By Alex York
Just a few years ago, you could get away with building a social media marketing strategy on the fly. As long as you were present, you were doing more than your competitors–right?
Well it’s 2018 and not much of the same logic applies today. With 30% of millennials saying they engage with a brand on social at least once a month, your strategy can’t be only about existence. Brands must be fully invested in their social media marketing strategies and focus on engagement. Otherwise, you’ll lose out on real customers, which means serious effects on your bottom line.
We’re not here to scare your brand into the world of social media. Instead, we want to provide your marketing team with the right steps to take toward a successful social strategy so your brand isn’t left in the dust.
Here are the seven steps to create a winning social media marketing strategy in 2018:
1. Create Social Media Marketing Goals That Solve Your Biggest Challenges
The first step to any strategy is to understand what you want out of your efforts. Social media marketing isn’t about flipping a switch and calling it a day. Instead, social media planning should be looked at like cooking your favorite dish.
Once you have your ingredients, you follow a recipe and presto! But that’s not always the case. What if you have guests and need to feed more people? What if someone is allergic to one of the ingredients? Suddenly, your goal goes from making a meal to ensuring it will feed enough people and be edible by all.
That’s why creating goals is so critical to the first part of your social media strategy. At the same time, it’s best to set goals that you know are attainable. Asking for 1 million new Instagram followers in 2018 is unrealistic. With achievable goals, you’re more likely to stick to the original plan and continue to take on new hurdles as you complete old ones.
This is the same reason why brands should never take on every social media channel possible in their current marketing strategy. Try to choose the channels that have the most importance based on your brand’s goals. Avoid over complicating a strategy with too many targets and objectives. Simplicity can take you a long way.
And also, don’t forget to document your social media goals. Not only is it important to help you benchmark where you are, but it also improves your chances of achieving them. According to some statistics, people who write their goals down are 30 times more successful.
Social Media Goals to Consider in 2018
Goal setting is a staple of all marketing and business strategies. Social media is no exception. Of course, with a range of social capabilities, it can be difficult to determine exactly what your objectives should be. For guidance, here are some common social media goals to consider:
- Increase brand awareness: To create authentic and lasting brand awareness, avoid a slew of promotional messages. Instead, focus on meaningful content and a strong brand personality through your social channels.
- Higher quality of sales: Digging through your social channels is nearly impossible without monitoring or listening to specific keywords, phrases or hashtags. Through more efficient social media targeting, you reach your core audience much faster.
- Drive in-person sales: Some retailers rely on social media marketing efforts to drive in-store sales. Is your brand promoting enough on social to reward those who come to you? What about alerting customers to what’s going on in your stores?
- Improve ROI: There’s not a brand on social media that doesn’t want to increase its return on investment. But on social, this goal is specific to performing a thorough audit of your channels and ensuring cost of labor, advertisements and design stay on track.
- Create a loyal fanbase: Does your brand promote user-generated content? Do your followers react positively without any initiation? Getting to this point takes time and effort with creating a positive brand persona on social.
- Better pulse on the industry: What are your competitors doing that seems to be working? What strategies are they using to drive engagement or sales? Having a pulse on the industry could simply help you improve your efforts and take some tips from those doing well.
2. Research Your Social Media Audience
Approximately 79% of adults use Facebook–but are your customers actively engaging with your brand there? Understanding your audience is necessary to learn things like who buys your products, what age group is the toughest to sell and what income level makes up the most of your returning customers? As for social media, it’s just as critical to know your audience.
First, your brand should look into the demographics of your most valuable social channels. Like we mentioned before, you should have a goal in mind for your social media marketing strategy. This is why you need to research the channels that correlate the most with your goals.
To help you find your focus channels: let’s take a quick look at the essential demographics data for each major network:
- Facebook’s most popular demographics include:
- Women users (89%)
- 18-29 year olds (88%)
- Urban- and rural-located users (81% each)
- Those earning less than $30,000 (84%)
- Users with some college experience (82%)
- Instagram’s most popular demographics include:
- Women users (38%)
- 18-29 year olds (59%),
- Urban-located users (39%)
- Those earning less than $30,000 (38%)
- Users with some college experience (37%)
- Twitter’s most popular demographics include:
- Women users (25%)
- 18-29 year olds (36%)
- Urban-located users (26%)
- Those earning $50,000-$74,999 (28%)
- Users with college experience or more (29%)
- LinkedIn’s most popular demographics include:
- Men users (31%)
- 18-29 year olds (34%)
- Urban-located users (34%)
- Those earning $75,000 or more (45%)
- Users with college experience or more (50%)
- Snapchat and other auto-delete app’s most popular demographics include:
- Men users (24%)
- 18-29 year olds (56%)
- Those earning less than $50,000 (27%)
- Users with some college experience (27%)
See even more demographics data on our in-depth guide!
Identifying Customer Demographics
While the demographics data above gives you insight into each channel, what about your own customers? Further analysis has to be completed before you can truly know your customer demographics on social media.
That’s why many brands use a social media dashboard that can provide an overview of who’s following you and how they interact with you on each channel. Most brands today are using at least some sort of dashboard. However, does your dashboard address your specific goals?
Whether you’re an agency providing insights for your clients or an enterprise company discovering your own demographics, an all-in-one dashboard solution is critical.
- Facebook’s most popular demographics include: