If you want to grow your business, then you need to be on social media. But what is the best way to use it? And how do you know if it's working for your business? You need a social media strategy!
A social media strategy is a must for any business, and with the right plan in place, you can reach your target audience and grow your customer base. You may be wondering how to create a social media strategy for your company. Read on!
What is social media marketing and why should you care?
Social Media Marketing (SMM), or "Social Media Optimisation" (SMO) as it is known in some circles, is a form of online marketing that focuses on utilising the web's most popular platforms to build an audience and convert them into customers.
According to Wikipedia, SMM includes:
"Using web-based social networking platforms and mobile technologies to turn consumers into brand advocates, buyers, and sellers. Social media marketing incorporates traditional marketing elements (such as branding, advertising and public relations) with social media platforms and business-oriented social media applications."
What is an SMM strategy?
A social media strategy is a document outlining your social media goals, the tactics you will use to achieve them and the metrics you will track to measure your progress.
The purpose of an SMM strategy is to help you 'win' as many fans, followers and engagement as possible. It will also allow you to define your company's values and personality in order to attract the right kind of customers for your business.
A Social Media Marketing Strategy must be clearly defined before it can be effectively implemented. The key elements of a SMM strategy are:
- Sites selected and their purpose in your overall online marketing plan
- Audience and who they are (location, language, age group etc)
- Target goals for impact on audience and conversion into customers/clients
- Tools used (Facebook Pages, Google+, Twitter etc)
- Tactics - what you will do, when and how (including frequency of posts, blogging strategy etc)
- Metrics – how you will measure success (both overall campaign performance and audience engagement)
How to create a social media marketing strategy?
Once you know your goals, audience and which social media tools (websites) to use. You can then start to build a strategy that will allow you achieve them.
There are four basic steps to creating an effective SMM Strategy:
What do you want people to do as a result of using the social media tools you are considering? Clearly define your goals and objectives. Answer the question "What problem will be on Facebook or Google+ solve?"
Who is your audience for social media engagement? What platforms should they be using to find your business or brand? Are there any regional differences in what platform(s) they prefer?
Choose and create Content
Content strategy in SMM includes: Social Media messages, Blog posts, Images, Videos, Photos, etc. Identify your content goals based on audience and which platforms you are using to engage with them. Decide how often to publish new content and what types of media or formats will be used.
Execute SMM Strategy
Execution is where you actually use social media tools to engage and interact with your audience. If done right, your audience will reward your efforts by becoming brand advocates and recommending your business.
Monitor and measure your results to validate whether the strategy is working
There are various tools you can use to track your social media campaigns, including Google Analytics, Hootsuite etc. The main points to remember when you are executing your Social Media Marketing Strategy:
- respond to comments on platforms quickly don't let them simmer in a forum!
- include links to any of your online content or social media messages with each post (try and limit this to one link per post however)
- if you want people like/follow you on Facebook, then 'friend' everyone who follows you - but know that it will make your page feed look cluttered, so don't do it all at once.
All successful social media marketing strategies include a mix of Objective, Strategy and Tactics. When you have your objective (what you want to do), your strategy (how you will do it) and your tactics (specific steps towards achieving the strategy - eg scheduling posts on Twitter or Facebook based on topics users are most interested in).
If you need help with creating an SMM Marketing Strategy for your business, reach out to our team today.
Are you ready to take the first steps towards an effective Social Media Marketing Strategy?