In 2017, having a solid social media marketing plan that aligns with your business goals is key to creating results from your promoting. Increasing followers, engaging your audience, driving traffic to your website and generating fresh leads are all coveted goals we want from our social media strategy. With social media playing almost as big a role in purchasing decisions as does television, the benefits are profound when you execute a working, successful strategy.
In this guide, we’ll show you how to build a winning social media strategy in in 7 steps to begin experiencing favorable outcomes like boosting brand awareness, growing your subscriber list, and producing new sales.
#1 Get SMART about Your Marketing Goals
The first step to crafting your social media marketing strategy is being clear on your goals and the end results you want to create. The best way to gain this clarity is by setting SMART marketing goals; ones that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time Bound.
Here is a quick overview of what this means and how to apply it to your business:
Specific – Having well-defined goals with a definite result is important. A specific goal looks like this “We will grow our Facebook Fan Page by 1,000 new followers”, versus “We will grow our social media following”. Making it specific helps you to gauge how you’re doing along the way.
Measurable – A measurable goal has a precise date and the quantitative or qualitative attribute to give even more clarity of your marketing objective. A date puts urgency on your mark and an exact number lets you know what you’re aiming to achieve.
Achievable – Here is where you make the goal you created in the first two steps happen! Its where you design your plan on how you will attain your social media target. Keep in mind that you may have to leverage additional skillsets or agencies to help.
Relevant – Your goal should be purposeful in that it agrees with your business objectives for the year. How does increasing your followers bolster your business goals?
Time bound – Every goal should have a deadline. This helps your teamwork with fervor and intention. Putting a date on it makes it a real.
All of your content (whether videos, curated content, images, quizzes, etc.) should resonate with the pains, problems, and challenges of your audience. It is critical to have a great understanding of your target audience, who they are, and how your brand helps them to create winning content that captures their attention. Then, and only then, will your content strategy become highly effective.
The best way to defining your target audience is by creating buyer personas. This process allows you to establish a picture of what your ideal customer looks like. It will serve as a guide to producing content that appeals to this audience, thus naturally attracting qualified prospects to your brand.
From Pinterest, Facebook, to Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn, there are many social platforms to promote your brand to grow awareness and exposure. However, when publishing your content, there are a few things to note to ensuring that you’re appropriately speaking to your audience on that social network.
For example, LinkedIn is a professional site and definitely caters to B2B brands. How you present your content here would be totally different than how you would post on Facebook. Its important that you write your social media message in a way that is suitable for its followers.
Also, different content types work better on certain sites. Visual content like videos and images work well on Instagram and YouTube, while infographics are best on Pinterest. If you plan to share blog content, Facebook and Twitter and perfect outlets to attract visitors to your content.
#4 Create Engaging Content
Its official that content is king! Yet, the ultimate goal is to create content that educates, informs, and inspires your audience. Your content must be compelling and speaks to the needs of your people to get them engaged with your brand.
Here are a few tips to publishing winning content on social media:
Images excel on social media! Grow your visual content strategy by using images to promote your blog content, share behind-the-scenes photos of the office shenanigans, and by highlighting an event.
Social videos generate 1200% more shares than text and images combined (Source: Hubspot). Use videos and live-streaming platforms like Periscope, Facebook Live, and Instagram Stories to connect with your followers and share content
Infographics are liked and shared on social media 3 times more than other any other type of content. Use these detailed visuals to share data so your audience can easily digest your content
Discover what your followers want by asking them what type of content they desire to see more of
Remember, it’s called social media, so don’t forget to interact, build connections, and have fun with your followers. Simply publishing posts and walking away makes does not breed engaged from your followers. Encourage fans to comment and respond to them when they do!
Additionally, consider personally inboxing fans to initiate conversation. Like, share, and comment on their content! You’ll be amazed and pleased how these personal touches will accelerate your social media presence and online success.
#6 Find the Right Tone and Voice
Your tone and voice is what will set your brand apart from competitors. You see, your voice should be so unique that when people see your content, they know it’s you! This is what gives you the slight edge and creates a lasting impression.
Discover what your tonality and voice will be on social media. Consider your audience type (remember your buyer personas), company culture, and branding. Will you have more a professional tone to attract this audience, or will your brand be more humorous, fun, and vibrant to attract this crowd? Whatever you decide, you want to keep it consistent throughout your posts so it doesn’t confuse your followers.
#7 Track, Analyze, Test, and Measure
The focus when implementing your social media strategy is to discover what works best with your target audience. You want to test, collect data, track and analyze to ensure your strategy is producing results. In other words, when is your audience most active online? What content pieces do they tend to interact with the most?
Your social media management tool along with Google Analytics can help you determine this information to help you formulate the winning social media strategy for your business. Knowing it will position you to give your audience more of what they want…and foster better marketing.
Let’s face it, having a strong social media presence is imperative for today’s consumers. They are looking to connect and engage with their favorite brands online. The good news is that you can position your brand well by using this guide to serve in crafting your social media strategy. The key is to create your plan, execute it, test your results, and make the necessary adjustments. With consistency, you’ll experience the growth and engagement you desire on social media.