Social media serves as a powerful communication tool, enabling people to connect with friends and family online and offering businesses, including yours, a direct line to customers.
However, to truly leverage the full potential of social media, you need to develop a strategy or plan for effective social media marketing.
To help you out, we’ve put together a guide on how to create a good social media marketing strategy. We also explain why this approach is helpful.
What is Social Media Marketing?
Social media marketing involves using platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to promote your business and connect with your customers.
In 2020, 3.6 billion people were on social media, and this number is expected to rise to 4.41 billion by 2025. Therefore, if you’re not using social media, you’re missing a significant opportunity to reach these people.
Furthermore, the aim of social media marketing is to increase awareness of your business, attract more visitors to your website, and boost your sales. This method is effective for businesses of all sizes and can greatly enhance your brand’s visibility. Importantly, the key is to develop a strategy that resonates with your customers and truly represents your brand.
However, the challenging part is creating this strategy. With many potential pitfalls, you might wonder how to craft a plan that is effective and achieves the results you desire.
To help, we’ll first explore the many benefits of social media to emphasize the importance of a good strategy. Then, we’ll guide you through creating your own successful social media marketing plan.
20 Benefits of Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing offers numerous benefits, making it essential for any successful business to maintain a presence on at least one social platform.
Let’s explore why social media has become vital for businesses aiming to grow and connect with their community.
1.Tell Your Brand Story
Social media offers a great chance for you to tell your brand’s story your way. Firstly, use your bio, posts, and unique voice to influence how others view your brand.
Then, create genuine and engaging posts and videos that share your brand’s mission and backstory. This approach helps in building strong connections with your followers and customers.
2. Create Brand Recognition
Creating cohesive social media content that matches your branding helps increase brand recognition online. Also, make sure to brand your social media profiles in a consistent way to be recognized on all platforms.
This means designing similar graphics, profile photos, cover photos, calls to action, and more.
3. Keep Customers Informed
Use your social media profiles to announce company updates, new products, services, features, and other launches. Additionally, share news about hiring or holiday closures on social media.
By strategically using social media for these updates, you build trust with your followers.
4. Increase Brand Awareness
Posting and engaging with your audience on social media exposes your brand to a wider audience. Furthermore, when followers share your content, they introduce your brand to their networks. This enhances brand awareness and helps more people discover your business.
5. Build a Community
Social media is ideal for gathering your loyal customers and audience to form a community. Additionally, engage actively with your audience on social platforms or create a social media group. This approach to building a community boosts brand loyalty and provides continuous customer feedback.
6. Attract Organic Traffic
Social media is a powerful tool for driving free, organic traffic to your website. While it offers affordable paid options, effective social media strategies significantly increase website traffic from social platforms.
Social media also enhances your SEO, improving your Google ranking and attracting more organic traffic to your site.
7. Offer Customer Service
You should monitor and respond to online mentions of your brand, as consumers often discuss their experiences with companies. Use your social media as a customer service tool to address issues promptly and show your audience that your brand is supportive and responsive.
8. Collect Social Proof
Save and share positive customer reviews and mentions from your Facebook Page or other online sources as social proof. Since 91% of consumers are more likely to purchase from businesses with positive reviews, showcasing your social proof can significantly boost sales.
9. Establish Industry Thought Leadership
Posting educational and credible content on social media can position your brand as a thought leader in your industry and a trusted information source. This boosts word-of-mouth marketing and can enhance your website’s SEO as more sites link to your content as a reliable resource.
10. Observe Competitor Strategies
Social media is a valuable tool for observing competitors. Analyze their social media platforms to understand their posting frequency and content types for insights into your strategy. Platforms like Facebook offer transparency into competitors’ ads, providing a peek into their promotional tactics.
11. Conduct Customer Research
Use your social media analytics to learn about your followers’ demographics, ensuring they align with your target market. Check their age, gender, interests, and more for effective audience targeting.
12. Spark Brand Conversations
Engaging content that prompts comments, shares, and likes generates buzz around your brand. If certain content types engage more, focus on creating and sharing similar posts to encourage more interaction and mentions of your brand.
13. Utilize Social Listening
Social listening tracks topics, hashtags, and brand names, helping you monitor conversations related to your brand or industry. This strategy catches brand mentions and identifies trending topics, audience preferences, and how your followers communicate on social media.
14. Expand Reach with Hashtags
Develop a hashtag strategy for your social media content to increase visibility. Hashtags create searchable links, acting as keywords to make your content more discoverable. Tools like Hashtagify or RiteTag are useful for finding relevant hashtags for your tweets and Instagram posts. Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn are ideal for hashtag use, as they are less searchable on platforms like Facebook and Pinterest.
15. Share Blog Content
You should regularly share your blog content on social media platforms, complementing your content marketing strategy that incorporates SEO best practices for higher SERP rankings and increased organic traffic. Many platforms excel in driving website traffic, so featuring your blog content in your social sharing calendar is an excellent strategy to attract more visitors to your site.
16. Enhance Link Building
Imagine you followed our previous advice and started sharing your blog content on social media. As more people find, read, and share your blog, the visibility of your content increases. This exposure makes it more likely for others to link to your content, boosting backlinks to your website and simultaneously improving your SEO.
17. Retarget Your Audience
Social media ads, particularly retargeting campaigns, are highly effective in keeping your business top of mind for potential customers. Retargeting involves using a website pixel to track user behavior and then displaying ads to users who visited your site but didn’t convert into customers. These campaigns are effective as they nudge people in your funnel toward making a purchase.
18. Launch Viral Campaigns
While creating viral campaigns can be challenging and often unintentional, achieving virality on social media is still possible and can significantly boost your brand’s buzz. Monitor trending topics, audience interests, and relevant memes to craft a social media campaign that might go viral, enhancing your brand recognition and awareness.
19. Conduct A/B Testing Easily
Social media is an ideal platform for testing various ideas and messages with your audience. Whether through advertising or different content types, A/B testing on social media lets you quickly determine which post is more popular.
20. Drive Sales and Increase Conversions
Use your social media profiles to drive sales and increase conversions, leading to higher revenue and ROI. Ecommerce brands can establish storefronts on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest for direct sales. Meanwhile, service-based brands can promote demo videos and sales pages to convert leads and followers into customers.
How to Create a Social Media Strategy
Now, let’s dive into the exciting part – crafting your social media marketing strategy to start promoting your business online.
We’ve developed an eight-step process to guide you in building a successful social media strategy tailored to your business and industry. Remember, social media marketing isn’t one-size-fits-all; your strategy must align with your brand’s unique needs.
Join us in navigating the strategy creation process.
Step 1: Set SMART Goals
Begin by establishing clear goals and objectives for your social media strategy.
We recommend the SMART method for strategy development. SMART stands for:
While SMART goals apply across various industries, they are particularly effective in setting clear objectives for your social media marketing success.
Let’s delve deeper into creating these goals:
Aim for precise goals. Avoid vague goals like “increase social media followers.” Specify the platforms and the exact number of followers you aim to gain. When developing your social media strategy, target 3-5 clear, specific goals for your marketing efforts.
Ensure your goals are measurable. Instead of a vague objective like “Increase website traffic,” specify “Increase website traffic by 5% MoM.” This approach allows you to track and assess whether you’ve met your goal. A generic goal like increasing traffic is less helpful if the increase is minimal and doesn’t significantly impact your business.
Consider the feasibility of your goals. Differentiate between ambitious and unrealistic goals. For instance, if you’re new to Twitter, don’t aim for 10,000 followers in the first month. Start with a smaller, attainable goal, like 100 followers, and plan to build from there.
If you’re experienced with social media and looking to enhance your marketing, analyze past growth to set realistic growth goals.
Align your goals with your business objectives and audience needs. For instance, don’t focus on Pinterest engagement if your audience doesn’t use the platform. Concentrate on platforms and tactics that will effectively grow your audience and business.
Assign a deadline to each goal. Decide whether to evaluate progress monthly, quarterly, or annually. Time-bound goals are crucial for tracking your social media strategy’s success.
For larger goals, like increased annual revenue, set milestones and check-in dates to monitor progress and adjust your strategy as needed.
Step 2: Develop Customer Personas
Your next step in formulating a social media marketing strategy is to develop detailed customer personas representing your target audience. This ensures you know exactly whom you’re marketing to.
While many marketers have a vague concept of their target audience, creating concrete buyer personas provides a clearer picture of whom you aim to engage with your content. Defining your customer personas is crucial for identifying which social networks deserve your primary focus.
When crafting targeted customer personas, consider several key factors:
Focus first on the basic demographics of your target audience. Determine their gender, age range, income, job, and family status.
Why is this data crucial?
For instance, a marketing SaaS company might have a broad target audience. Some might target marketers, while others focus on CEOs and key decision-makers. It’s vital for sales and marketing teams to agree on the social media users they aim to reach, and establishing basic demographics is an excellent starting point.
For B2C brands, understanding your audience’s lifestyle and interests, particularly those related to your product or service, is important. This might include hobbies, workout routines, skincare preferences, favorite stores, and restaurants.
Buying Motivations & Pain Points
Consider what motivates your target audience’s buying decisions. What would drive them to sign up for services or complete a purchase?
Additionally, identify the pain points or problems your target market faces that your product or service can solve. Highlight how your brand provides solutions and how you can motivate your target audience to take action.
Step 3: Choose Your Platforms
Now that you’ve researched your target customer, it’s time to select the social media channels best suited for your brand.
Start by applying the demographics you’ve identified to the user demographics of each social media platform. Also, consider your business’s content type. If your business isn’t visually focused, platforms centered on aesthetics like Instagram or Pinterest might not suit you.
Let’s review the major social media sites and reasons to consider them:
Facebook, with over 2.7 billion monthly active users, likely includes a portion of your audience. It supports various content types – photos, videos, blog posts, podcasts – and allows setting up an online shop on your page. Facebook ads offer a robust advertising platform, making a Facebook Page essential for your brand.
Owned by Facebook, Instagram stands out as a marketing platform for visual brands and influencers. With over a billion monthly active users engaging with feeds, Stories, IGTV, and Instagram Reels, it’s particularly effective for visually-driven brands. While B2B and service-based brands can use Instagram, it excels for brands skilled in visual storytelling.
Twitter, with around 330 million monthly active users, tends to attract more male users, journalists, and the tech industry. It supports various content but shines for brands with a strong personality, using humor and edginess in their tweets.
LinkedIn is crucial for professional and business connections. Every brand should maintain a presence here, especially for company-related content and announcements. B2B brands especially benefit from marketing on this platform.
As a visual search engine, Pinterest is ideal for brands selling products online and driving traffic to blog content. Optimizing Pinterest graphics for blog posts, landing pages, and products helps reach a broad audience.
Consider other platforms like YouTube for video content, Snapchat and TikTok for connecting with younger audiences, and Reddit for engaging in subreddit forums. Each platform offers unique opportunities depending on your brand’s content and target audience.
Step 4: Craft and Distribute Engaging Content
Now that you’ve chosen your platforms, it’s time for the exciting part – creating your social media content!
While this stage is enjoyable, remaining strategic is crucial. Make sure your content is visually appealing, engaging, and aligns with the goals you established in step one. Here are some tips for crafting your social media content:
Adapt Content for Each Platform Content that excels on Facebook may not perform as well on Instagram. Although you can repurpose some content, you need distinct content strategies for each platform.
Leverage Online Tools for Content Creation Utilize the plethora of online tools available for content creation. Choose graphic design software for social media graphics and infographics, apps for unique video content like boomerangs and time lapses, and tools to create and share branded GIFs. These resources enable you to produce standout content that captivates your audience and differentiates you from competitors.
Experiment with Various Content Types Explore different content types to engage your audience. Consider live streaming on Facebook or Instagram for real-time interaction, sharing video content, creating carousel posts, or establishing a thematic Instagram feed.
Determine what resonates with your audience by experimenting and tracking user responses. Focus on the content types that drive the most engagement, traffic, and conversions.
Step 5: Maintain Consistency
Being consistent is key. You won’t see good results from a social media strategy if you only use it now and then.
To really make the most of your social media, you need to work on it every day. That’s why many companies hire agencies to take care of their online presence and social media, making sure everything is covered well.
Furthermore, while social media tools can help you plan and schedule posts, including creating pictures and writing in advance, social media also needs your regular attention. Regularly check your brand’s social media for any new messages or comments, and reply quickly to keep your customer service strong. Also, make sure your posts go up without any problems.
Moreover, it’s crucial to maintain a regular posting schedule on social media. Even though you don’t need to post every day on every platform, sticking to a schedule helps your audience and the social media site know when to expect your content.
Step 6: Engage with Your Audience
Beyond tactics like using hashtags and leveraging trending topics, your brand needs to initiate conversations.
To grow your online following and boost engagement, actively reach out on social media. Follow users within your target audience and interact with content shared by users who follow your competitors. Respond to every mention of your business online, regardless of whether it’s positive or negative.
Cultivating an active online presence is crucial for expanding your following, increasing brand awareness on social media, and fostering brand loyalty among potential customers.
Step 7: Develop an Advertising Plan
Until now, we’ve focused on organic social content. However, it’s time to harness the full potential of paid social media advertising.
Platforms like Facebook offer incredible targeting options and a versatile dashboard for ad creation and distribution, making it unwise to overlook their potential.
So, when crafting your social advertising strategy, consider these key elements:
Set Your Advertising Budget Firstly, determine your monthly ad spend. To identify your advertising budget, consider the number of leads you aim to generate each month. If you have previous ad data, use your cost-per-click (CPC) to inform your budget. If you’re new to ads, consult an expert for budget advice relevant to your brand or industry, or conduct test ads to guide your future budgeting.
Define Your Advertising Objectives Facebook provides various ad types based on your goals, whether it’s increasing sales, boosting engagement, or generating leads. Your strategy should be more direct compared to organic social media. Decide what you’re willing to invest in – is it new email addresses for your CRM or increased traffic to a specific landing page? Establish your objectives before creating ad copy and visuals.
Create Your Ad Creative Ad creative includes both visuals and copy. While visuals often take precedence on many platforms, emphasize both when crafting ads. Decide whether to use graphics, videos, or promote a landing page, then use engaging copy to attract your audience. For inspiration, explore our extensive post featuring 163 exemplary Facebook ad examples.
Step 8: Analyze and Assess Results
Once you’ve put your social media strategy into action, the last step is to check how well it’s working. You can use different social media analytics tools to make this easier. These tools quickly create reports and check how well your posts are doing, helping you figure out where to make changes in your strategy.
It’s important to remember that managing social media needs ongoing effort. So, keep testing, reviewing, and tweaking your approach on different social networks to get the best results.
Also, make sure to regularly look at your Google Analytics. This helps you see how much traffic you’re getting from social media. Setting goals in Google Analytics is a good way to keep track of how visitors from social media are acting on your website and if they’re turning into customers.
Start Your Social Media Marketing Strategy Today
Are you ready to craft and excel in your social media marketing plan? First, select the right social channels that align with your brand and audience. Next, create quality content that speaks to your audience’s interests and needs. Then, engage authentically with your audience to build trust and rapport.
Although it requires effort, building a genuine social media presence that resonates with your audience and encourages them to purchase from you isn’t difficult. The key is to take the first step and begin.
Need any further help with anything digital marketing oriented? Feel free to contact Floodmaker today!