Social media has dramatically changed the way people connect and engage with each other and businesses. No matter how big or small your business, having a well thought out social media marketing strategy will have an enormous impact on your bottom line.
The average consumer spends 2 hours online daily, and that’s only increasing. With so much time being spent online, what better place is there to promote your product/service? Understanding how customers think, behave and make decisions can be used to generate more leads for your business using social media. This blog post will help you choose the best tactics to boost your company’s social media strategy.
1. Define your goals
Well, what will you aim at if you have no target? You need to know the 5 Whys behind your actions. Your goal will be the driving force of your social media marketing strategy.
So don’t delay anymore. Grab a paper, and pen down your goals!
Set S.M.A.R.T. goals
The first step to creating a winning strategy is to establish your objectives and goals. Without goals, you have no way to measure success and return on investment (ROI).
Each of your goals should be:
This is the S.M.A.R.T. goal framework. It will guide your actions and ensure they lead to real business results.
Here’s an example of a S.M.A.R.T. goal:
“We will use Twitter for customer support and lower our average response rate to under two hours by the end of the quarter.”
2. Keep the salesy tactics to a minimum
Intrusive, traditional marketing went out the window a long time ago, for good reason.
People don’t want to be sold too.
They want to establish real connections and relationships with you.
That’s the secret sauce to getting your audience or customers to trust you.
And, if they trust you – they’ll buy from you.
Consumers find it offputting when brands and businesses post too many promotions.
As you can see, 57.5% of people found it annoying in this study on Sprout Social:
Alternatively, you can craft helpful content that people want to consume. Content that leads buyers to your products or services – without being pushy or salesy.
3. Craft your social media content carefully
Every piece of content you post on social media should be carefully thought-out. If you’re posting just to post something – you’re going about it all wrong.
Depending on the social network you’re posting on, you’ll need to learn the various purposes of each network.
Here are some examples:
- 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.
4. Take time to research your target audience
Making assumptions is bad news for marketers.
Only 55% of marketers use social data to better understand their target audience, making it a huge opportunity for both leaders and practitioners. Much of what you need to know about your audience to influence your social media marketing strategy is already available. You just have to know where to look.
With the right tool, marketers can quickly research their audience. No formal market research or data science chops are necessary.
Remember: different platforms attract different audiences
Take today’s social media demographics, for example. These numbers speak directly to which networks your brand should approach and what types of content to publish. Here are some key takeaways for your 2022 social media marketing strategy:
- Facebook and YouTube are both prime places for ads due in part to their high-earning user bases.
- The top social networks among Millennials and Gen Z are Instagram and YouTube, signaling the strength of bold, eye-popping content that oozes with personality.
- Women vastly outnumber men on Pinterest, which is noted to boast the highest average order value for social shoppers.
- LinkedIn’s user base is well-educated, making it a hub for in-depth, industry-specific content that might be more niche than what you see on Facebook or Twitter.
Don’t spread yourself too thin. Instead, focus on networks where your core audience is already active.
Create audience personas
Knowing who your audience is and what they want to see on social media is key. That way you can create content that they will like, comment on, and share. It’s also critical if you want to turn social media followers into customers for your business.
When it comes to your target customer, you should know things like:
- average income
- Typical job title or industry
Here’s a simple guide and template for creating audience/buyer personas.
Get to know your fans, followers, and customers as real people with real wants and needs, and you will know how to target and engage them on social media.
How can you better understand your audience?
- Survey your audience to better grasp their pain points
- Look carefully at their demographics
- Take part in conversations on forums filled with your target audience
- Respond to comments on your blog, and comment on other blogs with the same target audience
- Reply to all comments or questions on your social media channels
- Collect feedback (using one of the many user feedback tools available)
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.
Which makes this a vital step in creating any social media strategy.
Do your homework on your existing social media audience
Although the demographic data above gives you insight into each channel, what about your customers? Further analysis needs to be done before you can determine what your real-world social customers look like.
That’s why many brands use a social media dashboard that provides an overview of who’s following you and how they interact with you on each channel.
5. 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:
- Conversion Rate
- Time Spent on Website
- Brand Mentions
- Total Shares
6. 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 aligns with your goals and appeals to your target audience. Focus on the platforms that are preferred by your targeted demographic.
7. 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.
Use social media listening
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.
8. 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.
9. 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.
10. 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.
11. 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.