How to build a social media marketing strategy
Lots of us use social media in our personal lives whether we choose Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or even some of the new players. However, it’s a very different game when you use these platforms for professional purposes. You need a social media strategy before you set up a profile. The place to start is to find out where your audience are, then watch them to find out what types of updates they are engaging with. This is the most surefire way to get the results you’re after.
Whilst that sounds simple, it can take time. So, here’s our advice on how to put together the perfect social media strategy.
Who are you speaking to?
Most companies and organisations will have a number of target audiences of different ages, genders and backgrounds. This is why audience segmentation is so important. This helps to focus who you are speaking to so your activity can be tailored accordingly. A social media strategy is not a one-size-fits-all policy. For example, Facebook is traditionally used by an older audience and 30% of global Instagram users are between 25 and 34 years old. So, work out who you are speaking to, find where they congregate and draw up your content with them in mind.
How are you speaking to them?
Depending on your target audience, it may be best to use a different tone and style on different platforms. This is more time consuming as you cannot just copy and paste content. But, the results make it worth it. Also, consider what to include in those specific posts. For example, research shows that hashtags don’t work that well on Facebook, Instagram demands a strong visual and LinkedIn is usually more formal. Video is universally huge but comes with different requirements for each platform. This can be understandably overwhelming. So, once you know what your audience wants, look at the resources and the time you have at your disposal in order to do it well.
What do you want them to do?
Success may look differently depending on what platform it’s on and who is the target audience. For example, Facebook could be about driving traffic to your website yet YouTube is more about brand awareness through views. The journey through to conversion is also going to be different depending on who you are talking to. It has to go through a lot of steps first from brand awareness right through to advocacy – each touchpoint should be recognised as an achievement.
Times are changing
Social media does not stand still – changes are being brought in all of the time. The most notorious of these are the Facebook and Instagram ever changing algorithms. They both move their goalposts on how to get organic content in front of your audiences on a regular basis. Be agile to these changes in your social media strategy to find ways to make these tweaks work to your advantage.
For example, Facebook changed its algorithm after the Cambridge Analytica scandal to prioritise ‘conversations and meaningful interactions’ with people over brands. This makes the job of a Facebook marketer even trickier. So, a social media strategy needs to have a degree of flexibility to allow for these changes and to reassess any social media KPIs.
Everything has its price
If you have the budget for it, you may want to include some paid-for activity in your social media strategy. The paid-for options across the major platforms can help you to pinpoint the people you want to get in front of to hit specific objectives. This could be particularly helpful if your business is reaching out to a niche or specialist audience. However, remain realistic about results. Google Ads are for people who are looking to buy, social ads are about catching browsers in the right mood to make that purchase or boosting brand awareness. It is also a good way to overcome those pesky Facebook algorithm challenges – branded pages only reach 2% of their fans through organic activity. So, we recommend using a mixture of organic and paid advertising to make the platform work for you.
Keep your social media strategy simple
Your strategy doesn’t have to be complicated. We recommend using cloud technology and having an easily accessible plan that includes:
- Events and PR schedule
- A calendar of national dates which are relevant to your business
- Blogging schedule
- Access to your sales cycle
- A folder of pre-approved images and content to use that is unique to your company
- Brand guidelines, expectations, goals, reporting measurements and an up-to-date social media policy
So, it’s clear to see why a social media strategy is an essential part of your marketing toolkit. It should sit well alongside your digital and offline activity to ensure branding, messaging and overall look and feel are aligned. This will ensure a positive experience for your existing and potential customers.
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The Typeface Group know how to keep it simple yet effective when it comes to a social media strategy which produces results.
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