Social media platforms have become an integral part of our modern society. This is due to the rapid development of technology in combination with the growing number of visionaries of our times. These visionaries have created massive global social networking platforms used by millions of people every day. If your business is not taking advantage of these potentially huge traffic sources, then it’s time to invest in a social media marketing strategy.
In this comprehensive guide, we will cover everything you need to create an effective social media marketing strategy for your business. Of course, managing an effective strategy takes time, energy and resources. If by the end of this guide, you still feel that it would be in your company’s best interest to outsource your social media marketing campaign, we have several packages available here. However, take the time to read this guide completely, as we will go over everything you need to know to get started as well as cover some fantastic tools that will allow you to automate the task.
Social Media Marketing: The definition
Social media platforms are perhaps the fastest-growing trend in the world’s history. A social media marketing strategy is essential for any type of business. Everywhere you look, either at work, at home, on the street, or in your social environment, you will find that most people spend a very large part of their daily routine watching their social media profiles; each one for his reasons.
Online marketing expert Neil Patel claims that the term “social media marketing” describes the process of creating content, which is adapted to the style of each medium, to achieve the engagement and distribution of this content (sharing). The increase in traffic is the result of a social media marketing strategy, which, in turn, owes its success to the creation of content that meets the style of each medium. For example, Facebook users seem to love video content. However, this may not be the case for Twitter users.
The secret to creating effective content on social media is to be well aware of the requirements of each platform. You might have heard of content that went viral, that is, “spread” from user to user. This can only be achieved if the content you create offers some value to your audience and attracts them, creating engagement. Social media marketing helps the company increase its visibility, build relationships with its audience and take off its potential customers and sales.
Best Social Media For Companies
A key part of all social media marketing strategies is choosing the right platform. Something that we will talk about in more detail later. Every business, depending on its subject, its style, and its industry, chooses different social media platforms. However, the dominant ones in the business world are the following.
Facebook & Instagram
Facebook has always been the leading social network with millions of users spending several hours of their day on it. A large percentage of consumers prefer to complete their purchases from a store they have encountered on Facebook, as this inspires them with more confidence. So, Facebook should be the first network to target. Creating a Facebook Shop to sell your products will bring a huge increase in your sales
Of course, it is not possible to invest in social media marketing and not include Instagram. After all, Facebook and Instagram go together, since the creation of an ad in one of them can automatically be displayed in the other. In addition, Instagram offers you a great feature that will help you get even better results.
LinkedIn & Pinterest
Many people believe that effective social media marketing can only be done through the two networks mentioned above. However, this is not the case, as other options can boost the impact of your business. In particular, LinkedIn is one of the largest social networking sites for professionals. If your business is targeting that audience, you can use it to promote your brand with great results.
In addition, Pinterest is a very popular photo viewing network. Its excellent results in search engines, manage to reach a huge number of visitors. Used properly, Pinterest Marketing can be a powerful tool for promoting your business and boosting your sales.
When it comes to videos, YouTube comes to mind first. This makes sense as it has billions of active users and thus, plays an important role in the strategy of many companies. Video marketing through YouTube is also a reliable and effective way of internet marketing.
More and more companies are choosing to promote their products and services either through targeted ads on YouTube or by creating videos through which they will reach the right audience. While Video Marketing is a great way to grow your business, it certainly requires a lot of planning.
TikTok is one of the fastest-growing social networks, which works with video promotion. More and more companies have started targeting their promotions in this application, due to the large number of users who use it daily. The samples so far show that the companies that targeted TikTok managed to make huge profits.
Importance Of Social Media Marketing
The use of the internet and the spread of social media dictate a different way of life for consumers than they were used to. Their habits have changed and with them has changed the way they listen to their needs and make their purchases. Will you continue to “shoot” them using old-fashioned practices?
Social media marketing offer a serious opportunity for business and is a quintessential part of an overall inbound marketing strategy. With a comprehensive plan, companies can more effectively reach their potential customers. This approach has proven to be positive and efficient.
Nicola Mendelsohn, Facebook VP EMEA has recently supported, among other things, that:
- 44% of companies “build” the business through Facebook,
- 57% have increased their capacity in the context of development since joining Facebook,
- while 4.5 million businesses are using this popular social media to attract new customers.
It is also important to note that Facebook is the most popular social networking site for both consumers and companies. However, dozens of other social media might best suit your business culture and business purposes.
Effective Social Media Marketing
An effective social media marketing strategy does not necessarily mean that you have to pay exorbitant amounts of advertising. Apart from the fact that social media advertising is the most economical form of promoting a business, you can also take advantage of free promotion on social networks.
This can be achieved by creating social profiles on all popular networks, constantly updating your content and of course, interacting with your audience and followers. Targeting social networks will help you gain new and loyal customers for your business without having to spend a fortune. Of course, this requires a lot of effort and time, but the result will justify you.
What Does An Effective “Social Media Marketing” Strategy Need?
Designing and implementing a comprehensive social media marketing strategy is the best way to achieve your business goals right away. There are several effective ways of Social Media Marketing, but every business is different. Thus, one social network might be the ideal choice for one company, but it might not bring the substantial result to another.
Whatever kind of business you have one thing is for sure. There is absolutely no doubt that social media marketing is one of the best ways to increase your visibility, reach a new audience, and of course, increase your profits. Below you will find a detailed guide to the most effective ways of Social Media Marketing, which will meet your every need. The following is a summary of the steps required to organize your social media marketing strategy.
1. Creating a social media marketing strategy and targeting its actions to solve the challenges you face
What do you want to achieve through the social media marketing strategy you will define? Enhancing brand awareness, improving ROI, and creating a fanatical audience are some of the goals you can meet through this strategy.
2. Research and analysis of the audience to which you will target your actions
To create content that will attract your potential customers and make them interact with it, you need to know well who you are addressing, what their needs, their interests, and what their “pains” are.
3. Defining the most important metrics
To be able to evaluate what actions you should take, in terms of achieving the goals of your social media marketing strategy, you should also identify the metrics that you will follow.
4. Research your competition on social media
Do your competitors have social media profiles and if not who would you consider competitors? From the content, they have posted on their page, which posts have the most engagement? The answers to these questions will give you enough information on how to proceed.
5. Creation and distribution of engaging content depending on the style of each social media platform
What is the most successful type of content for the platform you have chosen? Remember that creating appropriate content depending on the social media platform plays a very important role in the effectiveness of a social media marketing strategy.
6. Interaction with the public and solving their problems through social media
Every audience category is different. Thus, its behavior on social media is different. By monitoring the behavior of your audience you need to determine which period is ideal for your posts to enhance engagement. And as engagement is often translated into comments and messages, it would be a good idea to have a community management strategy in place. A happy audience is the best supporter of your company and products!
7. Monitor the performance of your social media marketing strategy and continuously improve your actions
By recognizing which actions went well and which failed you will be able to modify your strategy and get even closer to achieving your goals.
8. Choosing a reliable partner
Social media marketing strategy can be part of a business’s digital marketing strategy, but it takes a dedicated team to design and implement it properly, at all levels.
Key Ways To Use Social Media Marketing Effectively For Your Business
At this point, let’s have a look at how you can build your social media marketing strategy, to strengthen the online presence of your business. Whether you want to make your brand better known or increase your customer base, the steps to a well-established strategy are the same. In the lines following you will learn step by step, how to create your plan, based on proven digital marketing practices.
Step 1: Set your business goals
Every successful social media strategy starts by defining the goals of the business. Those companies that ignore this step, find it difficult to have effective results, as they do not concentrate their actions in a specific place. It is like starting a journey without knowing the destination. But what do we mean by “goals”? Some of the goals that a business can have are:
- To increase its recognition (brand awareness).
- To increase its audience.
- To generate potential customers and increase sales.
- To bring visitors to its website.
It is also important to set realistic goals and see what are your business needs at this stage.
Step 2: Define your target audience
Now that we have strongly integrated social media into our lives, you can find many users with different demographics. So, if you wish to build a successful social media marketing strategy, it is necessary to define who your ideal audience is. That is, in other words, to whom you are addressing. This will help you not only create the right content but also turn your audience into customers more easily.
But how do you define your audience? Just think of your ideal customer keeping the following parameters in your mind:
Once you have found the ideal customer, you can better target your content for him.
Step 3: Choose the ideal platform
Remember that every business should choose the social networks that fit it best. If your business does not yet have a social media presence, it is important to choose the right platforms. At this stage answer the following questions:
- Who is your ideal audience and on which platforms does it mainly exist?
- Which social networks do your competitors use?
- Which platforms fit the object of your business?
If B2B marketing is important to you, that is, if you are providing business services, then LinkedIn might be the right option for you. On the other hand, if you are a business based on the appearance of your products (e.g. accessories) then Instagram might be your ideal choice. Spy on your competitors and similar companies and see which social networks they choose.
And of course, think about which platforms your audience is mainly on. Caution! Do not try to create a presence on multiple platforms at the same time. Choose 1-2 for a start and work out your strategy there.
Step 4: Plan and Create The Appropriate Content
Attractive content is the center of any social media marketing strategy. It is what will connect your audience with your brand, which will help achieve your goals and which will define your online image. By “content publishing” we mean the images, videos, and texts that you will post on your business profile.
Let’s see some tips for the content. While it makes sense to promote products and services in your posts, you should not do so all the time. The important thing is to post content that provides information to your audience and helps them. If you have a skincare store, you can upload skincare tips. Also pay attention to the style of your content, as your audience should identify with it. So avoid expressions and topics that do not suit your audience.
Timing is also important. Make sure you post the hours and days when your audience is online. The statistics provided by each platform for your professional profile can help in this. You can also, based on the demographics of your audience, think about when they might be online. Generally, experiment with different hours and days and see which of your posts get more views and engagement (likes, comments, etc.).
You can “spy” on your competitors and see what kind of content they publish. You do not need to copy them, just get ideas to create your plan. Caution! It is important to respond to your audience’s comments. If a user comments on a post, reply to it as soon as you can. In the end, what is social media? A space where users interact with each other. So never forget to respond to your audience’s comments.
Step 5: Run ads
You can promote your posts, or even your business page by running ads. The truth is that nowadays it is difficult for a business to achieve its goals without using ads. The amount you will invest in advertising is up to you. That is, you can invest as much money as you want. Ads will help you achieve your goals and accelerate your growth. You can run ads directly from the platform you are on; e.g. through Facebook’s business manager.
Step 6: Evaluate the results
A social media marketing strategy without measuring its results risks shall never bring constant results on a long-term basis. So try to answer the following questions:
- How close did you come to your goal using this strategy?
- What kind of content did your audience seem to like the most?
- What hours and days did your posts get the most engagement?
Statistics, also known as analytics or insights provided by each platform, can help with evaluation. So if something seems to work well, keep it, while if something does not, you might need to do it differently. You may need to post in different days and hours or post more of a specific type of content (e.g. videos).
Social Media Automation
What is social media automation?
That is a method of improving interactions through social media, using automated tools. It can include a variety of options, including pre-posting articles on social media or automating the recycling of older texts. This fact reduces significantly the hours required to promote and manage your business accounts on social media.
Why is social media automation important?
Automated management helps to organize an effective method of social networking. In addition, it ensures instant accessibility and visibility of messages to your customers and contributes to their timely interaction and approach. This is a 24-hour service provided 7 days a week, while you are allowed to publish posts immediately after they are written.
Benefits of social media automation
- Consistency in communicating with customers with minimal effort.
- Promoting your business online.
- Creating a personal bond with your clients.
- Organization, optimization, and radiation.
How does social media automation work?
This is a process in which software and tools are used without any human intervention. Essentially, a program for posting automation and sharing them on the social networking platforms of your choice is launched. The whole process is analyzed in detail in the following lines.
Check out social listening tools
Social listening is the “ear” of your online business. It is the “spy” who informs you, at all times, about what is said on the internet for your business or your brand. You can follow the reports that exist for your company on various social networking platforms and identify who your competitors are. You will also form a clearer picture of the latest news in your industry and the preferences of your potential customers. Of course, social media tools can allow you to find ideas for new products and interesting posts on your company’s blog.
These are special conversation frameworks that offer immediacy with the customer, his support, and the improvement of the overall service experience. In addition, there is the possibility of creating automated answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs), such as contact information, opening hours, or services offered.
Access to useful information on a variety of networks
Automated social media tools can analyze data related to improved publishing time, FAQ response while building strategic communication and interaction with your customers.
Edit the content
Choose automation tools with the ability to edit your content and select topics that interest your customers. Write your own social media posts, if you have the time, and set up your software to share the text.
Take care of your customers
Interact with your customers and readers through the convenience of social media automation tools. Track your customers’ messages and requests, and respond promptly to your audience, showing interest and support.
Customers’ trust is undoubtedly gained with consistency. Stability and prompt response are elements of reliability that strengthen the bond with your audience. Of course, this is difficult with the crazy routine of everyday life, however, the automation tools offer exactly this fixed suspension tail you wish to keep your customers’ interest alive. This way you will save quality time to develop your creativity, as well as innovative ideas that might promote your business.