How to Develop a Social Media Strategy?
In our technology-oriented era, selling online has become the go-to way of doing business. The number of businesses without an online presence is rapidly declining, paving the way for new digital marketing strategies that can be used to reach audiences worldwide and tap into a larger than ever customer base.
If the end-of-year balance sheet of your online business doesn’t quite have the numbers you hoped for, perhaps it’s time to rethink your online marketing strategy, or if you don’t have an online marketing strategy, it’s high time you developed one.
Email marketing campaigns and search engine marketing are two of the most widely used online marketing strategies, but reaching out on social media to potential customers can be a good way to add to your existing marketing campaigns, and further increase your sales numbers or your readership numbers.
Our article on how to develop a social media strategy in 2018, focuses on the key steps of developing a social media strategy that can be applied to any business that wants to diversify its digital marketing strategy.
Steps to Develop a Social Media Strategy in 2018
Shaping your social media strategy starts with knowing who to target, what your objectives are, and how you measure up against your competitors. Only then you can create social media content that’s truly effective.
1. Define Your Target Audience
Ask yourself, what segment of the population are you trying to reach? Which social media channel are they more likely to hang out on? Is it Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn? What type of marketing will pique their interest most? Finding answers to these questions will help you better shape your campaign, and make it more appealing to your potential customers.
2. Define and Set Measurable Objectives
Let’s say your objective is to to add more followers to your social media channel. Yes, but how many more followers?
Always set measurable targets, so you can quantify your progress. For example, don’t just say you want to have more followers, but set a goal to get 200 more followers by the end of the month, and to increase that number by 100 each month. This will allow you to track your progress, and see what you should do differently if you fail to reach those numbers in a given month. Thus, every time you adapt or change your strategy you can easily quantify your progress.
3. Understand Your Competitors
You may think it’s bad to compare yourself to others, but not when it comes to business. Researching your competition will help you understand where you stand in your field, what are the social media strategies working for your competitors, and how you can differentiate yourself from them.
Researching your competitor’s social media channels gives you a unique glimpse into their business strategies that you otherwise wouldn’t have access to. See what they’re doing right and what you’re not, or where they’re failing to improve, and you could do better, and how you can adapt these findings to improving your own social media strategy.
So, go on and spend some time on the Facebook, Twitter or Instagram pages of your competition to get a feel of how they interact with their customers.
4. Plan Your Marketing Content
With all this newfound information, you can start planning your marketing content. This includes pacing your progress, sticking to your plan while always staying open to adapt to new situations.
Spontaneity has its own benefits; however, you shouldn’t leave things to chance. A well thought out plan that details when, how, what, and how often you should send out content has a better chance of being successful than leaving everything to chance.
Having continuity and set dates will help you gather useful information that will help future campaigns, like the time of day people interact most with your content, the type of content that converts the most, and other parameters that you can observe during your on-going campaigns.
5. Listen to Your Customers
Besides being able to reach a wider audience than ever, social media has another great advantage – it creates a feedback loop, which you can use to make improvements to your product or service.
During your social media campaigns, you may find out that certain aspects of your product may not be as appealing to your customers, or that your product is appealing to certain people, but not to others. Listen to your customers, and be open to the two-way communication social media creates.
6. Be Open to Try New Things
Always repeating what’s worked in the past will end up becoming a boring pattern for your audience. The key to keeping things fresh is to always find ways to diversify your content. So, don’t be afraid to try out new marketing content and keep up with the newest trends in social media marketing.
7. Be Consistent
Consistency is another thing that you should abide by in your online marketing campaigns. Think about how you want to establish yourself as a brand and make your identity consistent across all social media platforms you are using. Also, set objectives that you can measure your progress against, and take an active role in planning, creating, and sending out content on a regular basis.
Start Off 2018 With a Powerful Social Media Strategy
If your business is not on social media yet, don’t wait for 2018 to get on it. Create your social media profiles now, and kick off the New Year with a great social media campaign.
The amazing thing about social media is that you can set up your profiles for free, and you don’t have to invest thousands to reap its benefits. And the benefits are many: you can reach various age groups from various parts of the world, you can communicate with your customers in real-time, you can adjust your strategy on-the-go, and you can track your progress.
As with any marketing strategy, you must invest time in experimenting and seeing what works best for your business. All it takes is a keen sense of observation, a little research, and the willingness to keep things fresh.