Social media marketing is part of digital marketing. It is a process of driving traffic and engagement by creating content for social media platforms. Social media lets you connect with your audience by facilitating one-on-one conversations, which is why marketing your products on such platforms can be incredibly beneficial. While both, social media and social media marketing have been around for a while, very new brands actually hit the nail on the head when it comes to astute and meaningful conversations on social media. Instead of trying to wrap yourself up in ‘cool-lingo’ to come across as approachable, create a strategy that stays true to your brand’s voice and watch how consumers learn to identify your values and product’s benefits, while staying engaged. This social media marketing step by step guide should help you with the same:
Align your goals with your business objectives
Many brands get carried away trying to garner likes and shares, without really converting the same into meaningful currency. The trick to ensuring your social media activities translate to profits or more brand awareness is by aligning your efforts with your business goals. Start by creating SMART goals – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound goals, and make sure that you track them with precision. Don’t get lost in vanity metrics such as likes and retweets. Instead, focus on the conversion rate, web referrals and leads generated to see how well your social media marketing strategy is working.
Step into the shoes of your customer
You cannot start conversations that mean something to your customers without understanding how they think. Creating buyer personas lets you step into the shoes of your customers so that you can understand their priorities, purchase decisions and motivations. Based on the same, you can start creating social media posts that resonate with them and inspire them to take a certain action (like signing up on your website or referring a friend in exchange for a discount). Use social media analytics to understand where your customers live, what languages they speak, and what kinds of interactions they prefer before creating your strategy.
Check out the competition
It always pays to know what the competition is doing well, and what they are failing at. Conduct competitive analysis to see what your audience expects from your industry, and then see where your communication lies on the spectrum of what’s already being done. You don’t have to copy successful competitors, but learn from what they are doing right and see whether you can apply your learnings to your work. Social listening can also be a great activity to pursue because it lets you know exactly what customers think of your biggest competition.
Audit your activities
Chances are, you’re already experimenting with social media to a certain extent. While that’s great – experimentation often leads to happy accidents – it is essential to keep tabs on your own posts on social media and see what’s working (and what’s not). This way, you can gain deeper insights into what your consumers like about your brand or communication, and then enhance those aspects of communication to improve their engagement with the brand. It also makes sense to audit which social media platform is helping you connect the most with your customers. As newer platforms are developed and younger audiences move away from traditional platforms, brands must keep up with the same.
Set up your account or improve your profile
Once you’ve done all your homework, it’s time to set up your account (or improve your profiles if you already have accounts). Different social media platforms can be used for different business objectives. For instance, many brands use Twitter solely for customer service and answering queries, while using more visual mediums like Instagram and Snapchat to showcase their product to their audiences. As your audit will reveal the way your target audience uses these platforms, you’ll be able to develop strategies that align with them and your business goals with ease.
To optimise all your accounts, make sure that all pertinent fields are filled up, and that you’re using keywords that your target audience would normally use to search for you. Also, adhere to sizing guidelines for each social media platform to be able to optimise every image that you post.
Create a content calendar
Planning your posts in advance and creating a calendar that aligns with your business goals can help you maximise your social media efforts. If you know that your brand is likely to throw sales during certain months, factor that into your calendar and make sure that you have enough teaser posts leading up to the big dates. Additionally, while creating your calendar, do keep in mind that you must follow a mix of content creation and curation – no one wants to hear about your brand 24×7, but what they won’t mind is getting interesting information from your page whenever they come by it. Keep evaluating your own strategy to see what works so that you can always be on top of your game.