You’ve finally convinced your company (or yourself) to establish a social media presence, so now what do you do? Here are a few steps you should take to develop a successful social media marketing strategy.
1. Research your audience.
When you first devised your marketing strategy, you probably created your ideal customer. By creating this image of your average consumer, you were then able to generalize the concept into your target audience. You’ll be doing the same here. Social media is all about connection. With whom are you trying to connect? Who is your target audience: working parents, college students, active retirees? Once you determine who you’re trying to reach, you will be be able to choose your platforms.
2. Research potential platforms.
Determine which platform(s) best suit your needs. Some social media platforms are geared for socializing (Facebook, LinkedIn), some for information (Twitter, Pinterest), and still others are designed for sharing your personal interests with the world (Tumblr, Instagram). Whatever your industry, there is a social media platform that will work for you. There are several questions you must answer to ensure that you choose the best platform. Which social media platform is your audience most likely to use? Why do most people use that specific social media site? What is the platform’s overall tone?
3. Research your competition.
Investigate your competitors’ social media accounts. What are they doing that seems to work? Are certain posts garnering more engagement than others? Look at what their customers are sharing. Your goal in this endeavor is to learn, not duplicate. Let’s say that your business rival has an irreverent Twitter profile with thousands of followers. You should not attempt to cash in on their success by using a quirky voice for your own Twitter: it would look cliche at best, plagiaristic at worst. Consider instead appealing to the consumers who might be alienated by the humorous tweets by focusing on other aspects of your brand.
4. Establish your goal for each platform.
Each platform is different, so it stands to reason that your goals for each platform should be different as well. Some companies use Twitter as a way to attract new customers, and reserve their Facebook accounts for connecting with their existing clientele. Professional networking platform LinkedIn is great for companies with business to business sales, but maybe not as advantageous for a company that markets to retirees.
5. Determine your metrics.
You won’t know if you’ve succeeded unless you have a way to measure your progress. For social media, most marketing professionals use customer engagement as a starting point. How many likes are your posts getting? Are your customers sharing your stories or quotes? Whatever metrics you decide to use, you should choose them before you begin to produce content.
6. Develop your content.
As mentioned above, you should focus on content development and production after you have established your metrics for success. This will prevent you and your staff from wasting time and energy working on the wrong types of content. What is your brand’s voice or tone: casual and fun, or earnest and professional? Deciding how you will say something will help you decide what you’ll be saying.
You should also formulate your company’s social media usage guidelines during this phase. These rules should function both as a style guide and code of conduct. Most companies simply abide by their in-house writing guidelines on their social media accounts. The other aspect addresses your company’s behavior on social media. Some good basic rules include steering clear of divisive issues and following basic netiquette.
7. Engage with your audience.
The purpose of social media is to connect. When a customer reaches out to you, respond in a timely manner! Social media gives companies ample opportunities for stellar customer service. Don’t limit this engagement to problem solving, though: encourage audience engagement with contests, polls, and other fun methods.
As you can see, establishing your social media presence does not have to be a complicated process. The great thing about marketing is that you can shift your strategy as needed. The only irreparable mistake in social media marketing is avoiding social media altogether.
Do you still need help creating or refining your social media marketing strategy, why not seek out the experts? The Go! Agency team will devise or revise the perfect social media strategy for your brand! Click here to learn more today!