Social Media Marketing
Social media is one of those all encompassing terms that refers to any kind of public profile or page on the Internet. Perhaps one of the best things about social media is its ability to connect consumers and businesses. In this ever growing digital world, it’s imperative that businesses learn how to effectively create and manage customer relationships online.
That’s where social media marketing comes in. It is essentially the process by which companies gain traffic or build awareness of brands using social sites. It uses sites like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and the like to reach a wider audience of potential consumers. Different sites require different kinds of online activity. Companies typically use Facebook as a two-way communication stream in which employees share updates or photos. Additionally, customers can comment, post their own stories, or RSVP for events on the firm’s Facebook page. On the other hand, Twitter profiles are best for short messages or frequent, quick updates. Companies should consider Instagram when they have a product that is aesthetically pleasing or if they want to visually create a people-friendly brand.
That being said, being “everywhere” online isn’t the best way to effectively market yourself online, despite what many may think. Below is your step-by-step guide on how to effectively engage in a social media marketing strategy.
1. Self assessment
Before you get started creating any strategy, it’s a good idea to take a step back and assess your current situation. What social media platforms does your company currently use? How often are you posting on each platform? What is the current level engagement? How do your profiles stack up against those of your competitors? Finding the answers to these questions is an easy and necessary step that can help you immensely down the line.
2. Know your customer
Imagine who you’re selling to, or who you’re trying to attract to the business. The more specific you are on this step, the better off you will be. For example, if you narrow down your ideal customer to “college student”, you’re casting a much wider net than you need to be. If, however, you narrow down your customer to male college students between the ages of 19 and 22 who are the most active on Instagram and who have an interest in water sports… you get the picture. It’s much easier to target a customer if you’re looking for the right kinds of people in specific places.
3. Set your goals
As with the second step in our plan, specificity is ideal here. You are much more likely to meet your goals if they have additional information embedded into them. One of the best templates with which to create your goals is the SMART guideline. When creating your goals, make sure they are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. Consider the following goals. “We hope to increase our level of engagement on social media”.
“We hope to increase the number of followers on our Twitter account from 500 to 950 in twelve months”. The former is quite vague, while the latter provides you with a clear framework with which to measure progress down the line.
4. Choose your metrics
It’s impossible to track progress in your strategy if you don’t know what you’re looking for. What are your priorities? Are you going to look at brand awareness? Amplification rate? Click through rate (CTR)? Bounce rate? There are a number of metrics to choose from. Read more here for information regarding all of your options.
5. Create your accounts
And make improvements to your existing ones! This is also a good time to decide which platforms make the most sense for you. Think back to step number two, knowing your customer. If your ideal customer is a young college student well versed in social media, you may do well to create accounts on all kinds of platforms! However, if your ideal customer is a fifty five year old mother with a full time job, you may want to ditch Twitter and opt for Facebook or something similar. Regardless of where you are, make sure that your profiles have high quality images and up to date information!
Now for the interesting part. The most important thing with this step is keeping that ideal customer in mind – curate posts, updates, and photos that they want to see. Remember, if your content isn’t relevant to your customer, then you’re doing it wrong! You can post anything from interviews to company changes to infographics. As long as your target audience is interested, the sky is the limit.
7. Re-assess…again…and again…
Now that your accounts are active and you have SMART goals (and metrics to track their progress!), there’s only one thing left to do. Test your current methods of achieving your goals, evaluate their effectiveness, and, if necessary, adjust them. Social media marketing is all about evolving with your audience to keep them engaged. Odds are, you’ll be able to make tweaks to your plan to see better results.
Trying to run a business when you’re not tech-savvy can be dizzying. Luckily, there are a lot of companies out there who can help. Try browsing some marketing agencies that can help you with your social media marketing needs on our website. Looking for more custom recommendations, or to incorporate your own company? Start your journey here!