A social media marketing strategy is vital for your business’ online exposure that can really set you apart from your competition if done properly. However it’s important to understand that going about it the right way takes thorough planning and complete self evaluation. To get your business where you want it to be, you must know where you currently stand. This is why it’s necessary to follow this simple yet effective 4 step process to develop a successful marketing strategy.
1. Make Objectives & Goals
Establishing realistic goals and objectives is the first move of any social media strategy. Without this step all your efforts would be in vain since there would be nothing specific to accomplish and no way of tracking your progress or return on investment.
Another thing you want to focus on is having realistic and measurable goals. Having unrealistic goals can often overwhelm and cause much stress from unrealistic expectations. Making sure you have both a long term social media marketing strategy as well as short term objectives is a guaranteed way to ensure your company’s eventual growth. This also comes in use when making the necessary adjustments after analyzing the progress alongside your overall strategy and objectives.
Your social media strategy is often the biggest representation of your business that consumers will come across. Having goals that are geared towards leads, conversions, and overall website traffic rather than likes or retweets will significantly boost your image to your potential investors and clients. Maintaining a solid and progressive social media strategy will also increase the likelihood of an executive buy-in or investor.
2. Social Media Evaluation & Analysis
After establishing measurable and achievable goals and objectives, the next step is to do a full self audit on your current social media accounts. This means filtering out the platforms which are of little benefit, and creating accounts which will be of use. Also knowing which accounts need to be regularly updated with new content will also be a vital step to a successful strategy.
Since each social media platform is unique in it’s own way, understanding what the pros and cons of each one is will come to play a huge benefit when constructing your social media strategy. For example; Yelp is review based and requires more PR work and interaction than say, Twitter, which needs fresh content regularly. Bottom line, you need to choose the networks that will suit your business goals and social marketing strategy best.
3. Create Content & Schedule
So now you’ve decided which platforms will be your primary social marketing channels. And after creating the necessary accounts, you find yourself at a point where the real work begins. This step is by far the most important, and if executed correctly and according to schedule you will find your business reaping the social media traffic and generating more leads and conversions than you’ve seen before.
The main focus of your social media strategy, after determining which audience you want to target, is to create quality content made for people instead of search engines. Many developers, marketers, etc. try to please search engines like google, yahoo and bing instead of focusing on the actual users. The only problem with this backwards approach is that the search engines’ results are based off of user experience. Google will know if you are stuffing keywords into your content for ratings, and most likely so will your customers.
Once you’ve created the content, setting a schedule will provide a way for you to chart your data and adjust necessarily for maximum growth. You may notice a certain time pattern that will work well for one of your social media accounts, but not for the other. Also one advertising method might attract more leads than the next. This is why your social media marketing team needs to be working on a scheduled pace that makes it easy to modify any changes as needed.
4. Research Competition & Stay up to Date
If you are on social media to connect with the consumer market, best believe that your competition is doing the same. Since you’re not the first business to try to engage potential clients through the social media world, investigating your competitions’ efforts will give you beneficial insight to your overall social media strategy. Your competition is a great way to gain inspiration for content when looking for what consumers engage in most. No matter the content type, if it’s part of their strategy, it’s worth investigating. Using their data and tracking their growth will enable you to hone in on the current trends and marketing strategies that are being useful in generating leads and traffic.
It is also an effective way to find the holes in their strategies and see where they’re falling short. Analyzing social media accounts of competitors will facilitate an environment in which you could observe the needs of the consumers. The great thing about social media is that people are not afraid to speak their minds about their opinions and reviews of products and services. Also, studying your consumers’ habits of when they share, how they post/tweet, their style and the latest trends will enable you to resemble their techniques and appeal to them even more.
Don’t forget that there are industry leaders who do a phenominal job on their social media efforts. Comparing your strategy to big companies’ such as AirBnB, Uber, Apple and Tesla will give you heaps of information for your strategy. Don’t be afraid to research, and always work on improving your strategy and making proper adjustments to reach your target market audience.