Social media marketing is one of the more powerful tools businesses have at their disposal for strengthening their online presence. With that being said, running a successful social media marketing campaign requires substantial forethought and planning. The social media landscape is in a constant state of flux due to frequent platform updates, shifting audience tastes, and emerging content trends, and the only way to turn the tide in your favor is to have an appropriate strategy in place beforehand. Many companies fail in their SMM attempts because they end up neglecting this essential first step. If you have trouble coming up with a SMM strategy for your business, take a look at our step-by-step guide in the article below.
1. Set Your Goals
When coming up with a plan, your starting point should be the goal you are trying to achieve through SMM. It helps to be really specific here. Vague goals such as “attaining a bigger audience” or “raising brand awareness” are not particularly useful for determining concrete courses of action you need to take to achieve them. Instead, try to set clear-cut objectives like “increase the number of followers by 50% in the next 3 months”. This makes tracking progress much easier, allowing you to make adjustments any necessary adjustments if the situation demands it.
2. Determine Your Target Audience
The next step is to determine who your target audience is. With more than 2.5 billion people using social media on a daily basis, there are a lot of potential demographics to consider. Trying to appeal to everyone is usually something only large corporations can afford to do, so your best bet is to find a more limited subset of the audience. Age is one of the most important factors to consider when determining your target audience. Baby-boomers, millennials, or people from gen z each have their own preferences in terms of social media marketing. Lifestyle choice is another essential aspect to consider, as is income bracket, profession, and gender.
3. Find Your Content Niche
Once you have settled on an audience, you should find the kind of content they would be most likely to enjoy, while taking into account your limitations as a content producer. Different content formats have different advantages. Text is the most common form of content – it’s the cheapest to produce, but often the most difficult to do right. Images are often used to accompany text because they tend to produce a more immediate reaction in audiences. Video is quickly becoming the most popular content format on the web – video traffic is scheduled to encompass more than 80% of all internet traffic by 2021, according to a recent Cisco study.
4. Establish a Content Schedule
Creating the right kind of content is only a part of the story. You also need to know how to distribute it for maximum effectiveness. Posting erratically will leave your audience wondering what is going on with your business, making it unlikely that they will continue following you in the future. Conversely, if you dole out your content according to a strict schedule, your audience will know when to tune in for their daily dose. The best way to ensure your are delivering a steady stream of content is to establish a content calendar, specifying when each piece of your content will go online.
5. Examine Your Competitors
Social media marketing is a competitive endeavor – there are always rivals that will do their best to overtake you and claim your share of the market. To stay one step ahead of your competitors, you have to get to know them as well as you know your own company. Start by look for big names in your particular line of business. Follow it up by examining their followers, taking note of the characteristics we have outlined above. You should also take the time to analyze the kind of content they produce for social media. Top digital agencies also recommend conduct keyword research on your competitors’ SMM content – this will tell you more about their SEO strategy at no extra cost.
6. Set up Performance Tracking
As a form of digital marketing, SMM is to a large extent driven by data. What this means is that you can easily track the performance of your SMM campaigns, giving you a greater degree of control over how they perform. Be sure to only track meaningful key performance indicators such as time spent on page and conversion rates, and not vanity metrics such as total number of followers, or number of likes per post. Social media platforms have built-in tools for measuring performance, such as Facebook Insights, Instagram Insights, and Twitter Analytics. Other than these, you can also use third-party tools such as Sprout Social, Buzz sumo, or Keyhole.
Having a social media marketing plan is vital to the success of your SMM campaigns. We hope that our guide has given you a few pointers on how to get started, and we wish you the best with your SMM efforts.