The biggest challenge that most businesses face when trying to implement a social media strategy is figuring out how to start. This blog provides a step-by-step guide that will make the process easier.
Social media marketing is defined as the use of social media to build a company's brand, increase sales & leads, and drive website traffic.
There are many social networks available to businesses of all sizes. It is important for companies to identify the channels that are most relevant and useful to their target audience in order to optimize their campaigns accordingly.
Aside from providing companies and brands with an avenue to engage with prospective & existing customers, social media marketing has purpose-built analytics that allows social media specialists to track the overall success of their efforts, as well as identify other ways to engage with their target audience.
Social media marketing has become a huge part of business today. It's not just for large businesses anymore - even the smallest of businesses are using social media to some degree.
The goal of any effective social media marketing strategy is simple - to create trust and relationships with your target audience, which in turn leads to sales and brand building.
However, creating a successful social media marketing strategy is not easy - it takes research, planning, and execution to achieve success.
That's where a strategic plan comes into play. Once you have this overview, it's time to get to work and implement strategies that will help you reach your target audience.
Before we deep dive into all things social media strategy, we wanted to highlight exactly why social media is important to every business out there regardless of its size.
Social media is an essential part of any business strategy. It's important to start small and focus on building a strong social media presence.
Having a well-designed social media campaign will help you attract new followers and grow your business overall. But it's not always about growing followers; it's about producing content that is fresh, engaging, and giving your audience what they want.
We've touched on it briefly before but building a company brand on social media is critically important. In fact, it's the crucial step that all business owners miss when they start marketing their business on social media.
It really does go beyond posting images and videos and hoping for the best. It's about creating and publishing content that aligns with your brand and what it stands for.
Think about your business and what makes it unique. If you can build a relationship with your target audience through social media, they are likely to be loyal customers in the future.
Now that you know the importance of social media, let's now take a look at the seven platforms that every business can market itself on.
Each platform has its own unique audience and marketing strategies, so it's important to choose the right one for your business.
Additionally, it's essential for every business to create a social media plan that aligns with its brand's goals and strategy.
Facebook is the most popular social media network in the world and for good reason. It has over 2 billion active users and it's one of the easiest platforms to use.
When creating a campaign on Facebook, there needs to be a focus on building a strong brand presence. All content needs to be branded correctly, align with the company's values, and look professional.
In terms of strategy, you can try out some tried-and-true marketing tactics like publishing regular blog posts, videos & images, or sharing other content and putting your spin on it.
Instagram is another social media platform that has exploded in popularity over the past few years. It's now considered to be as important as Facebook, if not more when it comes to growing a business via social media.
When marketing a company on Instagram, there should be a focus on creating visually-appealing content that meets the needs of the target audience.
In more recent times, Instagram Reels have become more prevalent which presents a gold mine of awareness for businesses who are looking to be found where their prospective customers hang out online.
Gaining Instagram followers is such a metric for most businesses that they lose sight of its real purpose - to nurture traffic and engagement from other platforms such as Pinterest & TikTok.
LinkedIn is considered to be the 'workplace social network' and for good reason. It has a massive pool of working professional users who are likely to be interested in what your business has to offer.
When marketing on LinkedIn, a company will want to make sure that all content is professionally written and formatted, and built with business in mind.
Additionally, it can help to create blog posts or videos related to your niche as well as share other relevant articles or videos across different social media platforms.
In saying all of this, the LinkedIn feed has very much gone the way of Facebook in more recent times, and thus being found organically on the platform has never been easier.
Regardless if a company is positioned in the B2B or B2C space, there has never been a better time to showcase the expertise of your business.
Let's call it for what it is - Twitter has taken a dip in social media platform prominence. Once considered a popular platform alongside Facebook & Instagram, it doesn't hold the relevance it once did.
However, that doesn't mean it can't be of use to your business as there are currently 217 million users on the platform as of 2022.
If you're producing a lot of blog content at a high volume aka content velocity then Twitter is a good platform to share that content on.
Once considered an imaged-based platform only, Pinterest is now so much more - it's a search engine. This makes it a powerful, untapped, resource to drive a high volume of targeted, organic traffic to your website on a daily basis.
Through the use of Standard Pins and Idea Pins, as well as various Pin Boards, they can be optimised much like on-page content would be through SEO tactics to help prospective customers find a company's content and website.
It really is a great untapped social media platform and is highly effective in improving the growth potential of a company.
Once known as Musical.ly, it has rebranded into TikTok and is very much the "new kid on the block" of social media networks to market a business on.
Through the use of video content that is similar to Instagram Reels, TikTok videos are highly engaged and relevant to not only millenials but those who are 35 years old and older.
One recommendation we would suggest with TikTok, and the same can be applied to Pinterest, is that it needs to treat it like an outreach platform in which companies can funnel users through to an Instagram account where they can nurture them to conversion.
This is part of a much deeper social media marketing strategy but the point is to not expect sales via the platform. Use it in a more strategic manner to fuel growth and conversions elsewhere i.e. Instagram.
When it comes to video content, YouTube is king. With over 1.3 billion active users globally and an average of three minutes spent per user per day watching videos, companies need to start thinking about their content strategy here if they want to monetize their channel through advertising or subscription revenue streams.
There are a few things that can be done in order for a company's video content to rank well on YouTube: create personable videos with strong storytelling; write engaging titles and descriptions; and create high-quality videos that are crisp, clear, and easy to view.
Much like Pinterest, YouTube is a search engine. In fact, it's the second most popular search engine behind Google, and for good reason.
Creating a social media marketing strategy is important for any business regardless of the niche or industry. However, it can be daunting if you're not familiar with the process.
This is why we decided to create this step-by-step guide for any business looking to create, implement and execute a social media strategy that will produce lasting business results in a number of ways.
The first step in creating a social media marketing strategy is to audit and optimise your social media presence.
This means taking a look at all of your accounts and assessing which ones are performing the best (based on likes, shares, and other metrics such as web traffic).
Once you have an idea of which channels are working well for you, it's time to tweak them according to your specific business goals.
For example, if you're looking to increase brand awareness, then make sure that all of your posts are high-quality content that reaches your target audience.
In addition, it is important not only to monitor follower numbers but also the types of content being shared - likes, shares, comments etcetera. As with any marketing campaign or strategy, periodic review is essential for making changes that will continue enhancing performance.
Setting goals is an important step in any social media marketing. It helps you map out a course of action and track your progress.
Once the goals have been decided, it's time for a company to plan how it will get there. Here are some things to consider during this goal-setting phase:
Before content creation can begin, it is important to know who the target audience is and what they are interested in.
Once this information has been gleaned, the next step would be to develop a strategy that will help reach them on the platforms that are most relevant.
Ensuring that the content on all these channels is engaging and relevant can go a long way in boosting brand awareness and developing loyal customer bases resulting in regular sales or enquiries.
If there's one aspect of a social media strategy that is just as important as researching a target market, it's conducting a thorough competitor analysis.
To stay ahead, it is vital for any company to understand its direct competitors and what makes them successful on social media.
Taking the time to analyze what makes them successful will help you form an effective strategy for a company's social media presence.
One piece of data that may arise from this research is that a company may have more or fewer competitors than they initially thought.
Now that a target audience has been identified, companies now need to take the time to choose the most relevant social platform to market on.
While it may seem like the most logical move to choose all the platforms that we've featured above, it's a step in the wrong direction.
As we have mentioned a number of times now in this guide, marketing to a target audience on platforms where they frequent is key here.
If you're an aged care service provider, it probably makes very little sense to market on TikTok because your target market is unlikely to be using this platform.
However, platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Pinterest, are four platforms you would market services such as aged care on.
Choosing the right social media management tool is essential for effective, and planned social media marketing.
There are a variety of tools available on the market, so it's important to decide which one best suits your business needs and the social media network platforms being used.
Scheduling and publication tools such as Sprout Social & Hootesuite will allow for Facebook & Instagram accounts, but may not accommodate other platforms.
If you've got a business that needs to be on Pinterest, we can't recommend Tailwind enough.
It is important to plan the content in your strategy well in advance so that it can be executed effectively and generate the desired results.
Regular monitoring of results is necessary to decide whether adjustments need to be made, and a company's branding should be consistent across all channels - website, blog, social media, etc. to ensure brand cohesion and recall among the company's target market.
There are a number of metrics and platforms that can be used to measure the success of your social media marketing strategy.
Some common ones include likes and shares, but we'd recommend including others such as how content has had an impact on website traffic, as well as sales & leads.
As a company, you should also keep an eye on trends in social media so you're not promoting content that's no longer relevant or engaging with your audience.
Once you've identified some key performance indicators (KPIs), it is important to use them to improve and fine-tune your campaign as needed.
This way you can ensure consistent results over time and make sure your strategy is achieving its goals at all times or at least working toward them.
It's also important to track the success of social media campaigns so you know whether or not it's worth continuing to invest resources in the specific platforms you've chosen to market on.
This is a common question that we get from many clients when they work with us on their social media accounts. The short answer is to research topics that are relevant to your business but will solve a problem for your target audience or provide them with upfront value.
For example, if you are a fitness food business, it makes little sense to be blogging about your products every time you blog.
SEO is an important part of any online marketing strategy, and content is key.
Instead, why not create a 1,000-word blog on the 15 benefits of having your breakfast after your workout? Assuming this is an actual topic, it's relevant to the company's target persona and doesn't hint at selling any products.
All it does is sell value, build the brand's credibility in the eyes of the user, and drive targeted traffic to the website.
Possibly the most asked question we get - is how do I grow my followers on <insert social media network platform>?
Again, it's all about providing value and building a brand that is trusted due to its strong level of expertise on a particular subject.
Patience is key here but if companies are doing all the right things and producing the right type of content, then it's only a matter of time before their pages begin to grow.
This all depends on the type of niche or industry. As we mentioned before, it doesn't make sense for an aged care service provider to be on TikTok, but it does make sense for them to be on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.
Below is a list of the social media network platforms we mentioned earlier and examples of businesses that would benefit from marketing themselves there: