Social media is huge. 92% of marketers are expected to use social media for marketing in 2022. This statistic reflects the importance social media has in the marketer’s circle. With more than 4 billion users, social media holds immense marketing potential. That’s why every business, regardless of its scale, is now investing in social media marketing.
However, not all marketers find profitable results through social media marketing. Does that mean social media is a magic box that offers its treasures to only a selected bunch? No.
Effective social media marketing begins with a sound marketing strategy. That means with a well-built marketing strategy, you can reap the benefits of social media.
This article will walk you through the basic steps for building a well-thought-out and promising social media marketing campaign.
Read through the end to find the insights you need to set up your next social marketing campaign.
How to Build Your Social Media Marketing Strategy for Success?
Success on social media comes after a strong social media marketing campaign. Here’s how you can use social media to achieve your marketing objectives:
1- Understand Your Audience
You are using social media to connect with your audience. But you cannot do it without understanding them first.
Knowledge about who your audience is will guide your entire social media marketing campaign.
Knowing such demographics will highly influence your decisions down the road. The information you gather with customer analysis will determine the type of content you create and the social platform you choose.
For example, if you have a makeup brand, the first choice for your social media marketing campaign will be Instagram.
Similarly, if you are selling a supplement for healthy bones, you must be targeting the 45-54 age group, and hence email might be a more appropriate choice.
It is important to dive deep into data and collect insights about your customer behavior and preferences. Build buyer personas based on these insights and adapt your social media strategy to target this buyer persona.
We did some research and found a case study that effectively proves the importance of buyer personas.
Pegasystems, a software solutions provider, wanted to be more customer-centric. And to achieve this goal, they developed specific and detailed buyer personas that carried information about everything, from the social networks their buyers use to information sources they consult before making a decision.
When they adapted their marketing strategy to their newly built buyer personas, they saw significant results. Their interactions with the target customer increased by 20%. The number of leads they earned through marketing increased by 10%. At the same time, the conversion from lead to opportunity rose by 8%.
The Pegasystems case study is sufficient for you to initiate your social media marketing campaign with a sound understanding of your audience.
2- Choose the Right Platform
Now that you know everything about your audience, it’s time to choose the right platform.
Facebook and its subsidiaries rank among the top ten most used social platforms. And Facebook is used by more than 90% of businesses. But these statistics shouldn’t fool you into believing Facebook should be your channel of choice.
As we mentioned above, platforms like Pinterest and Instagram have a large feminine user base. And hence, they should be your go-to choice if your target audience comprises women.
Likewise, say you run a business, with your target audience being largely professionals and business executives. In this case, LinkedIn should be your platform of choice, which hosts a massive community of business individuals.
You should not forget about your competitors when choosing your social marketing channel. Carry out competitor analysis and see where they are located, follow in their steps, and get ahead with better content.
Neil Patel, the digital marketing champion, suggests using competitor analysis tools like Quintly, Ahrefs, and Buzzsumo for reverse engineering your competitor’s social marketing campaign. By doing so, you can identify where your mutual audience engages with the brand and what promising platform your competitor fails to capitalize on. So you can finetune your strategy according to the homework done by your competitors and fill the space they have left unoccupied.
Additionally, your choice for the right platform should also be based on what you plan to achieve with your social media marketing campaign, aka, your goals. If you want to drive brand awareness and build a community, Twitter and Instagram might make for a great option. While enhancing sales, Instagram and Facebook offer unprecedented opportunities.
Talking about business goals, let’s hop onto the third step for social media marketing success.
3- Align Your Social Media Goals with Your Business Objectives
It is critical to have a clear vision of your business objectives before developing and implementing your social media marketing campaign. To understand the importance of this point, take this example. Suppose your business wants more sales, but your social media strategy is directed towards bringing more visitors to your blog. In that case, your social media efforts will not do much to get your business closer to its goals.
Therefore, you must determine your business objectives and select your social media goals accordingly.
For example, if your objective is to have more people know about your business, the goal of your social media marketing campaign must be to drive brand awareness. If your business has stepped into social media to generate increased revenue, you should set up a social media marketing campaign focused on driving more sales.
4- Work Out Your Game Plan
Now you understand what your customers want. You have chosen the best channel for your social marketing. And you know what your social media goals should be. The next step is to develop a game plan for execution.
In this step, you will plan your content and schedule it.
Content development largely relies on what your customers want to see and what stage they are in the buyer journey.
You know, from step 1, what your customers want. Now, determine where the customer is in the buyer journey. If they are in the consideration phase, they need a solution to a problem they know they have. If they are in the awareness phase. They know they have a problem, and you have to help them identify it. Plan your content according to the stage your target customers are in.
As for content scheduling, remember social media requires regularity. Therefore, map out your content publishing plan using a content calendar.
You can also use one of the social media management tools for content scheduling and publishing listed here.
5- Decide What Metrics to Track
If you continue your social media marketing campaign without tracking its results, you might end up falling into a bottomless pit. And free falling in a hole is in no way an effective step for a successful social media campaign.
What actually is a smart step towards social media success is to identify what metrics can define your success and track them diligently.
Having granular insights into the performance variables of your campaign can help you optimize it for better results.
Deploy smart social media analytics tools for unearthing critical performance variables and streamline your social media strategy according to these metrics’ results.
Remember to track real valuable metrics, like engagement rate, conversions, and click-through rates, instead of focusing on vanity metrics.
Additionally, make sure the metrics you choose align with your social media marketing goals. For example, if your goal is increased brand awareness, you may want to track your post reach. For sales and revenue, you should be tracking lead conversions, etc.
6- Don’t Forget Your Competitors
Monitoring your competitors’ activity on social media can greatly inspire your own social campaign. You can use tools like SocialMentions to track what your competitors are doing.
Tools like Buzzsumo can help you determine what content your competitors are creating and how each content piece is performing. Using this tool, you can generate content ideas, find gaps in your competitors’ content, and fill it up with your own content.
Additionally, you can find out your competitors’ engagement tactics, the metrics they track, their social timing, and a lot of other juicy information with tools like FanPage Karma. Having this information on hand will eliminate tedious work and give your campaign a head start.
But remember, this step is called competitor analysis. So avoid plagiarizing the competitor. Don’t do exactly what they are doing. Instead, take ideas, inspirations, and directions. Then combine these with your own data, findings, and creativity to build your social success.
7- Create Great Content
You might think we are stating the obvious. But some people need to understand the importance of compelling content.
Your content is the front-end of your social marketing campaign. And no matter how well-developed the backend is, if the front-end isn’t attractive, compelling, and valuable, you will not see desirable results.
Ensure your content aligns with your brand personality and is based on what your audience wants to see.
If you are a makeup brand with a decent, welcoming, and aesthetic personality, you want to make sure your content reflects this.
Additionally, ensure that you know what you are talking about. One wrong turn with content can end up tarnishing your reputation.
While creating content for your social media, you must also consider your audience’s sentiment, lest you end up like Dove.
In a recent post, Dove received severe backlash when their Facebook Ad showed a black woman turning white after using Dove lotion. Seriously, what were they thinking? Or were they thinking at all?
Adding graphics into your content, writing short, crisp, and concise social media copy, and staying relevant to your customers are all social media content best practices.
8- Focus on Social Timing
When it comes to social media marketing, timing is important.
It may come as a surprise, but there is a right time to post on your social media channels. When posted at the right time, the content is likely to get more exposure and drive better results.
You can begin finding the right social time for your brand by studying the data that’s already available. Then you can develop your social schedule according to these findings and optimize it based on the results that each post you publish at various timings within the opportune timing window generates.
You can read more about social timing and its influence on your social media campaign here.
9- Get Entertaining and Show Your Personality
Nothing drives engagement like entertaining content and content that gives a sneak peek into your personal life.
Sharing snippets from your life can not only keep your audience engaged but can humanize your brand and help build a warm relationship between you and your customers.
On the other hand, Entertaining content not only delivers information and garners massive engagement, but it drives great brand awareness too. Why? Because people love humor and tend to share funny and entertaining things with their friends.
Notice the engagement on this Buzzfeed post from the number of comments.
So, don’t be afraid to show a bit of personality or humor when creating your next social post.
Effective social media marketing can quickly generate the ROI you expect from your social media efforts.
A handful of best practices can streamline your social marketing strategy and help generate a good return on your investment. These best practices include, among others, customer, and competitor analysis, choosing the right social platform, and creating compelling content.
However, whatever you do, remember, social media marketing is largely based on experimentation, analysis, and adaptation. Experiment with the data and insights you find. Analyze the results of these experiments and adapt your strategy accordingly. By doing so, you will increase your chances of finding the coveted social media prosperity.