It doesn’t matter how small or large your business is, a well-crafted social media marketing strategy will have a significant impact on your bottom line.
There’s no better place to promote your product or service than online, where consumers spend an average of 2 hours daily. Social media can help you generate more leads for your business if you understand how your customers think, behave, and make decisions. This blog post will help you determine which tactics will boost your social media strategy.
A social media strategy is a plan that helps you use social media to reach your goals. It’s a roadmap for success, and can be used by anyone—whether they’re just starting out or an established business.
It’s important to have a strategy because it allows you to focus on what matters most, rather than wasting time on things that don’t. Here’s how we do it:
Establish a Set of Energizing Goals for the Year
Whenever we start anything in business, we start with a goal. There are all kinds of goals, so let’s set some ground rules on what makes a good social goal, as there is no right or wrong to this.
How Do You Define a Good Social Media Marketing Goal?
It is important to set SMART goals. This is a great time to get back to business basics. Your goals should follow the time-tested formula: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.
The goals of your social media campaign should be focused on the audience. Social media is a human-centric medium. Translate your customers’ journey into specific goals for your audience.
- Creating awareness is the first step in capturing the attention of your customers
- The conversion process is all about driving your customer’s actions in the right direction
- In order to be an advocate, you need to earn the referrals of your customers
Goals should be related to organizational impact. A good goal is an outcome, not an activity. What needs to happen next year for the business to succeed? The bottom line is always at the top of the list, but what else impacts the bottom line? Are you looking for ways to keep customers happy? Do you want to keep employees longer? Translate a social media goal into something where you can make an impact.
As you are planning your social media strategy, we suggest that you identify two types of goals. To keep on top of your social media efforts, it is important to establish tall but achievable goals. Once those goals have been established, you should break them down into monthly and quarterly key performance indicators (KPIs).
- Primary goals that describe your top priority contribution to the marketing goal.
- Secondary goals that describe your objectives and success measurements for each channel.
Generally, your primary goal will be, “If we only achieve this one goal this year, then we will know we have been successful.” This is where I will push you to re-examine the ‘increase brand awareness’ goal. According to Buffer, their social media goal is linked to the release of three new product features. Perhaps on January 1, that is enough. However, as they qualify the success metrics of those product launches, it is crucial that the social goal is broken down more to make it easier to track and measure.
Can you tell me what a good social media goal is for B2B companies?
As a B2B organization, marketing is often responsible for brand awareness, demand generation, and lead nurturing (pipeline) as well as lead generation. By using social media marketing to promote your products or services, you can expect to be able to move the needle in your sales funnel either directly with paid advertising or indirectly through brand awareness and community management.
It may be useful to provide an example of a primary social media marketing goal, such as obtaining 50 SQLs through social media channels in the next fiscal year.
How happy would you be if you had 50 qualified leads after a year of hard work and investment? Adjust your efforts accordingly.
Tips1: This is a social media marketing goal. Social media may live within a number of different departments and teams. In addition to improving customer satisfaction by X percentage points, reducing response times by Y minutes, or increasing customer or employee retention rates, your team’s goal may also involve other areas of business impact.
Tips2: Setting a goal for the entire year is a big, audacious guess. Instead, set goals for the individual campaigns that you can work towards achieving your goals.
We will measure the success of our execution by identifying your secondary social media goals. These are often the metrics tied to the performance of each individual channel. It is important that you track these metrics on a monthly basis, for each channel, as part of your execution plan. Be selective when choosing these, as they will not all be equally valued within your organization.
In terms of social media KPIs, here are a few examples:
- Post frequency: The number of posts published in a given period of time
- Growth of the audience: The number of new followers and fans
- I am referring to both paid and organic reach and impressions (or earned and owned)
- Engagement: The number of interactions, views, comments, and shares of the video
- Traffic Generation: Referrals or quality visits generated from social media channels are two ways of generating traffic
- The generation of leads from social media campaigns or channels is known as lead generation
- Nurturing Leads through Social Media: Visits from prospects who are in the nurturing funnel stage
- Acquisition of new customers: social media campaigns played a significant role in closing new customers
- Retaining Customers: The number of members who are actively involved in your private Facebook Groups
- Support: Inquiries and tickets are resolved through social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter
The 50 marketing-qualified leads you are hoping to get will not appear overnight, so it is important to break them down into smaller pieces. To get closer to your total, you might set goals for the month of March, such as:
- Increasing the number of 10-second views on a new marketing video by X thousand
- Reducing the cost per action on retargeting ads so that they cost X dollars
- Achieving a Y% increase in conversion rate for Facebook-driven lead magnets as compared to X%
There is only one way to eat an elephant: One bite at a time. Start big, then break it down into bites.
As a recap, the first step is to identify…
- I believe that we can be successful if we only accomplish this one goal this year.
- This is how we measure the performance of our execution in terms of our secondary goals.
You should then ask yourself and key members of your organization the following questions:
- Could you please let me know if these are tied to our most important business goals for the year?
- Is the goal SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound)?
- Does leadership support the decision to focus on these goals?
- Have we identified the KPIs that will help us measure our progress towards these goals?
Identifying Your Target Audience
In order to accomplish your goals, do you have a clear defined target audience? Having clarity on your most valuable and important customer types precedes this step. If marketing, sales, and service have not yet discussed that topic, it is time to do so. It is important for us to pay attention to three main audience groups for social media strategy planning:
The Customers Who Are the Most Valuable to You.
If you want to drive the greatest return from your investment in social media, you must focus on your MVP (most valuable personas) for your primary goal. Building a better relationship with this audience-and attracting more like them-will drive the greatest return from your investment in social media.
It may be challenging for you to complete this part. Brands often cater to more than one segment of their customers across a variety of products. It is very difficult to grow an audience organically and implement a content strategy that speaks to many different people in social media, even though social advertising lends itself well to microtargeting multiple personas.
In other words, while your business may want to recruit employees, attract customers, and engage with influencers, it is more important to define your primary content and channel strategy from the perspective of your most valuable prospects and customers.
You Need to Know Who Your Aspirational Audience Is.
This segment represents the audience you want to grow into next. It is likely that this group is necessary for your business to grow over the next five years. It is often a younger generation that you hope to influence, or consumers of emerging business segments. Though it may not be a priority for you right now, it is essential to identify and understand them.
The target audience for your influencers.
It is essential that you define the segment that has the potential to lift up your brand and reach your customers. Which segment influences your customers? Understanding this group can be a key to unlocking earned media and traffic. Note: Create “customers” using any other term that makes sense to you – client, donor, guest, or member.
In order to understand your customer persona better, you need to dig deeper into it. After you have confirmed your target audience (congratulations on your decisiveness), it is time to describe them at a deeper level. You have to know your audience well in order for your content strategy to be effective. To define your persona, ask yourself the following questions:
- Can you tell me about their (relevant) goals, motivations, pain points, and questions?
- In terms of their demographics, how would you describe them?
- In what ways would you describe their lifestyle, their personality traits, their values, and their attitudes?
- If they were to describe themselves as an audience in any other way, how would they do so?
Getting qualified, authentic feedback -preferably from your customers – is an essential step in creating the right buyer persona for your business. Optimist also provides a list of additional questions to consider when building out your buyer persona, so it’s worth checking out their post.
First of all, identify your most valuable, aspirational, and influencer segments of your audience. Then ask yourself, and key members of your organization, the following questions:
- Can you tell me what their (relevant) goals and challenges are?
- In your opinion, what are the characteristics that describe them as an audience?
- If they were to describe themselves in any other way, how would they do it?
Make Sure That Your Social Media Content Is Carefully Crafted
You should carefully think through every piece of content that you post on social media. If you post just to post something, you’re going about it all wrong. If you post just to post something, you’re going about it all wrong.
Depending on the social network you choose to post on, you’ll need to learn the different purposes for which each social network is used.
As an example, here are a few:
- LinkedIn – A professional network that is perfect for B2B audiences. Also includes LinkedIn Pulse, a content publishing and distribution platform.
- Facebook – Almost everyone has a Facebook account. Particularly good for news/entertainment related content. While Facebook Pages struggle to perform, Facebook Groups can be a great way of connecting with your ideal audience.
- Instagram – Perfect if your content is highly visual. Static images and short videos work incredibly well but it’s not as good at driving traffic back to your blog.
- Pinterest – Similar to Instagram, Pinterest is highly visual. Although it’s limited to static images, it can be highly effective at driving traffic back to your blog.
Note: Planning and creating content can be time-consuming, but the right tool can make this process far easier. Check out our roundup of the best social media calendar tools to find out how.
Once you learn about the varying networks, you can focus on which ones you think will mesh well with your business.
A major component of killing it at your social media strategy is using the right words. The way you get your message across will vary depending on the social network you’re posting content on.
But, in general, there are ways to improve your online visibility over all the platforms!
To craft captivating copy on social media:
- Use copywriting techniques.
- Address your audience directly.
- Use snappy, witty, or intriguing hooks to begin your social media posts.
- Switch it up with different content types (Try linking to blog posts, videos, ask questions, etc).
- Always write a description on every link you post. Never just put the headline of the post.
Once you get a feel for who your target audience is, you’re better equipped to help them. They want to deal with businesses that care – not just a faceless brand.
Identify Key Success Metrics
“If you cannot measure it you cannot improve it.” – Lord Kelvin
How will you determine if your social media marketing efforts are successful? I am not just talking about gaining more followers, I am talking about making money. After all, it is hard to rationalize spending time and money on something that isn’t improving the bottom line.
A few metrics to consider measuring are:
Select your social media platforms wisely
It is not necessary to be available on all social media platforms, but what matters is to create an impact on a few that you are present on. It is probably one of the best tips for social media marketing.
It is not the quantity that matters, it’s the quality that counts! Putting out substandard content will only make things worse for you.
Instead, research and plan your social media presence that it aligns with your goals and appeals to your target audience. Focus on the platforms that are preferred by your targeted demographic.
Get to know your competition
Odds are your competitors are already using social media, and that means you can learn from what they’re doing.
Conduct a competitive analysis
A competitive analysis allows you to understand who the competition is and what they’re doing well (and not so well). You’ll get a good sense of what’s expected in your industry, which will help you set social media targets of your own.
It will also help you spot opportunities.
Maybe one of your competitors is dominant on Facebook, for example, but has put little effort into Twitter or Instagram. You might want to focus on the networks where your audience is underserved, rather than trying to win fans away from a dominant player.
Social listening is another way to keep an eye on your competitors.
Do searches of the competition’s company name, account handles, and other relevant keywords on social media. Find out what they’re sharing and what other people are saying about them.
Connect With Your Audience
If you’re not building relationships with your audience and/or customers – it’ll have disastrous effects on your business.
Expanding your reach is undoubtedly at the forefront of your mind. And the best way to do this is by connecting genuinely with your audience.
This will lead to targeted people landing smack dab on your website and purchasing your services or products. Social media is one of the best tools to bring in new customers or clients.
73.3% of people purchase items or services because of social media:
Social media is a powerful tool for any marketing strategy. And that mainly comes down to the fact that businesses can interact and engage with their customers in a way that’s impossible otherwise.
Smart ways to connect with your audience:
- Interact in Twitter Chats
- Retweet on Twitter
- Survey your audience
- Engage in Facebook groups with a similar target audience
- Always reply to comments on your Facebook business page
If you can master this, you’ll start to see the leads pouring in.
Invest In a Social Media Management Tool
“We live in times in which ordinary people can do amazing things using the right tools”
Most marketers have a secret, they leverage tools to boost their productivity. Ok, maybe it isn’t a secret, but without tools, marketers would face constant burnout (many do even with tools). When it comes to social media, having a social media management tool allows you to scale your efforts with ease.
One of the main benefits of a social media management tool is the ability to schedule posts ahead of time. Remember that content calendar you created? Make sure your scheduled posts in your social media management tool align with your content calendar.
Create a Social Media Content Calendar
Sharing great content is essential, of course, but it’s equally important to have a plan in place for when you’ll share content to get the maximum impact.
Your social media content calendar also needs to account for the time you spend interacting with the audience (although you need to allow for some spontaneous engagement as well).
Set your posting schedule
Your social media content calendar lists the dates and times at which you will publish types of content on each channel. It’s the perfect place to plan all of your social media activities—from images, link sharing, and re-shares of user-generated content to blog posts and videos. It includes both your day-to-day posting and content for social media campaigns.
Your calendar also ensures your posts are spaced out appropriately and published at the best times to post.
Promotion Is Key to Your Entire Strategy
You could create the most mind-blowing, quality content on the web – but if nobody gets eyes on it, you’re not going to see results.
That’s where promotion comes in.
We’ve talked about automation tools; you must use them for the social media platforms you’ve chosen for your social media strategy.
You’ll also want to have a separate tool for Pinterest, such as Tailwind.
This will maximise the number of people who see your content and it’ll help to skyrocket your website traffic and your income.
Creating outstanding and diverse content for social media is crucial, but don’t overlook the promotion process.
This is a massive mistake that many bloggers and business owners make.
So what promotional work can you do to level up your strategy?
- Cross promote between your other social profiles
- Collaborate with influencers in your industry
- Run a social media contest that encourages participants to follow you
- Leverage other platforms you have access to (for example, after someone subscribes to your email list, invite them to follow you on social media.)
- Take an SEO-driven approach to the content you publish on social networks (for example; use relevant hashtags on Instagram and use popular keywords in titles/descriptions on YouTube.)
For any business, having a social media presence is necessary. However, that doesn’t mean that you should be rushing to create an account for your business on every available platform. It’s far more important that you spend the necessary time creating a quality social media plan. Create a marketing strategy outline to help get your plan started, then decide which platforms and sites are best for your business. You’ll be glad that you decided to take the time and energy to put some thought into your social media marketing plan before diving in headfirst.