Social media marketing is becoming essential for any business to thrive in today’s digital world. Currently on Facebook alone there are over 50 million company pages and 74% of people say they use the platform for professional purposes. Here we aim to teach you the basics of an effective social media marketing strategy.
What is Social Media Marketing?
Social media marketing is defined as the process of gaining traffic or attention through social media sites. This can be either organic or PPC. Every business should be using social networks as a marketing platform because not only is it free to do so, it can be extremely successful if done correctly.
How to Create a Killer Social Media Marketing Strategy
STEP ONE: SET RELEVANT GOALS
My biggest social media marketing tip? Set RELEVANT goals. I can’t stress this enough. It’s great keeping track of retweets, likes and shares but it is difficult to see what real value this adds to your business.
So, first things first; set your objective. Why are you using social media?
- Brand Awareness
- Customer Experience
- Brand Loyalty
- Something else?
Whatever it may be, once you know your objective setting a relevant goal will be easy. A lot of businesses use the SMART framework; Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time specific. Once you have this nailed then achieving your marketing goals through social media will become a piece of cake.
STEP TWO: KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE
The next step is to establish who your audience are and what social media platforms they are using. Every business should have a good idea already about the demographics of their audience but it helps if you begin to know their likes and dislikes as well. If you are unsure of the demographics of your customer then start by doing some research on Google Analytics.
John Lee Dumas is the Entrepreneur on Fire and his podcasts are recognised as one of the best on iTunes. More specifically it is his business avatar, Jimmy, that has led him to success. A business avatar is the persona of your perfect customer and is a great way of defining who you should be reaching out to on social media.
The most important part of creating a business avatar is to identify their pain points – if you can do this then creating great content will come easy.
Once you have your perfect customer persona then it is time to find them on social media! Start browsing through different communities and groups to see where they are, what they’re interested in and what they dislike (this is also a great exercise to do if you are struggling to find the pain points!) Facebook is by far the most popular social network with 1.47 billion daily users, so I’d start here first.
STEP THREE: KNOW YOUR COMPETITORS
Knowing what your competitors are doing for their social media marketing can be a huge benefit when trying to piece together a content calendar! Look at what they’re posting and which are getting the most engagement. This will give you a great idea of the sort of content you need to be posting as a business.
You should also do research into what social media platforms your competitors are on and which are the most successful. This will save you time by eliminating any unnecessary networks you don’t need to be active on.
STEP FOUR: BUILD A FOLLOWING
So you have your ideal customer, you know what social media platforms they are on and you know what your competitors are doing. It is now time to start building a decent following. Remember you don’t want to get click happy and follow/add every John Doe, otherwise the content you post will be highly irrelevant to most of your audience. This is why you must stick to your business avatar. There are a number of handy tips to remember when trying to build a following:
- Start by focusing on your previous customers. If they have already purchased from you and had a great experience then there is already customer loyalty that has been generated. These are the people who are most likely to engage with your posts
- Poach your competitors followers! Remember that this is totally OK to do. People who follow your competitors already have a general interest in your industry so they are likely to follow you back
- Stay local. People like to purchase local so finding all the relevant people within a close proximity to you is a great way to generate interest and new business
- Find groups and communities relevant to your business and stalk out the people who are active within these – you can already see that these people engage in social activity and have an interest in your industry so it’s a win-win situation
STEP FIVE: CREATE A CONTENT CALENDAR
Making sure you have a plan for your social media marketing is vital in hitting the goals we spoke about earlier and ensures you have a good balance of different types of content. It will also help you dish out the work load to the most suited people who are best for the job. When planing you should remember:
- Tap into the holidays. Jumping onto the excitement of certain holidays like Halloween and Christmas is a great way to connect with your audience so plan content that resonates with this
- Black Friday is also another major date for businesses and you should definitely be creating a plan that builds up the hype of Black Friday for at least a few weeks beforehand
- Have a separate calendar for each social media platform you are on. You are going to have to do some testing but what works on one social network may flop on the other
- Allow for flexibility – having a content calendar is great but you don’t have to stick to it religiously. A major event may happen or an unexpected hashtag could be trending that is popular with your customers
- Schedule in content sharing from other reliable, highly valued sources. This will show your audience that you can recognise quality when you see it and differentiate it from other, poorer sources; making you look like the absolute experts in your industry!
- Have a good balance of different content. Try using the social media rule of thirds template; 1/3 promoting services/products, 1/3 sharing industry news and content, 1/3 interacting with customers
STEP SIX: MONITOR RESULTS
Finally you need to make sure you are monitoring your results. Each social media network will have their own analytics but it’s also a good idea to keep track through Google Analytics so you can compare success with other marketing channels.
Don’t be afraid to try and test new things. When monitoring results you can quickly see what works and what doesn’t so changing up your strategy and experimenting with ideas is never a bad thing.
Social media marketing is an incredibly effective way to help reach your business goals. Now that you have the very basics to creating a killer strategy, what are you waiting for? Comment below or contact us if you have any questions.