Social Media Marketing is one of the relatively prominent verticals of Digital Marketing. It involves the use of social media channels for communicating with a brand’s target audience, carrying out its marketing initiatives, generating traffic on its websites, endorsing its products and services, running endorsements, publishing content, and performing other digital marketing activities.
Some of the notable platforms for Social Media Marketing includes YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Besides these platforms, there is a diverse range of tools available for social media management. These tools help digital marketers to reap the best outcome from the strategies. Although the focus of organizations was on publishing content in the initial days, social media marketing has progressed exponentially. In recent times, its uses are unfathomable.
Businesses can use it to understand people’s opinion of their image by mapping the social conversations which revolve around their brand. They can also enhance customer engagement by responding to their queries. Awareness about new products and services can also be created through social media marketing. Business performance could be analyzed by using a set of analytic tools and reach to a niche set of audience can be enhanced by running targeted advertisements on social media platforms. There are many possibilities that social media marketing offers.
The whole essence of social media marketing is extremely appealing. However, in the absence of an effective marketing strategy, it is of not much significance for the marketers. Like any other marketing vertical, the need of having a strategy is equally important in social media marketing. Hence, we shall discuss the steps of building a strong marketing strategy in this article today. These tips are based on the insights of our social media marketing experts. Hence, you must make sure to go through each one of them to learn how to build the best social media marketing strategy.
However, we should first briefly understand what is a Social Media Marketing Strategy?
Having a strategy is like knowing the secret ingredient in the recipe of Social Media Marketing. It is a summary of the objectives that marketers need to accomplish on social media platforms. It is a blueprint that drives the action of marketers and helps them ascertain their success or failure. It defines the purpose because of which the market initiatives are being undertaken in the first place.
The effectiveness of the execution is directly relatable to what extent can a marketer concentrate his marketing strategy. Broad goals are often unattainable. It is wise to start with small, specific, and attainable goals in the beginning. But that’s just one part of it. We are going to take you through all the steps of building an effective marketing strategy.
Steps to Build a Fail-Proof Social Media Marketing Strategy
The world of social media marketing can be overwhelming. Picking a strategy that drives maximum results can be intimidating. Following the steps mentioned below will ensure that you stay on top of your social media marketing game. Let us take a look at our fuss-free guide for building the most effective digital marketing strategy for 2020.
- Set Goals
Not just while devising a marketing strategy, setting goals is imperative in any walk of life, whatsoever. Besides just setting goals it is also necessary to ensure that they are attainable.However, setting goals for a marketing strategy is different by a notch as it requires marketers to align them with organizational objectives.All of these above-mentioned factors can be covered if marketers set S.M.A.R.T goals. Setting S.M.A.R.T goals implies that they should be:
Once you have mapped your goals against all these parameters, they will help you in achieving results that are in alignment with your organizational demands.
Furthermore, to determine the performance against each of these goals, it is important to track real-time metrics. Instead of focusing on metrics such as retweets which has no real value, marketers should focus on gauging scalable metrics such as traffic rate, referrals, and lead conversion rate.
It becomes important to audit different metrics across different social media platforms. Metrics can be differentiated on the basis of awareness, engagement, conversion, and customer feedback. For instance, a particular brand may carry out its awareness initiatives through paid campaigns but resort to organic marketing for creating engagement.
Marketers can start by listing down the easiest goals. They should not miss out on aligning these goals with the overall strategy. This shall help them to secure the buy-in from the management. Once these goals are achieved, they can gradually build up on the following ones.
- Target One Platform
As mentioned at the outset of this blog, there are multiple platforms available for social media marketing such as YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, GooglePlus, Snapchat, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Reddit, etc. However, extending marketing efforts across all these platforms at once might not translate into the desired results. Although it is natural for marketers to get overwhelmed at the opportunities that all these platforms could offer, identifying the channel that could drive maximum results is very important. Failing to do so can lead to the failure of social media marketing campaigns and effect a brand’s presence of social platforms.
This may happen due to several reasons.
Different platforms require marketers to publish varying forms of content. Hence, developing the content and monitoring its performance at the same time can spell a real challenge for them. Even if the content is repurposed, it would have to be made suitable to meet the objectives of the platform on which it is being published. Marketers will not only need to tweak the content, but they will also have to structure it in accordance with the platform’s best practices as well as a presentation format.
Furthermore, each of these platforms has a varying type of audience, with diverse interests who are from different age groups. This implies that a piece of content that you have created considering a certain platform might not be suitable for repurposing on others.
Focusing one platform at a time lets marketers learn as well as master its dynamics holistically. Once, they do they can skip to the second platform of their choice.
Marketers prefer platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn for B2B marketing. Similarly, one platform should be identified at a time that could deliver the maximum results with respect to social media marketing initiatives.
- Study the Target Audience
In order to devise a successful social media marketing strategy, it is important to study the target audience. If a marketing strategy is focused on increasing presence in the social platforms, marketers might have to interact with the audience differently over distinctive channels.
The first and foremost step in studying the target audience is to create a persona. This implies listing out the traits, demographics, and purchase patterns of the customers. This step must be followed by identifying the type of social media channel that these ideal customers may be using.
You can create an in-depth buyer persona by referring to different online sources.
Once a marketer has understood the type of audience that he wants to target, he should work on creating content for communicating with them. Following this step also helps marketers to derive maximum benefits from their paid marketing initiatives for generating traffic.
Before creating content, it is pragmatic for marketers to map the stage of the buyer’s cycle that their audience is likely to be at. The three stages of the “Buyer’s Cycle” are broadly categorized as Awareness, Consideration, and Conversion stage. If a customer is at the awareness funnel the content should be focused on educating them about the brand and its offerings. If they are at the awareness stage, the content should be focused on educating them on how a brand is superior to its competitors and informing them how the solutions can curb their challenges. And, if they are at the conversion stage, the content should be compelling enough so as to influence a customer into buying the services or products of a brand.
- Analyze the Competition
It is highly likely that the competitors of a brand might already be present on social media platforms. And, in case their social marketing strategy looks successful, there might a lot to learn in terms of what they are doing.
Marketers can begin by preparing a comparative analysis of all the competitors. Making use of digital analytics, they can also gain insight on which of their marketing activities are performing extraordinarily.
Carrying out a comparative analysis will also help marketers in understanding the demands of the industry. Based on these insights, marketers can refine their own marketing initiatives.Carrying out an analysis also helps marketers in identifying opportunities for market penetration. In case a competitor has established a presence on Instagram, then the marketers can promote their client’s brand on some other platform rather than competing in a domain that is already dominated.
While conducting the analysis it is wise to keep an eye on which type of content is performing well amongst the audiences. Marketers can also study the patterns in which their competitors use a particular platform. They can map the frequencies and types of content that the competitors are publishing on these platforms. They can determine how many blog posts, videos, or creatives posts are shared online in a month.
Performing all these steps will help marketers to improve their own goals and plans.
- Decide What to Share
The last step in creating an effective social media marketing strategy is to finalize the type of content to be shared with the audience. This will depend on the platform that is being targetted by the brand for marketing. While blogs and articles may dominate one platform, users may go to consumer video content on another.
No matter what the content type, marketers should make sure that consistently high-quality content is being offered to their target audiences. As mentioned in point number 3 of this content, it is also important to offer content to your customers in accordance with the stage of the buyer’s cycle which they are at. Targetting a limited number of platforms, in the beginning, will help in the regulation of the content quality.
It shall help in putting some research into the type of content that your audience is highly likely to consume. For instance, if you are promoting yourself on a podcast platform, it will make sense to only share podcast media with your audience and likewise.
Marketers should always start by posting content that establishes thought leadership. After gaining recognition, they can proceed with introducing a brand and its offerings to customers.
And, before a marketer can post content online, he should always remember to measure it against the business goal he is trying to achieve.
Marketers can combine all the above-mentioned steps in building the best social media marketing strategy. These steps for social media marketing will ensure success, scale, and expansion for organizations.
Though we have tried to keep our blog very specific, we would like to know if we have missed out on any important parameter. And, if you liked the blog do leave us a comment and do not forget to share it with your industry peers.