5 Tips To Make An Impact With Your Social Media Marketing Strategy

There is no doubt that social media marketing can make a big impact on brand awareness, capturing leads, and a wide range of business objectives. A recent eMarketer study shows that year over year, over 50% of B2B and B2C brands have proven the effectiveness of social media.

And with 72% of adult internet users on Facebook alone, organizations are now able to not only capture attention but create real relationships with their customers using social media marketing tactics.

Driving ROI with social media isn’t always easy, though. Social media marketing requires a strategy and clear goals before getting started. Below are 5 key things to consider when building a social media plan.

1. Define clear objectives

Are you looking to get more traffic to your website or blog? Collect email addresses for your newsletter? Maybe even sell a product or service? Prioritizing overall business goals is the first place to start when deciding how to leverage social media. Each goal should be tied back to an objective, then converted to social KPIs that measure success.

After defining your objective for a campaign, you can begin planning your ads on social. Different approaches and ad units can be used to reach your target audience. Lead Ads, for example, capture attention with photos or videos. Users then have the option to submit their email information for further information or involvement.

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Measurable goals can then be defined once objectives are converted into social KPIs to help set expectations and project ROI on a specific project or campaign. Understanding the goal of the ad is the first step before creating content that aligns with that objective. From there, any platform can be used to drive leads.

2. Define your target audience

Before creating content, you need to understand exactly who you’re writing to and why. For example, prospective buyers looking for a new product may need more information to help them identify the best solution – like a “Buyer’s Guide”. People more familiar with your brand may be looking for product updates, news, or advanced advice in order to become an expert.

Defining key characteristics of your target persona is the best place to start with a blog strategy. Try to imaging what the person reading your content wants and needs. Then define the core message you want them to know about your brand that will fill the need.

70% of the U.S. population has at least one social networking profile. (Statistica)

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Online tools like Google Analytics also help guide you in the right direction. Owned data like email lists and website traffic is most valuable when defining your audience. After all, these are the people already interested in your brand. Facebook even has an algorithm that will create an audience from people that “look like” your customers. Then you can test this audience with media to bring in even more business leads.

By creating multiple iterations of targeting per blog, offer, etc., you can learn more about who is most likely to consume content or opt-in to your services. Once the ads have run for a few days, budget can be shifted to the top performing audience to spend more efficiently and produce insights about what content performs best for each audience group.

3. Audit your content

Chances are you’ve already built a website and created content that introduces your company and services. Before sharing this content around the web, it’s important to understand if the message is compelling and tells a story.

The core components of creating great content are:

  • A clear goal
  • A defined audience
  • Consistent publishing schedule
  • A unique approach
  • Measurement and optimization

Also consider where this information is housed. If you only have information about your company on your website, it may be time to start thinking about listing sites and partner blogs that can help boost SEO. This is especially true for contact email and phone number. You never want to miss an opportunity to connect with a potential customer!

Social media is also a great SEO boost. There is an “About” section that contains important information, such as the company history, specialties, mission statement and more. Active social profiles can potentially show up in the first 5-10 searches of a company. Highly informational Google Plus profiles even get their own sidebar in Google search results.

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When auditing the content on your pages and site, think, “What do people want to read or learn about my company? What do I want them to learn?” It is best to have this information in several places across the web. Consistently creating content to frame these details in new ways will capture attention and boost SEO while staying relevant to a larger group of people.

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4. Make a content calendar

Now that you have an idea of a clear idea of your brand’s messaging and where the information can be found, it’s time to link it all together. Social media is known for connecting people to each other and even businesses across the globe. In order to successfully play a part in all of the relevant communication happening right now, you must maintain an active profile and publish thought-provoking content with consistency.

Content can usually be bucketed into core subjects that surround your expertise. Remember the “defining your audience” exercise? The needs, wants and beliefs of your audience should mirror the topics discussed across your page. The more a visitor to your page cares about a certain topic, the more likely they are to engage or read on.

Simplify these categories as they relate to your brand in problem>solution fashion.

Example:

  1. What is the need/want?
  2. Why?
  3. What solution do we have?

No one has a lot of time to shop around these days. There is so much information available it can be hard to know if you’re making the right decision.

Expert customer service that will help pick out the right product for the job.

In the example above, writing a blog (or even a Facebook post) about how to identify the right product could help encourage potential customers to shop around on your site or give you a call! Just make sure to publish your content across the web to ensure you’re reaching people in need of your services. Staying on top of a content calendar will help keep your brand top of mind.

Another way to connect with your customers is by keeping them up to date with company news and events. New products, locations, etc. could spark interest and also show growth and innovation from your company. Using paid media, updates can be targeted to specific geo-locations and industries for increased relevancy.

Most importantly, remaining active and posting diverse content will begin to create relationships and dialogue with users on that platform. Blog readers will think of you as thought leaders. They may even share your great content with their friends and co-workers, offering exponential opportunities to get in front of a future customer.

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5. Use insights to inform future campaigns

The final piece of a good social media marketing strategy is the report. There is no improvement without analyzing what worked and didn’t work, especially if you’re just in the beginning stages or trying something new. There are several components of social media ads that can be tested against each other, such as targeting, imagery, post copy, targeting, CTA and more. Consider creating 2-3 variations of the same post while identifying the major variable being test.

“Benchmarks” are metric results used to judge success. Without benchmarks, there is nothing to compare your ads against, causing uncertainty around if your ad “worked” or not. Benchmarks are created after launching your first campaign and are usually identified per platform, targeting criteria, and objective.

Social media objectives can generally be divided into Awareness, Consideration, and Decision stages. During the awareness stage, the main goal is to reach new customers with our brand message. KPIs usually include impressions, reach, and video views. Consideration includes traffic to your site or engagement with content. Decision actions are usually completed by people already familiar with your brand and tend to be more expensive than a view or engagement. Nonetheless, all actions and objectives play a key role in social media ROI.

There is no denying the value or social media marketing. In this new age, people are more likely to trust brands that communicate effectively on the web and have a transparent attitude about what they do. Offering help and advice across social helps build that trust while establishing brand presence as an expert.

Has social media helped your business in some way? Leave a comment and tell us how!