Every company needs a social media presence because building a brand without one is extremely counterproductive to achieving any digital brand equity. A clearly defined social media strategy is a crucial element of your business’ overall marketing strategy. Without a solid strategy or roadmap, your social media efforts are destined to see little to no results.
Social media has other benefits beyond reaching a vast audience. It enables you to:
- Connect with clients both new and old.
- Improve your brand recognition.
- Raise sales.
A well-thought-out social media strategy is invaluable because it not only offers an insight into your potential clients but also provides various unique opportunities in which you can personally engage with them.
Your social media strategy should also define the scope of your social media management. This can be a daunting task, especially if you do not have social media-savvy employees, in which case you might have to employ a social media consultant or an agency to guide you through the process of establishing your team. Regardless of your approach, the value it provides cannot be overstated.
Here are five essential elements of a successful social media strategy that not only improves your brand image but also helps it grow sooner than later.
Setting Social Media Strategy S.M.A.R.T goals
The first step of your social media strategy should be to define S.M.A.R.T goals. These goals are carefully designed to support your business and create a project structure that outlines exactly what you want to achieve by a specific time. Every brand has a goal; some brands may want to sell better quality goods than their competition, while others want better ROI from their marketing campaigns. SMART is helpful because it doesn’t tell you what to do. It is helpful because it shows you precisely how you can do it in the most efficient way possible.
SMART stands for:
- Specific- Unambiguous and well-defined goals that are important to your brand, like generating better leads from among 30+ old individuals.
Ask yourself- What do I want to accomplish?
- Measurable- A meaningful way of Measuring your progress.
Ask yourself: How can I measure how close am I to my goals?
- Achievable- Simple/complicated but Attainable goals that are not impossible.
Ask yourself: Do I have the resources for this task, and have others succeeded before me?
- Relevant- Reasonable and well-researched goals that require a result-based approach.
Ask yourself: Will the goal positively impact my brand by any measurable factor such as, increase in ROI, better engagement on social media, higher retention, etc.
- Timely- Well-defined timeline with and starting and ending date.
Ask yourself: When do I start and what is my deadline? What are the milestones along the way to achieving this goal?
SMART is an actionable strategy. It provides clarity, focus, and motivates you to take action at every step of the journey.
SMART is an important framework for anyone interested in social media marketing because it helps you,
1. Identify the needs of your brand.
2. Create a content calendar to track and measure the progress of your campaign.
3. Put forth realistic goals that are relevant in your industry.
4. Create a timeframe for all your goals to set an atmosphere of urgency.
Social media strategy lacking insights and in-depth audience research is useless. People use social media because they like engaging content and interaction. Therefore, you need to put out engaging content that is naturally intriguing.
The purpose of audience research is to get answers that will spearhead the development of your social media marketing campaign by answering questions like these:
- What do your costumes find interesting?
- What products are they currently using? Why?
- What are their pain points?
- Which problems are they resolving with the current product?
- What features do their current providers lack?
The goal of a successful social media strategy is not only to figure out the needs of your target audience. Its goal is to predict their future needs and create engaging social media posts to which they are naturally attracted.
1. Quantitative analysis- Statistics-focused research based on direct surveys, eCommerce transactions, and web analytics.
Importance- A large data pool helps in discovering the buying patterns/trends and provides a deep understanding of the target audience.
2. Qualitative analysis- Emotion-focused research based on study groups, face-to-face video interviews, and case studies.
Importance- Insight that helps you create better products that are more in line with consumer expectations.
3. Social media analysis- Social media posts offer a pile of information related to age, sex, gender, ethnicity, geography, social and cultural values, and much more.
Importance- Not only it contains a wide variety of responses, but it also reveals the kind of audience that are interested.
Audience research is not only limited to customer needs. It is about identifying what you are already doing and what you need to do to make a difference.
Key metrics are measurable values that demonstrate how efficiently you are achieving key business goals. The data usually consists of generated leads, social media engagements, newsletters subscriptions, and much more.
A KPI (Key Performance Indicator) on the other hand, is a group of interconnected key metrics. It contains various metrics that affect a single aspect of your company.
Imagine yourself as the owner of an IT company. You may be interested in tracking the number of visitors that:
i) sign up for newsletters.
ii) request retainer offers.
Here is what you do if you want to establish a KPI:
1. Set a strategic goal
Track Lead generation
2. Key metrics that need tracking:
Newsletter signups and retainer offer requests.
3. Conditions or triggers
Users that see the “Thank you for signing up…” page indicating a successful subscription, and users that click on the Request button for a retainer.
4. Creating the KPI
You can group the two aforementioned key metrics to form a KPI. In this case the KPI would be called Lead Generation.
But that’s not the end. You can add more metrics such as offers availed, coupons used to further diversify the scope of your Lead Generation KPI. That way, you can track multiple metrics under a single KPI which is both efficient and effective.
KPI’s are integrally connected to a business’ success. They are not arbitrary objectives that some random individual finds to be important. KPIs are the living diagnostics of your company. They can provide round-the-clock feedback on every aspect of your business and having one in place will give a massive boost to your social media management team.
Social media is not just about accumulating followers across different platforms. Engaging posts encourage people to connect with your brand, on more than just a buyer-seller basis.
When you create engaging content, for instance, jokes, memes, trivia, trending events, polls you are expressing your views to millions of people worldwide. Only this time, instead of solely associating your brand with your services, they will now perceive you as a source of entertainment/information/motivation (based on the type of content you release on a daily basis).
In other words, they will TRUST you and think of you as more than just an eCommerce company, or a pizza delivery service. You are that cool brand that shares motivational quotes they look forward to every morning.
1. Start with a dialogue– Treat your customers as more than just customers. Your posts should be kind and welcoming. The best way to engage is to share info that is relevant to your target audience.
Promotions are your least priority at this stage. Put them at the end of the post. Once your customers trust you, they will click that link without much convincing.
2. Be present– Few content is more relevant than current affairs. People will more likely engage with your posts if it contains traces of current trending events, presented in a unique and humorous way.
3. Add attractive Images– People are naturally drawn to intriguing images. Create attractive pictures that go well with your posts and are in line with your brand values at the same time.
4. Be Consistent– One surefire way to boost your engagement is to be consistent with your posts. Gradually people will get into the habit of reading your posts and become one of your loyal followers.
Social media is not only cost-effective, but it boosts brand awareness, grants your brand authenticity, and expands your market to a worldwide scale. With the help of the right social media consultancy, you will see significant ROI on your marketing expenses.
Timing is everything when it comes to social media management. Offering consumers travel vouchers in the middle of a global pandemic is not the best idea.
For instance, if Halloween is just a few days away, start implementing a spooky theme in your posts such as a scary background image or jokes or trivia related to the event. You will gain a lot of engagement if you manage to do it consistently.
Timely content vastly boots your online engagement and shows that your brand is authoritative and well-informed about the present.
The best way to assess what is working and what is not is via A/B testing. Let us assume you are working on a video for Black Friday. Now the best way to go about doing this is to create two videos instead of one and showing them to two consumer groups.
The one with more views and engagements clearly had elements that resonated with your customers. You can conduct a short survey (offer gift cards for participation) to pinpoint exactly what they liked and didn’t like about the video and focus on those aspects in your next project.
The internet is a very volatile place. Trends burst out of nowhere, only to die down after a few days of overwhelming popularity.
While some get lost in the never-ending abyss of a buzz and craze, others go on to reshape social media forever. Keeping track of every popular trend is not possible for the CEO or owner of any business.
Social media consultancy are experts in this field and can enhance your social media strategy through engaging content, influencer outreach and data-driven approach to your social media campaigns. They are up to date with the latest buzz and can help organizations achieve their goals on various digital channels in the most efficient and cost-effective way possible.
The right social media consultancy offers several benefits. They are experts in writing compelling social copies that will:
- Increase exposure
- Boost traffic
- Create loyal fans
- Generate leads and improve sales
- Improve search rankings
- Reduce marketing costs
Now that you are aware of the essentials of a successful social media strategy, it is time to experiment. Social media marketing takes time and the sooner you start the better. It is a long process involving documentation, research, analysis, extrapolation, and content creation.
It will take a while to get into the rhythm of doing things, but the future rewards will far outweigh the efforts you are putting into creating this effective pipeline of relevant and engaging social media content.