Too many companies engage in sporadic social media marketing. They are aware that they need to develop some social media marketing strategy, but they are unsure on what they should do. Some businesses just grant younger staff members access to the business' social media accounts on the grounds that they are young and should be well-versed in social media. However, the days of "publish and hope" on social media are long gone. All firms must develop a social media marketing plan and manage their social media accounts with care and restraint.
However, businesses cannot ignore social media initiatives. According to Ambassador, 71% of customers are inclined to refer a brand to others after a positive social media service experience. However, 96% of those who talk about companies online do not follow the owned accounts of such firms. You still need to manage certain social media accounts yourself even if you embrace influencer marketing miracles. Influencer marketing frequently aims to drive traffic to your social media pages. Influencer marketing should be viewed as essentially an expansion of your company's social media marketing plan.
1. Pick Goals for Social Media Marketing That Are Relevant and Realistic
The fact that many firms using social media for marketing purposes have never taken the time to develop relevant and practical social media marketing goals is one of the biggest issues they confront. They are on social media because they must be, but they have no clue why.
Of course, your overall business planning must incorporate your social media marketing strategy. In an ideal world, you would have established strategic objectives for the development of your company. Your broad business goals should complement your social media marketing objectives.
Ensure That Your Objectives Are SMART
All too frequently, individuals adopt vague company objectives that, upon closer examination, have little significance. Keep in mind that you are not setting objectives just for their own sake. You are creating them to aid in the development of the best social media strategy for your company. As a result, you should make sure that your objectives are SMART:
Your chances of reaching your goals—and, more significantly, knowing that you have—increase with how SMART they are.
It's important to create reasonable, practical objectives even when you want to push yourself. Although most businesses, even those that operate very well, are unlikely to reach one million Facebook followers in the upcoming year.
Here, it might be wise to impose certain restrictions. Avoid trying to be successful on every social network. There are too many, and your use of resources is inefficient. Simply perform well on the social networks where your target market is active.
Recommended Social Media Objectives for Your Business
Your objectives will be particular to your company and will support your general objectives. However, common social media goal types you may take into account (couched in an appropriate SMART-style) include:
Increasing brand recognition
Achieving a target greater sales volume
Increase your ROI
Motivating shoppers to make more in-store purchases
Expand your audience
2. Choose your most important metrics
Too many companies set up social media accounts, invest time and money into using them, all without ever determining whether or not they are successful.
Unfortunately, because they vary depending on the business, social analytics may be a murky area. Again, the most important social indicators will be those that are related to the objectives you have established for yourself.
Avoid being seduced by vanity metrics that are simple to calculate, such as a person's number of followers. We've already discussed why it's a terrible idea to purchase Instagram followers. Because there are phony followers on every social network, follower counts aren't really useful as a statistic.
Ideally, you should take a look at the marketing objectives you've stated above and decide which indicators will let you know if you've succeeded or failed. For instance, Post Reach is a significant metric if your goal is to raise your brand's visibility. You can find out how widely your material is being shared on social media.
The quantity of Clicks is something you should pay attention to if your objectives are more sales-based or if you want to persuade individuals to perform a certain action. You may get a decent idea of what motivates individuals to buy what you're asking them to by tracking the number of clicks each campaign receives.
The responses to your postings will frequently pique your attention. This demonstrates how readers respond to your writing and whether it resonates with them.
3. Select the Social Media Audience You Want
One of the biggest errors businesses make on social media is assuming that all of their followers would be beneficial to them. There is a reason why analysts downplay the importance of the statistic Follower Numbers and refer to them as vanity metrics. If a follower is not likely to be interested in the stuff you publish, having them is of little use.
The greatest issue with purchasing phony followers is certainly this. Fake followers don't interact with your account. Some are essentially robots and not at all actual humans. They most surely won't attract new clients. Whether they are actual or fraudulent accounts, these folks won't buy any of your goods. They won't recommend others to you. They are completely useless to you.
Review the objectives you specified in Step 1 now. Having followers on social media who can't support you in achieving your objectives serves little use. Most of the time, you want your social media followers to be like your target audience.
For instance, there is no purpose in attempting to draw in a youthful social media audience of people who either rent or still live with their parents if you are selling stairlifts to homeowners who struggle to remain mobile in their homes. Targeting football players and their supporters makes little sense if you offer cosmetics and other beauty products.
If you offer items to a market that is geographically unique, this is very important. In such instance, you won't want to have a large following from areas and nations where your items are unavailable.
4. Recognize your audience on social media
The audiences on social media vary greatly. Social media is used by many sorts of individuals in various ways. If you want to achieve your goals, you must use the same social media platforms as your intended market. Similar to this, if you want to use influencer marketing, you must make sure that the influencers you work with have audiences that closely resemble your target demographic.
You may be an executive in your mid-forties who utilizes Facebook. However, you shouldn't immediately assume that your clients will also be using Facebook if you yourself don't fit the profile of your company's target market. There were 2.27 billion monthly active Facebook users in Q3 2018, but if you're trying to attract a younger audience, your chances of success on Snapchat or Instagram are far higher. If your company does business with persons in the 25 to 34 age range, you should know that they make up 29.7% of Facebook users and are their most prevalent age group.
Look at the objectives you previously specified for your social media marketing. Which social networks will help you achieve your aims the most effectively?
You need to have a thorough grasp of your clientele in order to succeed at this. The moment has come to resurrect whatever personalities you may have created for your ideal clients. What are the characteristics of your consumers, and how do they use the internet?
You will be more successful in connecting with your target market on social media if you have a deeper understanding of their psychographics and demographics.
5. Choose the Appropriate Social Media Platforms for Your Audience
Some individuals wonder how they would have the time and energy to manage accounts on all social media platforms. You often don't have to. Simply choose the best social media platforms for your company. You want to learn which social networks are most popular with your target market.
In order to find out where your target audience hangs out, you might need to conduct some preliminary research. This shouldn't be too challenging, especially if you are familiar with your clientele. You may conduct a poll of them and ask them for their favorite social media accounts if you don't already know this.
You might begin with the network that your audience uses the most frequently before expanding to other networks where a sizable enough proportion of users maintains active social accounts. However, you often wouldn't need to visit more than three to five social networks.
Here, we're using a rather open definition of social networks. Of course, you take popular platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram into account. If your target demographic utilizes YouTube and TikTok in big numbers, you may also have a look at those sites. Live streaming services like Twitch may occasionally be appropriate for your audience as well.
Spend less time on social media platforms that your audience doesn't use
You should be present on social networks if a sizable fraction of your target audience uses them. You can pass on a platform if they don't show much interest in it and save yourself time and money.
To make your life simpler, you need also take another aspect into account. Utilizing a social media marketing tool of some kind makes it simpler for many firms to bulk-schedule updates in one location. As a result, you could find it more convenient to match the social networks you use with those supported by your favorite social media marketing platform. This may be less important for video-sharing websites like YouTube, which focus more on content channels than content feeds, and for live-streaming websites like Twitch, where you can effectively run a live channel.
Consider if you want many profiles, each aimed at a certain audience, or a single account for your whole organization on a social network. You may, for instance, have many Twitter accounts, each with a distinct purpose. If you have an abundance of resources, you might potentially create many YouTube channels, each with a specific target market.
6. Examine how your rivals use social media
Most businesses don't run alone. Typically, your rivals will employ a social media approach as well. You'll need to understand what they're doing for sure. What do they prioritize? Who are they aiming for? Which words are they attempting to dominate?
You can rapidly analyze your competition to learn more about their advantages and disadvantages. This ought to help you have a better idea of what consumers could anticipate from companies in your sector.
You might be able to identify the social weaknesses of your rivals and take advantage of the openings. For instance, despite the fact that your target market is active on Facebook, one of your rivals may be well-known on Twitter but have little to no presence there. If so, investing more time and money into Facebook could be more advantageous than directly competing on Twitter.
You might snoop on your rivals and find out which of their social media material has been the most successful by using a program like Buzzsumo. You may create and post comparable but superior content after you understand the sorts of content that resonate with people on certain social media platforms.
7. Set a Budget for Social Media That Is Realistic
Let's be practical. No company should just give social media accounts lip attention. For the majority of businesses, social media marketing is a viable method of advertising, so you should be ready to set aside money for it. If you just add social media tasks to the existing list of responsibilities your current office personnel has, you can't expect success with it.
On the other hand, if your aims are to enhance brand recognition and awareness or, at the very least, sales, you shouldn't spend more on your social media efforts than you can reasonably expect to make in those areas.
As with any kind of marketing, you should consider the objectives you defined earlier in your plan when calculating the return on investment (ROI) from your social media budget.
You should think about how much you plan to spend on all of your digital marketing across all channels when you create a social media budget. Next, decide how much of that money you are willing to set aside for social media.
According to some simple estimates performed by WebStrategies for a typical business, most businesses invest between 5 and 15% of their yearly sales in marketing. Most people spend between 35 and 45 percent of that on digital marketing initiatives. In response, the majority of businesses dedicate 15% to 25% of their digital marketing budget on social media marketing activities (organic and paid).
8. Prepare the Content You Want to Share
Of course, you'll need excellent material to post if you want to succeed on social media. Sharing too much promotional content is one of the worst errors that organizations make. Keep in mind that social networks were never meant to be a marketplace where you could sell your goods. They were created to be sociable.
Therefore, you should balance the information you offer on social media to include both educational and amusing pieces, as well as a modest amount of commercial content. Additionally, you must like and distribute other people's stuff.
This is likely the main factor contributing to the status of the majority of influencers. They provide the ideal material for their followers since they have a solid understanding of their audience. The same is required of you as a brand.
You should have a good notion of the kind of material that will appeal to your target audience if you have already identified your goals and studied what works (and what doesn't) for your competition. Making material for those who won't ever assist you achieve your goals serves little use.
Be Honest About Your Capability to Produce
You must be aware of any restrictions you could experience when producing material. For instance, you could desire to operate a fantastic YouTube channel, but it is useless to do so if you lack the necessary tools, resources, expertise, and free time to produce high-quality videos. A YouTube channel with only one or two shoddy talking head videos is not something you want.
Similarly, if you don't have somebody who is confident speaking in front of the camera during a live broadcast, intending to create live video broadcasts is of little use.
You must strike a balance between producing content that appeals to your target audience and that for which you feel most qualified and at ease.
Avoid blending your personal preferences with those of your intended audience
It's likely that you or the person in charge of your company's social media profiles will also manage personal ones. Making a distinction between the two account kinds is necessary. Simply because you enjoy making a certain style of post on your personal accounts does not guarantee that it will be successful on the accounts of the business.
Presumably, you only write about topics that interest you. However, you must only consider the preferences of your target market while managing the business account. You want to write articles for them that will fascinate, amuse, and inform them.
Your specialty themes should presumably be written down. This is especially crucial when curating material. For instance, you should only retweet tweets that are relevant to your area of expertise.
9. Before creating and promoting content, properly configure your accounts
You must correctly configure your accounts. You should maintain a unified visual style across all of your social media platforms. On each network, use the proper hues, logos, and related visuals.
Avoid wasting any of your social space. Spend some time properly completing your biographies and profiles. Be careful to connect to pertinent websites, and you may even designate particular landing pages on your website for visitors who arrive there via your social media accounts.
It is worthwhile to take the time to make sure that all of the photographs on your biographies and profiles have been posted in the greatest resolution possible for the social network. In our article Best Image Sizes for Social Media - The Ultimate Guide for Marketers, we provide these ideal sizes.
When creating each account, keep your target audience in mind. Based on your bio or profile, consider whether this audience will be interested in your page.
10. Decide when to post and create a content calendar
While you could make every social media post by hand, doing so would be inefficient and would not produce the greatest results. Nowadays, the majority of social networks utilize an algorithm to select the results they present to users. Accordingly, if you publish material at a time other than when your target audience is online, they could never see it.
You should ideally utilize one of the social media scheduling tools to put up and arrange several posts at once. Numerous social media marketing platforms have been examined by us. You can be sure that at least one of these will simplify your life. See our article on the best social media scheduling tools as well.
Different people have different ideas about how many posts you should publish on each network each day and when those posts should be published. We've previously created articles outlining the ideal times to post on Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok.
11. Produce Relevant Content to Share with Your Fans
When producing content, you should consider the following four questions:
· What is the ideal number of characters for each social media platform?
· How many hashtags are used in messages on each social media platform?
· Emojis: Should I use them in social media messages?
· What kind of material works best for each channel?
Remember the value of pictures and videos. Compared to other sorts of material, visual content is more than 40 times more likely to be shared on social media. Over the past few years, Instagram has gained enormous traction and developed a strong visual focus. Top Instagram companies have a 4.21 percent per-follower engagement rate. That compares to 58 times more on Facebook and 120 times more on Twitter.
It seems like video material is becoming more and more popular every year. YouTube claims that the amount of mobile video consumption doubles every year. Customers claim that after seeing a video on a product, 64% of them are more likely to purchase it online.
Diversify Your Content
Even if you want your material to seem cohesive overall, especially within certain social media campaigns, you don't want all of your social media content to be identical. Variety in people's social feeds is what makes them respond best. Depending on the social network, they choose a combination of alluring images, engaging videos, and even persuasive writing. Naturally, some social networks only let you submit one or two of these forms of material, but you can still choose how many posts there are in a medium.
Consider the situation when your business is catering. In that scenario, you might want to post up-close photos of delectable cuisine on Instagram, but don't forget to include various kinds of photos and even the occasional video. People want diversity when they visit your Instagram profile, read your bio, and view all of your photos together, but they don't want it to look chaotic.
On Instagram, Wendy's does a great job doing this. Even though it's obvious you're viewing food from a fast-food chain, the post content differs. They remain committed to their brand while highlighting inventiveness and color. A variety of memes, comedy, pictures, and appetizing food photos are included.
Make Your Content Specifically for Each Social Network
It's critical to keep in mind that not all social media platforms are created equal. For each network, you should ideally tailor your material.
You are only allowed 280 characters each tweet on Twitter, which is a self-imposed restriction. As a result, your message must be succinct and direct. Links are permissible in tweets and hashtags (but no more than 1 or 2). Images in tweets perform far better than those without.
Although Facebook postings might be lengthier than tweets, don't go overboard. A text-heavy page can quickly turn readers off. Even if you are only sharing material that has been carefully selected, it is always a good idea to add some own commentary. On Facebook, short videos work well. For every Facebook post, include a picture or a video, but link them to the text. On Facebook, link postings frequently do well.
Since Instagram is an image-based social media platform, you should post engaging, pertinent images and brief videos. These may be combined to create a Story, which has the benefit of being at the top of people's feeds as opposed to becoming buried among other postings.
Pinterest is likewise heavily focused on images. On themed boards, individuals do in fact pin photos. Therefore, you should center your Pinterest content on a pinnable image. If your target market is predominately female, Pinterest might be ideal for artistically showing items.
Since LinkedIn is a professional network, you must make sure that all of your postings are appropriate for its users. People frequently read articles on LinkedIn in an effort to learn more, especially anything that will advance their careers.
Of course, YouTube is well-known for being the home of medium- to long-form video. You create a channel and upload videos to it, ideally adhering to a general theme. To stand out from the other YouTube channels, you need something. To let your viewers know they can regularly expect new videos, try to release at least one video every week. Generally, you should refrain from merely uploading your current television advertisements. Make and upload only professional-caliber videos. Making engaging films that include your items is one approach to avoid producing videos that appear overtly commercial.
Generation Z and, to a lesser extent, millennials like TikTok. Making short-form videos for the platform should be your goal if they are your target audience. Videos on TikTok can be up to 60 seconds long, however the majority are only a few seconds long. Because trends are important to TikTok's users, keep track of them and try to create and post a brief video that reflects the trend as soon as you see it. You must pick a specialty for your TikTok videos that is likely to attract your target audience, much as with YouTube. TikTok videos are brief, so you must upload frequently to sustain people' interest.
12. Spread the Word on Social Media
You still need to build your first following even if quality content will ultimately sell your social channels. Before someone may decide to follow you, they need to locate your channels.
You may advertise your channels in a variety of ways, some quite obvious and others more covert.
The links for all of your social media accounts should be placed in various locations on your website, such as the bottom, the About and Communications sections. If you have an email list, any emails and newsletters you send should include mention of your social media accounts. In the footer of every email, you can quickly include links for your social media accounts.
Of course, you may advertise your social media accounts offline as well. Include them in your old-fashioned marketing and retail signs.
Many businesses cross-promote on social media. You might, for instance, use Twitter to advertise your YouTube channel. You may have noticed that the profile pages of most YouTube channels show the channel owner's other social media profiles.
To improve brand awareness and your social following, you may even run advertisements on your social media platforms to a very specific demographic.
13. Engage your audiences
Social media users don't only use them to read, look at, or watch material. They use the internet to socialize and communicate with others. Businesses that are successful don't merely advertise to their social audiences. They converse with them as well.
For this reason, unless you have a highly wide target market and an army of staff members devoted to this effort, you shouldn't try to cover every social network. Utilizing your resources effectively requires focusing on the social media platforms that your target market uses.
Custom hashtags have proven to be highly helpful for some businesses. These not only promote conversation and sharing, but they also make it simpler for you to look for postings that mention your company.
In a perfect world, you would reply to every social media mention of your company to show that you value your customers.
14. Create a Community for Your Audience
Making a distinct community for your audience is one of the finest methods to engage with them. Every day, you want to be one of their "go-to" locations. Creating a persona online is an essential component of this. You want to make sure that people don't perceive your company as a faceless organization, but rather as having heart and soul.
Try to include your readers in your postings by making them interactive. Make it a point to solicit their feedback. You may add polls and questions to gather feedback from your fans. Make sure your postings are intriguing and noteworthy at all costs. Don't just repeat your adverts verbatim. They must think your postings valuable if you want your followers to frequent them.
You should think carefully about who manages your social media networks. They should ideally be workers who fit your target audience's social demographics. Use your youngest staff members to manage the business's Instagram and TikTok profiles if you're trying to appeal to Generation Z. If you want to reach house renovators, you may possibly search for current homeowners to manage your company's Facebook page.
You might join and establish suitable groups based on the social media channels used by your target demographic. Facebook Groups are great for B2C businesses; if your emphasis is primarily on B2B, think using LinkedIn. On one of these sites, you may start a group to motivate your audience. How to start and expand a Facebook group has been thoroughly written about by Neil Patel. Your organization might be the perfect setting for networking.
15. To grow your audience, think about paying for advertising
You may buy sponsored advertisements on the majority of social media platforms. Most will let you demographically target your adverts so that only members of your chosen target audience see them.
Paid advertising enables you to connect with relevant audiences that you are currently disconnected from. Advertisements can be used to increase brand awareness, promote specific articles or videos, or even to encourage the sale of goods.
16. To increase your reach, think about collaborating with influencers
We are aware of the benefits of using influencers and influencer marketing, of course. You have the opportunity to reach a completely new audience, one that perhaps will be interested in your company and its products, if you choose the proper influencers.
Influencers are strong because they have already mastered the art of social media marketing. They have established a strong internet presence and have a sizable following of eager and engaged viewers.
You may think about collaborating with influencers and asking them to point their followers toward your social media accounts. However, when people visit your sites, you will need to produce material that will pique their attention.
You have a possibility that individuals the influencers lead your way will follow you on social media if you choose influencers whose followers correspond to your target group and you offer them high-quality material.
17. Think About Using Brand Advocates
You may already have access to enthusiastic and willing individuals who are willing to support your company on social media. These brand promoters might be a part of your social media marketing plan. They might not be as well-known as the leading influencers in your industry, but some of them will already have sizable followings and reputable reputations, giving you the benefit that they are already familiar with and interested in your offering.
Simply put, brand advocacy refers to the process through which fans of your goods or services continue to support your business by bringing it to the attention of new audiences. By becoming passionate supporters of what your firm does, your brand advocates may significantly contribute to word-of-mouth marketing and generate new business.
The members of your senior leadership team, business partners, staff, and current customers may all serve as brand ambassadors.
18. Think About Including Chatbots in Your Social Media Marketing Plan
You may think about including a chatbot if you communicate with your fans using messenger-type apps like Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp. These can assist you with resolving issues for your present or future clients without the need for human intervention.
The biggest advantage, according to SocialBee, "might actually be that a chatbot will give your customers a smart assistant with the ability to communicate with them almost like a human consultant and it will gradually begin to learn about your customers and which of your products they are interested in."
If employing a chatbot intimidates you, you don't have to learn how to code or hire a pricey development team. For a monthly charge, you may include a number of chatbots into your social media platforms.
19. Conduct cross-platform campaigns
Nowadays, many companies maintain many social media accounts and link them with cross-channel marketing initiatives. Even your brand champions and influencers may participate in these efforts.
Of course, you can have a lot of company social media profiles if you sell a variety of items to target various demographics. This does not imply that you must incorporate each social media account into each campaign. Concentrate on the accounts that correspond to the target market for a particular campaign.
Every social network has its own peculiarities and methods of operation. Like how Twitter was the birthplace of hashtags. Although you shouldn't utilize more than one or two each tweet, they are still crucial there. There is a set character restriction of 280 on that network as well. You may use up to 30 hashtags in an Instagram post, which makes it look like hashtags are becoming even more popular. However, they don't like it when you utilize the same set of hashtags in a lot of your postings. But even if Facebook users occasionally use hashtags, they haven't really taken off there the way they have on Instagram, Twitter, or even TikTok.
Therefore, in a cross-channel campaign, you can't merely utilize the same pieces of material, unchanged, on all your social networks. A cross-channel campaign should be viewed as one big tale that you convey consistently across all of your social media channels. Your audience, especially those who follow you, your influencers, and your brand advocates across several social networks, should not feel as though you are repeating yourself. You should thus convey a linked, coherent tale. Sharing only the kinds of material that each network excels at for your campaign is one method to do this. You may, for instance, limit your sharing to campaign-related photographs on Instagram, longer films on YouTube, shorter videos on TikTok, and 280-character tweets on Twitter (but ensuring you include a suitable visual.)
Naturally, you'll want to brand your cross-channel campaign consistently across all of your social media posts. A comprehensive landing page with more information about your campaign and links to all of your messages would be ideal. Don't forget to come up with a distinct, distinctive hashtag for these initiatives (and even encourage people to use it on those networks with less hashtag interest, like Facebook.)
20. Monitor Your Progress and Modify Your Social Media Strategy
Obviously, there is no assurance that your social initiatives will succeed no matter how carefully you organize them. However, you won't be able to determine the effectiveness of your social media marketing if you don't monitor your outcomes.
Setting goals was the first step in the process, after which you choose your most important metrics. As a result, you should constantly monitor the development of these KPIs. Do these data reflect the desired results of your social media campaigns?
15 Instagram Analytics Tools for Influencers were previously covered. Some of them further include social media platform stats. Numerous social networks supply their own analytics tools that will deliver the majority of the required data. You can discover analytics sections on Twitter and YouTube as well as an insights area for your Facebook page.
Utilize these tools to monitor your progress. Create more of that kind of material if they demonstrate that you are creating well-liked, widely shared content. If your content isn't doing so well, pay attention to what is succeeding and change your social media posting to concentrate on the stuff your fans liked.
To find out what people think of your social media marketing plan, you may also think about polling your social audience. You never know when your followers will provide you useful suggestions. If there's a chance that changing anything may help you enhance your social success, don't be hesitant to do it.
Salty Red Dog Marketing, LLC is a marketing agency in Red Bank, NJ, Westport, CT, and everywhere in between. We service businesses with marketing strategies, digital marketing, social media, and consultations.
Phone: NJ: (732) 802-6205 // CT: (203) 429-9671