Social media is the term used for internet and mobile based mediums which allow users to interact with each other and share their opinions about a certain topic. As the name implies, people build communities by using various social media platforms and engage themselves in fruitful discussions and this trend is not going to stop anytime in the near future. This is the very reason marketers and businesses have started using social media to encourage their prospects and customers to form communities. Also, by designing an engaging social media marketing strategy, you as a marketer can attract a lot of new social media fans and convert them into paying customers.
There are more and more businesses, utilizing social media to grow their businesses, however, you can’t ensure success for your business with the mere use of this tool, but designing a clear, goal oriented strategy is very important in this regard and if you don’t, you will risk losing sales by sending your audience to your competitors. If you are new to this, you must be looking at others with a raised eyebrow and thinking helplessly how they have managed to climb high until they reach at the top of this social media mountain. Though you are equally enthralled to reach at the top, but you certainly need help getting started with this social media marketing strategy. In this post I’ll share all those essential elements which you need to include in your social media marketing strategy so that it work for you right from the day one
1) Identify and Set your Business Goals:
Why you are going to use this social media, you must have clear goals in your mind as you simply can’t move forward when you have no idea what you are working toward. So, look closely at your business needs and then devise a strategy by which you can effectively contribute as a social media marketer. Creating awareness about your brand, retaining old customers and getting new customers are some of the obvious goals which are shared by all businesses. And when you will critically evaluate your company’s needs, you will definitely come up with many personalized goals as well, so never ignore this aspect when devising an SMM strategy.
2) Create a Sound Game Plan:
Creating a social media plan from the scratch is not an easy task, but you can make it enjoyable just like a fun trip via road. Take a start by pointing yourself in the right direction and then regularly keep on checking whether you are on the right track or not. The first step which you should take in this regard is the selection of social networks which you are going to use for this marketing purpose. After that, fill out your profiles completely on all the chosen networks, set your tone and compile all your content in an easy to read a shareable publishing calendar.
3) Align the Right People at your Company with the Plan:
No single person in your organization can own the social media strategy, bring everyone on the board with this strategy and then divide responsibilities among them like to assign one person the task of posting in all the social media networks and the other will be responding to comments, etc. However, you simply can’t allocate any of these tasks to anyone, first build an ark consisting of people having the appropriate level of expertise and after that use this multi skilled team to conceive and operate the strategy the way you want it to be implemented.
4) Treat all Social Platforms Differently:
Each social channel needs a different treatment as the audience on all the channels is not same. When Facebook has followers from all walks of life, then at the same time people on Linked In are more business focused looking for an in depth educational content whereas the audience on Instagram is interested in the visual content. So, be very careful while posting your message on all these platforms and don’t post the content on Facebook which you have just Tweeted.
5) Get Out of Facebook Marketing Only:
Though there are plenty of social networks available, yet many of the social media marketers find themselves stuck in Facebook marketing only. Come on guys, get out of it as Facebook is not the only community which has the potential to bring you new customers. There are several other platforms as well, so don’t limit your efforts to Facebook only. Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest are some of the other platforms where you can successfully market your products and ideas.
6) Find your Marketing Voice:
You know well about your brand, your customer base and your mission statement, now you have to spend some time in deciding the right tone and voice for your content. Take your brand as a personality and then choose how you want to represent that personality, what kind of relationship (father, teacher, friend or coach) you want to develop between that person and customers. After considering these parameters tone your voice accordingly.
7) Post Newsworthy and Relevant Content:
Always keep an eye on the news related to your brand so that you can break the story first if any advancement occurs. It helps winning the trust of people and they start relying on you. Also update your audience about the various events related to your brand or industry and share your own opinion as well.
8) Focus on your Customer Service:
In social media, users are more active as they take part in the discussion, leave their question hoping that they will be responded. It all demands a very quick and sharp customer service rep who will be responding to all the user generated posts, comments and feedback. If you don’t treat your customer like a family member, it will eventually weaken the bond of trust and that dissatisfied potential client will turn to your competitors for his satisfaction. Negative feedback also needs to be responded, but don’t react try to handle it with much patience, prudence and respect.
9) Adopt Perfect Posting Strategy:
Posting at irregular intervals without any planning works sometimes, but you need to develop a proper strategy as to social media timing and frequency matters a lot. Generally five to ten posts per week on Facebook, five tweets on a daily basis, one post in a week on Linked In, almost five posts per day on Google+ are more than enough. As far as perfect timing to post is concerned, 1-3pm is the best time to post on twitter whereas 9-11am is the right time for Google plus. Best time for Facebook is 1-4pm on weekdays and for Linked In it is 5-6pm. However, keep in mind that this timing is calculated according to eastern standards.
10) Reevaluate Your Plan Regularly:
Always keep a close eye on your plan and to assess what your audience is responding to better, you can do A/B testing and if anything is not working properly, just switch it to something else which is working. This will also give you a fair idea about the strategy which is going well and you can carry it further without having a second thought about it.
At the end of the day, whatever strategy you apply, use what best works for your company and keep on introducing new changes after all it is not a strategy written on stone, whatever changes you will make, I’d love to know. Keep this conversation going in the comments section below.