Create a Social Media Marketing Strategy
The use of social media as part of an overall marketing plan for your business can be a very powerful tool. It can add a personal element to your business or brand and can create a positive connection with potential customers. For your business to benefit fully from social media marketing, you need a carefully planned social media marketing strategy. Before putting a plan in place, you should first take a look at your businesses overall marketing needs and decide how best to use social media to assist you in meeting those needs.
Be SMART – In order to create a social media marketing strategy that works for your business, you need to set some goals. The SMART approach is a good approach to take when it comes to goal setting.
S = specific
M = measurable
A = attainable
R = relevant
T = timed
Businesses may have different goals, but most will have some in common such as increasing brand awareness, growing its customer base, increasing website traffic and ultimately increasing sales.
Don’t fall into the trap of spreading yourself too thin. It’s best to pick one or two goals and to execute them well. Plan well and be realistic when goal setting. Your goals should be achievable and you should ensure that you have adequate resources to complete that goal.
So, where are you now? Where do you want to be? How do you get there?
Let’s take a look at where you are now
Start with an audit of your social networks. Take a look at all of your posts and activity on your social media channels for the past 6 months. See what worked and what didn’t.
Which posts got the most interaction and why?
Was there specific time of day/week that worked best?
When it didn’t work well, do you know why?
Once you have an overview of what worked well, and what didn’t, you can adjust your social media strategy to suit.
Research the competition. Keep in mind that your competitors are communicating with the same potential customer pool as you are. Check out what channels they use and which of them work best.
What are they posting about?
Are they doing anything different to you?
Is the content interesting/funny/image based/people focused?
It is a beneficial exercise to keep an eye on the competition and adjust your strategy if necessary.
Now, where do you want to be?
This is where we can get a little over-enthusiastic! Now is a good time to remind yourself of the SMART approach. It may be that your goal is to increase followers, convert potentials to customers, increase website traffic or subscribers. Again, the important this is to make sure the goals you set are realistic and attainable. Remember, your social media strategy is just one part of your businesses overall marketing needs.
So, how do you get there?
Social media marketing strategies and content are different for all businesses. Without good planning and a clear strategy, the use of social media can sometimes end up being no more than a waste of time. To ensure that you implement a successful social media strategy for your business, you should include the following:
- Choose the social channels that have maximum impact for your business. Consider the resources you have and the time you can dedicate to it when choosing the best social channels for your business.
- Branding – Ensure your branding consistent across all channels.
- Make sure your business information is accurate and complete on your social profiles.
- Plan in advance by creating a social media content calendar. Create a calendar for each social media channel you use. Choose the type of content to post, when to post it and the ideal frequency of posts.
- Know your audience and post content that is interesting to them. This increases the chances of interaction and content sharing. By creating and posting good quality original content, you will continue to engage your audience and gain additional followers.
- Post interesting content on multiple social channels so that you have a better chance of being seen.
- Keep content relevant to your business. Each and every post you make on a social network should be part of your overall social media strategy.
- Target additional followers and keep them interested after they follow your business or brand.
- Engage your potential customers by using various marketing incentives.
- Analyse your social media activity regularly. Measure traffic and interaction. Adjust your social media strategy if necessary.
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