are likely as expected, but others may come as a surprise.
- For example, Facebook is expected to remain the standing king of social media, with 90% of social media users making use of the platform.
- However, Instagram is expected to continue to grow, rising from 32% penetration to 47% by 2022.
- Other social channels with baked-in advertising features, such as Pinterest and Twitter, will continue to have a presence, but with relatively low penetration, peaking out at around 33% of users by 2022.
This data suggests that for social media advertising, the strongest option should continue to be Facebook, followed by Instagram.
How do you create a social media marketing plan?
Step 1: Identify social media goals
There are no 2-week or 3-month campaigns on social media. If you want your social media marketing strategy to be successful, you have to run a 365-days-a-year campaign, providing new content several times a week. Like I said, it’s time consuming and requires some real effort. But it’s worth the work. Social media can have an incredible effect on your company’s visibility and success.
The first step to creating a social media marketing strategy is to set the goals you want to achieve.
Every piece of your social media strategy serves toward meeting the goals you set. Your posts, your tweets, your live videos – all are made to serve these goals.
By knowing your goals and the direction you are going, you can also react quickly when your social media campaigns are not meeting your expectations. Without goals, you can’t measure success or calculate your social media return on investment (ROI). To measure whether a campaign was successful or not, you have to know what successful means. Success means it meets your goals. But if you don’t have goals, how do you know if it was successful?
What is the number one need you want to achieve with social media and which platform(s) will be most effective for your specific needs and audience? If your target audience is 18-24 years old, they are more likely to be on Snapchat. If they are families, they are more likely to be on Facebook. If they are small companies, try to find them on Twitter. For bigger companies or managers, check out LinkedIn.
Your social media plan should be a part of your overall marketing strategy.
Think beyond Re-tweets and Likes. Focus on advanced metrics like generated leads, web referrals, and conversion rate. You can’t measure success by how many likes you received for your post, or how many re-tweets you received. You have to focus on metrics like how many people your post converted, how many clicked on your link, and purchased your product.
A simple way to start your social media marketing strategy is to write down two primary goals and two secondary goals to focus on. Be sure to ask yourself what the goal will look like when completed, and how you will track it.
Your tactics for each social channel are determined by your goals and objectives.
Be very specific when setting up goals. Having goals is not useful if you don’t have specific parameters that define when each is achieved. For example, if one of your goals is generating leads and sales, how many leads and sales do you have to generate before you consider that goal a success?
What kind of goals you should set up?
One technique that you can use to determine your objectives is the S-M-A-R-T approach. Your objectives should be:
Be specific by writing well-defined goals with detailed parameters.
Goals should be measurable. You have to be sure that there is a clear point when you know that you have achieved your goal, so you can measure the results.
Goals should be achievable. Set up goals you can achieve in the near future. Un-achievable goals lead to frustration and lack of success.
Be realistic with your goals.
Time-based. Give yourself enough time to achieve the goal. Enough time to succeed, but not too much time, which can lead to procrastinating.
Attaching a timeframe to your efforts is critical. How quickly do you intend to achieve your goals? Next month? By the end of this year? Within 5 years?
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You should review and rewrite your social media strategy on a regular basis to reflect your latest insights. Look at your posting time and frequency, and with each social media platform, what content, timing, and approach works best.