15 Essentials for your social media marketing strategy
Putting a Social Media Marketing Strategy together is no easy task. It takes time and thought. But without it, you will be wasting A LOT OF TIME and MONEY mucking around on social media.
To help ensure you don’t waste time and money, and prevent spinning your wheels with social media we suggest you start by preparing a social media marketing strategy for your business, organisation or product FIRST, before you invest any time and money into social media marketing.
Here are the essential elements that every Social Media Marketing Strategy should cover.
1 - Assessment of where you are now
Where are you now? Lets look at your website first because that is an asset you own:
· What sort of traffic are you getting to your website each month?
· Where is it coming from?
· Are people converting from your website? That means, are they taking action on your website? Are they giving you’re their email address? Are they calling you? Are they contacting you?
· Who is viewing your website?
Once you know what’s happening on your website, then you can take a look at your social media pages. Check your analytics for the past three months and get an idea of these figures as averages per month to generate a baseline:
· Number of posts you post
· Number of Page likes you get
· Number of impressions (# of times your post is presented to viewers)
· Number of people you reached (# of people that actually saw your posts)
· Number of people engaged (they liked, commented, clicked or shared your posts)
· What posts performed the best?
· Who are your current Page Likers
2 - What is your USP
Do you know what your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) is? Many people don’t, or they think it is something that is actually pretty generic i.e. we’re a family owned business with 15 years experience. That’s a pretty generic USP here on the Gold Coast J.
What really sets you apart from your competitors? It needs to be something you can explain in a short, sharp sentence. Have you heard of the elevator pitch? That’s a great place to start, but many businesses and organisations will turn to a branding expert to help them develop a USP that really stands out from the crowd and resonates with their target audience.
3 - What is your brand messages
Your brand messages will evolve from your USP. What short, sharp messages can you use with your social media content to help communicate your USP to your audience?
4 - What are your brand visuals
Many people think their branding is just their Logo. Your logo is an extremely important part of your branding, but your visual brand also includes the fonts you use, the colours you use, filters you use on your images and the type of photos and images that you will use on all your marketing collateral. A lot of businesses and organisations will skimp on branding. We advise against this because every dollar you spend on marketing will only be as successful as the branding behind it. Don’t skimp, it will be an investment you will never regret.
5 - What are your overall business goals and objectives
When you think social media, remember that it is just ONE of your marketing methods and that it needs to tie back to your broader business or organisational goals and objectives. Such as:
· Increase profit margin (earn at least 20% after tax this fiscal year);
· Capture a bigger market share (increase market share by 10% over the next three years).
Your goals and objectives will give you direction for the following step.
6 - What do you want to achieve from social media
From your goals and objectives decide how social media can help you. Do you want to get more repeat business from existing customers or bring in new customers. Do you want to broaden the location from which customers come from? Do you want to boost sales or donations or do you just want to build your profile to be more well known in your area? There are many things you may want to achieve from social media marketing. Define your wish list first and if you’re not sure if they can be achieved with social media marketing then talk to an social media specialist to see what is possible.
Remember to also consider other forms of marketing which still exist and can be more effective under different situations.
7 - Who is your target audience
Now we come to one of the most important things to nut out. Who EXACTLY are your target audience? Many of you will think that this is whoever wants your product or service. Sure, that is how we often feel when we just want more sales. But marketing is most successful when you have a niche audience. Everything you do is targeted to that niche and if you don’t have any idea who that is, then your marketing will be too generic and miss the mark.
What are your target audience demographics (age, gender, locations, income level, education level, marital or family status, occupation, ethnic background)?
Remember you may have more than one target audience, e.g. for each different product or service etc.
7 - What do your target audiences’ personal characteristics
Marketers call these target audience psychographics. They include things like their personality, attitudes, values, interest/hobbies, lifestyle and behaviours. The more you know about your target audience the more you can communicate to them that you ‘get them’ and that ‘you can help them (solve their problems).
Remember we are all out there today to find out how we can get what we need and with information overload we are scanning to find things that resonate with us. Marketing needs to ‘stand out from the crowd’, be very ‘on point’ and communicate that the viewer will ‘personally benefit from engaging with it’.
8 - Where are your target audience likely to be found on social media?
So once you know who your target audience is in detail, you can start to work out which social media platforms, if any, will be the best places to find them. Here is a simple overview of which platforms are being used by gender and age group in Australia (from Sensis Social Media Report 2017).
I was quite surprised to see that 50% of the men surveyed are now using Instagram compared to 41% women. Of course Facebook trumps all still. Take a look at your demographics and see which platforms they are using and then consider what content they are interacting with on these platforms to see if you could possibly contribute with content of interest.
9 - Who are potential influencers and online partners?
Building relationships online by liking, commenting and sharing their content can sometimes be as beneficial as meeting someone for coffee. In your strategy, identify businesses or organisations that compliment yours and have a similar target audience. Then you can start building those relationships by Liking their profiles and engage with them online. All going well, they may repay the favour and share your content to their audience.
Of course, nothing can really replace face-to-face networking. Add that in to your strategy to really enhance the leveraging.
10 - Competitor analysis
Nothing beats doing a competitor analysis to find out where you stand against your competitors. Put a table together, find their website and note:
· What is their USP, who are they targeting, what tactics are they using to engage their audience.
· What social platforms are they on – how many followers do they have?
· Which platforms are working well for them?
· What are their overall marketing strengths and weaknesses?
11 - What tactics will you use
This is where it can get pretty complex and confusing. I like to keep things pretty simple. The main thing is to document what you are going to try and to make sure you are testing and measuring each tactic to see if it is working for you. When you measure, also consider that it generally take 8 points of contact with an audience to get them to act. You can see why marketing can be a tad difficult hey.
So some ideas of tactics include:
· Create content on your website and share it on social media to drive traffic to your website.
· Advertise content from your website via social media to your target audience/s that is free value (doesn’t ask for anything from them).
· Retarget your website visitors via social advertising with an offer that only asks for an email address from visitors.
· Send offers to your database via an email.
· Run a competition to increase engagement on social profiles
· Advertise to your Page Likes to make sure they stay engaged (maybe use a competition asking to comment on a post)
· Adding a “Please review us on Google or Facebook” link to your invoices or Thank you for your business emails.
· Developing an autoresponder that educates new sign ups about your USP and offerings
· Integrating calls to action onto your website that capture email addresses and bookings
· Develop a social media group to build engagement with your closest fans/customers.
· Develop a social media group to attract your target audience to get to know you better.
· Use branded graphics on social media to build your profile.
· Regularly post testimonials.
· Regularly post how to videos
The list goes on and on…..
14 - What will you monitor?
This goes back to your goals and objectives and what you want to achieve with social media marketing. How will you know you’ve achieved it? What should you be measuring to find out? For example:
· Sales – If you make a sale online, that is fairly easy to monitor via your ecommerce platform and tools such as Google Analytics, but what if you get a sale in your store. How are you going to monitor if that was a direct result from your social media marketing? You’ll need a process to capture this.
· New leads – online you can monitor phone calls and contacts made as well as emails gathered as a result of social media marketing and website content. Tools like Google Analytics go a long way.
· Your database – how many emails do you have, are you regularly cleaning your list? That can have a significant impact on how robust your list really is.
· Your social tribe – how many followers and likers do you have.
· Engagement – are you being heard and responded to or are you talking into an empty room?
· Reach – how many people are actually seeing your content.
If you are using social media ads you’ll also want to be looking at click through rate and cost per click etc. Again – the metrics you choose to monitor should tell you how you are going towards your overarching goals. If you can’t make head or tail of them then you probably need to talk to a social media specialist.
12 - What products do you need
From your tactics you will identify that you need certain products. You may need to add an ecommerce facility to your website, or to develop a series of videos, a download incentive or a landing page to sell a product. Identify what products you need initially and what regular products such as content you will need to keep developing on an ongoing basis.
13 - What resources will you need
Ahh, the punch line. How much will it cost you to implement this strategy. What will it cost to develop the products and who is going to implement your social media marketing strategy and manage daily interactions on your social media platforms. List this out to get an overall total that you will need to allocate to social media marketing for the coming 12 months.
The next step is to create your content plan. We’ll cover that in a blog post in the future.
If you would like any help creating your strategy, please get in contact with us. We make the process super fast and easy to get you out there building your dream.