The majority of companies should be incorporating social media into their overall marketing strategies, and, nowadays, most are. However, many fail because they don’t take it seriously and miss out on the opportunity social media can offer.
Social media presents an excellent method for businesses to find, analyze, and engage with their potential customers.
To take full advantage of marketing on social media, you need a proper plan. This article will give you five simple steps to ensure your social media marketing efforts aren’t wasted.
Outline your Goals and KPIs
The only way to get the very most out of any marketing campaign or strategy is to outline specific goals for what you hope to achieve. Without a clear set of goals, it will be a challenge to see if your tactics are working or if you’re wasting time and money.
The goal of your strategy should be clear, specific, and measurable. To track your progress efficiently, you’ll need to outline your key performance indicators (KPIs), so you can monitor the relevant information in the future.
A simple example goal for social media marketing could be to increase brand awareness via Facebook. To make goals even more detailed, you can attach time frames to them, but you might need to do a bit of research to ensure your time frames are realistic.
With this in mind, a more specific goal for brand awareness on Facebook could be to “Increase the number of followers on our Facebook business page by 25% during the next quarter”.
For businesses who aren’t yet using social media, you can start with broader goals to help direct you in the beginning before getting more granular as you progress. For example, your broader goal might be to grow your email list by using Facebook PPC adverts.
Define your Audience
One of the greatest advantages of social media marketing is the amount of information businesses can access about their customers on the platforms. This data can be used to help connect your business with the correct target audience but you first need to define that audience.
By creating profiles for your ideal customer, you can get a better insight into how they are likely to behave on social media. You should note key information about your ideal customer, such as the websites they visit, the times of day they surf the web, and related products they could be buying.
Once you have a detailed profile for your ideal customer, you can tailor your strategy to get in front of the people that match it.
The great thing about social media is you’ll be able to use the platform’s integrated analytics to gain even clearer insights and adapt your customer profile over time.
This is a step that is often missed completely by business owners, but it can save so much time and effort. What I mean by gathering gdata is to do some research regarding the different social media platforms and their users.
Now that you’ve defined your audience, you need to make sure you choose a social media platform they are active on. Most companies simply guess where they think their audience will be, but there is no need for guesswork when so much data is available online.
Key decisions like the platform you use, type of content you post, and when you post should be driven by data wherever possible. Once you have been using social media for a while, you’ll have your own specific data but, in the beginning, you should use what is readily available.
Social platform demographics articles like this one are easy to find and give you key information when planning a marketing strategy.
Here’s a common example of where businesses can go wrong if they don’t use the data: Facebook has somehow gained a reputation for being used by only audiences in the “boomer” generation. As a result, businesses with a younger target audience might dismiss the platform, which could be a big mistake.
As you’ll see on the article linked above, the 18-29 age bracket for Facebook still accounts for the majority of its users at 86%. Hopefully, you can see how gathering data can be so critical.
Create a Schedule and Publish Content
By this point in your planning, you will have your goals defined, target audience recognized, and some data on your chosen platform. Now it’s time for the fun part, which is to start creating your content.
But, it wouldn’t be wise to create and post content randomly and off the cuff. Smart strategies take advantage of the data collected on their audience and social platform to create a posting schedule.
Your schedule will let you plan content around times and days to get the most engagement from the kinds of people you want to reach. A schedule will also keep you on track and even allow you to create batches of content in advance.
You can use tools to help with scheduling like Buffer, which will post to your social profiles automatically once you’ve uploaded the content.
Speaking of content, everything you post should be of the highest quality possible and should align with your branding and message. There are various tools available online for creating professional graphics and branding materials:
Canva.com – an excellent web-app for graphic design and social profile headers.
BusinessCards.co – a simple to use, free tool for designing business cards, which can be used to create physical cards offline or for branding purposes online.
Monitor and Adjust
Not everything is going to go as you expect it to during the planning phase, so you need to keep track of metrics and adjust as quickly as possible.
By monitoring relevant metrics for your social media goals, you’ll soon be able to adjust and optimize your strategy for greater results.
Setting aside some time each week to check the performance of your marketing campaigns prevents you from wasting time on fruitless activities and makes it easy to spot the successful areas where you should increase your focus.
For example, you might uncover new keywords for PPC campaigns that have been converting really well. Using this information, it may be wise to increase your bids for these keywords.
Author: Antonia Chapman