Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Instagram…and on and on. Social media – so many channels, so little time. And to add to that, it all just keeps changing. If you’re like a lot of marketers and business owners, you know that you need to have a presence on social media. Right?
The answer is yes – especially if you’re in a B2C industry. Here are a few statistics about the adoption of social media. (Social Media Today)
- 22% of the world’s population use Facebook, and 76% of those users logged in every day in 2016
- On any given day Snapchat reaches 41% of the 18-34 age group in the US
- 81% of millennials check Twitter at least once a day
- 75% of male and 83% of female internet users are on Facebook
Social media is a great avenue for expanding the reach of your company and it is one of the best ways to deliver a message to a highly targeted audience. However, it is not without its mysteries and nuances. Choosing the right channels is key to your success, so it’s important to research your audience and competition to make sure you’re setting the right course.
Read on for some tips on how to create and implement a successful social media marketing strategy.
#1: Identify your personas and choose your social channels
One of the best things about social media is that each channel gathers specific data from people when they sign up. The benefit to businesses is that it’s possible to have highly targeted ads that reach a very specific audience. It’s good for the individual because they receive content marketing that is relevant to their profile and they can opt-out of content they don’t want to receive. Look at it from your own perspective. The next time you’re on your social platform of choice, notice the sponsored content and the advertisement that shows up on your pages.
The channel(s) you choose for your strategy will vary, depending upon the type of business you have. According to a 2017 social media survey by Clutch, social channels such as Facebook, YouTube, Instagram are typically the best channels for B2C, whereas Twitter and LinkedIn are better suited to B2B businesses. However, just because you are a B2B company, doesn’t mean that you won’t receive any benefit from Facebook. Develop your messaging based on the type of the channel – Facebook, YouTube and Instagram are more of a personal lifestyle place and LinkedIn and Twitter are more business and news focused.
By identifying your personas and knowing what social media channels they are likely to use will help you develop a successful social media marketing strategy.
#2: Identify your social media goals
Social media goals should support your overall content marketing and contribute to the company objectives. These goals also serve as a checkpoint to make sure your efforts are focused, and you don’t waste time and resources with activities that don’t provide measurable results.
Common social media goals include website traffic, brand awareness, number of leads generated, number of conversions, and of course revenue. It’s important to have these goals in place before you implement your social media plan (see tip #3), and it’s also important to make sure you track metrics throughout your campaigns. This will enable you to see what’s working (and what isn’t), and tweak your strategy and content accordingly.
#3: Set your objectives first
Objectives are broad and achieved through specific campaigns and tactics. Sample objectives might include: create awareness of your company in a specific market or demographic, generate qualified leads for the sales team, increase traffic to your website or brick and mortar store, establish your company as a thought leader, etc. Think of your objectives as a destination.
#4: Plan your social media campaigns and tactics
Your social media campaigns and tactics are the ways that you are going to reach your objectives or destination. For example, if your objective is to increase awareness of your company and sell your services to a demographic or professional profile, then your campaigns and tactics will be planned to meet that audience. If this audience is on Facebook then your tactics might be to create a video, plan a Facebook live event, buy ads and target that group, offer a contest or coupon that people can share, etc.
There are many options. I suggest a creative session with your team where you can collect your ideas on a whiteboard and choose the ones that have most potential and can be measured.
#5: Develop your content
Mix it up and keep it engaging. Content for social media can include: contests, surveys, links to blog posts, GIFs, video, live video (Facebook) and more. Keep your content aligned to your personas and get creative with your headlines.
People skim on social media, so make sure your headlines grab attention. Your content strategy should make it possible to use your content across multiple channels such as on your website, in emails and other marketing campaigns.
#6: Create an ongoing social media schedule to maintain momentum and results
- Establish a schedule for regular posting. Set a pace you can manage that allows you to add additional posts when you have time-sensitive information such as a news announcement or presence at an event.
- Get organized. There are several platforms available to help you schedule and manage posts across all channels
- Assign a champion. This person will own the strategy and oversee implementation of the strategy
- Identify team members who are authorized to post and monitor on behalf of the company
- Set rules for posting. Make sure the team understands what can be posted and what and when approvals are necessary. Seek advice from your legal or public relations team if you have questions about posts that could potentially disclose confidential information about the company
- Establish a process for how you will respond to negative comments about your company
- Determine a budget. Set a monthly budget for your ads and track your results
#7: Set up for success
Like many other forms of digital marketing, there are a lot of details involved in establishing and implementing a successful social media strategy. To have a robust plan, it is necessary to dedicate time and talent to it. Some companies choose to do this internally and others find more success by hiring a marketing agency to lead run their social strategy.
Our team at LimeLight loves working with B2B and B2C companies to execute winning social strategies. Why consider us as your trusted partner? Our staff of creatives, content specialists, videographers, writers and social media experts can give you the well-rounded depth of talent that you might not have internally. Plus, our experience running social for multiple companies means we stay on top of trends and technology to keep your strategy thriving. The result is a trusted partner who can get you social media off the ground or take it to the next level to amplify your marketing impact.
Want to talk social media? Get in touch!