7 Foundations of a Successful Social Media Marketing Strategy
Savvy marketers know that social media can offer traffic gold. But how can you mine this treasure most effectively? Many brands jump into social out of a fear of being left behind, but this is unlikely to show significant results.
Planning is vital to achieving the success you’re looking for, and here’s what to think about before starting a campaign.
1) Find Your Audience
The various social media platforms cater to different demographics and offer different opportunities. While Facebook might be the 800-pound gorilla with around two billion users across all demographics, other platforms are more focused. For example, Instagram is great for visual marketing of consumer products, while Twitter tends to attract a more technical or professional user base.
Before starting out in social media marketing, define your ideal customer, and decide which platforms they’re most likely to use. A mature strategy can be adapted to suit multiple platforms, but at the beginning, it’s sensible to stay focused.
2) Find What Customers Want
Traditional marketing methods often take the lead in telling a customer what they need or desire. Social media marketing is very different. To be effective, you need to find what your potential customers are talking about and what questions they’re asking. You can then position your brand as a provider of answers.
A great way to do this is to search on Q&A sites such as Quora. Use these sites to discover what real customers are asking for and develop social content which fills that hole.
3) Community Building and Engagement
Social media isn’t a pure numbers game. Although follower counts are a starting point for measuring your presence and reach, engagement is far more critical. It’s better to have a small number of followers who interact with your brand rather than a large army of lurkers who never engage.
Measure your campaign success using engagement metrics such as likes, shares, retweets, and comments. Focusing on these will help build a self-sustaining momentum that can ultimately translate into sales.
4) Conversion Mechanism
And speaking of sales, what’s your plan for monetizing your social activities? Generating masses of excellent content is great for visibility, but if you can’t tempt readers away from the walled gardens of Facebook or Instagram, then your efforts will be in vain. Whether you’re aiming for lead generation or direct product sales, target your content with this goal from the beginning.
5) Content Mix
Social media is now a mature channel, and users expect more than simple text content with a link to your sales page. A well-balanced campaign will feature a mix of text, images, infographics, video, discussions, polls, and any other content type that can make your account stand out.
6) Your Posting Schedule
How often are you going to post to your account? Consistency is key. If your campaign pauses a lack of ideas, momentum will be lost, and it’s difficult to rebuild. On the other hand, filling your feed with pointless content just to keep it active will alienate your followers in no time.
To overcome both problems, develop a content calendar and posting schedule so you can plan your account’s activity and provide consistent value.
7) Ads or Not?
Lastly, although social media mainly revolves around content development, there’s another way to build your follower count. Paid advertising can be a shortcut to new readers as well as being used to drive sales. Adding it to your campaign can help bring in a steady stream of fresh followers to counteract the inevitable churn any account experiences.
Social media marketing requires a shift in mindset from more traditional channels, but the payoff can be enormous. Plan your campaign approach in detail before jumping in, and your brand will reap the rewards.
Read more: 5 Social Media Marketing Habits for 2018
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Joanne is an accomplished marketing and sales leader with over seventeen years of experience defining corporate marketing and sales strategies, managing sales and marketing teams, and closing new business with Fortune 1000 customers across a wide range of vertical markets.