Being present on social media is the way to go when striving to build a successful business. But, presence alone is not enough to achieve that. The real question is what needs to be done to create an effective social media marketing strategy that will actually work best for your business?
Well, first, there’s a lot of planning involved.
Without a specific and detailed plan, you will stay invisible on social. And, unfortunately, that is the road to failure.
Copying other brands should not be an option either because you want to stand out, not blend in. So, if you want to survive and thrive in the ‘deep social media sea’, creating an effective social media marketing strategy is a must.
And, yes, there is a lot of information available on this subject but often it is more confusing than helpful because it is not specific enough. This is the reason I want to help you develop your own effective social media marketing strategy with this 7 step guide.
The guide will show you the chronologically correct steps you should take to avoid mediocrity on social media and to get recognition for your business.
So, let’s dive in.
1. Start With The End In Mind: Define Your Marketing Goals Before You Start Working
Before you start developing your effective social media marketing strategy you have to be clear on what is it you want to achieve – what is your goal/s? Whether it is selling products or a service or something else entirely it has to be defined beforehand so you wouldn’t lose focus. As Bill Copeland said: “The trouble with not having a goal is that you can spend your life running up and down the field and never score”.
Once you determine your goal/s, write it down. Documentation is a must-have step in the process of creating an effective social media marketing strategy. It will help you stay focused and keep you on track. You will know exactly where you’re at in the process and how far you need to go.
According to this study, “People who very vividly describe or picture their goals are anywhere from 1.2 to 1.4 times more likely to successfully accomplish their goals than people who don’t.”
To make your goal settings even easier you can use SMART goals. It is an acronym that stands for the following criteria: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely. With this simple acronym, you will be able to actually achieve your goals instead of just having them written down on a piece of paper. There are even templates and examples on how to set SMART goals for your business, which is extremely helpful.
Remember, setting your goal first is the key point for any effective social media marketing strategy. Just make sure to choose your goal carefully because social media is truly like the ‘deep sea’ and if you miss your goal, you will sink very quickly.
2. Create Personas: Know Who You’re Talking To, So You Don’t Look Silly On Social
In the process of creating an effective social media marketing strategy, your job is to attract customers through your content.
Sounds easy enough, right?
Only, it is not.
Let me explain. To engage the right kind of people, just content, even if it is informative and well written, is not enough by itself. You have to know the people who you are writing for, we call them Target Audience.
And to determine who your Target Audience is, you have to create a User Persona. If you are selling different products/services to different audiences it is necessary to have a unique User Persona for each audience group. The Persona will act as a potential customer. It will help you get to know who your audiences are, how to better understand their habits and needs, as well as how to reach them. You will gain information about what content they like to read, comment on, or share, what social media platforms they use, etc.
All this knowledge is necessary to get a clear picture of how to engage them with the right type of content, product, service, whatever it is you are offering.
Make your User Persona a real person with first and last name. You can attach a photo to it as well if you want. This is important because having an image of a person in your head will help in creating more engaging, emotional and personal texts that convert because you will know exactly who is the person you are writing to.
3. Research Your Competitors: No Need To Reinvent The Wheel, Just Find Ways To Improve What Works
Researching your competitors is another clever step during the process of creating an effective social media marketing strategy. Even though you and your competitors are interested in the same audience that doesn’t mean you should copy them. Instead, use this research to learn how your audience responds to your competitors’ posts, learn from their failures and successes.
- Who your closest competitors are
- Make an extensive review of their product/service
- Where are they active the most (which social media channels)
- In which areas they are top notch and in which areas they are only average
- What type of content they are producing (are they using videos, images, how often, etc…)
The easiest way to research your competitors is, obviously, Google search. You should keep an eye on the keywords they use, phrases, and business terms. This type of analysis will help you understand who your competitors are. Then you can check them out and see what they are about.
This research is important for your effective social media marketing strategy because you want to distinguish yourself, you want to offer something new, unique. Or even if you offer a similar solution for a certain problem you can learn how to present it in a better, more effective way.
The possibilities are endless once you know your competitors well. Use their know-how to your own advantage.
4. Publish Unique, Engaging Content That Points To YOUR Website
Now that you know who your audience is and you have your User Persona it is time to start writing amazing texts! Quality texts written after thorough and in-depth research will do wonders for your effective social media marketing strategy. Valuable texts are always in demand.
But, let’s go a step further: don’t be present with the same content on different social networks. Meaning; social content is the fuel for your social success. But, if you don’t share a unique message that points to your website, you will send your audience to your competitors’ websites. And that is not good for the business.
How to avoid that?
For an effective social media marketing strategy create engaging content that can trigger the right emotions in your audience. That is the best way to boost your social media traffic and get more engagement.
So, how to create this unique message for different social networks, you might ask?
Use a social media automation tool.
Since none of the available tools on the market create content variations, I recommend Populizr.
With Populizr you can create up to 25 unique variations from a single post, meaning, a unique title, meta description, and images. In other words, Populizr helps in avoiding duplicate or spam messages and allows you to share unique content over the various social media networks. Just tweak the variations to your liking and you are good to go.
Also, this social media automation tool has a feature called Sentiment and Emotions Analyzer. With the help of this feature, you can design an effective social media marketing message that will ensure the right emotional response from your readers before they read your post. Just check the analyzer to see which emotions are conveyed- positive, neutral, or negative and change your message right there on the go, to make sure it will trigger those emotions you are looking for.
5. Include Video Content As A Part Of Your Effective Social Media Marketing Strategy
These days video content is the most powerful medium for storytelling. Using video in your effective social media marketing strategy makes your audience stay longer on your website, which means more engagement.
Video content allows you to connect with the people in a more specific way and build a strong relationship with your audience.
Just check out these video usage statistics if you are not convinced:
- 87% of businesses now use video as a marketing tool.
- 91% of video marketers consider video an important part of their marketing strategy.
- 83% of marketers say video gives them a good ROI (up from 78% in 2018.)
- 90% of video marketers feel the level of competition and noise has increased in the past year.
- 99% will continue to use video in 2019, with 88% saying they’ll spend more than they did in previous years.
So, if you haven’t paid that much attention to creating videos for your business so far, now is the time to consider using it.
I am sure you are familiar with live videos on Facebook and Instagram, which are extremely popular now. And it seems like this trend is here to stay and grow even bigger. Making videos like these will build a more personal relationship and as a result, will bring your product/ service closer to your users.
6. Be Where Your Audience Is: Pick A Few Platforms Where Most Of Your Prospects Spend Their Time
Effective social media marketing strategy requires a constant presence on social.
Yes, it is common knowledge.
But, believe it or not, some businesses still don’t care that much about social media.
Also, some businesses still think they have to be present on as many social networks as possible. Either approach is not a good marketing strategy.
Let me elaborate.
You might think: “Wouldn’t it be better to be present everywhere to get as much visibility as possible?”
Because effective social media marketing strategy doesn’t work like that.
Think about how much time you need to invest in creating social media content in the first place. Then, to adjust it to different social networks creating specific social media campaigns for those networks. And all that without even knowing if it will work because at this point, you are targeting everyone.
The point is to be present on those social media networks that are most suitable for your business type. If you try to be present all over social you will waste valuable resources without any assurance it will work well for your business. Instead, research who your prospects are, where are they present the most and market your business there.
Focusing your resources on relevant social media networks will work wonders for the success of your business because you will talk to the exact people you want to reach.
Take for instance this statistic that says “ 95% of millennials are following their brand on Facebook.”
Do some research on what social media networks your audience is using the most and be present there. Knowing where your audience is will help you focus your marketing on specific networks, which is the key to an effective social media marketing strategy. Implementing this step you will save yourself time, resources and a lot of effort, and as a result, you will get social visibility and recognition.
7. Invest In A Social Media Automation Tool
Creating a social media campaign requires some serious dedication. If you are creating campaigns for multiple networks and/or multiple clients, it can very quickly become so time-consuming that you could start making mistakes or forgetting important things. And when it comes to client work, mistakes can cost you dearly. We have all been there…
If you can recognize yourself in this scenario then this is the right time to invest in a good social media automation tool.
The tool will help you share your content on multiple networks, on the specific dates/time you will want according to your social calendar, and all that can be done from a single dashboard. Once you create your campaigns you can share them across social with just one click.
There are many useful options these automation tools offer and they are becoming more and more essential, especially when striving for effective social media marketing strategy.
The trick is, though, how to pick the right automation tool for your business?
There are so many on the market that one can easily get lost. So many tools offer too much or too little it can be really difficult to find the right one.
You are looking for a tool that will be easy to manage and will, at the same time, bring relevant and measurable results to help you boost your business.
This is where Populizr comes in. It is a social media automation tool with just the right amount of features and some unique ones (we already mentioned some in the text above) that will help you create an effective social media marketing strategy.
With Pupulizr you will able to quickly create your social updates, measure their emotional impact, and schedule them for a week, or a month, up to a year. And all that from one dashboard, with just a few clicks, in a few minutes per day.
Too good to be true? Don’t take my word for it, try it out!
Building an effective social media marketing strategy is a hard task. It takes blood and sweat and that for a long time to make it successful. And this is why it is important to get it right the first time around.
So, why learning from your own mistakes when a blueprint that will lead you in the right direction is already given?
- Start With The End In Mind: Define Your Marketing Goals Before You Start Working
- Create Personas: Know Who You’re Talking To, So You Don’t Look Silly On Social
- Research Your Competitors: No Need To Reinvent The Wheel. Just Find Ways To Improve What Works
- Publish Unique, Engaging Content That Points To YOUR Website
- Include Video Content As A Part Of Your Effective Social Media Marketing Strategy
- Be Where Your Audience Is: Pick A Few Platforms Where Most Of Your Prospects Spend Their Time
- Invest In A Social Media Automation Tool
Use these 7 steps as your building blocks for an effective social media marketing strategy that will pull you out off mediocrity and get you visibility right from the start.