Being found on social media isn’t optional anymore. In fact, for businesses, it’s a must.
It’s one of the best ways to market products to over 3 billion users (approximately 50% of the world’s population) who are always active on the platform looking to socialize, get entertained, or even get news updates as they happen.
But here is the thing. While social media has become a vital tool for a range of marketing purposes, not all businesses get the most out of it.
And part of the reasons why not many businesses are getting great results from their social media usage is that they don’t know how to create effective social media marketing action campaigns.
That’s why this blog post shares fifteen social media marketing strategies to help you get maximum results when using the platform to promote your business to the world.
What is social media marketing anyway?
Before going in-depth on the topic, let’s understand what social media marketing is for beginners.
Simply put, social media marketing is the use of the available social media platforms to attract customers, educate them about your products or services so that they can make an informed decision when making a purchase.
This involves publishing content (videos, infographics, podcasts, etc.) around your brand on social media to educate and inform your target audience.
Social media marketing is inexpensive. Besides, the accessibility of the internet and mobile devices has enabled small to medium and large businesses to connect with their target audience worldwide.
The most popular social media platforms include Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Google+.
That said, here are the best strategies to implement in your social media marketing campaigns.
1. Answer the WHY? Question
First things first, before starting any social media marketing campaign, you need to understand why you want to put you want to initiate the campaign in the first place- you need to answer the Why.
This is where goal setting comes in.
Part of the reasons why many new businesses fail to get maximum results with their social media marketing strategies is that they don’t spend the time to set relevant and attainable goals.
Everyone who is on social media has a purpose. 54% of the people on social media are researching products they want to buy. What are you looking to achieve with your social media marketing campaign?
Are you looking to promote your products or services? To drive social media traffic or to connect with your customers in real-time?
Different businesses will have different social media marketing goals…
But for you…
Set SMART Goals
Remember that SMART goals will shape your social media strategy. So, you need to set SMART goals.
That means that your goals need to be specific to your business, measurable, attainable, relevant, and have a time-frame for achieving them.
You must set achievable goals; otherwise, it doesn’t make sense to say you want to drive a ton of traffic without having a specific number. Besides, you can’t say you want to drive millions of sales within the next year on Facebook. These are not SMART goals but are vague, unrealistic, and unattainable.
Some goals you could set for your business include:
- Publicizing your brand
- Driving a certain amount of traffic to your website
- Increasing sales by a certain amount
- Generating new leads
- Providing customer service
- Paying attention to what people are saying about your brand on social media
- Improving ROI
- Increasing your social media followers by a certain percentage
You can set as many goals as you want for your social media marketing campaign, but make sure they are SMART.
2. Decide How You’re Going to Measure Your Campaign Success
Every social media marketing campaign you initiate should bring results. How are you going to measure success for your campaigns?
It’s not possible to work on something without establishing whether you’re seeing success or not. Having set goals, the next step is to determine how you’re going to tell whether you’re meeting those goals or not.
If your goal was to increase sales to a certain percentage, how are you going to tell whether you have achieved this?
If your goal was to increase brand awareness, for instance, you could check how many people you were able to reach with your posts. This is a good metric to assess how far your content is going on your preferred social media channel.
If your goal was to convince people to take a particular action, find out how many people were able to click your CTA button.
3. Identify Your Target Audience
In a real-life scenario, if you were going out to sell weight loss supplements then most likely your target audience would be people looking to lose weight or those struggling with obesity.
Now in our case, you want to decide who you want to target in your social media campaigns. Many new businesses make a mistake to think that all people who follow their social media accounts are potential customers.
No matter how many followers you have, they aren’t going to be of value if they don’t help you meet your goals. It’s of no used to have one million followers, who don’t like, comment, or even share your social media posts.
Once you have determined how you’re going to measure success, the next step is to understand who you’re going to target.
This will help you to know what content to share with them, what social media platforms to invest your resources and time in, and how often you’re going to share content with them.
To understand your target audience more in-depth, you need to build marketing personas where you classify your target audience based on the following criteria:
- Who they are.
- Their interests.
- Which platform they use most of the time.
- When they are active.
- What they are looking for when they visit certain social media platforms.
- What type of content they want to see.
If you have already been using certain social media platforms, perhaps you have this information, but if not, then you may want to start from scratch.
4. Know What to Share With Your Target Audience
A common mistake most businesses make is not thinking about the type of content to share when creating their social media marketing campaigns. Remember that a social media marketing strategy should encompass everything relevant to your target audience.
So, approaching it from only one angle could hinder you from achieving maximum results. In that case, you need to have multiple themes for your social media marketing strategy.
Having identified your social media audience it should be easier to know what goals they are looking to achieve as well as the challenges they are facing and how you can come in to help.
Of course, you also need to make sure you share high-quality content following the 80-20 rule- 80% of your content should be educative, informative, and entertaining while only 20% of it should be promotional.
Be reminded that social media is a tool for socialization and entertainment.
5. Choose the Right Social Media Platforms to Engage With Your Target Audience
Once you have determined the type of content to share with your target audience (of course, this is informed by understanding your target social media audience), the next step is to determine the right social media channels to share your content.
If you already know your target audience, knowing where to interact and engage with them is easy but if you don’t know your target audience, you could want to do a bit of research or survey them by asking them which social media channels they prefer to use.
Note that you don’t need to use every social media channel there is out there. Most importantly, make sure you’re available on the top five social media networks: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.
This is because most people who have a Facebook account also have accounts with all the mentioned social networks above. YouTube and TikTok are also becoming popular of late.
Avoid investing your time and resources on social networks your audience doesn’t use.
And of course, you can add some more social media networks to your list once you have dominated those mentioned above.
6. Customize Your Social Media Accounts Properly
Before you start promoting your business on your chosen social media network, make sure it’s 100% set. Include every information your target audience may want to know about your products or services.
Observe consistency across all your social networks. This involves the use of the same logo, similar graphics, and correct colors across multiple channels.
Fill your bio and business description fully so that you don’t live customers guessing what your business is all about.
7. Copy Some Ideas From Your Competitors
…and do better than them.
Yes, take a look at your competitors' social media marketing strategies. Take a look at the type of content they are sharing, keywords they are targeting, understand their target audience, etc.
Find out what they are doing better and where they are failing so you can know how to stand out from the crowd.
Use tools such as Buzzsumo, Sprout Social, and many others to spy on your competitors to know their most popular posts.
8. Know When to Post on Social Media
As usual, you want to post at the time when your target audience is active on their preferred social networks. Note that the most popular social networks use algorithms that determine what type of posts to display.
If you miss the timing of your posting, your target audience may not see your posts at all. Doing it manually is inexpensive but is also ineffective. The best way to do it is to use the available social media scheduling tools.
People use social media at varying times. Some people use Facebook more during the weekend while others use Instagram during the day. Identify when your target audience is active and post then.
9. Customize Your Posts for Each Platform
It’s worth understanding that content consumption isn’t the same on all social networks. This means that while people love to watch videos on Facebook, your audience on Instagram and Pinterest is going to need image-based content. Equally, Twitter has limitations on the number of characters per tweet.
LinkedIn, on the other hand, is dominated by professionals, so you want to customize your content to suit the people you intend to target on this platform.
10. Be Consistent
To see maximum success with your social media marketing strategy, you need to be consistent with your posting frequency. If you don’t have the time to commit to your content sharing on social media then perhaps you shouldn’t bother creating the campaign.
See, people want to build a relationship with you. It’s not easy to build a relationship with someone you just saw one day and disappeared in the thin air.
You want to connect with your target audience and keep them seeing you in their feeds constantly.
You don’t necessarily need to make 100 posts per day. Just make sure you put your name on the face of your target audience at the time when they are online.
11. Create or Join Relevant Groups
You also need to create social media groups or join groups your target audience spends most of their time in.
In fact, creating social media groups could help you know your customers in a more personal way.
The good thing is that creating or joining relevant social media groups is free and easy.
12. Promote Your Social Media Accounts
Sharing high-quality content will make your social media accounts known by many people; however, you also need to promote your channels.
You can do this by placing social media buttons on your website in various areas such as in the footer, homepage, About, Contact, etc.
You can also include your social channels in your email signature when newsletters to your subscribers. Another way to promote your social media accounts is to include them in your other traditional advertisement options.
You can also cross-promote your social channels, for instance, you can tell your Facebook followers to follow you on Twitter or subscribe to your YouTube channel.
13. Keep Your Audience Engaged
Assuming you have accumulated a huge following on your social media accounts, the next step is to engage with them.
Remember that people aren’t following you on Facebook or subscribing to your YouTube channel for the sake of it. They want to interact and socialize with you.
As you promote your products or services to them, also make sure you engage with them.
You could create custom hashtags related to your business and encourage discussions and sharing. Also, respond to comments and reply to messages fast.
14. Use Paid Promotions to Boost Your Reach
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other popular social networks allow users to use paid ads to boost their reach. Besides, paid ads let you reach those you currently connect as well as those you don’t. So take advantage of paid promotions to increase your reach and grow your fan base.
15. Partner With Influencers
Influencer marketing is becoming popular nowadays. Influencers are people who have mastered the game. They have a concrete reputation and a huge following that trusts them.
If you choose the right influencers, you take advantage of an already existing fan base that’s likely to get interested in doing business with you.
You could work with influencers by having them to ask people to follow your social media accounts or recommend your products, or services to their followers.
Measure Your Results
After all the struggles of creating your social media campaigns, you want to see whether you’re getting results or not.
Of course, not all campaigns you run will bring any noticeable results, but you must track the progress of your social campaigns.
The good thing is that most social media networks have analytics tools that let you track your progress.
For instance, Facebook business pages have an Insights section; Twitter and YouTube have Analytics sections as well.
Take advantage of these tools to see what works and what doesn’t, and how well you can adapt your social media marketing campaigns.