Countless interactions are happening on social media right now. Unrestricted access and universal uptake have moulded these platforms into more than just a space for social communication. Social media marketing is now commonplace on any site. It’s a viable method of reach for marketers as customers become increasingly likely to access brands through social media.
With an expected growth in years to come, the value of an effective social media marketing plan is enormous. It has the potential to not only increase your business’s online presence but win over audiences, turning them into valued customers.
What’s Social Media Marketing?
Social Media Marketing is marketing on the internet that takes place on any online social network. Content sharing, videos and images can all be used to reach your audience organically. If the content is compelling enough and backed by a supportive and thought-out strategy, it may succeed. Paid advertising can also be used to ensure your posts are seen, giving your content the push it needs to reach customers.
Using social networks to deliver your marketing communications is the logical step in the development of online marketing. It’s a marketer’s role to get their content where it can be seen and with over 2.3 Billion active users on social media channels there’s no doubt that the opportunity for increased reach is there.
So how does your business capitalise on the popularity of social sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram and other social heavyweights? Well, our guide to social media marketing should be able to help. We’re here to give you comprehensive insight into how to develop the most effective social media marketing plan.
Step1: Identify your goal
What do you want to achieve with this marketing campaign? Start by asking yourself this question. These goals are important as they’ll mould the rest of your marketing campaign.
You might be looking to:
- Increase the amount of web traffic on your website and social pages
- Raise your brand awareness
- Improve your conversion rate
- Build the brand recognition
- Establish a solid brand identity
- Build a line of communication with your target audiences
These goals will shape the type of content and messaging you send to your audience through social media. Different marketing campaigns will go further towards reaching individual goals. So, identifying these goals early will define your social strategy and help you build more efficient advertisements.
A different or adjusted strategy may also be needed as you switch platforms.
Step 2: Plan Your Social Campaign
Planning your campaign is essential to its success. As a business choosing to market using social media, there are numerous factors you have to consider. One small roadblock has the possibility of stunting or halting the success of all your marketing efforts, so you have to be prepared.
First of all, you need to understand your audience. Insight into the way your viewers operate online is invaluable as it helps guide your marketing efforts. Keyword research is essential as you can structure your content around words that your audiences are searching for. Keywords result in more targeted and efficient marketing content.
You should also plan your content based on the social platforms your audiences operate on, or the ones they’re most likely to be active on. Facebook, for example, is currently the most used social site, and therefore likely to host a fair amount of your target audience. It is also a great platform for distributing information on specials and deals, allowing people to respond.
A site such as Reddit however, is much harder to penetrate with marketing. As a site with a smaller user base that feeds off only the most compelling content, it’s a dangerous venture for some campaigns. The content would need to be incredibly unique. Marketers would also need to refrain from overt sales pitches, as they’d be found out and potentially criticised by a wary community.
The point is, understand your campaign, audiences and variables so that your marketing efforts follow a planned line towards success. Being aware of the social environment and how your marketing suits that environment will help build a stronger campaign.
Step 3: Track Your Competitors
When developing your plan, you should always consider your competitors. Have they already done what you’re planning to do? How can you do it better?
Research your competitor’s success using social media marketing and learn from it. A previous campaign can give great insight into what works and what doesn’t. If a competitor has developed an incredibly successful campaign, then what’s stopping you from mimicking it and building upon it to get a better response?
You can also discover keywords that customers respond to, find links that are popular to your target market and discover which content format worked best.
Use all of this to your advantage as you develop your marketing plan. Continued tracking of your competitors as you run your campaign is also smart. Therefore, if they change their approach, you’re aware and can react accordingly.
Step 4: Produce High-Quality, Automated Content
The quality and consistency of your content are essential to the success of a marketing campaign. Social media users respond to great content, that’s just the way it goes. So to reach them, that’s what you need to deliver.
When developing your content refer to the goals you set at the start of the marketing plan and use your understanding of your audience.
You have to make sure that your content has value to your ideal customers. Develop various types of content to reach your audience on different platforms. Written content, images, video, infographics and more are all great ways to reach audiences. A lot of this content is shareable across a variety of social networking sites increasing their reach even further.
Here’re a few things to think about when creating content:
Brand Consistency: It’s important that no matter what type of content you’re producing, it stays consistent with your brand image. This way audiences become increasingly familiar with your content. This also helps them to easily attribute your future campaigns to your business, building their awareness. Each social media platform has it’s own unique content delivery format, what you can keep consistent is your brand’s identity. This will help to build you recognition across social platforms.
Blogging: Blogs are another great social tool for informing audiences about the actions of your business. Shareable via social media sites, blogs can be dispersed to your social audiences and draw them back to offerings and deals on your site. The trouble with blogs is consistency. A smart business consistently writes blogs to reinforce their relevance as an industry leader and to keep their audience informed.
Linking Content: There’s a lot of power in a little link. While your use of links will most likely consist of navigations back to your own content, there is also benefits in linking to other people’s content. When businesses produce good material that’s relevant to your business, then it’s worth linking to them. Whether it be in a Facebook post or a tweet, linking to an outside source with quality content helps to improve the amount of trust people have in you as an avenue for compelling content. In time people will eagerly await the content your business shares as you become a relied upon source of information.
Step 5. Measure Your Social Success
It’s important to measure the success of your own campaign for a number of reasons. In fact, you should be monitoring your campaign right from the beginning.
First of all, how else would you determine your success? Tracking the effectiveness of your marketing strategies helps you establish what worked and what didn’t. It helps you discover if video content was received better than your infographic, or if your paid advertising was worth the money you spent.
You can attach tracking tags to your social media campaigns that will help you keep on top of their progress. By monitoring your social campaign, you can determine whether or not they’re working. If they aren’t, then you can orchestrate a change in direction for the campaign if need be.
Paid Social Advertising
You can always give your social media advertising the kick it needs to get off and running. A campaign is always in danger of staying stagnant if the message doesn’t reach the right audience. That’s why paid advertising can be such an effective delivery method, getting your content and offers seen by the right people at the right time. Even better, if done right, you can achieve this at a relatively low cost.
Social sites offer focused targeting with paid advertising, finding people who would be more likely to respond to your ads and have an interest in your business making them more likely to interact. Targeting based on location, gender, work, interests, education and even relationship status can all factor into the demographic targeting of paid social media ads.
Different ad formats can also be used to reach the audience. Online sales ads, promotions for local stores or an advertising prompting users to install a mobile app are all heavily featured on Facebook and other sites.
With the right delivery and message, a business can penetrate the market beginning with a paid advertisement to break the initial barriers of visibility and audience preference.
Your entry into the social media advertising world needs to be well-thought out. If not your ads run the risk of falling flat with audiences that have a small attention span and little patience for social marketing. Setting your goals from the beginning and then planning your campaign with these in mind will help to make sure your businesses social focus is unwavering.
A social media marketing plan that takes into consideration the audience, competitors and social platform will be more likely to succeed. Backed by a compelling message, businesses can establish their presence as a social media advertiser and expand their audience. Continuously tracking your campaign will also help you identify what works and what doesn’t. Allowing you to adjust the businesses social media marketing plan to accommodate and capitalise.