A life without social media is quite impossible in today’s world. Every one of us has multiple social media accounts and on various social media platforms. With 3.8 billion social media users, you will have all the customers you need on these social media platforms.
However, devising a social media strategy and improving brand image is not everyone’s bread and butter. Hundreds of factors play a crucial role in this intricate orchestra!
Don’t be so frustrated where there is a will; there is a way!
We will try to summarize all the important parts of a sound social media strategy today. If you follow this strategy with a few tricks coming from your brilliant mind, you will surely succeed.
Step 1: Setting Social Media Goals and Ways to Track Them
The first step of any strategy is setting up goals. Without goals and objectives, you will feel like roaming around a desert until death.
So, how do you set up your social media marketing goals?
Have a social media account with a lot of followers?
No, no, that’s too naive and vague way of making a social media marketing strategy! Your goals have to be SMART, and you need to be able to track your progress all along the way. You have to execute the goals with strategic steps.
SMART Goals [with example]
In the world of business, all your marketing strategies should have a successful ROI (Return on Investment) rate. A SMART goal will ensure a higher probability of successful ROI.
When we are saying SMART, we are actually referring to an abbreviation. SMART means –
When your plan has all the five attributes, you can say that the plan has become SMART.
For example, having a lot of social media followers is not a SMART goal. Rather, you should plan like this –
“I will have 10,000 human followers (measurable) on Instagram (specific) in 6 months (time-bound and attainable) for my travel blog (relevant).”
You need to set such goals for your social media campaign.
Remember, setting the goal and sticking to it is the number one rule to become successful.
Once you have set your specific SMART goal, you need to track your progress. You need to use practical metrics to track your progress rather than using vanity metrics.
For example, likes, shares, and retweets are vanity metrics, and they often don’t reflect on your actual sales.
So, you should use metrics like –
- Conversion rate
- Bounce rate
- Social media conversion rate
Here, the following table should help you out –
|Actual Objective (Business)||Metrics|
|Increasing brand awareness||Followers and shares|
|Customer Engagement||Comments, likes, and mentions|
|Lead generation website||Clicks, page views, email list members|
|Customer retention||Testimonials and social media reviews|
Step 2: Study Your Audience
Your social media audience will eventually become your customers. So, you should understand your audience very well.
The better you know your audience, the better growth you can expect.
The first thing that you should do is audience profiling. You need to understand their taste, preferences, what they like, and what they don’t.
By doing so, you can curate your posts according to their preferences. Moreover, it will also help you design your products or services. Try to understand their actual wants and needs.
If you can do so, you will see an immense amount of love from your followers.
And soon, they will become your potential customers.
Gather Relevant Data
Who is your target audience? What age group do they fall into? Are they millennials or Gen X?
You need to know these basic things. You see, these factors greatly change tastes, opinions, and preferences.
Moreover, it also indicates their buying capability.
For example, if your audience falls into 13 to 19 years age range, you may get a lot of traction online. Teenagers tend to be online and active on social media platforms. The issue is that they don’t have a stable source of income and thus fail to be potential customers.
That’s why you need to choose your target audience sensibly and gather relevant data about them.
Step 3: Beating the Competition
Certainly, you are not the only one planning on a social media marketing strategy on your niche right now. There should be hundreds of others who will compete against you.
In today’s world, there is no such thing as a true monopoly market.
So, you need to be prepared to plan ahead of your competitors.
With competitive analysis, you can who your competitor is and what strategy they are following. You can also check if they are succeeding with their strategy or not.
You will get a better view of the overall market. Plus, you use that information for your benefit.
Suppose your competitor has a very strong Facebook page, and they are very active on that page. You shouldn’t focus too much on Facebook then and fill up the void of the market in any other platform, say Instagram.
In this way, you can avoid the competition on Facebook and become a dominant player on Instagram.
It’s that simple!
Social listening simply means to stay updated on your competitors’ actions. Follow them on every platform, monitor their posts and interactions.
Not only you will remain updated on their actions, but also you can counter their move with a new one.
Analyze Your Current State
What stage are you currently in? Do you already have your social media account? Or do you need to create new ones?
If you already have social media accounts, what is the current condition?
After you fully judge your current state, cross-match your progress with your SMART goals. Then, start building towards your goals.
Step 4: Setting Up a Web of Social Networks
Let’s assume that you don’t have social media platforms. So, in the fourth stage, you should create accounts on all of the social media platforms.
It doesn’t matter whether you invest in all of the platforms. But you have to have accounts in all of them. You might never know from where you will get the highest amount of attention.
Don’t make the mistake of keeping any field empty while creating the accounts. You should push the account completion bar to 100% for every account on every platform.
Determine Which Platforms to Focus
Now that you have opened accounts in all of the platforms, you need to start showing rigorous activity.
Use the data from previous steps (Step 2 and Step 3). Those data will give you an idea about which platforms to focus on.
Remember some niche better on Twitter, while some do better on Pinterest, and so on.
You shouldn’t spend on all of the accounts at once. Rather select two to three platforms and create interlinks among them.
Step 5: Being Creative – Plan, Evaluate, and Improvise Your Strategy
Now, you are all set. Now, it’s time to get down to business!
Being successful on social media is all about A/B testing. You will often have to come up with creative ideas. The thing about creative ideas is that they often offer a hit or miss solutions. Either your audience will love you, or they could simply turn their back on you and unfollow you!
If your idea doesn’t bear fruits, change your plan, and follow another. After deploying two to three different ideas, ask yourself the following questions –
- Which of the strategies is working, or not?
- Who are interacting with your account and the posts more?
- What are the ideal times to publish the posts?
- How are your strategies performing compared to your competitor?
Answers to these questions will help you find the perfect social media ideas. Remember, it’s best to use the trial and error method. If nothing works, you can detox cleanse your marketing strategy.
So, even if a huge number of posts don’t get much attention from your audience, don’t feel disheartened – it’s all part of the plan!
Having the Perfect Content Mix
Now that your account is up and running, what should you post about?
Should you only post about the sellable products that you have on your website?
It would be a big mistake.
Your audience will view you as a soulless brand who is spoiling all the fun!
You need to have a good content mix. Here’s an example –
- 50% of the posts should talk about your website or blog, and it should drive traffic to them
- 25% of the posts should be about the trending topics that are happening around the world
- 20% of the posts should lead to your sellable products (direct brand promotion)
- 5% of the posts should talk about your company culture
You can change the ratio, but following the 80-20 rule works perfectly almost always.
Being successful in social media isn’t that easy. You might feel frustrated from time to time, especially in the early days.
A lot of young minds quite after seeing their efforts ending in vein. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that their ideas didn’t have potential. It’s just that they have pushed them for long enough.
So, you should follow the famous social media stars and learn about their journey. Follow others who inspire you. Make it your hobby too.
Having a strong social media presence is a must in today’s online-based business culture. The good thing is that most of the activities for social media marketing are very natural and intuitive. Just follow your heart, and you will have a strong social media presence in no time!
About the Author!
Kathrin Garner is an enthusiastic journalist and writes article on social issues. As an activist, she takes part in FV KASA program, which is a discussion platform on the relevant cannabis topics. So, if you want to know the best how to detox your body and hair follicle detox in a short time, feel free to contact her. Also, she is a volunteer at Marijuana Detox. She searches for current issues, and writes about it to a wide range of readers.