Many online businesses are adopting social media marketing solutions as a way to increase web traffic. To ensure the success of the strategy, it needs to be formulated well using the below-given steps.
All businesses with an online presence know and understand the importance of adopting a good digital marketing social media strategy. But few know how to ensure its success or what goes into its formulation. A social media strategy is a summarization of everything that one plans and hopes to achieve. It also proves to be an excellent parameter for judging the success or failure of the strategy.
Needless to say, the more specific, precise and concise the strategy is, the better are its chances of being effective. Lofty and broad ideas are generally impossible to attain and measure.
Creation of a successful social media marketing strategy includes the following 5 steps:
1. Choosing business-aligned social media marketing goals: There are two ways to ensure this.
- Adopting S.M.A.R.T strategy: This makes the goals and objectives measurable and ensures good ROI by making them:
- S for Specific,
- M for Measurable,
- A for Attainable,
- R for Relevant and
- T for Time-bound.
This S.M.A.R.T goals framework will help formulate actions and also lead to the attainment of real business goals.
- Tracking meaningful metrics: It is easy to track vanity metrics, including the number of followers and the garnered likes, but it is very difficult to justify their real value. Thus the focus should be about keeping a track of the following essential social media metrics like:
- Awareness as it illustrates the current audience as well as potential ones,
- Engagement that shows user-interaction with the content posted,
- Conversions demonstrate the effectiveness of the adopted social media marketing solutions and
- Consumer reflecting what the current active audience feels and thinks about the brand.
2. Researching the audience: The ability to know the demographics, likes, dislikes, etc. of the audience provides the key to a good social media strategy. The way content is created and the likes, shares and comments it garners help convert followers into customers. This can be achieved by:
- Creating audience personas as real people with real needs and wants and
- Gathering valuable data and information using social media analytics.
The insights obtained help to refine the strategy adopted and make it audience-centric.
3. Knowing everything about the competition: This is extremely critical as it enables strategy makers to understand what is working for competitors and how they are leveraging on social media to maximize their gains. Knowledge about a competitor’s action in this regard can be obtained by:
- Conducting a competitive analysis to understand who the competition is and spot opportunities in the process.
- Using social media listening to know what competitors are sharing and how the audience is reacting to it.
This intel provides food for thought which ultimately ensures the making of an effective social media marketing strategy.
4. Conducting a social media audit: The efforts made to implement any social media solution needs to be evaluated regularly and continuously. This helps strategy makers understand the effectiveness of the strategy adopted by answering questions related to:
- What is working and which parts are not performing
- The audience who is engaging with the concerned brand
- What networks the target audience generally use
- How does the strategy compare with the competition
A lookout also needs to be kept for imposter or fake accounts that might be using the same business name or names of the products showcased. These accounts need to be reported immediately as they are extremely harmful to the adopted social media strategy.
5. Setting up accounts and improving profiles: Different social media platforms require different strategies. Deciding on which social media account to use helps refine and define customized strategies. Writing out simple one-line mission statements for each social media channel individually helps keep the focus retained on the social media platforms used.
Once the accounts and networks have been set up the focus should shift on the profile. Ones that are already existing need to be improved upon or new ones created keeping in mind the following points:
- All profile fields need to be filled out,
- It needs to include high ranking keywords relevant to the business and
- Branding needs to be consistent across accounts and networks to make it recognizable.
After the above steps have been taken into consideration, inspired content needs to be posted. The correct mix of genres helps build interest and keep the audience engaged. Repetitive and boring content makes the audience lose interest. Social analytics platforms help understand the performance of the content posted and should thus be used. Regular evaluation of the content posted also helps to understand its effectiveness.