How To Start A Social Media Marketing Strategy that Works

Social Media Marketing

It’s pretty simple: to be successful in today’s market, you cannot afford not to be on social media and not engage your customers who are already there. But, to reach them effectively, you need to create a strategy which works.

Simply put,

Social Media Marketing Strategy is to first Find out Where and Who Your Users Are

Never forget, your goal is to create a strategy that works. And no marketing strategy will succeed without a clear target audience. So before you even begin to put the where and how pieces together, you need to focus on who.

To do that, you have to first create a buyer’s profile based on the following characteristics:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Job title
  • Location
  • Education

How would they benefit from your product?

How does your product address and solves their pain points?

Why would they choose you or your product over your competitors?

Once you’ve narrowed it down and identified your potential buyers, you need to find out Where your users are on the internet.

This is the most crucial step.

You must know where your users are on the internet so that you can know where to focus your efforts and how to design your strategy to those specific places. Because we’re focusing on social media here, the most important sites to consider are:

  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • Pinterest
  • YouTube
  • Snapchat

Based on your buyer profile alone, narrow down your sites. The most effective way to find which sites your customers regularly visit is to simply ask them by sending them a survey. Ask them questions like:

Which social sites do you visit?

Do you watch videos online?

Do you read blogs?

Do you network online?

Free tools like Google forms and Survey Monkey can be easily used to create surveys. So, collect real data from the people who matter the most.

Next step is to choose those sites that are the most popular with your audience. This will generate the highest return.

The number of sites you choose depends on the size of your company, your budget, and scope of your plan. If you have the time and resources to target say five separate sites, go for it. But if you’re smaller or just starting with social media, try focusing on just two. Devote as much time as you can to those two, and if you see positive results, add another.

And, now the most crucial step! How to Select the Right Site for Your Social Media Marketing Strategy? Given below are some crucial pieces of information you could consider before deciding on which Social Media Site is right for you.

Is Facebook Right for You:

  • Facebook has an app.
  • It generally works better for B2C businesses
  • You must be able to produce consistent, high-quality content
  • It works well for businesses whose customer base frequently uses mobile devices

How to Use it:

Use your business page to introduce people to your product or services

Use ads to reach a wider audience

Post frequent updates of any new blogs, products, promotions, events, etc.

Use Messenger to talk to customers in real-time

Drive sales with the “Book Now” or “Shop Now” buttons

Use targeting tools to segment your posts by age, gender, location, etc. to ensure they reach your target audience

Is LinkedIn Right For You?

  • LinkedIn has.470million users App 60% of companies are on LinkedIn.
  • Works especially well for B2B businesses
  • Good for businesses that rely on developing relationships your clear goal is business development
  • If you’re looking to attract new, qualified talent

How to Use it:

Join groups related to your niche and use them to interact, build relationships, and establish thought leadership

Use paid advertising to promote content, etc. to segmented groups

Publish articles and link back to your website or blog

Display recommendations and testimonials about your business

Is Twitter Right For You

  • Twitter has over 330 million monthly active users, and over 70% of U.S companies Twitter.
  • If you’re trying to appeal to a global audience
  • If you’re targeting women with kids – moms are 67% more likely to research products on Twitter
  • If you’re looking for brand exposure; Twitter is at the top of the marketing funnel and should be used for attention and exposure

How to Use it:

Use it for customer service related questions or support – have a strategy in place for handling complaints

Promote deals, reviews, and gift ideas

Share industry content and news

Target your ideal audience with ads

Engage with your audience, and add personality to your posts
Share valuable, engaging content with your audience

Use it for networking and business development

Is Instagram Right For You

  • Instagram has about 800 million monthly active users, and 15 million are registered businesses using it
  • If you have a global audience – 80% of users are outside the US
  • If you’re targeting people in the millennial age range
  • If you’re targeting primarily women – app 70% of the users are female
  • If you can consistently produce high-quality images
  • If you have visual products or services to show (art, design, retail, food, etc.)

How to Use it

Include a link to your website in your bio, and make your bio is short and interesting

Ensure that your posts are relevant and offer value to your audience

All images should be high-quality

Connect with your audience through hashtags

Include calls to action in your descriptions

Encourage people to share your content

Create lifestyle photos and show off your company culture

Is Pinterest Right for You

  • Pinterest has 200 million monthly active users,
  • Its primary audience is women,
  • If you have the resources to create high-quality visuals daily
  • If you have an e-commerce business or visual products services (retail, art, food, etc.)

How to use it

Create high-quality, engaging images

Create boards with subjects relevant to your target audience and industry

Capitalize on holiday themes and special occasions

Schedule pins to keep activity consistent

Interact with followers; repin related pins, respond to comments and comment yourself

Research your competition to see what content yields the most repins and comments

Link back to relevant articles, posts, and pages on your site

Establish yourself as an authority in your area by curating interesting, useful boards filled with relevant value-added content.

Is YouTube Right for You

  • YouTube has 1.5 billion monthly active users
  • If you have the resources to create high-quality videos
  • If you work in e-commerce – consumers are 85% more likely to buy online after watching a product video
  • If you have a compelling story or expertise to showcase

How to Use it:

Use it for product how-to’s, gift guides, tutorials; offer mainly helpful videos based on your target audience’s needs, not on promotion

Create content based on questions your audience wants answered

Make sure all videos are high-quality and edited

Include company description on your page, links to your website and calls-to-action in your videos

The first few seconds are crucial, so make sure they’re engaging

Is Snapchat Right for you

  • Snapchat has over 300 monthly users
  • If your target audience is in the millennial age group – 70% of users are under the age of 35
  • If you work in a creative industry or retail
  • If you have the production resources to dedicate to the platform

How to Use it:

Promote special offers and exclusive content

Give behind-the-scenes at your company and its culture

If you have a tangible product, showcase what it can do

Use creativity and humor, and invite followers to post replies on other social sites

Above information can help you to decide the right mix of Social Media Sites you can use for your Social Media Marketing. Your next step is to decide an Ad Budget for each site you have chosen for your Social Media Marketing Strategy. Social media ads are here to stay. They require investment, but when run correctly they generate big returns.

Before running an ad, make sure you have are clear about what that ad is trying to accomplish. Some of the most common objectives (and the best sites for them) are:

To increase traffic – LinkedIn has many ad formats designed to send traffic back to your website

To increase brand awareness – Twitter is a great platform for this, and running ads increases your exposure to potential followers

To increase engagement – Snapchat ads are designed almost purely for engagement, especially with its younger user base

To increase lead generation – Facebook offers a variety of ad formats designed to uncover potential customers

To increase sales – Pinterest’s product-driven photos and ads are ideal for pushing immediate sales

As you’ve already identified where your target audience is, you know which platforms to focus on. Also, once you’ve decided your goal, you can decide which ad type you would like to focus on.

Take remarketing ads. These are designed to target people who have already visited your website and are therefore ideal for lead generation and sales.

Facebook does a particularly great job remarketing ads, thanks to features like their custom audiences and Facebook pixel, which tracks who has visited certain parts of your website. Linkedin offers a similar feature with their Matched Audiences.

If you’re focusing more on traffic, you should look into content promotion ads like Twitter’s promoted tweets or Linkedin’s sponsored content ads.

By setting your targets to reach your ideal audience, you’ll boost the chances that your content will find its way to those most likely to value it.

These kinds of ads usually promote a particularly valuable piece of content leading back to your website, which will spike your traffic.

Naturally, you want to allocate most of your budget to the site (or sites) that give you the most engagement and returns. The amount you spend will vary wildly by channel and ad type. Generally speaking, the more you spend, the greater (and quicker) your return will be.

Create a Content Plan for Each Site

Content is the backbone of any social media plan, and will ultimately determine whether that plan sinks or swims. One of the biggest mistakes companies make is treating each network the same, and running the same content on each site.

But each platform serves a different purpose, and so too should the content you promote there. Which is why it’s so important to outline and plan your content for each site you intend you use.

For example, LinkedIn is primarily used for business, so plan your content accordingly. Keep it clean and professional. On the other hand, it pays to be a little out-of-the-box on sites like Instagram and Snapchat.

Here are a few tips:

Include images – Tweets with images receive 18% more clicks than tweets without, and 98% of posts with images receive more comments on LinkedIn

When possible, use videos – 100 million hours of video are watched daily on Facebook alone

Longform content performs particularly well on LinkedIn

Ask a question, run polls, or organize a contest to increase community engagement

Repurpose your content – turn long-form articles into infographics, how-to videos, etc.

And, also remember to set metrics for what you’re trying to achieve. Create key performance indicators (KPI’s) for community growth, content reach, leads, brand reach and visitors to measure how your content is doing and that it’s reaching its intended audience.

Measure consistently and expand to get bigger results from your Social Media Marketing Strategy Most social sites to come with detailed analytics to tell you how your posts and ads are performing. Beyond that, Google Analytics will monitor any traffic increases and which sites are sending that traffic. To keep yourself on track, make sure you do a social media sentiment analysis each month. A sentiment analysis measures how well your content is doing on each site.

For example, a sentiment analysis would look at metrics like customer engagement (avg. number of comments/post) and awareness (avg. new followers/post). You can measure these with Google Analytics and other tools like social mention and Hootsuite.

Now you are ready to get Started With Your Social Media Marketing Strategy

By incorporating the above points into a concrete plan, you’ll be able to take maximum benefit from your social media and use it to meet your marketing goals.

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Neha Roy

How To Start A Social Media Marketing Strategy that Works

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