5 Top Elements of an Effective Social Media Marketing Strategy
Social media should be an integral part of the marketing strategy of any business. More than half of the time people spend on the internet is spent on their various social media accounts, and if businesses can leverage on this, it would present an affordable yet effective means of boosting their brand visibility.
The credibility and reputation of brands is to a large extent influenced by their social media activities. Social media marketing helps build brand awareness, create engagements with customers and serve as an important tool for helping businesses boost their website traffic.
However, not every business owner knows how to go about leveraging on the powers of social media. If you fall under that category, the following 5 elements will help you build an effective social media marketing strategy.
- Identify your target audience
In a Social Media Examiner industry report of 2016, 90% of marketers agree that social media is crucial to their business success. However, only 40% of the respondents say they are able to measure the return on investment of their social media activities, while some say they are not getting enough returns for their efforts.
For business owners who fall in the latter category, it could be that you are targeting the wrong audience. Social media experts at Infinitech Designs advise that the first approach to getting your social media marketing right is selecting the right social media platform.
All social media platforms are similar but each social media platform has the niche it caters to. LinkedIn principally caters to professionals and business owners. This is where you can make profitable career and business networks.
Using LinkedIn to target for young and trendy customers is not a very smart business decision. You have twitter, Facebook and Tumblr for that. To build a social media marketing strategy that works, you need to identify your target audience and go to where they are.
Find out the social media platforms your business prospects frequent, how long on the average they spend on the network, how they interact and interact and how active they are.
When you know the age, occupation and preferences of your target audience, it becomes easier to target and reach them on social media. This information will help you craft a very effective strategy.
- Define your goals
You need to decide what you want to achieve with your social media marketing campaign. Do you intend to boost traffic to your business page, increase sales, raise awareness for your business or engage customers? You need to have a goal before you will be able to measure your success.
Your social media marketing goals should closely match your overall business goals. This way, you will not be working at cross purpose with your business.
For a more holistic approach, your social media marketing goals should include brand awareness, customer acquisition and retention, reduction of marketing expenses and increase in sales. It is important however, that you limit the number of goals you set for your social marketing plan; too many goals can distract your focus resulting in you getting minimal results.
- Determine your success metrics
You can only know if you are reaching your goals when you have a way to measure success. After determining why you want to invest in social media marketing, you need to create a system that tells you have well your strategies are doing. These success metrics will help you determine if your social media marketing plan is effective.
Your success metrics need to be simple and straightforward.
Here are 5 simple measures you can adopt
- Traffic to your website as result of your social media activity
- Number of Impression or reach
- The speed of growth and size of your fan base.
- Public opinion and sentiment
- Rate of conversions
Not all of the above metrics may be applicable to your social media plan. You should be able to identify the metrics that align with your social marketing goals.
- A Social Media Management Tool
A social media management tool is necessary if you want a easy way to manage your social media marketing campaign. The right social media management tool helps you determine which of your social media channels is more effective so that you can optimize your efforts in that area while discovering how to improve the other channels.
If one of your social media marketing goals is to boost traffic to your website, then Google Analytics or any other analytic platform will be an indispensible tool to have. You can use it to measure for time spent on page, number of page visits and rate of conversion.
There are a host of other social media management tools online that you can use to manage your campaign. Some of them come with a free trial period so you can test out a few before making a final decision.
- Your channel mix
Each social media platform is unique and offers different opportunities for business growth. As a result, many marketers will want to design a strategy that can be used across multiple platforms. This may not be a good idea as quality trumps quantity every time.
It can be a good idea to find out the channels that provide you with the best results. Your analytics should be able to show you the channels that are influencing the most website traffic and page engagement.
It is also important that you carry out an in depth research to find out the social media platform where your direct competitors are spending the bulk of their online time. This will help you understand the landscape and know where to focus the bulk of your resources.
You need to focus more effort and resources on the channels that give you better results while looking for ways to optimize the other channels as best as you can.
Creating a social media marketing strategy for your business might appear tedious, but it is important that you make it a part of your overall marketing plan. If you implement the above elements, you will find that your business staying far ahead of the competition.