THE ROOT OF SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING – THE STRATEGY
When it comes to social media nowadays, most medium to large-sized companies have their own in-house teams to handle the daily operations of their social media. Where they will post about products or services and create content as they go. But most companies seem to fail at reaching their online marketing goal because for social media to be effective they have to set in motion a marketing plan.
Social Media marketing strategies are essentially very important for your marketing goals and plans. It doesn’t just set a goal and target for your in house marketing team but it aligns your online brand awareness, with your brand identity. It gives guidance as to what needs to be achieved with your online marketing efforts; in terms of content structure, the look and mood of your photography and videography and goals that you can achieve that will bring back a return of investment to your business.
As online marketing trends have a tendency to change and evolve, making a long term social media strategy is NOT impossible but it is NOT recommended. Why? You may ask. It’s as simple as this:
- Social media platforms evolve and change on a daily basis, what may work today may not work 5 months down the line.
- Social media marketing campaigns have to be monitored on a weekly basis to see what strategy is working and what is not, it needs to be constantly adjusted.
- Sales goals change seasonally for every business, just like sales goals, your SMM plan also needs to be updated.
It’s important to update and upgrade your strategy in alignment with the latest trends and shifts.
The first question you will need to ask yourselves and your team are what is your goal for the next 4 months. What is it that you want to achieve with your social media marketing efforts? Is it more subscriptions? More membership sales? More leads for your service?
Your goals are going to help you set up the right target for your strategy whether it be the number of postings, photography to be created, video topics to cover, and the paid media campaigns. It’s also going to help you target your key audience, setting up social media goals is as important as setting up a business plan, think of it as a ‘social media business plan’. Making it successful starts with setting up a good social media marketing plan. And if you don’t, then you will just end up wasting time and resources.
- Goals should be audience-centered. Social media is a human-centric medium. Translate your customer’s journey into audience-specific goals;
- Awareness = capturing your customer’s attention
- Conversions = driving your customer’s actions
- Advocacy = earning your customer’s referral
- Goals should be tied to organizational impact. A good goal is an outcome, not an activity.
- Goals should be SMART (specific, measurable, appreciable, realistic and time-bound).
Now that you have seen the basics of setting up primary goals, let’s look at some secondary goals that also need to be set up. For these goals, it’s very important to challenge yourself but to be realistic at the same time. They are tracked as part of your execution plan on a monthly basis, for each channel.
- Frequency: Number of posts published
- Audience Growth: New followers and fans
- Reach: Paid and Organic (or Earned/Owned) reach and impressions
- Engagement: Interactions, video views, comments, shares
- Traffic Generation: Referrals or quality visits from social media channels
- Lead Generation: Leads generated from social media campaigns or channels
- Lead Nurturing: Visits from prospects in the nurturing funnel stage from social
- Customer Acquisition: New customers closed attributed to social media campaigns
- Customer Retention: Number of engaged members in your private Facebook Group
- Customer Support: Inquiries and tickets resolved through social channels
Setting up goals is important because they help shape the parameters of your social media marketing plan, and they make sure that your business is heading in the right direction with your social media marketing effort.
Next, TARGETING THE RIGHT AUDIENCE. Typically there are 2 types of audiences members that you should be concerned about. 1. Your MVP (Most Valued-People), this is about building relationships with people that are already familiar with your brand, and about bringing in more people similar to them. 2. Your NAA (New Aspiring Audience), this segment represents the audience you want to grow into next. This group might be important for business growth in the next 5 years.
After you have identified your audience, you need to identify which CHANNEL OF COMMUNICATION you are going to use to communicate with them. While choosing a channel-based strategy it’s important to ask yourself these questions; What content do they want to see? How can your brand stand out from hundreds of other businesses? Is the platform you are using audience-specific? Take into consideration all these questions and remember the people that you are aiming to market towards and offer them something that is engaging and relevant.
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