Social Media Marketing can feel overwhelming and confusing. With so much information to understand and put into place it’s hard to know where to start. Simply follow our fool proof steps to create your own successful Social Media Marketing strategy.
What is Social Media Marketing?
Social Media Marketing is the art of using your Social Media channels to promote or sell – whether it’s a brand, product or service.
Social Media is so widely used now, that it is the perfect environment to reach your customers. Businesses benefit so widely from Social Media because they can communicate easily with their customers, advertise their products even on the lowest of budgets, and they can really measure how well their products are received. Think of Social Media as the window to your customer’s world. You can see what they like, read exactly what they think and you can even provide that all important one-to-one customer service to your guests in an easily monitored environment.
What is a Social Marketing Strategy?
Your Social Marketing Strategy is a document which is created to outline your plan and end goals. Your document will list your Social Media accounts, and how you are going to use each Social Media platform.
Alongside your goals, you’ll be detailing how you expect to reach your goals. How often are you going to post, how are you going to using your posts/stories, who is in charge of your Social Media accounts.
Top Tip: The goals in your Social Marketing Strategy should align with your business’s larger digital marketing strategy.
What Social Media Platform is best for me?
There are so many forms of Social Media available for you to use. Some businesses decide to open up an account on every Social Media app and try to build as much of a buzz for their brand as they can by trying to reach as many people as possible, whilst others focus all of their effort (and budget) on a select few.
There’s no right or wrong way, but it’s important for you to understand your own business, and how many platforms your business can successfully navigate.
Let’s take a look as some of the most popular Social Media Platforms, and how they can benefit you and your business.
With over 2 billion users, and well developed business pages, Facebook is often a popular choice for businesses small and large. Facebook has a number of features that allow businesses to share content, boost engagement, and link their websites and deals straight to their Social Media.
LinkedIn is a fantastic place for businesses and employees to make new connections in their field. This offers you the perfect platform to share and read blogs, offer and access resources and find like-minded people and businesses.
Twitter is really powerful when it comes to connecting businesses to their customers. Twitter gives the businesses a chance to answer their customer’s questions, hear their complaints, and importantly – respond to them.
When it comes to Twitter, it’s all about timings. It’s important to keep a very active Social Media stance when it comes to Twitter. It’s very easy and very important to give timely responses – if you’re not able to do this then it can be more damaging to your business!
This is the perfect platform for your business IF you have the type of business that can produce a lot of high quality photos or visual content. Instagram is a place where you can really show off what you can do; if you’re a restaurant – show people your mouth watering meals, if you’re a bar – display your finest cocktails and share photos of people having fun, if you’re a clothing brand – post outfit flatlays and modelled clothing.
Don’t forget your stories if you’re using Instagram, use your stories wisely. You want enough on your stories so that your viewers come back for more – but overkill can be dangerous and people can get bored. Successful businesses often use their grid posts for professional ‘money maker’ shots, and their stories to give their customers a ‘behind the scenes’ glimpse to make their brand more relatable.
How can I ensure my Social Media Marketing Strategy works?
Set relevant goals
Your goals will depend upon your business, your following and your budget. Everyone’s strategy will be different, and there is no point copying the strategy of another business – as it’s unlikely it will suit you and your business needs. Social Media is a lot of trial and error; what works, what doesn’t work, how can you change and adjust to ensure that your business benefits.
Identify your target audience
Everything on Social Media centres around knowing your target audience. Understanding your target audience will have an affect on everything you do; from which Social Media platform you use, what posts you share and how you communicate with your clients.
When you’re thinking about your target audience, you almost need to create a ‘customer persona’ and when you’re doing so there’s a lot of things that you need to consider.
(location, age, gender, interests, industry, income level, relationship status, favourite websites/brands, motivation to buy, buying concern, other)
Understand your Social Media analytics
When you’re looking at your social media posts, you can see how successful they have been by checking a few factors.
You firstly need to look at your engagement. Think likes, saves, retweets, share, comments. They are all examples of good engagement and they are proof of your posts reaching clients or potential clients.
Your awareness metrics can tell you about how visible your brand is online. When you’re looking at awareness you’ll be looking at; account mentions, impressions, reach.
One of the most important metrics for a business on Social Media is your Return on Investment (ROI). You can see how many people bought your product from your website from a social channel in your Shopify Analytics.
Create your Content Mix
Think of your audience when you’re creating your Social Media posts. You can’t just think of each individual post and randomly post as and when you have a reason to. You need to consider your entire page; so if you’re working on Instagram, take a step back and have a look – how does your grid look? Does it all match? Does it look aesthetically pleasing or does it look messy? You’re trying to pull new people onto your page and you want more followers, so you need to be aware of the first impression that they get as they visit your page.
Consider applying weekly posts to your page alongside your business posts. For example, if you commit to posting a weekly #throwbackthursday post, this will keep your engagement high and if you use it to further push your brand and products.
When you’re thinking content mix these are some of the things you’ll want to be thinking about; news, inspiration, education, products, collaborations, contests, customers, events, Q&A, tips and tricks, behind the scenes.
Useful Social Media Marketing Tactics to start using now!
- Post at appropriate times. The different times that you post on Social Media will have a massive effect on how well your post does. If most of your potential customers are out at work 9-5 then posting at 10am is not going to be helpful, as the majority of your target audience will not be available to engage with your post. Whereas, if your target audience is new mothers and you’re trying to sell a new anti-colic bottle, then your ‘appropriate time’ will be a lot different, you’ll consider posting in the early hours of the morning where new parents will be scrolling their social media during or after a night feed. Understanding your target audience and knowing what you want to offer them will show you exactly when you need to be posting.
- Post Frequently. If you post every day for a week, then post 5 times in one day, and then disappear for a further 2 weeks, your audience is going to struggle to build a relationship with you as a brand. You need to think about a manageable amount to post. This might be once a day, twice a day, maybe even once or twice a week. But once you have your ideal post frequency, it’s helpful for you to stick to this.
- Experiment with video posts. Videos can feel overwhelming, knowing exactly what to post on a video and getting it to a high standard can feel very overwhelming, but the results speak for themselves! Social Media posts that include a video get 48% more views than those that don’t. Experiment with your videos, you could be talking to the camera, taking a timelapse of yourself creating a product or providing a service, or using reels to even create a video using several pictures. However it is that you chose to do so, experiment with creating and adding some videos to your Social Media and see how well you get on!
- Experiment with Polls. You can use Twitter Polls on posts, or you can add polls to your Instagram stories. This is a fantastic way to find out exactly what your client wants or thinks. Some people engage a lot on Social Media and will often reply to your stories or comment on your posts and share them with their friends. Other people are less socially active and more likely to just sit back and observe. But these polls get both types of Social Media users more involved, and the more you can get people interacting with your posts, the more you will appear on their news feed – which is fantastic news for you, your business, and the engagement on your posts.
Pay attention to the length of your captions.
Short and sweet or long and detailed? There is no right or wrong answer, and again it depends on your point of your post, and who your post is aimed at. You might be posting to advertise a new product, to show off a sparkly review, or to offer some advice or information relevant to your brand and target audience. The secret is to mix it up. Use your captions and use them wisely. You’re not posting for the sake of posting, so before you quickly add a few hashtags and send your post off into the internet – sit and plan. It may be helpful to add posts to your drafts before sending them off so you’re less likely to just sporadically send posts out without much thought or meaning. Return back to the post and think about what else you can add, or remove any pointless waffle from posts that will confuse or bore your customers.
We hope you found this Social Media Marketing post useful and as always, feel free to check out our other Social Media Marketing help guide and all our other helpful blogs posts, such as Bing SEO Guidelines or Troubleshooting Common SEO Problems.