No matter what industry you’re in, your target customers are on social media, and they want to see you there too. People spend a lot of time on social media, including the time they spend researching and engaging with brands. You want your business to be in front of them frequently while they’re browsing social platforms.
The key to social media success is defining your social media marketing strategy. Approach your business’s social media presence with a goal in mind and a detailed plan for achieving that goal, and you’ll find social media marketing much more effective and rewarding.
If you’d like a quick refresher on social media marketing before we dive into building your own strategy, you can read our blog post about it.
Define Your Social Media Goals
The first step to building a good social media strategy is deciding what exactly you want to get out of social media marketing. A good social media objective is both relevant to your business’s overall marketing strategy and attainable. There are endless ways to use social media to your advantage. Focusing primarily on one broad goal will distill and sharpen your efforts.
Reaching a larger audience to increase brand awareness is a great objective if your current primary business goal is growth. Paid ads, hashtags, and influencer marketing help get your posts in front of the right people.
You can focus on strengthening relationships with existing customers if much of your business is from repeat clients. Updates about discounts and new product releases will keep your followers interested and ready to buy again. Responding to comments and messages creates a personal connection that keeps them coming back.
Your business could instead choose to focus on networking to make advantageous business connections rather than simply growing a client base. You’ll want to post informational content and posts that speak to the quality of your business’s product. You should also follow and reach out to other businesses you admire and would be interested in working with.
Establish Your Metrics for Success
No matter what goal you set, you need a good way to measure it. The best metric for your social media strategy is one that’s clearly defined, easy to measure, and related to your goal.
Unfortunately, the easiest numbers to see on social media platforms are vanity like the number of followers or post likes. These numbers fail to provide any real insight into what impact your posts have on the people who see them, much less how that translates to positive outcomes for your business.
The metrics you should pay attention to vary depending on your goal. If you’re hoping to drive traffic to your website, monitor click-through and conversion rate. No matter what your primary objective is, you should always track these rates for paid ads. For paid social posts, click-through and conversion rate will tell you whether your return on investment justifies the cost.
Tracking social media engagement can help you keep the pulse on your relationship with your existing audience. Paying attention to comments and DMs rather than just likes gives you greater insight. Social media marketing software can provide more in-depth insights than social platforms’ analytics.
Depending on your objective, you may also consider more subjective metrics. If your main goal is networking, for example, you can track the number of connections you’ve made and which of those have led to some kind of collaboration.
Whatever metric you use, you will want to set a specific target to achieve within a designated time period. Maybe you want a 10% click-through rate on all paid ads for the next month or a 50% increase in engagement as compared to last quarter. This specificity will make it easy to measure progress and set new KPIs next time.
Understand Your Target Audience
After you have a goal and a way to measure it, you need to plan out how to achieve it. In the world of social media, this means what, where, and when you’ll be posting. To reach your ideal customers, you have to be posting the type of content they like to see on the social networks they spend time on. You need a clear understanding of who your ideal customers are to guess what social media content they would like to see and where they’d like to see it.
Think about who you most want to reach on social media. Is it college students? Other businesses? Anyone living within a ten-mile radius of your business location?
The more specific you are here, the more tailored your social media presence can be to the audience you most want to reach. If you have personas for your ideal customers, this is a great time to reference them, and if not, this is a great time to make some! It will be helpful to have someone in mind as you curate content for your pages.
If you have social accounts already, check out your current social media following. How well does it align with your ideal follower base?
Many social media platforms will provide insight into your following’s demographics. Social media tools like Buffer can help you view demographic information from across all platforms in one place. This will help you make a more informed decision about which platforms to add, if any, and what to change about the way you’re posting.
Plan Your Social Media Content
With an objective and target audience in mind, it’s time to plan your content. This is where your strategy becomes reality, so every decision you make is important.
What Social Media Channels to Post On
Where is your target audience most likely to spend their time online? You’ll have the most luck networking with other businesses on Linkedin, but college students are easier to find on TikTok. You want to meet your audience where they are.
Consider the types of content that make the most sense for your business to post when choosing a platform as well. If your business is centered around aesthetics, like a fashion retailer or a graphic design company, a visual platform like Instagram will be the easiest to post on.
Posting on multiple platforms will get you the most reach. Devote extra effort to the ones that align best with your business, goals, and target audience for the biggest payoff.
What Social Media Content to Post
To make an impact on these platforms, you need to share high-quality content. As a rule, the majority of your posts should be informational or entertaining. Only about one in five should be purely promotional.
What kind of educational or informational content you post should depend on the social network and your objective. No matter what, it’s best to post a variety of types of content so that your audience stays entertained regardless of their individual preferences.
Within that variety, your brand should have a consistent voice. Your business should have a consistent tone and “personality” in text posts. All your visual posts should look cohesive as well. Use consistent colors, fonts, filters, and image editing styles to build brand recognition.
In 2022, you need to include short form video in your content schedule. Most, if not all, platforms are prioritizing short form video, especially in discovery sections of their platforms. Potential customers on social media are likely to find and pay attention to you through your short form video content.
If you’re posting to a business audience on Linkedin, you’ll want to share inspirational content. You can also highlight your own business wins, and share tips and tricks of the trade. A mix of text, photo, and video content will serve you well.
Post frequently and interact with others to make the most of Twitter. Reply to tweets, retweet the ones that make sense for your business, and respond to accounts that interact with you.
Instagram users like to see a mix of images, videos, and live or story content. They also love to see human faces. Showing your staff at work or your happy customers with an announcement in the caption makes for a great Instagram post.
Well-designed graphics capture attention as image posts. Graphic design tools like Canva can be used to quickly create visually appealing social media content.
You can create infographics to share posts on visual platforms like Instagram without needing a photo as a focal point. Your audience will also get some of the information in your caption regardless of whether they pause to read the full thing or not.
When to Post on Social Media Networks
Posting regularly will keep your business in your followers’ feeds and on their minds. The definition of “regularly” will vary depending on your preferred platform and your business’s needs and abilities. No matter what, it’s best to plan for at least a few posts a week.
Investing in a social media marketing tool for your business will make maintaining a regular social media posting schedule much simpler. You can schedule as many posts as you’d like ahead of time and post them directly to all of your different platforms.
Many social media marketing products have analytics features to help schedule your posts. Zoho Social’s SmartQ, for example, gives you the best time to post based on your most recent audience engagement data. It’s never certain exactly when the majority of your audience will be online, but these features can help make sure your posts get the widest reach.
Plan to Engage With Your Audience
Aside from the sheer amount of time users spend on social platforms, the greatest value of social media marketing is its potential for interaction. Your potential customers can’t have a dialogue with a television ad, but they do tweet at Wendy’s or the dictionary and expect a response. When your following is smaller than that of the Wendy’s twitter account, it’s even more important for your followers to feel a personal connection to your brand.
You can keep your existing customers happy and attract new ones by remaining attentive when they engage with you on social media. Respond promptly to DMs – a good rule of thumb is within 24 hours at most.
Reply to comments on your posts or posts you’re tagged in when it makes sense to do so. It’s especially important to respond to questions about your business or product. A helpful answer to a social media question can be enough to convert a potential customer.
You may find some great user-generated content for marketing when you engage with your audience as well. People take to the internet to express their opinions about businesses and products. We would know – we’re a review site! Re-posting praise for your business from actual customers is about as genuine as marketing can get.
Social media marketing software has features designed to assist with audience interaction. You can see messages from all your business’s social channels in one inbox and respond to comments from the same place. You can even set up a social monitoring search to see what people are saying about your business when they don’t tag you.
Sticking to Your Social Media Marketing Strategy
Creating a good social media marketing strategy for your business requires a lot of thought and preparation. The time you put into planning your strategy out in detail is absolutely worth the time, though. Each new post you make will help you make clear, measurable progress toward your business goals.
If you’d like some more tips on developing a social media strategy for your business, check out this video.
Have you used social media marketing software to help your business stick to its social media goals? Leave a review to let others know how it worked for you.
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