A successful social media strategy is at the heart of digital marketing. It’s no surprise then that social media is one of the most powerful marketing tools to date. With so many customers and prospects on social media, it’s time to start engaging with them where they are. It’s no longer a part-time task and should be considered a vital business function for lead generation, nurturing and networking. Here are some important tips on developing a social media strategy suitable for you and your customers.
Accurately Define Goals/Objectives
Social media and other marketing efforts are all about raising brand awareness and increasing sales but it’s not as easy as it sounds. Remember, what works for one business doesn’t always work for others, even if they’re in similar industries.
The most important question to ask is what you want to accomplish with your social media efforts. It’s not enough to only have goals, you need to set parameters to make objectives achievable. If you want to increase sales, you need to know by how much and when you want to reach the target. It’s important to not get carried away either by adding more and more goals. You will be overwhelmed and get distracted by too many variables.
Should you build brand awareness, generate leads, nurture your community or learn more about your audience? Through a solid social media audit and analysis, you’ll discover which objective would benefit your company most when done successfully. Goal-setting is vital because your ability to generate results from social media correlates with your ability to identify important goals.
Important Metrics And Tracking
This is a critical component to any social media strategy and so much more than just measuring ‘Likes’ or ‘Shares’. You need to measure whether your social media efforts are creating consideration and conversions within your target audience. Conversions need tracking but not just the number – know where, when and how they first became aware and converted. Which social media channels did they use? What type of content did they interact with? If you’re not tracking and revising accordingly, you’re not maximizing your opportunities.
A few specific figures provide you with a good idea of how strong your brand presence is:
- Average audience reach per post
- Website traffic from social media
- Number of followers and brand mentions
- Engagement levels (likes, shares, comments, replies, follows, retweets, re-pins etc.)
- Share of voice (brand coverage relative to that of your competitors)
- Email click-through rates
- YouTube viewership
Know which tools you will implement to track the success of your social media strategy and to measure conversions. Important analytics you should keep track of include page views from social referrals, bounce rate (social referral session duration), form submissions from social referrals and social conversion rate.
Social Media Tactics
Before we start, know that you don’t need to be active on all social media channels. In most cases, it pays to be more focused by concentrating on one or two channels relevant to your business.
Consistency is key especially in terms of your tone on social media. Although posting frequency, timing and engagement are important, your brand voice is what develops your customer relationship and loyalty. Consistency also means more than just posting at specific times or days. You need listen and respond to your audience whether they ask questions, share stories or complain. If you’re only responding to certain Tweets but not others, your audience could be put off by the lack of engagement consistency.
With so much happening on social media, any online content needs to add value. Stand out from the rest by offering something truly valuable. It could be a downloadable ebook, a handy checklist, whitepaper, video or infographic with useful information.
Don’t forget to use hashtags as they probably are one of the easiest ways to categorise social posts. Avoid using too many though as it clutters the message and often makes it difficult to read. Hashtags are particularly useful when searching for social media posts specific to a topic.
Social Media Strategy
A social media marketing strategy needs good content across all channels targeted at the right people. Facebook is still key to branding on social media but don’t underestimate the value of YouTube, Twitter and LinkedIn. Reaching the most relevant target audience will increase conversion rates and as a result, reduce the overall marketing costs.
Determine the type of content you want to post, i.e. videos, photos, blogs, case studies. Identify when the best time is to post to your audience and on which social media channel. Avoid using too many promotional messages and rather focus on creating meaningful content and a strong brand personality.
While social media is free to post organic content, paid tools will help get your business to the next level. With dwindling numbers in organic reach over the last few years, companies would be wise to budget for a paid advertising campaign within their marketing strategy. For smaller budgets, focus on areas with a short ROI lead time so you can generate revenue faster. From there, invest it right back into your social media strategy.
Please get in touch if you would like to review the effectiveness of your social media marketing strategy. Among others, we can help identify and implement strategies for SEO, PPC, Social Media and Email marketing.