By Shane Barker
Want to do social the right way? Discover the steps to create an effective social media marketing strategy for your brand.
In this age of social media, it’s a huge mistake for a brand not to leverage social platforms. Social media acts as a bridge between your brand and your target audience. It helps you connect with your potential customers and enables you to achieve your brand’s objectives and goals.
A strong social media strategy will help you implement these tactics successfully. Continue reading to discover the secret sauce of devising a foolproof social media strategy.
1. Set actionable and measurable goals.
Before you dive into creating a social media strategy for your brand, you need to list your objectives and goals. It’s critical that you analyze the purpose of your brand’s presence on social media and determine what you want your social media strategy to achieve.
There are a few common but essential goals that you can achieve for your brand through social media, such as driving traffic, increasing brand awareness, building brand loyalty or credibility, and generating more sales.
It becomes much easier to design a social media strategy once you decide what you want to achieve. Define these goals in a SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound) manner so that they are clear for your entire team. Setting them in this way also helps you track your progress along the way with ease.
2. Define your target audience.
After determining the objectives and goals of your social media strategy, identifying your target audience is a crucial step. Unless you target the right audience, your strategy may not generate the desired results. The prime reason for this is that your content needs to be tailored to the likes and interests of your target audience.
You can define your target audience based on their locations, demographics and psychographics. It’s also crucial to understand their pain points, because you need to create content that addresses those pain points and helps solve them. This will help make you your customers’ go-to source of information on your business’s area of expertise. It’s through these pain points that you can market your products or services too. Tailor your offerings to the audience in a way that shows how your product or service will help solve their problems.
You should also thoroughly study where your audience is the most active. This will help you decide which social media platforms to focus on.
3. Study your competitors.
Before you build your content strategy, it’s essential that you study your competitors. A thorough analysis of your competition may help you understand which tactics or content types are performing the best and which ones are not as effective.
This analysis will also help you learn from the mistakes of your competitors and build your social media strategy accordingly. Also, if your competitors are not fully leveraging certain social platforms, then you can double your efforts on those social platforms.
The objective here is not to directly copy or steal the strategies of your competitors. It is, in fact, to gather insights and adapt and improve upon their strategies to create your own.
For this, you can either follow your competitors on social media platforms and study them or use competitor spying tools. Either way, looking into your competitors’ performance on social media will help you determine what works and doesn’t work for them. Then, you can modify your own offerings accordingly to suit your audience better.
4. Build a robust content strategy.
Without content, you cannot create a strong social media strategy for your brand. A wide range of engaging and educational content can help you strengthen your social media presence, reach your target audience, and successfully convert them into buyers.
There are many types of content to choose from, such as images, videos, text, links and podcasts. Make sure to utilize the content types that will best help you get the attention of your target audience. [Read related article: How to Create a Content Marketing Strategy From Scratch]
Along with the right content type, you need to find the right times and right frequency to post. This is where the study of your target audience comes into use. You must study what form of content they prefer to consume and create it according to their needs. This will increase their engagement with your content.
This will also help you decide which social media platforms to use to reach them. For instance, if your audience prefers images and videos only, perhaps Instagramis the best platform for you.
Based on where your customers are, you’ll get a rough idea of the times when they’re likely to be the most active. This can also increase engagement.
5. Focus on visual content.
Visual content has the power to get people’s attention better than text. That’s not to say textual content isn’t important, but you should place more focus on visual content on social media. Put real effort into creating high-quality images, videos, infographics and more. These elements should be seamlessly incorporated into your social media strategy to ensure maximum engagement.
You can also use designing tools such as Canva and Stencil to come up with innovative visual content for your social media profiles. These tools make it easier for you to design even if you have no knowledge of advanced tools such as Photoshop.
Find out what type of content works the best for which social media platform, and use that to increase your engagement and reach even further.
6. Track and measure your progress.
This is the most critical step to perfect a social media marketing strategy for your brand. Regular monitoring and evaluation of your performance will help you strengthen your strategy. It will also help you formulate effective ideas to promote your brand and reach your target audience.
You need to continuously monitor all of your major performance metrics. These include your reach, engagement, lead generation and conversion rates. You must decide on a few key performance indicators (KPIs) that are the most relevant to your social media goals. By tracking your KPIs, you can easily follow the progress of your campaigns.
Almost every major social media platform offers detailed analytics from your campaigns to help you understand their progress. Based on this data, you can find out which form of content works best for you and which ones you don’t need. You’ll find out the best times to post your content and how often to post as well.
It’s also a good idea to use social listening tools to learn and understand what your audience is saying about your brand. This can give you ideas of how you could improve. You might get some innovative content ideas from this too.
Lastly, the analytics will show you which of your posts are performing the best. You can run a paid promotion for these posts and increase your brand’s reach manifold.