Most of the businesses and marketers struggle with social media marketing because of the ever-changing nature of social media. The key to success on Social Media is to have a well-thought-out Social Media Marketing Strategy with realistic goals. Do you have your social media marketing strategy ready? If not, then this post will help you build your social media marketing strategy.
In 2018 Google+ announced to discontinue its services, while Facebook changed its algorithm. Also, there was a lot of controversy because of the Facebook privacy concerns of the users.
Instagram crossed the one-billion user mark and introduced a lot of new business features in order to attract more businesses.
Many brands launched several controversial campaigns.
Others played it safe by just engaging their users in usual ways such as contests, sweepstakes, etc.
But, it is clear from the trends and social media analytics that customers want to see brands get real and conscious of social media.
All of these unprecedented events and controversies in Social Media space left brands and marketers thinking about what to do and where to go from here?
But, still, there are ways to excel on social media and that is through building the right social media marketing strategy.
A right social media marketing strategy will help you tackle your brand’s goals with a sense of purpose on social media.
The steps mentioned below will help you build your social media marketing strategy by identifying your goals, engage audiences, and optimize your results.
1. Set SMART Social Media Goals that Address the Biggest Challenges
First of all, you need to figure out what you want to achieve from social media marketing.
It could be more customers, a larger share of voice in your industry, more followers for your brand, increased brand awareness, or anything as per your brand’s priority.
But, before everything you should keep in mind that social media marketing is a long term goal like a marathon, it is not short-term like a sprint.
Most of the failures in Social Media Marketing are because of unrealistic goal settings.
Hence, brands should strive to . SMART means Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound.
Let’s take an example, suppose you want to have one million subscribers on your YouTube channel in 1 month. Do you think it’s realistic and possible?
Though it’s not impossible, the chances of getting that goal accomplished are less than 0.001%.
So, that’s not realistic, and it also doesn’t describe what would those subscribers do on your channel, or what would you serve them and engage with them.
But, if you break your goals in smaller and realistic goals, you can achieve them. And in order to achieve them, you would make your social media marketing strategy around that.
Also, you would put in your efforts and money accordingly to achieve those small and realistic social media goals.
Below are some SMART Social Media goals that any brand big or small can achieve.
Increase Brand Awareness
Every business wants to connect with as many people as they can.
Technically they want people to know about their brand and what they offer to the public. Social media offers a great opportunity to create brand awareness.
But, to create an authentic and long-lasting brand awareness campaign on social media, social media marketers should not be just publishing promotional content on their social media channels.
Rather, they should focus more on creating meaningful content that engages their followers and audience.
When you want to create brand awareness avoid publishing content to hard-sell your products.
You should create and publish content that underscores your brand’s personality and should resonate with your audience.
Increase in-store sales
Social media marketing can be used for driving people to brick and mortar stores in order to increase in-store sales.
Many jewelers, restaurants, spas, hotels, etc., use social media marketing to drive customers to their stores and increase their in-store sales.
Sometimes even established global brands also use social media marketing to drive customers in their physical stores and increase their sales.
Get High Quality of Sales
With social media marketing, you can also aim to get high-quality sales.
You need to monitor the engagement of your posts, comments of your followers, the time they are most active, type of posts which are more engaging and evokes responses, etc.
You can do that by looking into the analytics dashboard of your social media or you can also use external tools like , , etc.
Having analyzed your social media metrics and analytics data you can create more engaging posts and messages and target audiences who are more likely to make a purchase with you.
Through efficient social media marketing and targeting, you can reach your core audience much faster resulting in high quality of sales.
It’s important to have a good return on investment for a business to sustain for a long time. And it is also true for Social Media Marketing.
Having a positive social media ROI is important and it doesn’t happen by accident.
You need to keep monitoring and improvising your efforts and communications on social media to have a positive Social Media ROI.
Take time to audit your social channels, chuck out what is not working.
Find out what works better for you, what else you can do to make it better, and that all would help you keep the cost of labor, ads, and creatives down.
The end result is improving your Social Media ROI as much as possible.
Create Loyal Fanbase
Having lots of people following your brand on social media is social proof of your good standing.
If you want to make this your SMART social media goal then you need to see if your brand promotes user-generated content?
How your followers react to your posts, offers, discounts, contests, and communications?
It’s great to engage and encourage your customers and followers to post on your behalf. This helps you create a more customer-centric brand image.
Check out the and see beautiful pictures captured by the users on their iPhones and shared on Apple’s page with the tag #ShotoniPhone.
Any combination of these SMART Social media goals will help you make a better social media marketing strategy.
2. Choose Your Social Media Channels Carefully
It’s important to choose the right social media networks for your business because every social media network is built for a different purpose.
If you choose the wrong social media networks for your business you might end up wasting your time and efforts with no or very little results.
Take today’s social media demographics for example. Here’s a quick snapshot of that are worth noting for the present day’s social media networks:
These numbers speak directly to which networks your brand should be using and what types of content to publish. Here are some takeaways:
3. Know Your Audience
For successful marketing, it is necessary to know your target audience.
Marketers should make a complete customer persona map before making and marketing strategy and launching any marketing campaign.
Because, if you know your audience you will make your marketing strategy around their personas. And if you do so there would be high chances of success.
Social media analytics helps you understand your audience better, thanks to social media analytics tools.
At least with these tools, you can make accurate customer persona maps and not work on assumptions, which are mostly wrong in ever-changing customer behavior.
To know your audience better and what they do on social networks, you should use social media monitoring tools to capture the data and insights which you can use for making your social media marketing strategy.
4. Decide Your Most Important Social Media Metrics
Measuring your social media metrics is important but before that, you need to decide which one of them is most important for you.
No matter what you’re using your social media marketing for, your social media marketing strategy should be data-driven.
The data-driven social media marketing strategy would help you measure your important social media metrics and calculate your social media ROI accurately.
Having thousands of followers on social media with no or little engagement is of no use if you can’t measure them in terms of ROI. Below are some important social media metrics you should me measuring continuously.
The number of unique users who saw your post. This shows how far your content is spreading across social media.
Tracking the reach of your posts is important because that tells you how many people reacted to your post and how many people your post is reaching through the organic feeds.
Here, you should calculate the organic and boosted post reach separately for making a better analysis.
You should measure the number of clicks on your posts, links, etc. This helps you understand how users react to your social media posts and move through your marketing funnel.
Also, it will help you understand what drives curiosity or encourages people to make purchases on your website.
Also, use UTM tags to make better analysis campaign, source, medium wise.
Measuring engagement on social media is arguably the most important metric one should be tracking.
Engagement is measured by calculating the number of social interactions divided by the number of impressions.
It shows how many people interacted with your posts and if it was a good ratio out of the total organic reach to your followers.
This will help you understand what type of content your audience likes the most and how they reach on what type of content.
Based on your data you can focus on creating more content that engages most of your audience.
Measuring the performance of hashtags is a little difficult by the in-built social media analytics dashboards.
But, there are tools like , , etc., which makes it easy for you to measure your hashtag performance.
Based on the reports you use more of the hashtags which are closely associated with your brand, products, events, themes, contests, etc., and engages more of your users.
Likes (Organic and Paid)
Likes are important to measure because it tells you about the quality and usefulness of your posts.
Since, Facebook has changed its algorithm in such a way that gaining organic likes is much harder, so brands use , or , LinkedIn ads, etc., to boost their posts and get more likes on them.
Simply putting paid likes is to make the posts reach more targeted people based on your customer personas who are likely to engage with your content.
Monitoring the sentiments of the users on social media is important. You should keep monitoring what people are saying about your products, campaigns, brand, etc., on social media.
If they are talking bad about your brand you should take measures to turn it in positive. Because if they are taking bad about your brand than more likely you are losing your customer’s trust.
An effective social media marketing strategy is based on numbers and data. You should use that data and numbers to make your social media strategy which helps you achieve your social media marketing goals.
5. Keep an Eye on Your Competition
Every business has a competition, and everyone is trying to get the attention of the same audience on social media.
Hence, it is important to keep an eye on the competitor’s social media activities.
The goal of watching your competition is not to copy their ideas or content, but to see what’s working for them and how you can do better.
Once you know what your competition is doing you will make your social media marketing strategy to produce better and more engaging content for the audience.
You can use to see what people are talking about them and what they are talking about you on social media.
That will give you insights into their needs, unfulfilled areas, which you can use to your advantage.
6. Create Your Social Media Calendar According to Social Media Marketing Strategy
Make a social media calendar to plan your posts, contests, offers, events, etc. so that you can create your content well in advance to avoid any last-minute mistake.
Creating your social media calendar will also help you and your team to have information on what is going to be published on social media on which date and what time.
Other departments and teams will also be ready with that information.
For instance, if you are running a campaign with discounted offers on some products then your marketing and logistics team would be ready for the additional order dispatch.
7. Create Meaningful and Engaging Social Content
Social media marketing strategy is completely centered around content. And it is not important to mention that meaningful content is what drives engagement and sales.
Keeping your followers always engaged is hard. But, if you pick the right creatives and captions to establish the right balance between promotion and personality it will help you engage your audience much better and effectively.
You should also keep in mind that followers start unfollowing the brands when they see a lot of promotional content or irrelevant content.
Hence, you should always keep in mind to produce content that is not irrelevant, promotional, offending, hurting people’s religious, cultural, or ethnic sentiments.
Social media algorithms and user behavior always keep changing, and so does the social media marketing strategy to maintain the engagement level with those audiences.
Hence, it’s a good idea to follow the social trends and social media best practices to create your social media content.
Below are some of the content ideas which are being used by social media marketers and brands.
You can consider these while you build your social media marketing strategy.
Brand’s encouraging users to share content and engage with the brand is on-trend.
Apple shares pictures and short videos submitted by the users who shoot on their iPhones. If users directly post the content they use branded hashtags and mention the brand in their posts.
This inspires other users as well to share the content.
The content generated by the users is loved by other users.
Having your customers a chance to share their content on your social media channel would also leave less work for you.
This also reduces the pressure to constantly be thinking of new ideas.
Video content is on all-time high demand and social media giants like Facebook and Instagram are pushing video content like never before.
This change is apparent from the changes in their algorithm and the sharing of large video content on these networks.
Hence, you should try to produce engaging video content. Try creating video content which is long-form, short-form, or maybe a live video.
Again, check your analytics and see which type of videos is more liked by your audience.
Based on your analysis you can create more of the videos which get higher engagement from your audience.
Try Building Content Themes
A common challenge with all the social media marketers and brands is to create visually engaging content on a daily basis.
Over 44% of the social media marketers and brands keep struggling to create that visually attractive content consistently.
Using content themes comes to rescue in such cases. Using creativity in creating those content themes is of utmost importance.
You can see some of the brands like Dominos, Nike, L’Oreal, Dove, etc., using content themes to create incredibly awesome visual content on Instagram and Facebook.
You can take some ideas from these brand’s Instagram and Facebook pages about creating content themes and content in them.
Also, you can check on Pinterest for some inspiration for creating visually impressive content for your social media marketing.
Hold Giveaways or Contests
Everyone loves free stuff! Holding contests are a great way to engage your fans and followers while increasing your brand awareness and grow your audience.
In fact, according to a social media report brands that run contests on a regular basis grow about 70% faster than the brands that don’t.
Partner with Another Brand Having Similar Audience
If you have the opportunity to partner with another brand that has a similar target audience, it could be a great way to increase your exposure across social media platforms.
Choose a company that is not a direct competitor but whose audience may also benefit from your products or services.
For instance, if you are a kid’s school uniform manufacturing brand partnering with schools, kid’s hobby classes would be beneficial for both you and your partnering brand.
That is for the simple reason that you both have a similar audience and you are not a competitor to each other.
Post Video Testimonials
People trust people, and your prospective customers read the reviews and testimonials of the current customers about your brand and products.
Testimonials in the text form can be faked and many companies actually do that.
But, video testimonials are hard to fake and are a great way to show potential customers how others have found success in using your products or services.
Ask some of your best customers if they would mind offering a short testimonial video about why they love your brand.
8. Don’t Share Repetitive Content
No one likes to see the old content again and again on social media unless it is associated with some memories of them like school events, college events, family reunions, friends reunions, etc.
Similarly, you should completely avoid posting the old content on your social media because it will not be exciting for your audience the second time.
This is where a social media strategy and social media calendar is important. You should creatively think of new ideas, new and meaningful content for your audience which they would love to engage with.
Though you can repurpose your old content and use a new image with a new caption with some additional or updated information.
That would save you time to create the entire piece of content from scratch.
However, you should try to serve your audience with fresh, informative, and engaging content every time.
9. Publish Your Content at Right Time
Timing is very important in social media marketing.
There are basically two things that need to be considered while choosing when to post your content on social media.
When is your brand available to engage and interact with customers? When your audience is more likely to engage with your content?
By looking at the analytics data you can easily figure out what time of the day your audience is more active and react to your posts.
But, if you just automate or schedule a post at that very time and no one is there to respond to the customer questions then what is the point of posting that content at that time.
Hence, you should ensure that your social media managers are available and ready to answer any questions or concerns when you tweet or publish a post.
Always have your people ready to engage with the audience right after you publish a post on social media.
Most users on social media believe that brands should respond to social media messages within four hours.
A few brands do that and they have apparently high engagement rates with their audience and good fan following.
Ignoring or responding too late to the social media messages of the users could be a deadly mistake.
In such a case, your user might unfollow you and lose his trust in your brand.
Probably he will share his bad experience and your ignorant behavior with his friends and colleagues.
Those of the friends of that customer will also start to lose their trust in your brand.
Social media is an excellent channel to communicate and engage with your audience. And you shouldn’t ignore to be responsive to it.
10. Keep Monitoring and Keep Improvising Your Social Media Marketing Strategy for Consistent Success
By now you should have a fair idea of how should you create your social marketing strategy.
But, it’s important to keep improving your social media marketing strategy based on social media analytics data.
Look at your best-performing content and fine-tune your other campaigns accordingly.
Social media marketing is a matter of trial-and-error, and no one can get it right in the first place.
Monitoring the metrics of your campaigns allows you to make small tweaks to your social media marketing strategy.
This would help keep your audience engaged and achieve your Social Media SMART Goals and ROI.
I hope this post would have given you ideas and inspiration for building your social media marketing strategy for success.
Always keep in mind that planning is the most important part of every success.
Of course, proper execution of the plan is next, but without planning you can’t reach your goals.
The same is true for social media marketing as well. Hence, take your time, research well, set your goals, and build your social media marketing strategy.