Social Media Marketing Strategy
Before I start by discussing the topic of social media marketing strategy, first, I would like to share some key points to understand the topic of Social Media Marketing. Let’s start with its introduction:
Social Media Marketing
Here, first, we will talk about social media, as the name suggests social media like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Snapchat etc. these are social media platforms. Another word is marketing, marketing means promoting your services or products is called marketing. Now, by combining these two terms, i.e. Social Media + Marketing, it can be defined as:
“Social Media Marketing is the way to promote any service or product through social media platforms to increase the growth of sale, engaging your followers, drive website traffic as well as building your brand”.
I hope this definition will help you to understand the concept of Social Media Marketing. Social media marketing includes publishing the content on your social media profile, engaging more customers, maximizing sales, analyzing your outcomes and publishing social media advertisements.
Social Media Marketing and Business
Here, I have used two terms social media and business. Both terms are associated with each other. Let me explain how: businesses were shared their content by using social media channels to drive more traffic on their websites, increase the growth of the sales. But now, social media has developed itself and now it is not just a place where we publish our content.
Nowadays, businesses are using social media platforms in different ways. Suppose, your customers are saying something about your service or product then you will be able to give a response to those customers. There are various analytics tools available on the internet through which businesses can understand how it is performing on social media and they can analyse its reach, sales and engagement. If businesses really want to get high traffic on their website then they can run highly-targeted social media ads. This is also known as social media management.
Pillars of social media marketing
There are various pillars of social media marketing which can be helpful to drive social media marketing successfully. Let’s start with introducing each pillar one by one:
- Social media marketing strategy
- Publishing content
- Interaction with audience/listening and engagement
# Social media marketing strategy
Before you start to publish your content you must make a strategy because it will be very helpful in the success of social media marketing. So, here I have defined some key points which need to be considered while making a social media marketing strategy:
- Determine your business goals
First thing you should decide what are your business goals because there are several business goals like one will focus on building brand awareness, others will use social media for driving website traffic and sales. Social media platforms also help you to engage more people around your brand, create a community and provide customer support for your customers.
- Consider any social media platform
The main thing here is to decide which platform you would like to choose? There are several social media platforms available on the internet some of them are Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, LinkedIn etc. Also, there are various new platforms are coming nowadays and those are Tik Tok, Tumblr, social messaging platforms such as WhatsApp, WeChat, and Messenger etc. When you start then make sure that you have chosen that social media platform which is mostly used by people.
- Specify the content you want to share
Another question arises, what type of content will most attract your customers? Is it in the form of video, images or links? Is it related to education or entertainment? To get answers to these questions it is recommended that you should try marketing persona. And it is not fixed you can change your strategy anytime as per your requirements.
# Planning and Publishing content
Having a social media presence is a good sign that you are making efforts. Every small business is trying to have an online presence on social media platforms. Because of this, may be you will get your future customers and by being present on social media platform will allow your brand to build your brand awareness.
Publishing content or anything is very simple, it is same as you post any blog, image or videos on the social media platform if you know how to do it. Or you can say it is similar to sharing your images or videos on Facebook. Before you create or publish your content it is necessary to plan your content. Also, you should consider what your audience would like or what type of content they will like the most, so, try to publish that type of content by keeping this point in your mind.
There are several social media scheduling tools available that can help you to automatically post your content at your preferred time. This thing will help to save your time and you will be able to reach your audience when they are likely to engage with your published content.
# Interaction with audience/listening and engagement
It is obvious when your social media following grow then conversation about your brand will also grow. People will start messaging you, comment on your posts, tag you in their social media posts.
May be people will start talking about your brand on social media without letting you know. You can also check notifications across all social media platforms but it is not an efficient way and you would not be able to see the posts that didn’t tag your social media profile.
You can use social media listening and engagement tool to see the posts that tag your social media profiles.
If you have a high budget and can spend money on advertising then it is another good area to consider. It is recommended to invest money on advertising because of this you may get your future customers.
Social media advertising is a very important aspect through this you can specify exactly who to display your ads to. You will also be able to create your target audiences based on their interest, behaviour and more.
When you run various social media advertising at one time then it will be beneficial for you to use social media advertising tool to make changes, automate processes and optimize your ads.
You will be curious to know how your social media marketing is performing whether you are engaging in social media or publishing content. Have you reached to people as compared to last month? How many positive comments do you get in a month? How many people are using the hashtag of your brand on their social media posts?
Social media platforms themselves offer you this kind of information. If you want more information in-depth or want to compare across social media platforms then you can use social media analytics tools. Buffer Analyze is one of the analytic tools.
Importance of Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is no longer optional, it is a very essential way for companies to reach customers. Through this medium, companies can increase the growth of their sales, drive traffic on their websites etc. but only when you have done it correctly. If you have social media presence but you don’t have social media strategy then it doesn’t make any sense as you don’t have any plan at all.
Here are some benefits of using social media marketing:
Branding or advertising is one of the best ways to make your business more visible to the target audience. Through advertising, your business will help you to connect with your target audience. This may help to make more customers and those customers may become repeat purchasers but only if your online presence is consistent and identifiable.
- Customer support
Providing efficient customer support will help you to engage more people and prove that your business is reliable. Customers love one thing when they comment on your posts and in return, they get modified reply from your side instead of a computerized message. If a brand is taking time to send a personal message and gives importance to its customers then this thing will have a good impact on customers about you.
- Brand authority
If you want to make your brand successful and powerful then customer satisfaction and loyalty are two important factors but this depends on the communication. Try to communicate with your regular customers, if they are asking you something then provide them accurate answers as well as post original content, all these things will help to make your customers happy with your services.
If you are delaying reply to your customers then you may lose your customers very soon. Usually, people want to see the real personality behind your profile so show them.
- Increased website traffic
Another benefit of using social media marketing is, it helps to increase website traffic. Try to post new things on social media and stay updated, by doing this you are giving users to visit your site. If your content is valuable and meaningful and your customers are happy with your services that means you are coming closer to the success.
- Boost SEO ranking
Social media presence is becoming more important in terms of ranking. Nowadays, to secure a website ranking, requirements of SEO is continuously changing. Therefore, now it is not so easy to rank your website high. Businesses are sharing their quality content on social media to get noticed on search engines.
- Marketplace awareness
To know the requirements of your customers, marketplace awareness is one of the best options. It is another important advantage of using social media marketing. With the help of social media presence, you will be able to know the customer’s opinions and interest that you might not know if you don’t have a social media presence.
Social media marketing is possibly a very cost-effective way for a social media marketing strategy. Almost all social media platforms offer free signups that mean you can create your social media profile at free of cost. If you want to use paid advertising on social media then it is recommended that you should start with small so that you can get an idea of what you should expect.
As you know it is a cost-effective way of marketing then you can save money for other marketing and business payments. You need to spend some time and money to increase your conversion rates and you can get ROI, i.e. return on investment on the money that you have primarily invested.
- Engage with your customers
Through social media, you can interact and engage with your customers. If you more interact with your customers then there will be higher chances to build brand awareness. You should try to set up two-way communication with your target audience so that you know their interest. Communication with your customers is one of the best ways to get their attention and convey your brand message to them.
- Improved brand loyalty
Having a social media presence makes it easy for your customers to connect with you. One of the main goals of any business is to develop a loyal customer base. It is important to have a good bond with your customers and engage with your customers. Social media is not restricted to only introduce your services but also a leading platform for promotional campaigns.
- Use social proof to get more customers
To understand this topic, let’s take an example of any food shop or restaurant. Suppose there are two restaurants in front of you. One is having few people and another is full. Now, which restaurant you will choose, empty or full. Obviously, your answer will be, full restaurant, right? Because it seems that a full restaurant would provide a good service as compared to another one.
Similarly, if your website is providing reliable and good services to your customers and your customers are happy with your services then no one can stop you to have success in your business. Another way to attract customers toward your website is to try to use buttons that will show how many likes or comments you have gotten.
- Helps to keep your customers up-to-date
Social media marketing helps us to keep our customers updated with new service or product. Suppose you are going to launch a new product so you can use social media platforms for this type of announcement. It will make your customers excited. If you are thinking about what type of news it can be, then take a look at the following points:
- New products
- New updates
- New service
- New department or expansion
How to build Social Media Marketing Strategy
Before you go for social media marketing you should make a strategy. If you don’t follow any strategy and posting something on social media platforms that means you are doing this for the sake of posting and you are not understanding what your goals are, who is your target audience, and what is their interest and due to these reasons you will never get good results on social media.
Social media marketing is important for everything you want to achieve on social media whether you want to grow your business through social media or want to get a higher level as a social media marketer.
There are some questions you must ask yourself while making strategy for social media marketing:
- Why do you want to have social media profile?
- Who is your target audience/customer?
- What type of content you want to share?
- Where you want to share?
- When are you going to share?
Here I have mentioned some social media platforms, you can make strategy for each of social media platform:
Let’s start with making a list of social media marketing strategy as we have discussed above the 5Ws:
# Why do you want to have social media profile?
Now, we have started with asking ourselves why we need a social media platform. This question will be related to your social media goals or the purpose you need a social media platform. Do you want to promote your services on social media? To engage more people on your website? Or to provide customer support?
Basically, there are some social media goals I have mentioned. If you have some of these goals then you are ready to have social media channel:
- Build brand awareness
- Engage more people on your website
- Generate new leads
- Increase more revenue by increasing sales or signups
- Building community around your brand
- Provide customer support
- Increase positive comments or mentions
- Listen conversation about your business/brand
# Who is your target audience/customer?
Once you have an idea what is your goal to have a social media platform, then the next thing which needs to consider is your target audience. If you understand your target audience then you will be able to answer all the questions such as what, where and when you are going to share your content.
For example, here I am taking an example of Instagram profile artviral_, this profile shows you various art activities.
Most people love to make art and craft. Similarly, you can also create your social media profile and promote your service or explore your talent to your target audience.
You can also build marketing personas. There are several ways to create marketing personas. Such as:
- Who are they? (E.g. job title, gender, age, salary, location etc.)
- What they would love that you can offer? (E.g. educational content, entertainment, case studies, inspirational quotes, new products updates etc.)
- Where they usually go for hangout? (E.g. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter etc. or niche platforms)
- When they prefer to look the content you can offer? (E.g. weekends, on regular basis etc.)
- Why they consume the content? (E.g. to get job, to become healthy, to explore themselves, to stay up to date etc.)
- How they consume the content? (E.g. by reading social media posts, watch videos etc.)
If you have already started your social media profile then you may know your target audience. If not, then you can follow these marketing personas.
# What type of content you want to share?
In this section, you’ll decide what type of content you want to share with your target audience whether you want to share images or videos. Here, we are using the content word, in the simple term you can say “theme”, i.e. what type of theme you want to share.
For example, Flipkart is having an Instagram profile in which they show various products. It is one of the best and leading e-commerce marketplaces.
This is a place where an understanding of the target audience will be helpful. First, check your marketing persona and consider the following questions:
- What goals and challenges they have?
- How will you solve them?
Here, another example can be: there are many profiles on Instagram which promote their services like some people like cooking so they follow best chefs, here I am going to give an example of chef Sanjeev Kapoor who has an Instagram profile and people who follow his profile obviously would love cooking.
I hope this example will make everything clear what type of content you want to share while considering your target audience.
- Select type of content you can produce
While creating content you may face some limitations, so be ready to face it. For example, you want to start your blogging page on Instagram where you want to post some knowledgeable content. But if you don’t have enough knowledge about what you are posting then there is no use of that account or page.
First thing you should keep in mind that what type of content you can deliver and ask yourself have you enough knowledge about that content? If your answer is yes then you can go for it.
- Don’t mix personal account with professional account
Suppose you have two accounts one is a personal account and another is a business account. So, here the point is don’t mix these two accounts. Suppose you have shared a post on your personal as well as business account, may be your business account followers don’t like it.
On your personal account, there will be no restriction that what type of content you are sharing but on the other hand on the business account you have to first consider your target audience.
# Where you want to share?
The next thing to consider is where you want to share your content. In simple words, deciding social media platform where you are going to share your content. It is not necessary to have an account on every social media platforms. But having an account on fewer social media platform will also be helpful to be getting noticed.
If you know about your target audience then it will be very helpful for you. Consider which platform is most used by your target audience, what is their interest. For example, young boys and girls visit Instagram or Facebook when they are idle to look for new products or to look at what are their friends doing.
Another thing needs to determine, for what you are passionate about. Are you great at videos, writing or photography? Beyond this, social media platform includes various types of content it is not limited to this.
Here are some social media networks, where you will share your content accordingly:
Twitter comes with limitation and that is you can’t write above 280 characters. So, try to write a compact and direct message. You can also add links in tweet and hashtags but no more than 1 or 2. If you include images with tweet it will be better and attractive than those without images.
Facebook posts can be longer as compared to Tweets, but don’t use excessively. Short videos also perform well on Facebook. You can add video or image with your post and try to relate it with your text. You can link posts, it will also perform well.
Instagram is image-focused but you can also add some videos there is no restriction on it. You should share relevant images and short videos. You can integrate images with video to tell a story, with this you will attract more customers as well as you will be at the top rather than posting regular stuff, try to do something new for your customers.
LinkedIn is used for professional work. Try to use that content which is perfect for this and meets the requirements of the customers. People use LinkedIn to get knowledge and that can help them in their career.
# When are you going to share?
After considering all the above points, now it’s a time to share your content. But, here you can’t directly post anything, before this you should consider the behaviour of your target audience. In other words, you should know when they use social media channels.
If you are sharing your post on that time when your target audience is offline then they may never see your content. So, here is a solution to this problem, you can use some scheduling tools to make a schedule when you want to share your content with your audience at the time when they will active.
Here we have gathered some examples for you:
- People who love cooking may be active on weekends but this is for working people, on the other hand, housewives may be active on a daily basis to get new recipes.
- People who love traveling may be active on weekends. When they are free and want to go on a trip.
- Teenagers or adults who love music videos may be active on free time or at night.
- The job seeker may be active regular until they find a better job.
- Sports lovers may be active when any tournament comes near that means, before, during and just after the sports events end to get an update about a specific sport.
For this step, you just need to consider the behaviour of your target audience. I hope you understand all the points which I have mentioned above. By following these steps there are chances that you’ll get more customers in the future.