Everywhere you go, in each corner and with every turn you make, people stay connected online. They might be messaging friends, checking the news, or updating themselves on the latest news and trends through social media. According to We Are Social’s annual Global Digital Report, there has been a 13% increase in the number of social media users worldwide—adding to the already existing 3.1 billion users.
It’s no surprise that almost all kinds of businesses now consider social media a go-to marketing platform. Baby boomers, millennials, and Gen Z can all be found in different social media platforms. Even older generations are trying to get themselves familiar with this. Facebook is still heavily populated by all generations, but Baby boomers can also be found on LinkedIn, perhaps because it is best for social selling. Millenials are on Twitter, while Gen Z are into image-led platforms like Snapchat and Instagram.
To put things simply:, your target audience can most likely be found on one of the many platforms available. In most cases, social media is the easiest and the most cost-friendly platform to pitch a product or service. This makes it easier to ultimately reach your target audience.
You might ask: How can my business stand out in a very competitive scene? The answer to that is a refined social media marketing strategy to help ensure success in your marketing efforts. However, the strategy doesn't just speak of planning marketing efforts through social media but also understanding which platform works best to achieve the business goals you've set.
Here are a few factors to consider when creating a social media strategy that works best for your business:
Determine your business goals and create social media marketing goals that are aligned with these.
Defining your business goals can help in deciding how and where social media can take part in your marketing efforts. Setting primary and secondary goals will prevent your company from getting side-tracked. Here are some of the most common social media goals:
Increase Brand Awareness: Posting meaningful social media content not only improves your social media presence but also showcases your brand’s personality.
Drive Website Traffic: Boost traffic to your website by sharing and distributing interesting and relevant content from your site to your social media platforms.
Increase of Sales: Once brand awareness has been established, both your current and potential customers would most likely visit your social media accounts and invest in the offered products and services.
Improve Return-on-Investments (ROI): Conduct a thorough audit of your social media channels to review your spendings and check if you received the projected ROI.
Drive In-store Sales: Sales and promos are best promoted through social media as both your target market and indirect but interested customers are there.
Set your marketing objectives.
Goals are more achievable when there’s a set of parameters that define when and how these are achieved. It’s necessary that the goals you set should be SMART — Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound.
What do we mean when we say Specific? Write down specific goals that can help you identify what to achieve and how to achieve them. How about Measurable? Set parameters such as reach, clicks, engagement, hashtag performance, sentiments, organic, and paid likes to measure your success. To be Attainable, be sure the goals you’ve set are feasible. Make it Relevant by keep in mind that your social media goal should be closely aligned with your business goals. To help you be Time-Bound, create a time-frame for when each goal should be achieved.
Make use of analytics and tracking tools to record the changes and improvements in your social media strategy. And don’t forget to revisit your goals to check your progress and determine if you’re still on track.
Conduct a social media audit to find the best social media platform for your business
You probably think that posting across all platforms is the best way to get your brand presence and message across. That is, until you realize that it won’t always work. This is when you conduct a social media audit.
An audit is a thorough review of what’s working and what’s failing in your social media profiles. If you don’t have an existing social media account, it is best to know where your company lies in the industry.
1. Locate all your social media accounts
Having an account on all social media platforms is nothing if you’re failing to consistently post or update it. Locate all your existing accounts and check if having accounts on all of these platforms is necessary. Delete or revamp accounts as needed
2. Review each social media profile and make sure that they are optimized
Once you’ve finalized which platforms to use, make sure that your profile is optimized. This helps your business page look more authentic.
3. Identify the low and high point of these accounts
Examine the quality of content posted on each of your social media platforms. Ask yourself the following: Which type of post works best for my business? Is my tone and voice appealing enough? Am I delivering my message across? Which part of my post did not work? And what are my areas of improvement?
Checking the latest trends and industry updates can help you identify the strategy that would get your message across and give your posts more engagement.
4. Check your branding
Consistency is key. Do you have a unified tone and voice for your social media accounts? Identify if your brand wants to be conversational, informative, or comedic in both posts and interactions with the customers. A distinct tone and voice make sets you apart from your competitors. Think of it as having a social media identity that is recognizable not only by your customers, but also prospect target audience. It is worth noting that your brand must have a consistent voice and a tone that differs from each post.
5. Analyze your audience
No matter how engaging your posts are, if you’re targeting the wrong audience, there’s a possibility that you will get low results. Creating a set of buyer personas can help target the right people, through the right social media platform, with the right messages.
6. Go over past goals and see if these have been met
Goals change depending on the demands of your business. It is important to know if you’ve met these goals in order to be able to move forward freely to the next one.
Identify your audience
I mentioned earlier that you should be aware of which social media platform shows the most engagement between your audience and your brand.
Facebook may be the most populated social media platform in most parts of the world, with 2.2 billion monthly active users (Social Media Universe 2018), but this does not mean that it is the best platform for your social media strategies.
Capitalize on the platform where your audience is most likely to interact with your brand. Here are a couple of brands that have identified their audience and use a tone and voice that is relatable to that audience.
Disney’s Facebook Account (@Disney)
You can find anything and everything about Disney on their Facebook profile. From trailers to throwbacks, snippets from movies and shows, and even features on the actors and actresses behind our beloved Disney films. Disney’s Facebook serves as a way for their fanbase to interact with their favorite shows and characters.
Image source: Disney’s Facebook Account
Takeaway: You should find a way to tell the story of your brand in a way that is most relatable to your audience. Use the appropriate type of content or feature people that have been positively impacted by your brand.
2. Vans’ Instagram Account (@vans)
As the maker of classic checkered shoes, Vans took their Instagram profile to the next level. Whether through stand-alone product shots or photos with models, the posts are aesthetically pleasing. They know their market and they target them well, based on the number of skateboard and biking-related photos on their Instagram account.
Image source: Vans’ Instagram Account
Takeaway: They don’t only focus on selling their brand. They see to it that people watch and anticipate their every post. Vans also collaborates with brands and create videos that target not only their customers but fans of the other featured product as well.
3. Wendy’s Twitter Account (@Wendys)
Wendy’s shade game cannot be stopped. Typically, a business would shy away from comments with negative remarks. But Wendy’s saw this as an opportunity to make their customer relations hilarious and entertaining.
Image source: Wendy’s Twitter Account
Takeaway: Don’t be afraid to be different. You wouldn’t normally go for the tone and voice that Wendy’s is using but it worked for them.
Know the competition
Researching about the competition doesn’t mean that you are out to copy their success stories. But knowing what works for your audience will help you pitch your product or service in a better and more creative approach. Research is also a great way to leverage in areas of opportunity and to learn from what your competitor has tried..
Create a content strategy and content calendar
Great content is what makes a successful social media content strategy. When done correctly, this can convert reach to prospects and even actual paying customers. Make sure to create the content that fits your brand.
These 3 things should be the top of your priority in terms of content:
Quality of content
The quality and variety of the content you feed your audience is important. These are your make-or-break points. Make sure to utilize most, if not all, types of social media content to fully identify the ones that work best for your brand.
Some of the content that you can include in your post to make it more likable for the audience include: pure text, images, memes, GIFs, videos, giveaways, contests. Others to consider as well are questionnaires, polls, quizzes, podcasts, user-generated content, e-books, infographics, and interviews.
2. Time of posting
Check the progress of your posts. When is your audience most likely to engage with your content? Once you’ve set the time, adjust your postings to have better results.
3. The frequency of posting
How often do you post on social media? Is it too often, that it comes off as you bombarding your audiences with too much information? Or do you hardly post, that they would sometimes forget that your brand is there? Find the perfect number of posts that would keep your audience waiting for your next update.
A Content Calendar is where you plot the specific contents you’ve come up with. This makes it easier to track the posts and examine which worked and which didn’t.
Consistently engage with your audience
Don’t put your marketing efforts to waste, ENGAGE with your audience. At the end of the day, we all want to create a network/community that loves and uplifts your brand.
Respond promptly to audience queries whether through private message or via the comments section. When you engage, remember that these customers are what makes your brand. Love them, and they will surely cherish you right back.
Revise and try until you get the best results
Make a conscious effort to regularly check the progress and of your social media strategy and improve from there. Failing at one point doesn’t mean the entire project failed; revise and try to use other approach or techniques until you get the right mix that works for your brand.
Again, it is important to know that a specific goal can be effective in one social media platform but fail in other platforms. This is why thoroughly planning a social media strategy should be a priority. It can benefit your business successfully if you have an understanding of the proper and most effective platform for your brand. That said, it is never wrong to ask for professional help. StraightArrow’s social media team is always available to help you in your social media marketing efforts.