Your social media marketing strategy could not be more critical in the current digital marketing climate. The number of people who engage with businesses via social media platforms is staggering. This means that your company has to do far more than just be on social media, you need to focus on engagement.
So what are the best ways to effectively market via social media? The following seven strategies will help ensure you keep ahead of the curve and make the most out of your social channels.
Strategy 1: Identify important metrics
Targeted social media metrics are a crucial element of your strategy, but it is just as important to know which ones matter. While it may be great to see the number of followers you have, it doesn’t give you useful information.
Followers and likes seem like the obvious things to note, but engagement metrics are likely more worthwhile, especially when it comes to building relationships with your audience. This is why more importance should be placed on the following metrics:
- Post reach – The number of unique users who saw a post and how far it is spreading
- Engagement – The number of interactions divided by impressions
Link clicks – Helping to understand how users move through your funnel
- Hashtags – Which ones are associated with your brand or create engagement
- Organic likes – How natural is the success of your post
Strategy 2: Define goals and aim to solve issues
As with any strategy you need to understand your business goals and your social media strategy should work to help you achieve them. Ensure they are attainable and choose the social media channels that suit them best. Try to avoid working with too many platforms or over complicating your strategy at first.
Some realistic goals to consider may include:
- Bigger sales
- Brand awareness
- In-store sales
- Improved return on investment
- Customer loyalty
- Industry awareness/profile raising
Strategy 3: Understand the competition
The last thing you want is to be posting the same content as your competition, so it’s important to investigate your competitors and their feeds. This is also an excellent way to see what is working and what isn’t for them at the same time. Don’t steal your competitors’ ideas, just learn from them and tweak your output accordingly.
This research will help you with keywords or relevant industry terms and really hone in on things specific to your industry. There are various social media competitive analysis tools available that will break down things like text and images to see what kind of content is driving the most engagement. The goal here is to identify what your potential customers want and come up with original ways to offer it to them that will work with your brand personality.
Strategy 4: Know your audience
Understanding your audience makes it far easier to create content they will engage with. There is a significant amount of people on social media, and you will dilute the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns if you try to go too broad.
Learn the demographics of your active social channels to know where you should divert your attention. For example, Facebook has a significant amount of female users, and over half of the people on LinkedIn have degrees. Understanding this type of information tells you where your products and services may be most effective.
A good segmentation strategy won’t work unless you know who your customers are first, however. A social media dashboard will give you an overview of your followers and how they interact with your channel.
Strategy 5: Engaging content
One of the harder things to do is offer engaging content to your followers while keeping to your brand’s identity. You also have to ensure you refrain from being overly promotional which can often lead to the dreaded unfollow.
Video content is rising in popularity, and product videos sway many shoppers. It needs to be engaging and to the point, however, as social media users rarely watch a video to completion. In some instances you don’t have much time anyway. Video on things like Instagram Stories is only available in quick snippets, so you have to be succinct to get your message across.
It can be very difficult to create engaging visual content continuously so sticking to a content theme may help narrow the pool of options for you. For example, how much better does an Instagram account look when all of the images match each other in some way? It’s professional, and it encourages trust in your brand.
Strategy 6: Always respond
The idea behind a social “network” is that there will be conversation, and this is something your audience expects. When they contact you via a social media channel, they are expecting a reply, and if you don’t give them one, it’ll hurt your business.
You establish trust by simply being easily contactable, and this regular customer care increases your engagement levels and helps with positive word-of-mouth.
Fast responses show your customers that they are a priority. To help you achieve this, schedule your posts for times when you are able to interact with customers. The hit rate on new posts will be within the first few hours, so posting before you go to bed may leave several unanswered questions overnight.
Strategy 7: Constantly measure your results
The best way to improve your social media marketing techniques is to monitor your progress continually. Understanding which of your posts produced the most clicks on your site lets you know what works and what doesn’t.
It is both a good and bad element of social media that new trends are always developing. It’s good because it makes it easier to keep things fresh or pave the way for new ideas, but bad because it requires constant monitoring to ensure you don’t lag behind.
The main thing to keep in mind is that you shouldn’t be intimidated by social media. Allow your business to take advantage of the exposure it offers. Use it as a good excuse to flex your creative muscle and think outside of the box a little. There is a big potential customer base out there waiting for you; it’s time for your business to grow!