A web professional of 20 years, Bernard is the General Manager of Truelogic, an SEO Company based in the Philippines. He is a strong advocate of creating a culture of leadership. He has launched 4 companies, over 300 websites, and more than 11,000 marketing campaigns.
Social media marketing refers to the practice of using social media platforms — such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Snapchat — to advertise your brand or the products and services that you offer. You can use these sites to publish great content, interact with your followers, and run social media advertisements.
When you do social media marketing, you can enjoy various benefits, including the following:
If you want to promote your business through social media marketing, you need to come up with an effective and profitable strategy. This plan will contain your social media goals, the methods you need to do to accomplish them, and the metrics you will track to assess your progress.
The first step you need to do when creating a social media marketing strategy is to set your goals. Doing this will allow you to measure your success and ROI once you implement your strategy.
To start, you need to use the SMART goal framework. This will ensure that the objectives you set for your team are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time bound.
A good way of setting up a specific goal is to know which portion of the sales funnel you are trying to impact. Are you focused on top-funnel metrics (Awareness and Info/Entertainment)? Should you impact bottom-funnel metrics like preference or post-sale engagement (Loyalty)?
One of the social media marketing goals you might set for your brand is to build a community of dedicated followers. You might also want to use your social media accounts to gain more revenue this year. Once you come up with a SMART goal, you will have something similar to this statement: “We will use Facebook to raise awareness regarding our new services and entice at least 200 people to become our customers by the end of this year.”
Before starting to post content on your social media accounts, you should first learn about your target audience and what they want to see on social media. You can accomplish this by creating a buyer persona.
To make the process easier, you can use social media analytics to learn more about your audience. This tool can provide you with relevant information on who your followers are, where they live, and how they engage with your posts on social media.
Spraying your content everywhere to see where it sticks just means you’re probably losing out to the competition that has a better-chiseled message. Remember that Facebook and other social media platforms attempt to serve ads that are “relevant to you.”
Knowing your audience will help you create content that they will like, comment on, and share. This can then allow you to widen your reach and attract more users to learn about your brand. You can also use the information you gather to refine your social media marketing strategy and ensure that it addresses the needs and preferences of your target audience.
You must remember that social media platforms attract different audiences. To ensure that you are not stretching yourself too thin trying to maintain a presence on various social media sites, you should focus on the networks where your target audience is already active instead.
Not all social media channels are created equally. People may use them for real-time exchanges, get their news, find entertainment, and so forth. You may find yourself focused on people doing their research on a product (Information) in which case Youtube videos and Facebook may be their go-to channels for this kind of information.
On the other hand, if your brand is known for its bold, eye-catching content that is filled with personality, your content will do well on Instagram and TikTok. These applications are mostly used by millennials or Gen Z, who enjoy out-of-the-box and eye-popping media.
Lastly, if your target audience is an educated individual, you should head to LinkedIn. This platform is perfect for in-depth, industry-specific content that your audience base might prefer.
Knowing which social media platforms to invest in will allow you to focus your efforts on the appropriate networks. This will allow you to save time and money and be more successful in your social media campaign.
Once you have decided on which social media sites to use, it is time to create an account or improve your profile. You should make sure to fill out all profile fields to help users learn more about your company.
In the description or biofield, it is advisable that you include the keywords users would use to search for your brand. You should also use consistent branding materials—such as logos and images—across all your profiles so that people can easily recognize your business.
After creating a buyer persona, you should have a pretty good idea of the type of content to publish. To make your feed more uniform, you can choose to stick to content themes, which are buckets of topic and content that align with your goals and audience’s needs. These will also help you set your brand apart from others and make your business more recognizable.
Social media platforms allow you to be more creative in terms of the types of content you publish. In addition to the traditional written posts and blog articles, you can use various networks to share the following:
This type of content is a time-sensitive post that pops up first in your followers’ feed by default. You can use stories to refresh users’ minds and help them remember your brand.
To utilize this type of content, you can take your followers behind the scenes of your business. You can show them how you create your products or the special goods you use in providing your services. You can also use stories to cover an event and take your audience on a tour that will allow them to experience the occasion without leaving their seats.
With the rise in popularity of TikTok and the recent release of Instagram Reels comes the prevalence of short-form videos on social media. This type of content has higher engagement rates, which can surely help you raise brand awareness and promote your products or services.
As one of the simplest forms of visual content, image posts are still popular across social media platforms. They are easily digestible and very engaging, which creates the perfect balance for the most ideal type of content.
To utilize photos in your social media accounts, you should take stunning pictures of people using your products or enjoying your services. Focus on taking pictures that have more faces in them because people-heavy images acquire more engagement. They also help in humanizing your brand, which users like.
One of the strategies you can do to improve your social media marketing strategy is to look at how others are doing. You can get inspiration from companies that have excellent profiles and those that have won awards related to social media, such as the Shorty Awards.
View their social media accounts and analyze their posts. Which ones are doing well? What do you notice among these posts? Do they have anything similar? If you can pinpoint it, replicate that strategy on your posts and see how they do.
Aside from looking at well-performing accounts on social media platforms, you should also have an idea as to how your competitors are doing online. To do this, start by searching for the keywords you use and look at the brands that show up on the SERP.
View their social media accounts and see how they compare to your marketing strategy. It is also best if you use this opportunity to determine what type of content is working for them and how you can use your conclusions to adjust your social media campaigns accordingly.
Getting into and succeeding in social media marketing is a matter of trial and error. Once you start implementing your strategy, you might discover that some of your tactics do not work as well as you have predicted, while others are performing great.
You should have a set of metrics that you can refer to regularly. Doing this will allow you to evaluate your campaigns and adjust your tactics according to the performance of your social media marketing strategy.
Additionally, you can test a variety of posts, campaigns, and strategies, and compare their outcomes. This can help you understand the type of content or tactic that works for your brand and provide you with insights that you can use to refine your strategy.
Now that you have learned about the steps you need to do to create a profitable social media marketing strategy, it is time to create your own. It might be challenging at first, but as long as you keep your SMART goal in mind, you will be able to come up with the best strategy for your marketing campaign.
If you need help with your social media marketing strategy, you can turn to a social media marketing agency. They have the experience and technology necessary to assist you in creating a plan that will allow you to unlock the potential of social media for your brand and help you avoid much of the trial and error that is necessary for the beginning.