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Social Media Marketing: Eight Steps to Success

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Strategizing the Use of Social Media

A social media marketing strategy summarizes what you hope to accomplish with your social media campaign.

It will serve as your guide while taking action on targeted social platforms and give you insight into whether or not your campaign succeeded.

It is critical to have a clearly defined strategy so your campaign will be as productive as possible.

Try to keep it short and concise.

Do not set it too broad because that makes your goals difficult to measure.

Our goal in this post is to provide you with a detailed plan for establishing an effective social media marketing campaign in 8 easy steps.

What is social media?

Social media is any website or application that comes with collaboration and sharing functionality.

Social networking on a social platform
Networking on social platforms

As an engagement tool, social media is extraordinarily powerful because it allows people to connect, collaborate, communicate, discuss, share, ask for help, offer advice, complain, and get heard in real-time. 

Online businesses generally use social media marketing to accomplish the following goals:

  • Establish authority and trust
  • Share content
  • Capture the attention of a defined audience
  • Generate qualified leads
  • Increase brand awareness
  • Solidify their brand
  • Sell products and services
  • Track customer satisfaction
  • Support customers
  • Advertise products and services 

By establishing a strong presence on the most relevant social media channels for your business, social media marketing can help you reach a well-defined audience. 

What social media can do for you

Social media was an option for business a few years ago.

Today, it is a necessity.

In recent years, social media has become an increasingly influential driving force behind consumer buying decisions.

Consequently, you will lose sales if your social media presence is weak and unengaging.

One-dimensional marketing messages promoting your business, product or service won’t help your brand.

An illustration of broadcasting to users through TV and attracting users through content
Traditional advertising vs. content marketing

In fact, it goes against everything that social media is about.

Social media is not a broadcast medium.

You can actually violate your followers’ privacy and ruin their social media experience by continuously broadcasting your marketing messages in their news feed.

Using social media in the wrong way will not only alienate your followers, but also cost you business to competitors who use it as it should be.

What is a social media marketing strategy?

A social media marketing strategy is a written plan of action.

It is a step-by-step approach where you list your goals, the tactics you’ll use to reach them, and the metrics you’ll track to measure success.

Using the right marketing strategy, social media can be an extremely powerful marketing tool for your business.

On the other hand, without a strategy or plan, a well-defined approach, and a clear vision, your social media campaign will likely fail. 

At best, you’ll get unpredictable results.

As a result, you may be discouraged, begin to doubt the success of social media marketing as a whole and ultimately give up.

You can create a successful social media marketing strategy by following these eight steps.

1. Determine what your goals should be.

A successful social media marketing campaign requires setting clear and realistic goals that are aligned with your business objectives.

Here are some examples of goals you can set:

  • Increase brand awareness
  • Connect with existing customers and prospects
  • Generate qualified leads
  • Build an engaged and loyal community
  • Establish trust and authority
  • Attract your ideal target customer
  • Drive relevant traffic to your site
  • Build a targeted list of email subscribers
  • Convert followers into customers

2. Decide what your tactics and strategies will be.

Decide what strategies and tactics you will use to achieve your goals and objectives, and they should be measurable as well.

Here are some examples of strategies you might want to consider:

  • Create a free offer with built in subscriber opt-in form.
  • Post content on X social media platform X times per day.
  • Make X% of posts photo/posts.
  • Spend X on promoted posts per month.
  • Create X number of boosted posts on Facebook per month.
  • Spend X on social media advertising.
  • Increase spending on Facebook advertising in X country/state by X%.
  • Create X number of blog posts per week/month and share them on Twitter and Facebook.
  • Host an AMA on Reddit once every 3 months.
  • Post X offers per month for 6 months on Facebook.
  • Run X competitions/contests per year on Reddit.
  • Create X events on Facebook.
  • Create X videos on YouTube per month.
  • Spend X minutes per day liking customers pages ( B2B only.)
  • Spend X minutes per day liking, commenting and sharing customer posts on Instagram.
  • Follow X influencers on Twitter per week.
  • Create X number of online events on Facebook and Twitter per year.

3. Know who your target audience is.

Understanding your target audience is key to making your social media marketing campaign successful.

Your social media target audience is composed of the specific demographics you are trying to reach. 

They are the ones who will click on your links and buy the products or services that you’re promoting, so understanding them is key.

The more information you have about them, the more targeted and ultimately, the more successful your social media marketing campaign will be.

You must understand what your audience’s goals, desires, problems, and challenges are in order to create content they will enjoy, share, and comment on.

To effectively define your audience, you must narrow your focus.

Generating the best results requires you to be highly specific.

Once you start targeting the right people, you can confidently craft relevant marketing messages that they are likely to respond to.

When your message is tailored specifically to meet the needs of your target audience, they will respond more positively to your content.

Conversely, if you don’t know who your potential customer is, you won’t be able to craft messages that will engage them or capture their attention.

The following are things you should know about your potential customers:

  • Age
  • Location
  • Language
  • Buying patterns
  • Interests
  • Challenges

The most effective way to target your ideal buyer is to create a buyer persona based on what you know about them.

For more details on creating a buyer persona, please click here.

4. Plan your content strategy.

A key aspect of social media marketing is publishing quality content.

Your brand should be positioned as a leading authority in your industry to attract the right audience and grow your following.

To achieve this objective, publishing content that is relevant, useful, and valuable to your target audience is crucial. 

Be careful not to publish all types of content just to be popular.

Someone who follows you on social media by seeing that you are a financial advisor likely did so because of your expertise in finance.

Consequently, they expect to read about finance-related issues from you.

It makes no sense to share health-related content with your followers because that is not why they are following you in the first place.

Be sure to write about topics that your target audience will expect from you.

As long as the content you share with your target customers leads to them taking action, they will remember you.

Furthermore, you should share content that is relevant to your audience, not about yourself.

As a mortgage advisor, you want your clients to know how interest rate changes will affect their mortgage.

Give this information freely and with no expectation of return.

As you demonstrate your expertise and knowledge, you are increasing your visibility and solidifying your brand.

5. Create a content calendar to plan your content.

Using a content calendar is an excellent way for you to control your marketing messages, so that you can continue to engage your fans and followers.

Keeping consistent with the content you share on a daily basis with your followers is one of the challenges of social media marketing.

You might need to post on Pinterest twice or four times a day, Facebook at least twice a day, Twitter five to ten times a day, LinkedIn once a day, and Instagram twice a day depending on what type of business you run.

Additionally, it is important to update your posts regularly so that your social media profiles and website are organised and structured.

A content calendar is simple in concept and form: assign a post type (photo, video, article – including how-tos and tutorials, podcast, trivia, etc.) to each day and build a monthly calendar ahead of time.

There’s no need for you to create multiple blog posts every day, but you do need to communicate with your audience in some way and offer them unique ways to interact with your brand.

6. Identify the right social networks for your business.

It is crucial to be aware of the major features of every major social media platform and how they can benefit your business.

Not every social media platform will be appropriate for your needs.

When choosing a social platform for your business, consider the following factors:

What types of people are most likely to be interested in the products or services you’re promoting?

The best way to determine who your products are best suited for is to have a thorough understanding of what you’re selling and the problems it solves in order to target the right audience via the right channels.

Where is your target audience active?

For you to identify the social platforms they are most likely to use, it is imperative that you have a deep understanding of the people you are targeting on social media. In this regard, creating a buyer persona will be helpful.

Why do you use social media?

When choosing the right social media platform for your business, consider your goals and what you want to accomplish there.

As an example, if you want to establish relationships with your customers by creating a community, you might consider using Facebook groups.

Do you want to share any specific type of content?

It is critical to consider the most appropriate platform to share your content with your target audience.

On Reddit, for example, long posts, articles, how-tos, and tutorials are the most engaging posts in business-related subreddits, while Pinterest is a great place for businesses that are visually inclined.

Where are your competitors active?

Having competitive intelligence is essential to business success, and knowing where your competitors are active will provide you with valuable insight into where to concentrate your efforts.

It is possible to determine whether you should be active on a specific platform by analyzing your competitor’s social media presence.

How much time do you have to dedicate to social media?

The most important resources to consider when choosing a social media platform are time and energy, since most platforms can be used for free.

It is however a very time-consuming process to keep up with social networks.

Planning, creating, setting up, being trained, implementing your plans, building your relationships, and handling new customers acquired through social media will take time and energy.

7. Create a schedule for social engagement.

For your social media marketing campaign to succeed, engagement with your fans is crucial.

You will have a very difficult time achieving your goals if you do not have a plan for engaging your followers.

Always keep your social media campaign’s end goal in mind.

Social proof is great when you have a large, targeted following that is interested in your business and industry.

Your end goal, though, isn’t simply to gain a large following.

This is nothing more than the means to an end.

Engaging those fans and converting them into customers is your real end goal.

If you don’t have a plan in place for how you will engage or interact with all of your fans, building a large network is pointless.

You will achieve very little on the platform if your fans are not engaged, and all of the time and resources you invested in acquiring them will have been for nothing.

Learn how to engage your followers on social media platforms by clicking here

8. Measure your success and monitor it.

The goals you set for your campaign will need to be adjusted as your campaign develops.

For instance, you may find that you must spend more on promoted posts to get more reach, you may need to spend more on advertising to get more fans, or you may need to switch the type of content you post to increase engagement.

Your campaign can only be adjusted accordingly if you constantly monitor and measure your results against the original goals and objectives you set.

You can track and analyze the actual performance and effectiveness of your social media marketing campaign using Google Analytics’ detailed reports and metrics.

You can easily determine what content produces the most traffic, subscriptions, and conversions and which content is ineffective for your business.

By tracking your audience’s behavior, you can determine what content resonates best, if a campaign is meeting its stated goals, and if not, why not, as well as which actions can be taken to improve performance.

Keep track of meaningful metrics

The likes and followers on Facebook are easy to track, but they don’t mean anything unless they lead to actual customers. Engagement, click-through, and conversion rates are more significant.

Check out these 19 key social media metrics.

If you use different social media networks for different purposes, you may want to track different goals for each network.

For example, if you use content curation on Reddit to drive traffic to your website, you would measure click-throughs from your text posts.

If Instagram is for engagement, you might track the number of comments you receive on your posts.

Summary

In order to succeed in social media marketing, it is critical to develop a plan for a successful campaign.

Developing a detailed plan might seem overwhelming at first.

But once you see your blueprint, you’ll understand where you’re heading, and it will be easier to predict what lies ahead.

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