Table of Contents
Today, around 3.78 billion people are using social media around the world. In 2018, almost all (97%) of Fortune 500 companies employed at least one social media platform for marketing and fostering positive communication.
For businesses, social media can be an affordable marketing platform. It can be an effective way to build brand loyalty, reach your target audience, engage authentically, and create a tight-knit community online.
But without a social media strategy driving your efforts, you’ll no doubt lose money and the opportunity to reach your full potential. Today, we’ll show you how to build a powerful strategy to help your business meet and surpass your marketing goals for social media.
Let’s walk through the steps to creating a solid social media strategy for your business. By the end, you’ll have a clear roadmap to follow.
The first step is setting some SMART goals. SMART stands for specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time bound. What are you hoping to achieve through social media marketing? Remember that your goals will likely change over time. So don’t overthink this step, or it could keep you from moving forward.
Here are some common goals for businesses on social media:
Make your goals specific to your business and timeframe. Try focusing on one or two to start. Here’s an example of a SMART goal for growing your audience: “Grow our Facebook audience to 10,000 followers by the end of 2021.”
If you don’t already have a deep understanding of who your target audience is, it’s time to do some research. You can use social media tools to analyze demographic information. If your social profiles are brand new and you haven’t collected much data on them yet, you can use other sources. Google Analytics, email analytics, and customer reviews are all great resources for gleaning new information.
Look at your current customer base, and speak with your sales team. You can even send out surveys to learn more about your audience directly. Also research your direct competitors – those with similar customers.
We encourage you to create buyer personas to represent members of your target audience. A buyer persona is a fictional representation of your ideal customer. You can create a profile using a free template or create your own from scratch.
Include some of the following information:
After identifying your target audience, you can choose the best social media platforms to reach them. Different channels cater better to different audiences.
One of the biggest rookie mistakes we see is businesses trying to be present on too many platforms. Only choose the ones that offer a good opportunity for your business to thrive. Otherwise, you’ll spend a lot of time and resources on trying to reach an audience that may not exist.
Here’s a quick overview of each channel to get you started.
Facebook has a high-earning user base, making it a great place to run ads. It’s also the biggest social media platform to date, with over 2.85 billion monthly active users. The largest demographic on Facebook today is males ages 25-34.
Twitter audiences are predominantly male and between the ages of 30 and 49. People use this platform for fast, bite-sized bits of information. Twitter users are generally well-educated and higher earners.
Instagram is becoming another social media giant, with approximately 1 billion monthly active users. The largest age group is younger Millennials between 25 and 34. Instagram is an excellent place for artists, photographers, bloggers, digital creators, retail businesses, and influencers to share and sell their products and services.
TikTok attracts Gen Z and Millennial groups primarily, with the largest age group ranging from 18 to 24. TikTok is quickly becoming the preferred social platform for teens (just behind Snapchat). It’s a great place for having fun, being authentic, building a loyal following, and crafting user-generated content.
LinkedIn has a more mature user base than many other platforms, with the largest age group hanging around 46-55. Its ratio of males to females is almost 50/50.
Users don’t engage with the platform as frequently as other platforms, with the majority accessing their accounts monthly. LinkedIn users are generally highly educated, higher earning, and B2B. This makes it an excellent place for running professional ads and selling products and services to other businesses.
YouTube also resonates most with the youngsters, with the most significant demographic between the ages of 15-35. This group spends an average of almost 42 minutes per day on the channel. Don’t discount the app if your audience is older, though. 73% of those aged 36-45 use YouTube, as do 67% of those 65 and older.
Source: Sprout Social
Pinterest is another channel to consider if your ideal customer is a female between 30 and 49. Younger generations are beginning to use the app more, as well. Users tend to be higher earners, so advertising here could be a smart move.
Snapchat still has 265 million monthly active users, so it’s worth considering for some businesses. The largest age group is 13-34, and 58% of users are female. If you want to engage younger generations with your marketing, check out Snapchat for trends.
After choosing the best channels for your business, define the key performance indicators (KPIs) you’ll use to track your progress. The data you collect should drive your strategy. Here are some metrics worth paying attention to:
Each platform offers different opportunities for publishing original content. On Facebook, for example, businesses can post articles, website links, and videos. On TikTok, user-generated videos are huge. On Instagram, users prefer high-quality photography and video. And Twitter users like brief bits of breaking news and information.
Focus on your chosen platforms, and research the best types of content to publish there. Remember to keep your overarching social media strategy in mind when developing your content plan.
A vital part of using social media effectively is listening to your audience and engaging in conversations with them. Watch for any interactions on your posts or content from other businesses you can engage with. Monitor conversations about your brand, products, or services.
You can use tools to listen, monitor, and converse with users quickly and easily. Organizations like Hootsuite, Sprout Social, and Keyhole offer social media monitoring and management tools.
Lastly, you’ll need to analyze your results so you know how to improve your efforts over time. Social media is constantly changing. Your strategy should never remain stagnant for too long. If it is, you’re probably already falling behind competitors.
Aim to continue growing month over month and year over year on each social platform. Pay attention to the KPIs we listed above and how your progress is getting you closer to your SMART goals. Social media analytics tools like Zoho Social, Buffer Analyze, and Sendible can help you plan, schedule, and analyze your posts.
We can help you spark meaningful conversations while creating real brand value on social media. You can stand out and get noticed by providing the right content and context for the right audience. We’ll start by analyzing your brand, market, and competitors. Then we’ll help you craft unique stories and plan the best path to social media success.
Our unmatched expertise and industry experience allow us to change the game for our clients. If you’re ready to set your business up for success on social media so you can grow and thrive well into the future, we’d love to talk with you.
Contact us to start the discussion.