A great guest post by Isabella Rossellini giving great tips on how to improve your social media marketing strategy.
Social media marketing plans can decide the future of a business and a brand. As the technologies advance, the boundary between social media marketing and mainstream marketing is becoming more blurred than ever. Chalking out a social media plan is no easy task for a first timer, but getting a few tips from the pros certainly helps. Very simply put, every social action must culminate to a larger social media marketing strategy. People, their likes, shares, replies, and posts should all be a part of a larger plan that generates leads, drives sales, or contributes in other ways to a business goal.
In short, social media marketing doesn’t have to be difficult to be successful. Here are the five steps every social media marketing strategy needs to become worthwhile –
What are the objectives of your strategy?
Your social media marketing strategy needs to incorporate the goals and objectives of your business. There is no point investing your resources in a plan that does not contribute to your business goals. Having dedicated objectives will help your analytics team understand the social media ROI (return of investment) of a project.
The ideal way to understand the ROI is to go beyond likes and retweets. You need to find the hidden KPIs of social media metrics. The best way to achieve this is by dividing the audience by their demographics, pain points, and interests. Once you have your customer personas, you will have an idea about your business goals.
Do you have results of your social media audit?
Do you already have a social media account for your business? Before utilizing it for marketing, you need to find out how your social media account is performing. You will find several free templates for social media audits. Just pick one from a reliable source for some comparison.
Get a hold of all your social media profiles. Start with the traditional metrics like clicks and engagements. Include other factors like response rates, response times, types of response, referral traffic, and types of interactions per post. After you compile all the results in one spreadsheet, you can measure and evaluate the overall results.
This will help you understand the type of post your audience appreciates, and it will help you budget you social media expenses. You can use a flurry of tools like Sprout Social, HootSuite, Snaplytics, Qintly and Google Analytics to analyze traffic to your sites from social media.
Is it necessary to work on your social media accounts?
Your social media audit will tell you how your accounts are performing. The results of an audit should be able to indicate the average ROI from each channel and each profile. Once you have the results, choose the network(s) that work best to meet the goals.
In case you don’t have social media profiles that meet the goals, you can start by creating a profile on a rewarding network platform. The best way to start is to cross-promote your social media accounts. You can share your blog posts via Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn at the same time to engage users from all platforms using the same bait.
If you have never created a business profile on social media platforms before, you need to pay a little extra addition to go the extra mile. Check out a couple of posts for optimizing accounts on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Yes! It is entirely possible to optimize your social media accounts without expert help, but it takes time.
You can work with SEO consultancies and pay for the secret to success. This is especially advisable if you are in a time-crunch. However, approaching SEO professionals can be costly. Small businesses and start-ups usually work with business loan companies, angel-funding platforms, and consolidation companies to get the funds for SEO marketing.
It’s time for a content plan and a calendar
No content works without a plan. Even when you are working on a social media marketing plan, you need to make space for content, and that will bring forth the necessity of a social media calendar. A great content marketing plan for social media should be able to answer these questions –
- What kind of content does your target audience want?
- What is the ideal frequency of content sharing?
- How are you planning to promote the content?
- Do you have a dedicated content team?
Your content calendar should list the date, time and the topics of the content you intend to post via your social media profiles. You can use tools that can schedule posts in advance. This is much easier than updating your blog and your social media profiles throughout the day. A content matrix works well for many bloggers and marketers. An effective matrix should look somewhat like this –
- 50% of the content should drive blog traffic
- 25% of the content should be from other sources
- 20% of the content should be promotional or lead generational
- 5% of the content should be able to culture or HR
If that seems too complicated, go for an 80-20 rule. 80% of your blog should educate, inform and entertain and only 20% should promote your brand.
Evaluate, adjust and optimize
There is no “ideal” marketing plan for social media campaigners. Yes. Great content and SEO strategies do contribute to the success of a social media strategy, but the level of success varies between brands depending on their target audience, their preferences, their demographics and their buyer’s persona. Always employ tools and strategies to measure your brand ROI on social media, before you can decide which parts of the plan work for you and which ones need immediate change.
The secret to the success of any great social media strategy should be its flexibility. A/B testing, cross-promotion, user-generated content marketing and similar experimentations are always going to be there to help the new marketers out. Make sure your strategies reflect the insights of your brand’s social media performance truly.
Edited and prepared by Amy Murphy, Journalism student from DCU.