In our generation, if we even go one day without social media, we feel so disconnected. Social media has become a huge part of our lives and an invaluable marketing tool for businesses of all shapes and sizes. Suffice to say, if you’re not on social media yet, then you’re missing out on numerous growth opportunities for your business.
When most people think of advertising or marketing, traditional advertising mediums most often come to mind first. This includes the “usual” venues for media placement, such as newspaper, radio, broadcast television, cable television, or outdoor billboards. As time goes on, marketing strategies that were most effective have incorporated the most up-to-date technology, which has allowed businesses to meet customers wherever they were.
Social media marketing offers what traditional marketing venues can’t: a chance to interact with customers instantaneously. Social media helps businesses to engage more with their audience and customers, establish a personal brand, and build brand awareness on a larger scale. However, simply creating a profile and posting random content every once in a while won’t do your business much good. You need a documented social media marketing strategy if you want to see any real results from your social media marketing efforts. But how can you create a social media strategy that’ll actually work?
Let's talk about how to create an effective social media strategy:
Decide wisely when making goals and always ask yourself are you about to alert customers about new products and promos? Are you integrating your product catalog into your social profiles? Are you running exclusive deals for followers? For example, one of the most common goals for social media is increasing brand awareness. To accomplish this, focus on the content that emphasizes your personality and value first. Generating leads and making sales comes next. So if your business is looking to increase brand awareness, a good rule of thumb is to keep up with current trends.
A target audience is who you’re planning on marketing your products and services to. Identifying this target audience will ensure that you’re reaching the exact group of people who’re most likely to become a customer. What do your customers look like, and how do they spend their time on the internet? Take some time to consider who is most likely to use your products or services and which platforms they might use, then go from there to develop your target audience.
There are tons of different types of content you can create for each social media platform you use and each piece of content will accomplish a different goal. It's important to consider what you’d like your content to do for your business. For instance, if you’re looking to increase online engagement, consider posting videos. 54% of marketers say that video is the most valuable content type for achieving social goals, and it's for good reason. Social video is booming, especially with the rise of TikTok and Instagram Reels. All content is not made the same, so be mindful of your short-term and long-term marketing goals when posting content.
To improve your social media presence, it’s crucial that you publish fresh content regularly and remain available to your audience. Doing so will help establish regular contact and trust with your potential customers. Try to ensure your social media or community managers are available and ready to answer any product questions or concerns when you tweet or post. Set aside time to review the best times to post on social media. The general rule of thumb is to engage after posting for at least the first hour. Responding to customers on social media is an effective way to establish your online presence and build relationships with potential customers
So much of the success of your social media marketing campaigns depends on how diligent you are with utilizing your data. You can be reactive in the short term to get the most out of your running campaigns, and then proactively use these takeaways to inform your next social media strategy overhaul. Reporting on data is also important for the sake of sharing valuable insights from social media with your coworkers and colleagues. Based on your data, you can better assess whether your KPIs truly ladder up to your overarching company goals or whether they need to change.
If you’re planning on developing a solid marketing strategy, your business will need a budget to help you stay on track financially. A marketing budget documents how much your business is planning to spend on marketing over a specific period, like per year, quarter, or month. When preparing your budget, consider all costs associated with marketing your business. This includes paid ads, hiring costs, marketing tools, website maintenance expenses, social media management, and more. Having a well-defined budget will help you set realistic benchmarks and goals that will move your business forward. Based on this budget, you can establish realistic expectations for your marketing channels and understand the revenue you need to earn to make these efforts worthwhile.
Let's understand social media platforms and how they work: