The age of digitalized business processes has come with a new set of challenges. One of them being corporate and personal communication over social media channels. While many have attempted and failed at it because of lack of the clearly defined path they intend to walk in, it remains a tool which when rightly used can completely yield the results it was intended for in the first place. But one question often scares the zeal out of people when embarking on this journey, “Where do I begin with social media management?” The answer to that question was very simple “Randomly”. Of course, this hasn’t worked for anyone and wouldn’t start now.
The key to a successful social media marketing strategy is what you choose to focus on. For example, when you are developing a social media strategy you can choose to focus on sales, engagement or brand awareness.
When you focus on something specific and develop a good social media marketing strategy around it, you are one step closer to winning the social media marketing game.
For example, when you are developing a social media strategy you can choose to focus on sales, engagement or brand awareness.
Social media marketing is not all about posting on social media, rather it is all about posting the right piece of content at the right time on the right social media platform. Are you wondering how to do that?
Step 1: Set Social Media Goals That Align with Your Company Goals
The first step in developing a successful social media marketing strategy is to start by setting social media goals which are aligned with your company goals. Ask yourself this simple question “What is my main objective for using social media marketing?”
The answer to this question can be very simple to get.
Let’s assume that you run a company called XYZ Inc. As a company, there are some business goals you have to achieve in order to remain in business. Some of these business goals are sales, brand awareness, brand engagement, thought leadership or maybe you want to expand into a new market.
Let’s look at how you can use social media marketing to achieve each business goal.
Increase sales: Craft social media post with a call to action on it and use paid social media marketing to run CPC campaigns on it. This will help generate clicks to your website, as a result, generate sales.
Brand Awareness: Post highly engaging content on your social media pages and encourage your followers and fans to share it.
Brand Engagement: Design Q&A post and share it on your social media pages.
Thought leadership: Create highly valuable content that will help you establish yourself as an authority within your niche. For example, you can share “how to” guides from your blog to your social media pages.
As you can see for each business goal you have, you can achieve it by taking a specific action on social media.
Below are some examples of business goals you can choose to focus on.
- Increase sales
- Increase brand awareness
- Increase engagement
- Establishing thought leadership
- Expanding to a new market
- Increase website traffic
- Increase followers.
Step 2: Conduct a Social Media Audit
The next step in developing a social media strategy is conducting a social media audit.
Just as the definition implies, you have to start by analyzing your present social media performance and the benefits you will get if you optimize them.
This part will involve you doing a deep audit to know who are those connecting with your brand presence on social media, which social media platform is your ideal customer using? And above all, how are your social media pages performing compare to that of your competitors.
The importance of conducting this audit is to have a clear understanding of each social media page you create for your brand. For example, who manages your Facebook and Instagram page and what is their goal? Why are you not using Pinterest but SnapChat?
After your social media auditing is completed, you should be able to answer the above questions. Also, be able to tell which social media platform your brand should use and why.
Step 3: Select Your Social Media Platforms Effectively
It can be tempting at times to want to be on all the social media platforms. Each social platform has its peculiarities which allows you to fulfill different functions according to each audience.
For example, Instagram can be very relevant for 18-30-year old’s, while Facebook can sometimes be a way to reach a larger audience. However, if you want to market to corporates, (Like TechSoft Web Agency), LinkedIn can be more efficient.
This third step is sometimes crucial because you have to put many variables in place such as who is your ideal customer, how old are they, what do they like and which social media platform are they likely to use. In short, you have to develop a buyer persona.
To help you facilitate your decision, we made a brief summary of each social media platform.
Instagram: Use for sharing photos and short videos (30 sec). Instagram is a visual platform, good for building a brand image.
We want to live an emotion, share a moment. We hope that people share photos with a brand. That is Instagram’s mission. Instagram is very good if you sell to young people. And if you are in the fashion, entertainment, lifestyle, restaurant and hotels niches.
Facebook: Platform with a large audience (2 billion monthly users). Its main purpose is to create a social community. Facebook is for you irrespective of your industry. Whether you are B2B or B2C, you should be using Facebook for your branding.
Twitter: Allows you to have a live interaction with your audience. Commonly used by journalists and the media. Ensures discussion and closeness. Twitter is ideal for you if you run a Media company or if your target audience is the journalist.
Snapchat: Ideal for publishing short video content. Snapchat is used to share more of ephemeral content (Content that disappears after 24 hours). Interesting especially if you are marketing to a younger audience.
LinkedIn: Allows you to market to a network of professionals. With LinkedIn, you can create a business network. It’s very powerful if you sell B2B services.
Step 4: Create a Content Marketing strategy
It’s time to think about your content strategy. What type of content will you post on your social media platforms? And most importantly at which frequency?
Your answers to the above questions will depend on your team and how far they can work to produce the content. Below are some content formats you can use for your content strategy.
- Blog posts
The content you will produce for your social media platforms will depend on your other activities in the company and skills.
However, if you absolutely want to produce more graphics or videos but don’t have the time, for example, you have the option to outsource content creation.
In terms of the publication frequency, we advise you stick to a certain regularity. For example;
On Facebook: when you post a new post, the previous one becomes irrelevant. Limit yourself to 3-4 posts per day. Same thing for Instagram.
For LinkedIn, you can post 2 per day depending on how fast you can produce the content.
Same thing for Twitter.
Step 5: Analyze, Test and constantly change your approach
It is important to establish measurement tools that will evaluate the effectiveness of your social media strategy.
Have you reached your target? Have previously established goals been achieved? For example, the number of followers on an Instagram page could be interesting data to observe or the number of views on your Snapchat videos.
In addition, using a tool like Facebook insight, you can see the engagement rate that each post generates. That will help you know what is working and what is not working on Facebook.