December 12th •
Refining your social media strategy isn’t as simple as tossing ideas at a wall—like your Facebook wall—and seeing what sticks.
Social media marketing has evolved to become even more complex as more platforms come into play and more complicated features evolve on older platforms. But that also means there are more opportunities than ever to connect with customers online.
Keep reading for a basic overview of what you should expect as you’re planning a big social media campaign, or just defining your long-term social media marketing goals.
Your company’s social media game plan needs input from the whole crew, but execution should ultimately fall to a specialist. While almost unheard of years ago when Myspace was one of the only kids on the block, nowadays social media experts are the norm for marketing agencies and bigger companies looking to push the boundaries of social media marketing.
Although strategy should evolve from team-wide input, tactics should fall to your trusted social media ninja.
Social media isn’t just about belting out ads left and right. Taking a more measured approach and listening first will pay dividends later.
Your customers (and your competitors) are already talking, and picking up on their conversations can help you shape your social media strategy for maximum benefit—both what you should say and where you should say it.
Many companies create social media accounts solely for the sake of having them, or because they read online that it’s the right thing to do.
Well, it IS the right thing to do. But without a focused message, your social media campaign isn’t going to work. Start with the end in mind, setting clear goals you wish to accomplish with your campaign BEFORE you realize things aren’t working out.
Define beforehand what you can call a success. If not, you’ll never know if the campaign is working, or when it’s time to shift gears and change up your messaging.
How will you measure success? User engagement? ROI? Form fills? Building and planning a social media campaign is similar to starting any other add campaign, and if you aren’t paying attention to success metrics then you’ll never be successful.
Who is your target customer for this particular campaign? Are they different from your typical demographic, and if so, how will you change your messaging to target these new potential buyers?
Who you talk to determines how you should speak to them, so figure this step out before you get started to avoid wasting a perfectly good ad campaign.
There’s a lot of garbage that gets tossed up on social media without a care in the world, with companies expecting their followers to happily eat it up and share it far and wide. But that’s not how things work.
You can tweak and modify your unique selling proposition and company culture into a succinct package to cut through the noise on social media. Simply sharing and posting is not enough—as with everything you do online, you must deliver something of value.
The best business social media accounts don’t post like businesses—they post like people. And doesn’t that make sense?
By humanizing your brand into “one of the guys/girls” that both adds value and fits right in with your followers’ other social contacts, you break down so many barriers to selling. Instead of being a business only out to make money, you become a real part of your followers’ tribe—which is a very lucrative place to be.
Much like having a posting calendar for your blog, you should also have a plan for each of your social media channels. More than that, you should be asking yourself WHY your business uses the social channels that you do.
If you use Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, but can’t think of a reason why you’re actually on Instagram, then get off Instagram. I guarantee you that your Instagram efforts will suffer, either being totally ineffective or downright harmful for your brand.
This is just a summary of the basics of social media strategy, but it’s enough to get you started. Social media marketing campaigns can be tricky, and each channel has its own nuances that need to be figured out to achieve lasting success.
Above all else, avoid self-promotion. Social media, after all, is about being social. So get out there and start connecting.
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