Why do most businesses consider putting a social media marketing strategy into place?
It begins with wanting more traffic to your website, more clients through your doors, and more profit for your bottom line.
Businesses need business to succeed. And when you look at what social media has to offer, it’s hard not to get excited. Datareportal stated in their Digital 2020 July Global Snapshot that:
- More than half of the world now is on at least one social media platform
- About 4.5 billion people use the internet, with 346 million users coming online in the last 12 months
- More than 5.1 billion people use mobile regularly
That’s a lot of potential!
But with that much potential, you’ll also face stiff competition no matter what social media platform you choose to use. If you start without a plan, your results will be less than stellar at best.
So what do you do? Here are six steps to help you get started creating a profitable social media marketing strategy.
Step 1: Discover your business purpose on social media
When we asked a potential client the other day about the purpose of being on social media, they stated it was to gain more business. That isn’t specific enough.
In the end, all businesses use every marketing tool at their disposal to gain business. But you have to understand the ultimate purpose of each tool to use it in its best manner.
Have you ever visited Facebook for the sole purpose of buying something? Of course not. We use Facebook to stay engaged with our communities. We go there to check in with our private groups, to see what friends and family are posting in our newsfeed.
But that doesn’t stop business from transacting. It’s easy to click and read, following a trail that leads you to purchase something new.
All of that is carefully contrived. You have to understand the platform, and the reason people use it. Then and only then should you build your own platform to meet the goals.
Your ultimate goal may be sales. But if you start with a deeper reason, you’ll build a stronger customer base overall. Consider setting objectives such as:
- Increasing web traffic
- Brand awareness
- Increase retention of clientele
- Improve customer support
- Increase media exposure
- Boost customer loyalty
- Building an engaged community
The bottom line of each of these strategies is to grow your business. But they each do so in a unique way. This is how you get to the heart of what your customers are looking for, and be more specific in how you communicate.
Step 2: Who is your ideal customer?
Who is your customer base? What do they look like? What do they want?
Now approach it from a different point of view. Who is your ideal customer in the online world?
Often, these are two separate groups. That’s because if you’re a brick and mortar store, your drive-by business is based on a few miles around your community. Online opens you up to a much broader world.
Which means you can get very specific about who you want as a customer.
In order to give people what they want on social media, you have to know as much as you can about who they are. Their age. Where they live. What careers they are in. Where their pain points are.
The more you “see” them, the more you can give them what they want.
Step 3: Choose the right platform
Just because there are billions of people on Facebook, doesn’t make it the right platform for you. There might be other social media sites better suited for the type of products and services you offer.
This is where your customer avatar comes into play. When you define your ideal customers, you have a demographic to target. You can use that to flush out what social media platform you should spend time on.
Don’t worry about creating a strong presence on all of them. Pick one and build. As you master the techniques of that platform, only then should you expand and include another.
Step 4: Establish your content topics
Once you have chosen your social media networks, it’s time to plan your content.
This isn’t about creating content that goes viral. Instead, it’s about creating content the people who choose to follow you will love. One hundred raving fans will always be better than thousands who are only aware of you because of your “fun” or “entertaining” videos.
Some of this does come from trial and error. But you can also use your competition to see what your audience wants. If you have a large enough group, you can also ask them with a survey.
It’s also important to keep your own preferences in mind. If you hate being in front of a camera, don’t understand editing, and have no desire to learn, putting up weekly videos will be difficult at best. You’re more likely to let your marketing plans slip if it doesn’t excite you to produce it each week.
Step 5: Set up a social calendar
Sadly, many businesses choose to create content on the fly. That doesn’t allow you to think about your viewers and engage with them. It also makes it more difficult for you to create content on a regular basis.
A social calendar gives you the ability to plan weeks – months – in advance. You can schedule by season, by holiday, or by events. Have a new service coming out in a few months? This gives you ample time to prepare.
It also allows you to brainstorm how your content will flow together. Maybe you can create a series of posts that link together, and provide higher quality content for the viewer. It also provides a reason for them to check back to your channel.
Content includes many different things:
- Blog posts
- How to
By having a plan in place, you can become aware of what you’ll create in the future, making it easier for your production process overall.
Step 6: Track your results
This is one of your most important steps. If you don’t know how your content is being received, you’ll have no idea of how it’s impacting your business. Tracking your results gives you an idea of what’s working, what’s not, and clue you in to ways to improve.
Even the best social media marketing strategy should be tweaked and changed. It’s never set in stone. Instead, you should monitor it, watch for ups and downs, and adjust according to what the market holds. You’ll grow and learn, and change as technology changes too. It’s the only way to ensure you stay up with the times.
Do you have a social media marketing strategy in place?