Effective social media marketing requires a well-formed strategy that involves understanding your goals, your target audience, and their requirements. A strategy helps define how you can grow your brand through social media and bring in more leads and conversions. With this post, we offer a simple guide to building an effective social media marketing strategy for your business. Creating your strategy requires answering the 5Ws that we describe below:
#1 Why do you want to be on social media?
This particular Why relates to your social media goals and helps you understand why you want to use social media in the first place. Do you want to promote your products on social media, drive traffic to your website or serve your customers? Social media can especially be used to achieve the following goals:
1) Increase brand awareness and boost engagement
2) Drive traffic to your website
3) Generate new leads and grow revenue
4) Provide easily accessible customer service
5) Understand customer opinions for your brand and its products
A business can have more than one goal in mind while using social media for marketing and separate individuals in your team can be focusing on each of these goals.
#2 Who is your target audience?
Your target audience is your next consideration once your goals are defined. Understanding your target audience can make it easier to know what you are going to share on social media, which platform would be best to share this information and when would be a good time to post. For instance, if a travel and lifestyle brand knows that its customers love to read about new places and get some travel tips, it could focus on such content while posting on its social media profiles.
1) To learn about your target customer, try and get the following information through market research or surveys:
2) Their job titles, age, gender, salary, location, etc. and such information.
3) Their content interests, such as entertainment, educational content, case studies, information on new products and the like.
4) Their social media preferences, which means if they prefer Facebook, Instagram or any other platforms.
5) Their usage patterns i.e., when do they use social media most, weekends, daily commute, evenings, etc.
Their reasons for specific content preferences. Some may be consuming certain types of content to get better at their job, while others to become healthy or stay up to date with the latest news and so on. Their preferred means of content consumption i.e., reading social media posts, watching videos, etc. It is always a good idea to store all this information in any way you like and share it with your team so everyone understands what their target audience wants and how they can provide content that serves those interests.
#3 What are you going to share?
The type of content you want to share is another big question to reflect upon. To know the kind of content to share, most brands define the main theme. Some may also use more than one main theme to offer varied content and keep the audience engaged. Again, your understanding of your audience plays a crucial role in delivering the type of content they would like and recommend. A powerful means is to know their goals and challenges and deliver content that helps them reach those goals and solve those challenges. For example, for a fitness apparel and accessories brand, the target audience may be interested in knowing about the latest fitness gears. So, the brand can share its latest products on its social media profiles and other such information.
#4 Where to share?
Next comes the choice on which social media platform you want to use to share your content. A brand doesn’t have to be on every social media platform since using a few specific platforms gives you a better focus and more time to create better content. It is always good to have a complete profile on the major platforms i.e., Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn as they are the topmost results on Google search results when people search for your brand. But you need to focus on one or two of them that actually cater to your audience and help you achieve your requisite business goals.
Figure out which platforms are most used by your target audience and why. As an example, teenagers and young adults like scrolling through Instagram while a lot of middle-age individuals use Facebook on a regular basis. Knowing which kind of audience you are looking to attract and serve can help single out those platforms which work best for that particular audience. Another important thing to take note of is your brand personality and what you do best. Certain platforms work with certain content types, for instance, Instagram is specifically for sharing photos and short videos. If your team is good at photography and videos they can post their content on Instagram.
Finally, do not forget smaller platforms that cater to specific audiences and have a large user following. If your brand relates to those consumers, utilize such platforms to gain more visibility and reviews.
#5 When to share?
Your audience behavior is the best factor to help decide when to share your content. Focus on understanding the general behavioral patterns of your target audience to find the best time to post your content. For instance, young professionals likely use social media in the evening hours, while people who love travel would be scrolling through their social media profiles over weekends. Once you have a basic idea of when your audience engages with social media, you can define certain time periods when you post your content so that it has the maximum views, shares, and recommendations.
Now that your strategy is ready, you can plan to execute it and bear its fruits. There is no doubt that creating a social media marketing strategy is a tough task as it requires research and a close look at the bigger picture. You need to know your audience, their preferences and what social media platform works best for your audience as well as your business. But having a good social media marketing strategy in place can prove extremely rewarding for your business goals in the long run.