Your digital marketing efforts should include a strong social media marketing strategy – but where to begin? Here are 10 simple steps to help you get the most out of social media.
- Identify your target audience
Who are you trying to reach? Where do they congregate online and what is their lifestyle like? Understand who you are trying to reach will help you establish which platforms to use, what tone of voice to use, what time of day to post and where to find your followers.
- Focus your efforts
Once you’ve defined your target audience, you’ll be able to decide which platforms to target. It’s generally not necessary to have a presence on every platform; instead, focus on the ones that are likely to get you results.
- Check out your competitors’ online presence
Identify your competitors and examine what they are doing online. This can give you some useful ideas for your own social media marketing strategy.
- Look at other businesses too
Inspiration won’t only come from your competitors; look at other businesses in different sectors and check out what they are doing online. Who engages you the best as a follower and customer – and why?
- Don’t just focus on followers and likes
The most meaningful things to measure are engagements, click throughs and conversion rates. Different metrics are good for different goals: followers, likes and shares are good for growing your brand; comments, mentions and likes are good for turning your customers into people who promote your brand; clicks through to your website and newsletter sign-ups are good for driving sales; and having a good response time is great for customer retention.
- Create a social media plan
A social media plan will help you make sure you’re creating the right mix of messages and posting them at the right time. A good rule of thumb is to use 80% of your posts to inform, entertain and engage your audience without doing a hard sell, and 20% of your posts to specifically promote products and offers. Post a mix of different types of content, from videos to pictures and GIFs.
- Build relationships with your followers
Interacting with your followers is a powerful way to build loyalty and engagement. Follow people back, engage with their comments and content, and share some of it on your site. If someone tags you, reshare their post or story. Another good strategy is to create a Facebook group to encourage a feeling that your customers belong to your tribe. Just make sure you are present and responsive within the group.
- Set goals and track your success
Setting targets and measuring your results against these is a great way to establish what’s working. You can then hone and redirect your strategy based on what you have learnt.
- Track trends, topics and mentions
Adapt your content to take into account any current trends or challenges people might be facing – for example, issues related to the time of year, or COVID-19. Conduct “social listening” to track mentions of things such as your brand, your competitors’ brands and industry buzzwords. Social listening tools are available from a number of providers, including Hootsuite, Audiense and Reddit Keyword Monitor.
- Create a social media ad strategy
One of the great things about social media ads is that they enable you to target specific groups of people rather than wasting money on a “scattergun” approach. You can focus on people in specific social groups and geographical areas with specific interests. You can target people who are on your mailing list or who have visited your website before. Your ads will look like regular posts, but will be marked “sponsored”. Make sure they include a call to action and a link to the relevant page on your website.
Need help? At Primedia marketing we can create and manage a killer social media marketing strategy. Get in touch today to find out how we can help you.