To do well in the business landscape, youneed to build your brand and create a loyal customer base.You can do many things to build your brand and grow a loyal customer base. However, one of the best ways of doing both things is to leverage social media to your advantage.
Yes, social media helps businesses, both big and small, in brand building and nurturing a loyal customer base.
But unless you know how to leverage social media to your advantage, it is tough to get the desired results.
Undoubtedly, social media is growing at a phenomenal pace. Social media has not only connected family and friends, but it has also become the go-to place for people to know what others have to say about brands and services.
So, if you don’t use social media marketing to your advantage, you are missing big time on opportunities.
But using social media to connect with family and friends is different from using it to promote your business. If you (read businesses) want to reap the full benefits of the social media revolution, you need to make sure that you have a sound social media marketing strategy in place.
And, to formulate a sound social media marketing strategy, you can either do it yourself or hire an experienced social media marketing services company. But before getting started on social media, let us first try to understand what is a social media marketing strategy, how to grab your customer’s attention, and the platforms that are best for your brand.
What is a social media marketing strategy?
In social media marketing, you use social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. to communicate with your customers, prospects, and communities. You can do it through text, images, videos, or use any or all of them to communicate with your audience organically or through a paid campaign.
But as mentioned earlier, you need to have a sound social media marketing strategy in place to get the desired results.
So, what is a social media marketing strategy?
A social media marketing strategy is a gist of things that you intend to do and hope to accomplish on social media. The strategy helps you guide your actions and lets you know whether you are on track or not. From posting, and liking to commenting and replying, everything you do on social media should serve a purpose.
Your social media marketing or SMM strategy should factor in the differences between the social media platforms that are on offer. You need to know what works best for each social media platform. For instance, Twitter is mainly text-based, Instagram is more about pictures and visuals, and Facebook offers multiple content sharing options.
Irrespective of whether you are new to social media or not, you need to have a robust strategy in place to get the maximum out of this revolution for your business. The strategy should include what you intend to achieve and how you plan to go about doing it. You need to know your goals and what you expect to get from each platform. You need to set SMART goals for your business. SMART here stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.
Some of the important social media marketing goals for businesses include raising brand awareness, connecting with their target audience, selling directly to prospects, increasing traffic, creating leads, and providing customer support.
But how should you go about creating your social media marketing strategy?
Here are some tips that can help you create an effective social media marketing strategy:
Define your target audience – It is important to know your target audience. If you don’t know your target audience, all your marketing activities can go down the drain. You need to do a bit of research on your audience so that you can understand them well. You can create buyer personas – customer demographics, behaviour patterns, motivations, interests, and goals to specifically target your audience.
Have a content strategy – Just being active on social media cannot fetch you great results. You need to have relevant, meaningful, and valuable content for your audience so that they can engage with it. Again, do a bit of research, find out what your audience wants and come up with content that resonates with your audience.
Invest time in competitor research – It is important to know what works on social media. The best way to find out is to invest some time in your competitor’s activities. You might pick up a trick or two for your social media strategy. There is no need to copy your competitors, but you can certainly take the cue from your competitors.
Allocate your budget and resources – Resource allocation and budget are important to the success of your strategy. Your goals should fit your budget and resource allocation. You cannot put your entire team on achieving your social media goals. Also, it is not desirable to ask your sales reps to double-up as social media experts on a part-time basis.
Measure your progress – For any strategy to be successful, it is important to measure your progress. You need to know what you have achieved against the goals you have set for yourself. You have to find out the metrics (number of followers, inbound messages, etc.), and you need to measure your social media marketing efforts. Unless you measure your performance, you cannot fine-tune your efforts.
Align your social activity with your overall goals – Make sure that your social media efforts are aligned to complement your overall marketing goals.
Use social media management tools – You also need to use social media management tools so that it can automate your social posting process and allows you to track your social media efforts. Social media management tools provide reporting and analytics, which helps you to gauge the efficacy of your campaign. With these tools, you can also get useful insights about your audience. You can get to know who all are engaging with your content.
Choose the right channels for your campaign – It is important to choose the right social platform for your social media campaign. It is difficult to get the desired results if your platform selection is not right. You can test various social platforms to see which works best for your business.
Review your performance – It is vital to analyse and review your performance regularly. It is difficult to improve without reviewing your performance.
How to get the attention of your customers?
When it comes to defining your social media marketing strategy, you need to make sure that you select the right channels for your campaign. If your audience doesn’t frequent Instagram, what is the point in choosing it for your social media campaign?
Your social media campaign can only be successful if you get the attention of your customers. That is why it is important to know which social platforms your audience frequents. To drive more engagement, traffic, and sales, you need to target your audience properly.
You can use Google Analytics to find out more about your target audience. You can get to know about demographics, purchase history, and attitudinal behaviours, which can help you customise your social media campaign to get the desired results.
Also, every social media platform has its internal analytics platform that offers further insight into client behaviour. You can find out whether the viewers are interested in reading long text messages, they want to watch videos, or they are interested in statistics. When you know what the viewers want, it helps you to formulate an effective strategy.
You should also not underestimate the power of any social platform if it is giving you the desired results. For instance, it is not always necessary that you will get the best results only on Facebook because it has over two billion users. If your audience is not active on Facebook, it is difficult to get good results.
Which platforms are best for your brand?
Some of the major social media platforms that you should consider for your campaign include:
Facebook – One of the most popular platforms, Facebook was founded in 2004. It allows you to create your Facebook for Business profile, and you can use it effectively to interact with your customers. You can post and share text, images, and videos on Facebook. You can also utilise easy-to-use and helpful Facebook features like instant messaging function and ad creation facility for customer support and product promotion, respectively.
Facebook is an ideal platform for small businesses that get a lot of incoming queries that need to be responded quickly. It is also a good platform for businesses that need to target specific user groups.
According to Statista, 44% of the UK’s online population uses Facebook more than once every day.
Twitter – If you want to increase your user base, Twitter is the ideal platform for your business. Twitter also offers you the opportunity to reach new audiences. Twitter is mainly text-based. You can promote your tweets and run ads. It allows you to write 280 characters in one tweet. Twitter helps you build a direct conversation with your customers.
Twitter is best suited for small businesses because it allows you to share lots of articles and written content. Since twitter is word-based, you can use it to manage customer service inquiries.
According to Statista again, with 14.1 million users, Twitter is one of the most popular platforms that can help you reach your audience effectively.
Instagram – If you want to talk to your customers visually, Instagram is the ideal platform for your business. People on Instagram follow businesses very closely; hence, it is possible to inspire your customers to buy.
Apart from still images, you can also promote videos on Instagram. You can promote your products on Instagram and interact with their communities.
You can also have a dedicated Instagram business account and avail the extra features like contact details and call to action buttons.
If you want to target the younger lot, you should consider using Instagram because most of the population in the age bracket of 18 – 24 and 25 – 34 are on this social platform.
Pinterest – It is another visual platform that allows you to create boards of inspirational images. Whether you sell luxury holidays or offer budget interiors, you have an audience on Pinterest that are ready to grab the offers. You can also share your inspirational content on Pinterest. You can promote your products on Pinterest and buy items from it directly.Since Pinterest allows you to buy and sell, you can promote your e-commerce business more effectively.
LinkedIn – It is the social media platform for professionals. But you can also promote your business through its Company pages. Its dedicated service for small businesses allows people to locate your business services. You can share content, search for talent, and build communities on Pinterest easily. It allows you to post articles, make a contribution to groups, advertise job opportunities, and connect with your team.
Globally LinkedIn has more than 645 million users in over 200 locations.
YouTube – Video marketing is one of the most popular forms of marketing. If you use video marketing, then you cannot avoid YouTube. You can create your content or run an advertisement campaign on YouTube. Your video content can be accessed by audiences anywhere in the world. Whether you want people to access your informative video content or increase your brand awareness through your video, you can use YouTube to your advantage. You can also make videos to give your users a peep into your production process.
YouTube is one of the most popular social media channels, and businesses find it difficult to avoid this platform. It has a worldwide audience of both males and females across all age brackets.
If you are looking for a social media marketing services company, you should get in touch with vStacks Software Solutions now. We will make sure that you get a robust social media marketing strategy so that it can drive engagement, traffic, and sales for your business.