How to Do Social Media Marketing: A Professional Guide for Beginners (Part 2)

Once you have built an effective marketing strategy, you should stick to it to achieve your goals. However, you will have to remain flexible to adapt to changes and make the necessary adjustments along the way. Working with experienced social media marketing experts can help you avoid common mistakes and pitfalls

Missed Part 1 of our 2 part series? Click here to read How to Do Social Media Marketing: A Professional Guide for Beginners (Part 1)

How Do I Develop a Social Media Marketing Strategy?

Social media marketing is no longer optional. When done correctly, you will reach more customers and create the image of a brand that is active and focused on communication. Building a social media marketing strategy will help you to remain focused as you work towards achieving your goals. Here is how you can develop an effective strategy.

9 Steps to Developing a Social Media Marketing Strategy

Set Meaningful Social Media Marketing Goals

A strategy is a blueprint that outlines what you will do to ensure you move from your current position and reach your goals. Without defining your specific goals, it will be difficult to develop a social media marketing strategy. Define a single or multiple goals then chalk a strategy around what will get you there. Apart from what you expect from your social web participation, it would be important to figure out why you are doing it. Your goals will affect the type of content you share and the activities you take part in.

Evaluate Your Resources

For successful execution and tangible results, your social media marketing campaign will require resources. When developing your strategy, you will have to identify the kind of resources that are needed for different activities and where they will come from. Find a good communicator to create your content, run your social media accounts and serve as the face of your business in terms of responding to questions. This move will not only help you to create the perception you desire in the minds of your customers but also increase your chances of having a successful marketing campaign.

Research Your Target Audience

Making assumptions is a dangerous game when it comes to marketing. With the demographics data and social media analytics tools available, there is no reason why you should launch your social media marketing campaign without knowing your target audience well. While data will give you insights into each of the channels, research will help you to know your audience better. Find out where your target audience spends most of its time online, the kind of content they would be interested in, their likes and dislikes, as well as their wants and needs. Make sure you are personable so that customers find it easy to interact with you.

Analyze Your Competition

In a market where there is high competition among businesses, you will have to analyze your competition if you want to stay ahead. Take time to analyze what your competitors are doing in terms of social media marketing. This analysis may include looking at their target audience, the content they share, how they engage their customers, and how they work to differentiate themselves. It is important to remember that the aim is not to copy them but to come up with a different strategy to compete in the market. With social media platforms, there is no one-size-fits-all. Once you have information on your target audience and competitors, you will be in a position to choose the best social platforms to launch your campaign.

Create Amazing Content

Great content is the lifeblood of social media marketing. Once you know where your target audience spends most of its time online and what they would like to hear from you, it will be time to give them the kind of content they are interested in. Churning out and sharing amazing content is not as easy as it sounds, but you should not give up. You will have to work hard consistently to ensure you continually deliver original, quality and relevant content. When the content is delivered in the form of conversations, you will have the attention of your audience. In the end, you will build a loyal following and come across as a credible source of information.

Make Timelines a Priority

You cannot always expect customers to operate on your time. At the same time, you should ensure that you reach and respond to your audience promptly. Prompt response will involve creating a schedule based on how often you plan to post content, the best time to post, the social media management tool you will use and the best time to engage. Making a schedule will help to ensure you do not skip important social media marketing activities. You will also be in a better position to identify any gaps and put in place the relevant measures so they can be filled in.

Focus on Quality, not Quantity

Some companies focus too much on the number of followers and subscribers they gain over a given period of time. While there is no problem in getting more followers and subscribers, you should concentrate on the number of people who are highly engaged. Having 1,000 loyal and highly engaged followers is much better than having 10,000 followers who do not acknowledge you. Today, some of the ways social media content goes viral include sharing, likes, comments and retweets. This level of engagement means that your content is likely to reach a wider audience if your followers are engaged.

Give up Control

During the early stages of your social media campaign, you will post content based on what your target audience wants to hear. As time progresses, you will need to give up control, allowing your followers to own the conversations. Giving up control will make them develop an emotional attachment to you, your business and the brand. You will build an online community of loyal customers who keep coming back to transact with you. In the same way, your visibility is likely to increase, helping you to attract more new customers.

Assess Results and Optimize

Results critical part of a social media marketing campaign and, indeed, any marketing campaign. You will have to adapt your strategy as you progress throughout the year. This strategy will require you to continuously analyze your efforts to identify what is working and what is not. Once you put things into perspective, you will be able to establish how to improve your campaign so that it delivers the expected results as well as a good return on investment. Continuous monitoring of the metrics behind your campaign will ensure you make small tweaks as opposed to huge, time-consuming changes. With social media evolving constantly, you should consider adopting a dynamic approach to marketing.

Communicate Goals, Challenges & Wins

This part of the social media marketing strategy is often ignored. However, it is just as important as any other element of developing an effective strategy. As you measure results and track progress, you should communicate the goals, challenges and wins to your team. It is important to ensure that each member of the team is in the loop in terms of what is going on. Keeping the team updated will ensure that everyone remains motivated, sticks to the strategy and makes the necessary changes whenever necessary.

Other Helpful Tips

Both new and well-established brands can take advantage of social media to build a following, generate leads and boost their sales performance. While developing a social media marketing strategy is important, there are several other tips that you can use to ensure your campaign is successful.

Work With the Right Tools

When executing a social media marketing campaign, you will have to look for ways to save time and money. This will help to boost your productivity while still ensuring you achieve your marketing objectives. Today, social media management tools make your life easier by helping to streamline your marketing activities. Through a single dashboard, you will be able to manage your accounts on all major networks, keep an eye on conversations and remain committed to responding to comments, mentions and news. This way, you will be in a position to dedicate more time and attention to your business.

Use Pictures, Video & Graphics

Text content remains an important part of any social media marketing campaign. However, you should also use visuals as often as possible, regardless of the social channels you choose. Visual content such as images, videos, GIFs and memes have a great engagement effect, meaning that they will be invaluable in helping you build a decent following. You will need to make sure that the visual content that accompanies your text message is relevant to the content. You must also ensure that the visuals will not offend your target audience.

Plan Content Ahead

Any form of digital marketing will require that you share original and relevant content. Since quality content takes time, you should plan content ahead. Plan in terms of creating the content as well as scheduling when each post will be shared. One reason for doing this is that apart from sharing content, you will also have to interact with your target audience actively. Planning content ahead leaves with enough time to engage your audience and run your business. In the end, neither your social media campaign nor your business will suffer.

Be Inspired by Successful Brands

In this world of information technology, there are numerous places where you can draw inspiration in terms of a successful social media marketing strategy. Various successful brands use different tactics on their own social media channels. As you seek to learn more strategies, you should visit the accounts of successful brands as well as those of their competitors. You can adopt a great idea and make it part of your own campaign.

Reward Loyal Customers

Rewarding customers is a great way to help you retain your existing customers and increase the level of engagement on social media. A good number of your customers will appreciate freebies from time to time. Rewarding loyal customers will help you create the impression of a brand that cares about its customers. When such customers post about their experiences on social media accounts, this will serve as a big boost to your marketing campaign.

Keep Sales Tactics to a Minimum

There is no doubt that one of the mains of running any social media campaign will be to promote your product or service. However, you should remember that people are more interested in establishing real connections and relationships with their brands of choice. Keeping sales tactics to a minimum will go a long way in helping to get more customers to trust you. Eventually, customers who trust you will buy from you. Craft your brand messages carefully, ensuring you do not post too many promotions.

Consider the Latest Trends and Changes

Successful social media marketing will involve staying ahead of the competition. However, social media and other related technologies are constantly changing, making it important to keep an eye on what is trending. Keeping up with emerging trends will help you to connect and interact better with your target audience, especially the segment that comprises younger customers. Some of the trends you should know about are Instagram stories, messaging apps and virtual reality in marketing. In addition to keeping up with these changes, you should learn more about how you can use the latest trends to boost your marketing campaign.

Partner with Influencers

There are certain customers who will go through influencer reviews before buying a product or service. With the trust that these customers have in influencers, you should consider partnering with influencers during your social media marketing campaign. Since influencers have already established their credibility and have a huge social media following, they will make it easier for you to reach a larger online audience. By recommending your brand to customers who trust them, influencers will help to place you ahead of your competitors. It will be upon you to deliver products that match the promise contained in your marketing message.

Consider Paid Social Media Advertising

Organic social media marketing is a great way to build your brand. However, you should also consider paid social media advertising as you work on promoting your product or service. Since the two strategies can complement each other, you should use them concurrently. When using these tactics, you need to know which one will work at a particular time and the method that will have a greater impact on your target audience. Continuous monitoring and tracking of progress will help you to establish where to invest your efforts for better results.

Deliver Consistently

It will be an exercise in futility if you implement all these tips but do not deliver content consistently. Any prosperous marketing strategy will involve sharing content consistently to ensure that your customers are always interested in what you have to offer. Write content with the target buyer in mind, curate content to ensure you add value and listen to both your target audience as well as your competitors. Quality content will be instrumental in helping you remain competitive and be a preferred brand in a saturated market.

Conclusion

At BizIQ, we are dedicated to offering effective but affordable marketing solutions that help small businesses to grow. With our expertise and experience, we will work with you to understand your needs and goals. We will then recommend and guide you on the best ways to maximize your social media efforts. Contact us today to request our services and grow your business.

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