Winning at social media used to be simply about having a presence and regularly updating it. Today, however, the stakes are much higher:
• There are 2.56+ billion global mobile social media users, with 1 million new active mobile social users added every day.
• 71% of consumers who have had a good social media service experience with a brand will recommend it to others.
• Almost a third of millennials engage with a brand via social media at least once a month.
Social media is a huge potential market and, increasingly, the platform where consumers are engaging with brands. Winning at social today requires a carefully thought through social media marketing plan that works specifically for your business.
Creating your own social media marketing plan
What are your goals?
These should be realistic and achievable – 1 million Twitter followers in a month is not going to be possible. Focus on goals that will help your business overcome some key challenges, whether that’s increasing brand awareness, establishing a loyal fan base or improving sales.
Who are your customers and where can you find them?
The key to effective social media marketing is to focus on those channels where your efforts are going to make the most impact. For example, 59% of Instagram users are aged between 18 and 29 whereas on LinkedIn this demographic accounts for just 34%. Identify the channels that correlate best with the goals you have established and find out where your existing customers direct their attention when it comes to social media. Concentrate on the platforms where your brand can build relationships with the right audience.
Define your metrics
Follower counts are always useful but tend not to be the most important metrics, as they don’t really tell much of a story about how well your social media efforts are working. When you create a social media marketing plan, identify some other key metrics that will enable you to measure ROI. These are three key measures:
1. Reach – how many users saw the post?
2. Clicks – how many people clicked on it?
3. Engagement – who interacted with it?
What do your competitors do best?
It’s never a good idea to copy competitors but there is no harm in researching success stories to help generate ideas for your own strategy. Search for competitors via Google and then use a tracking tool to see how they create the most engagement, as this could also work for you.
Content is key
The quality of your content will be fundamental to whether you perform well on social media so it’s worth taking the time to plan it in your strategy. Consider content themes so that your feed is consistent and don’t forget to vary your media – video, in particular, creates significant engagement.
Don’t ignore your audience
Once you start to build followers you need to keep them and use them to reach others, so building engagement into your strategy is key. A basic strategy might include being reciprocal with likes, retweets, reposts etc, replying within a specific time limit when other users “@” you and joining the discussion on topics relevant to your brand.
An essential part of defining your social media marketing strategy is working out how to improve as you progress. For that you’ll need data harvested from tracking. Keep reviewing the data, rethinking your goals and tailoring your social media marketing strategy until you get the results you want.
Social media marketing is key for every brand today – having a strategy in place could give you a real edge.
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