“Social Media marketing without a strategy is like a ship in the middle of the ocean not knowing where to go”
– Hakimuddin Chowdhury (Founder Leotics Consulting LLP)
After understanding how important social media is and what are the features of the social media platforms, it is important to create a marketing strategy for the same.
You can check out our remaining blogs in this Social Media Marketing blog series.
The key note for doing social marketing well is to have a strategy. Without a strategy you maybe just posting for the sake of it but driving results will be just a mere luck by chance.
To drive results on social media you will not only need a strategy but also an understanding about your consumers like who are they ? where are they ? and what they want ? This will give direction to your social media marketing plan and will give you an overall picture of what to do and how to do.
We have put together a series of steps form our experience that can help you make a social media marketing strategy for yourself.
Social Marketing Strategy
Step 1 : Set S.MA.R.T. Goals
The first thing you need to figure out is what you want out of social media at large. This will help you in making and setting up goals. The goals should be practical and attainable, keeping the resources in mind.
We use the abbreviation SMART.
- S : Specific
- M : Measurable
- A : Achievable
- R : Relevant
- T : Time
Some general social media goals used by brands :
- Increase brand visibility / awareness
- Generate new leads
- Engaging with customers / consumers / followers / community
- Increase website traffic
- Grow revenue (subscriptions / signups / purchases)
- Social customer service / support
- Listening to conversations about your brand, products and services
You are more likely to have more than one goal and which is completely fine.
The goal of the organisation is something like “Gain New Followers”. The problem with this goal is that it is not specific, neither it is properly measurable and does not have any time binding on it. in short this goal has too many loose ends and this is the problem.
A goal like “Gain 100 New Followers in next 30 Days who are Teenagers”. Now you can see the difference between the two goals. The second one is more specific and measurable. It is bound by a duration and achievable (will depend on things).
The relevancy of the goal will depend on business objective in real terms. Like, will these 100 new followers increase subscriptions or will be people who would share content and give additional reach.
This is a just an example to show how important is goal setting and how to set a goal for your social media strategy.
Step 2 : Define your Audience
Understanding your target audience is really important. Social media is like an ocean, but you do not need the entire ocean. It is crucial from the two stand points :
- Resources (Time & Money)
- Channel (Facebook / Instagram / LinkedIn etc)
You would want a better return on investment (ROI) and therefore you need to research your target audience. As you know all channels or platforms of social media are different from one another, Facebook and Instagram are not the same etc, you need to identify where your target audience spends most of their time time.
First you need to shortlist on the social media platforms and then see how frequent does your target group use it. This will indicate what activities to plan and how frequent it should be.
You have to define your ideal customer. A detailed persona of your ideal customer. In the persona we suggest the more detailed you can make it, the better it is.
Include everything in it, age, gender, interest, habits, what they do, where they go, where they spend their time, what they like, which social media platform they use etc. As detailed as possible and this can be challenging.
So the question is How to get these details ?
Well, it is not that hard. Talk to your existing customers, survey them and understand all the required things. Leverage your existing customer relations and learn about their preferences, this will help you in getting a better understanding and improve your social media marketing plan.
In-case if the business is really new and you do not have any customers, we suggest to research online and/or track behaviour over the internet.
Make sure you do this step properly as the remaining steps to a lot extent will depend on this.
Imagine if you were in restaurant business had a restaurant in a city. Then your target audience will be people in the city, who love eating in restaurants or are in the neighbourhood. You can have a further deep dive basis the cuisine, age, gender etc.
In this manner you can further deep dive into which social media platforms they use, where do they hang out and what music they like etc.
Step 3 : Choose the Right Platform
It is not necessary to be present on all the social media platforms. It is important to be on the platforms where your target audience is, this is from the ideal customer research above.
Being on fewer platforms will help you focus is a much better way and will save time on hand for better content.
Remember, all social media platforms are not the same. Facebook is different from Instagram and is so LinkedIn from Twitter etc. Content on all the platforms usually does not roll out in the same way and does not yield the best result possible.
Facebook has more than 2 billion active users everyday whereas Instagram is best suited for more of visual communications. YouTube is all videos and Pinterest is a search engine.
Keeping all these in mind ,your target audience and the product or service you offer choosing the right channel is very important.
Step 4 : Do a Competitor Analysis
Before you start making content and posting it, it is important you do a competitor analysis. Most of the brands do straight jump into making and sharing content.
We do not say it is wrong as such, but by doing competitor analysis you can know what has worked for them and what they are doing already. This is can give an edge even before you spent time making content.
Learning from the shortfalls of the competitors and seeing their strategy, it will show you what you need, where you are and now what you have to do next. It will give content ideas and inspirations. The good and bad and how you can better your strategy.
You can get the idea of your competitors by simply searching up on google or on other search engines and networks. Keep a track of them and see if that learning can be applied by you.
Please note that the idea here is not to steal or reproduce competitors content but to see what is working for them and how can you adapt along the way.
Make sure you do it at frequent intervals.
Step 5 : Create and Share Your Content
Quality content is the lifeline of a good social media marketing strategy. By this step you know your goals, audience and where to post your content. The success or failure of social media marketing strategy will largely circle around content.
It is also important to balance your content. A balance between value and promotional content. It is simple, you just cannot load your followers with too much of promotional content. It is necessary to have a content strategy in place that balances between value and promotional content.
The purpose of social media is to socialise, connect with each other and therefore they do not expect only promotional content. Doing so will leave a bad impression on the followers and they may tend to leave.
Relevance of the content is another crucial platform. Not only should the content be interesting and informative, it should also be relevant. To be honest, nobody pays attention to any content until it is relevant.
Majorly across social media, content is shared in the following manner:
The content is generated by you but also your followers and connections. User generated connected is of immense value. If you can have your followers to generate content for you, it builds your brand image.
When the brands talk about their services and products as compared to when users talk about the brands services and products, the later has more weight on social media.
Step 6 : Measure the Results
This will help you understand how effective was the social media marketing strategy and did it achieve what it was meant to.
As everything on social media can be tracked, it more important to look at the right number otherwise you will end up looking at a vanity number.
A post of a product which you want to sell, receives a million likes but nobody buys it, what is the use of those million likes then.
The metrics give you an idea of your performance. It is important to know what they mean and how to interpret them.
- Engagement – Total likes, share and comments on the content. This will show whether the content was liked by the viewers and what were their opinions etc.
- Reach – The number of unique people who saw the content. Reach is a very powerful metric. It will show the distinct count of number people to whom your content reached. In other words, it can help you asses the spread of your content.
- Impressions – The number of times in all that your content was seen. A person who saw your content twice will show the value 2 in impression and 1 in reach.
- Organic & Paid – Organic refers to people to whom the content was able to reach without any paid efforts. Paid refers to people who could see your content because of paid efforts such Facebook Ads, Pinterest Ads etc. The payments that are made to social platforms so that they show your content to people who could not be reached organically is paid promotion.
- Sentiments – The sentiments value of the engagements. The things said were positive or negative . The emotion that was displayed etc show in real sense whether the content was liked or disliked.
Step 7 : Review, Revise & Optimise
Now as you have the data, you should use it to review and revise your strategy wherever necessary.
See what has been working for the brand and what is helping in meeting the goals. This will help you to understand which things for the social media marketing plan needs to be continued, refined or dropped.
For example – A lot of website link clicks were generated through video content then that will help you optimise in your future content.
Optimising will help you meet and exceed your goals. By analysing your data on continuous basis you will know how one campaign did over the other. Optimisation is a continuous process and it will happen all the time data is refreshed or generated.
It will help you make fine-tuning to your strategy to achieve your goals and improve your performance.
At Leotics Consulting LLP we help you define your target group, choose the right platforms and create a strategy to achieve your business goals.
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Get in Touch with us and we will make a customised solution for your business, as we believe every business is different.