It seems that nowadays an overwhelming number of businesses launch their social media marketing programs out of a misplaced obligation, after which they spend time struggling to implement a model that will work and can also be easily managed. The majority of these programs are launched with no specific goals or targets in mind, and worse still, no fundamental understanding of how social media really works!
There is a large amount of misunderstanding and misinformation surrounding social media. Many people are lead to believe that it is a quick solution for new customer acquisition and one of the biggest problems can be to produce tangible results from their efforts. Ultimately this process and lack of focus leads to a loss in time, customers and market share.
However, the good news is that it does not have to be this way! With this five step guide, you can quickly and easily devise and implement an effective social media marketing strategy with tangible results.
Step 1: Create Your Overview Business Plan
Take time to summarise your business to understand why you need a social media marketing strategy. Consider the following points:
- Outline your business’ history and model
- Outline your business or revenue model
- Provide a description of your products and/or services
- Create an outline of your identified target market
- Create a summary of your existing marketing efforts
Step 2: Outline Your Key Social Media Goals
Without clearly defining your specific aims and goals it is impossible to achieve them! A lot of social media managers let social media metrics define their goals, leading to expansive goals like “more Twitter followers” or “more YouTube views”.
Savvy marketers know that engagement is what really counts. However engagement in itself is expansive, so what does it mean? Your strategy needs to be specific, actionable and most importantly achievable. Below is a list of social media marketing goals you may consider for your strategy.
- Create interest around a new product or service
- Gauge demand for a new product or service, using social media as a research forum
- Increase your market share by leading customer and client services through social media
- Directly engage users through social media to generate relevant and direct traffic to your website
Step 3: Find Your Social Media Marketing Voice
Creating and implementing a unique voice for your company, brand or business is a key way to ensure success on social media. When doing this it’s important that your voice resonates and relates to your predefined target audience. A simple way to do this is to break your target audience down by researching age, income and location, and then provide reasons for selecting your product or service.
Step 4: Select Appropriate Social Media Tools
Selecting the appropriate social media tools is essential to the success of your social media marketing strategy. Below is a brief review of the leading platforms to help you assess which are relevant to your business:
- 1.13 billion daily active users internationally
- Majority of users aged between 18 and 34
- 44% of its users are female, 56% of users are male
- Provides the best opportunity to build rapport with customers
- In excess of 80 million monthly active users internationally
- 37% of users are aged 18-29
- On average 500 million tweets are sent per day
- 51% of its users are female, 49% of users are male
- Provides the best tool for interacting directly with clients or customers in real time
- In excess of 27 million unique monthly visits
- Majority of users aged between 26 and 34
- 63% of its users are female
- Best platform for building brand visibility
- In excess of 414 million users internationally
- Majority of users aged between 30 and 49, directly followed by 50-64
- Number one social media networking tool for business to business interaction
- In excess of 66 million users internationally
- Majority of users aged between 18 and 29
- 68% of its users are female
- Fantastic virally fuelled platform for sharing stories through pictures
Step 5: Plan and Execute Both Your Content and Delivery
This is the hard part; establishing and delivering your social media marketing campaign. The execution of your plan may seem daunting, however with a proper plan in place it is doable and can provide real and tangible marketing results.
The key to success is defining the following:
- The type of and specific topics for your organic content creation
- Develop strategies to increase audience engagement
- The frequency of your content delivery and response strategy for social engagement
- Events which can drive your social media and increase engagement
- How you are going to gauge your success: volume of traffic back to site, number of retweets etc?
This may all seem like an overwhelming process to follow but be assured that following this structure when planning and implementing your social media marketing will ensure you cover all bases, save time, money and resources and allow you to look back, evaluate and celebrate your social media success!