Using social media for marketing purposes has become increasingly popular over the years. Today it has outgrown classic TV commercials by a great deal and has proven to be highly effective.
It enables you and your business to engage with your audience in a more intimate way. You can communicate with the people you are targeting in a more meaningful way and build your brand image to new heights. It has become one of the key methods of “putting yourself out there”, so it’s good to look into some of the essentials that can help you expand your reach and bring your business to new heights.
The ROI of social media marketing isn’t based around the sheer increase of your website’s traffic. It is much more about communication, how you want to communicate your message to users and what kind of brand image you want to build.
We have already looked into the basics of social media marketing in our previous article, where we covered some basic concepts. Today we are going to continue with providing you with some of the essential steps you should take when you create your social media strategy. We will also include some great tips that will help you keep on track and give you a well-rounded perspective on how to make your marketing plan perform as best as possible.
Let’s get down to business!
The Fundamental Elements of Good Social Media Marketing Plan
It is wise to plan everything in advance, especially if its about business. Here are some good tips on how to create a killer social media marketing plan:
Define Your Business Goals
Every move in your social media marketing plan has to serve a particular goal you have set. You cannot move forward without knowing which direction you are working towards.
Examine your company’s needs thoroughly and look at how you want to use your social media marketing plan to contribute in reaching them. You will most probably come up with many goals, but be sure to focus on the most essential ones. Goals such as obtaining more customers, reducing marketing costs and increasing brand awareness are relevant to any company.
Be sure to define a well-rounded primary goal to focus on and some secondary ones. This way your efforts will be focused and your action plan will be straightforward.
Set Specific Marketing Goals
Having your goals set up is fine, but you have to have specific parameters in place, so that you can measure your success and know how they are achieved. If your goal is building brand awareness, then how many followers should your social media site have in order to call it a success? The same goes for leads and sales, how many would you need to sell in order to succeed with your goal?
The most important thing in setting marketing goals is to make your objectives as specific as possible, relevant, acquirable, measurable and time-bound.
For example, making the increase of your revenue by 50% your objective makes for a great goal. It is achievable, measurable, specific and relevant for your company. Be sure to add a time limit to maximize your efforts, as you might have your attention drawn to other directions.
After you have defined all of your goals, you can allocate resources that best support your marketing strategy.
Identify Your Ideal Costumer
You have to define a few buyer personas in order to have enough engagement on your social media profiles. These will help you find the right people, at the right time with the right message.
If you know everything you should know about your target audience, like their age, interests, income, habits, likes dislikes, goals and motivations or any kind of information it’s much easier to engage them through social media.
Research Your Competition
Researching your competition not only gives you a clear idea of how you stack up against them, but provides you with a lot of valuable information you can use. Look at 3-5 of your top competitors. Search for what kind of social media networks they are using and analyze their content strategy as best as you can. Look at how many fans they have and how frequently they post and at what time of the day.
The most important factor to take into account is engagement. The page admins are the only ones who can see all the numbers but you can get a pretty good idea as well. Look at their last 20 Facebook updates, take the complete number of engagement activities such as comments, shares, etc. and divide the page’s total number of fans with it.
Choose The Right Channels and Tactics
Researching with a social media platform will bring you the most in return and will help you avoid wasting time. Looking at your buyer personas will help you in determining which one will work best for you.
If 50% of your target audience uses Facebook and 30% uses Twitter, then you know which one is your primary and secondary social media network. It is also important to consider what kind of content you wish to publish. If you want a lot of video content, then you should use YouTube as well.
Make a Content Strategy
Content and social media walk hand in hand. Without content, social media is meaningless. Without social media, no one will take notice of your content.
The most important components of a social media content marketing strategy are the type of content you post, the frequency and time of posting.
The specific type of content you should post on social media networks depends on context and form.
Context is your company’s voice, message and the platform’s trends. Will your content be funny, more serious, educational or something entirely different?
Form is the way you present the information, which can be links, text, images, video and so on.
You can also use paid advertisements that help you accurately target your audience. It will provide a great ROI with minimal investment if you play your cards right.
Add Value To the Conversation
If you spend all your time with trying to sell something to your audience, they won’t listen to you for long. Focus on adding quality content to the communication instead. Focus less on your conversation and work more on creating some amazing content that will make people enjoy visiting your page.
That will eventually provide some great mouth-to-mouth marketing for your business, thanks to people talking about it.
Aim for Quality Audience
Always aim for more quality audience who come back to engage with you. It’s much better to have a thousand followers who constantly come back to read your articles than ten thousand who just disappear right after connecting with you.
You won’t see a success over night. While it is possible that your reach might spread like wildfire, it’s much more likely that you’re better off thinking long term. Patiently building your social media presence for a year might set your business up for 5 years of success.
Listen More and Talk Less
If you’re talking all the time, you won’t hear what others have to say. The same goes for social media marketing. Creating successful social media content requires a lot of listening. Join conversations with your audience to hear what is important for them or check out their online content. This way you’ll know how to create some value for their lives, not useless spam.
Acknowledge Your Audience
You wouldn’t ignore a person if they would reach out to you in real life, so why would you do it on the Internet? Always acknowledge your audience when they reach out to you in the form of messages or posts. Reply to them; make sure you stay connected as much as possible. Building good connections and relationships is the foundation of a social media marketing campaign.
Keep in Touch
Accessibility is very important. Don’t post something then disappear right away. Read the comments, engage people in conversations. Be as active as possible because people won’t hesitate to replace you with someone else if you stay inactive for too long.
Look for big influencers on your field who already have big quality audiences who might be interested in your content or products. Connect with these people and build solid relationships with them. If you get on their radar and they find your content interesting, you might put yourself in front of a much larger audience.
This concludes our guide in social media marketing. If you work with all the steps that are provided here and do some more research, you are bound to be off to a good start.
We hope that you have found all this information useful and that you will deploy it in your work as well. Now go and make the world know who you are!