Your business probably has a presence on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and Tumblr. However, you might not know how to use them as part of a strong social media marketing strategy in 2015.
Social media marketing (SMM) is an integral part of any business’ marketing strategy. It involves utilizing the top social media platforms to strategically market your business through a cohesive campaign. But the biggest bonus: most social media platforms are free to use and they’re only growing in popularity. Now that we’re deep into 2015, it’s time to use this opportunity to full effect.
Here are some ways to do just that:
1. Create Social Media Objectives and Goals
Anyone can take photos and market content, put it on social media, and receive a few likes or retweets. However, real SMM is based on the acronym SMART: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. This should be used to determine and set realistic goals you want to achieve for your business. This could entail what sort of posts you want, both in terms of content and graphics; how often you’re going to post; and what sort of response you’re looking for.
2. Learn Marketing with Social Media
Social media marketing has to be understood from a marketing perspective, and it’s imperative you know that before you get started. This means to you need to do the following:
- Research and, in particular, perform some keyword phrase research, as well as brainstorm some ideas for a social media marketing campaign.
- Create a good campaign. It should be content-centric, with some videos or photos to grab attention.
- Make plans to create a blog, with new information about your company and contests and promotions you can include.
- Incorporate links, like having one back to your web site and articles.
3. Create or Improve Your Social Media Accounts
It goes without saying that if you don’t have any social media accounts, you should create one. You might have to stop and think about which ones you want to use, but aim for the business-centred ones, including Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, and Twitter. And if you’re already on such sites, then use keywords, SEO, videos, and cross-referencing of your social media accounts to improve your SMM activity.
4. Identify Ideal Customers
When you use social media, you get a real insight into your clients, including age demographics, interests, locations, and more. Based on their buying from and engaging with your business, you can see their consumption habits and interests. You need to be aware of all this information in order to help identify and target your customers better, and market to them more directly via social media.
5. Research Competition
With social media, you have the ability to see what customers are interested in and then determine how to target them for increased online performance, often also scoping out the competition in the process. You can search hashtags and topics across Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn to see what other businesses are doing to attract clients. You can also check newsfeeds by doing a graph search on Facebook to see what topics are being shared; this sort of information will help you gauge what people like and how you can find the customers to which you want to market.
6. Create a Content Strategy
Having a content strategy on social media means having something you can regularly provide people with, such as information, tips, and ideas. You also want something that’s shareable so it can be spread easily across multiple social media sites. You have a variety of choices here: coupons, regular tips and news updates, how-to videos, questions clients can comment on—the list goes on. You just have to make sure it is interesting and offer it regularly.
7. Engage Your Audience
When creating a great content strategy, first and foremost comes engaging your audience and putting in the work to have them want to become involved in your social media activity. This includes posting questions and creating a way they can leave feedback, so they can contribute their own ideas pertaining to your business. In addition, make sure you respond to their queries in a timely manner and measure the analytics from their responses using the appropriate social media marketing analytics tools.
Using these tips, you can design a successful social media marketing strategy to engage your target audience and provide them with a pleasant experience. It may take some work, but once you’ve gotten into the swing of things, social media marketing can be very rewarding.