7 Steps to a Great Social Media Marketing Strategy
Most small business owners I talk to understand the need to have a social media presence, but are overwhelmed at the thought of keeping up with posting on multiple channels. The conversation goes something like this:
“I need help with my social media. I started out strong, but it became too much, and I just gave up.”
“What kind of help do you need?”
“I just need someone to run it for me. Post a few times a week.”
Everyone knows they need a social media presence to compete with larger brands. But is it enough to just “post a few times a week”? Is posting frequently the only consideration when hiring someone to run your social media?
Most small business owners are unaware of the potential power of their social media pages. To them, social media is a nice-to-have but not an essential tool for driving revenue, and engaging customers. According to this survey, 74% of consumers say they rely on social media to guide purchasing decisions. And customers who engage with a brand on social media tend to spend 40% more with them in the long term.
It is essential in today’s market to not only have a social media presence but to have a solid plan for how to harness the power of social media for your company’s long-term success. Here are some steps you can take to develop and execute a social media marketing strategy that will yield results.
Set S.M.A.R.T. goals for your campaign. You already know what those letters stand for. But have you considered it would be a good idea to use them to set goals for your social media? Just think about how much stress it would alleviate if you didn’t have to think about posting twice a week from now until infinity. If you had time-bound, specific, measurable goals for your posting, just like you have with other areas of your business, you could focus your energy in short targeted spurts. Use the stages of your customer journey to determine the goals of each campaign – are you focusing on awareness, consideration, conversion, or advocacy?
Set KPIs to measure your results. If your campaign is focusing on awareness, for example, you can set goals to increase follows, shares, and likes. If your campaign is focusing on consideration, you can set goals to increase click-throughs to blog posts or a landing page. Use the social media platform’s analytics, and your own website’s Google analytics to track your KPIs throughout the campaign.
Create a customer persona for each campaign. When you have a specific customer in mind, it will help you narrow down your channels, media type, time of day, tone, and frequency. Most marketing mistakes occur when you try to appeal to a broad audience. The more specific and personal you can be, the better results you will get.
Plan your content. Once you know why you are posting (goals) and who you are talking to (persona), you can begin planning what you will say. While It isn’t necessary to write out the full content of each post in the planning phase, the more detail you can put down about the subject matter, the easier it will be to follow through during the campaign.
Make a calendar. It is important to consider your bandwidth here. Make sure your content schedule is reasonable for you or your team to execute. There are several templates out there for social media content calendars. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter which one you use. Choose the one that you think is easiest to use, or create your own. Then stick to it!
Schedule your posts. Some platforms like Facebook allow you to schedule posts ahead of time. It might also be helpful to use a tool like Buffer or Sprout Social to schedule a week’s worth of posts on multiple channels. This allows you to spend longer focused time crafting quality posts, then moving on to the tasks of running your business throughout the week. A word of caution here, though. Make sure you are checking your channels frequently and responding to comments, as today’s customers are accustomed to brands interacting through social media.
Measure and adjust. Keeping the goals and metrics in mind, set reminders on your calendar to check your progress throughout the campaign. If you are not moving at the desired pace, or if you are not achieving the desired outcome, adjust your tactics along the way to make sure you reach your goals.
Developing a solid social media marketing strategy is a low-cost investment that will yield long-term organic results for your business. If you’ve experienced these results from social media, and wouldn’t mind sharing your secrets, comment below. If you are still overwhelmed with the thought of adding this to your already full plate, let us know if Intone can help.