Checking out social media is the first thing we do in the morning. It is estimated that the number of global social media users is expected to reach almost 3.43 billion in 2023.(Statista, 2020) That is how integral social media has become in our lives. From a customer’s perspective, social media is not just about uploading drool-worthy pictures but a way to find out about their favorite brands and businesses.
Social media marketing is therefore a must have for businesses to thrive in the competitive world. However, it might appear overwhelming to create your social media marketing strategy since it requires advance planning and understanding. Before diving into how to create one’s social media marketing strategy, let us first understand what it means and how it can help your business.
Social media marketing refers to the use of social media platforms to connect with one’s audience in order to build brand awareness, drive website traffic and increase sales. It involves publishing quality content on one’s social media profiles, listening to and engaging with followers, analyzing performance, and running social media advertisements.
It is about meeting one’s target audience and customers while interacting with them where they are already present. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube and Snapchat are used for the same.
Different platforms cater to different purposes keeping in mind the set of audience that is using a particular platform. According to Digital Marketing Institute, Facebook is the most widely used platform with 2 million active monthly users. It has the highest user base in India with 269 million users followed by the USA having 183 million users. Facebook is actively used for brand awareness, lead generation, building relationships and humanizing one’s business. It is also useful in advertising to customized target audiences, turning potential leads into followers.
Instagram is the most preferred platform for businesses due to its interactive features. It aids in building personal connections, sharing your brand’s story and journey while understanding consumer trends. According to Hootsuite, 200 million users visit at least one business profile daily. Besides, 1 billion people use Instagram daily. This indicates the essential role played by Instagram in your social media strategy.
Twitter is a brilliant option for businesses to make announcements, break the news as well as look into the feedback received from customers. Text-based content performs better on Twitter. As mentioned by SproutSocial, 44% of 18–24-year-olds use Twitter being the major users of the platform followed by millennials which comprise 31% of its users.
The goal of using LinkedIn is a lead generation and building brand authority. It is an ideal platform for engaging leads through conversations. Here the users range more within the age group of 30 to 50 years than there are users under the age of 30.
Pinterest is usually used for creative businesses in the fields of decor, art, fashion, travel, food etc. There are more female users than male users on Pinterest.
Now that we know what social media marketing is, it is time to look at the goals you can achieve through social media marketing for your business.
Increase Brand awareness:
With significant presence of users, building one’s presence on social media has a potential to reach out to a wide set of audience. This helps your business educate followers about the product and services offered. It builds brand awareness by causing social engagement in terms of likes, comments, subscribers, shares and repost. It also allows driving traffic back to your site by adding the link in your bio or caption.
Boost conversions and generate leads:
Sharing information about one’s products and services generates leads and boosts engagement with people who are interested in your brand’s service. Going live, hosting contests and giveaways, enabling Facebook Shop and Instagram Shopping features can intensify the process of lead generation.
Build relationships with customers:
Fostering a long lasting relationship with your customers is an important aspect for the business. Social media allows the space for interaction, solving queries at the earliest and understanding one’s audience better. Features like Polls, QnA, Quizzes, live sessions and hosting giveaways help your brand connect with the audience beyond the products and services offered. This is also known as a way of humanising your brand.
Boost organic visibility:
Since it is repeatedly established that there is no relation between social media likes, shares, backlinks and direct ranking systems. However, there is a correlation between strong social media presence and how they are ranked on search engines. Therefore, a powerful online presence aids in achieving other business goals as well.
Scope for competition analysis:
It enables us to keep a check on our competitors by referring to their regular updates. It broadens our understanding of what is or isn’t working for them. It also helps in establishing your own unique voice while creating the brand’s identity in the industry.
The next step now is to plan for creating a social media strategy for your brand.
1. Goal Setting
The first stage of designing a social media strategy is to figure out the purpose of using the channels for business growth. For example, the goal can be to increase brand awareness by emphasizing on one’s business values, generating leads and sales, growth of brand’s audience, creating a community or increasing website traffic. Having clarity about goals will help you strategize accordingly.
2. Researching buyer personas and audience:
Determining one’s target audience and having an understanding of their needs is of paramount importance while developing a successful strategy. Keeping the buyer persona in mind determines the content that will attract and feed the needs of your customer base.
3. Deciding the channel and defining the important metrics:
Choosing the channel for one’s social media strategy is the most important part of your plan. It is about being where one’s audience is already and serving them through that very platform. As discussed in the introduction, different platforms are used for various purposes due to the presence of different sets of target audience present on the channels.
4. Creating engaging content:
With your competitors online, it is crucial to stand out from the crowd and create unique content that is relevant. This can be achieved by developing creative and quirky content that directly speaks to the audience. Your content is what keeps customers hooked to your brand. Besides, social media provides space for utilising user generated content as well.
5. Planning post schedule:
Now that the audience is defined and content is ready, it is time to create a content calendar and decide a schedule. It ensures consistency while keeping the touch with the audience. This planning provides a blueprint and keeps everything organised at one place.
6. Analyzing impacts and results:
Another major part of social media strategy is to analyze the impact of one’s campaigns on social media. Keeping a track of all the posts on all the channels can be done by measuring social media metrics. These include likes, followers, subscribers, shares, reach, tags and reposts. Making data your friend is essential in understanding the impact of one’s social media strategy.
Hope this blog helped in understanding the significance and how to get started. Is your social media strategy sorted?
Start with Social Media Marketing for your business, Contact SavvyTree for a free consultation.