Creating a social media marketing strategy can take a lot of planning and preparation. Understanding the nature of your content, as well as monitoring whether or not your campaign is as streamlined as it can be is a time-consuming task for every business, despite its well-known importance.
The reality is, social media campaigns are a case of planning, research, drafting, communication, and most importantly testing and trialling out new strategies. It shouldn’t be as difficult as it may seem, however, for those who lack experience with social platforms and campaigns, you may be struggling to know where to begin. If this sounds like you, then it’s your lucky day!
As a digital marketing agency in Leicester, we really are the experts in increasing your brand awareness and connecting with your audience through the wonders of social media. To help you out, we’re revealing our top secrets to creating a winning social media marketing strategy, from our very own social media experts here at Digital Ethos. Let’s get started!
Don’t want to read all of it? Skip to the bits you need here:
Social Planning and Preparation
First of all, you should define your social media audience and relate their personas back to your online goals. When we ask our clients what they would most like to benefit from by using social media campaigns, we often hear “increased revenue and sales!” However, you should first relate it back to your business objective and then identify how best to measure success through social media strategies.
It’s important to not get caught up on vanity goals, such as the number of followers or likes, as this doesn’t always relate back to your brand objectives. These should only be used if your main goal is to achieve brand awareness through social media, as other than this, vanity metrics do not prove any value.
With that being said, it’s crucial to understand your competition in order to prioritise the correct goals. During the planning phase of our social media campaigns, we gather and benchmark against competitors, giving you better insight into the market, as well as potential forecasting of the market, pricing, opportunities and even looking for ways to better target customers.
Vary Your Content
Don’t overlook your content! In order for your audience to stay interested in what you have to say and keep them engaged, it’s important that the content you post is varied and shares valuable information. It can also help if your content is ‘shareable’ and encourages your audience to share your content to their own feeds or with friends or family.
Ways to keep your content varied include monitoring growing trends in the industry, keeping up to do date with national and local news, as well as encouraging user-generated content from your audience. If you see something insightful and relevant to your brand, why not share it with the audience through your social channels? Social media is about finding ways of resonating with your audience!
If you don’t enjoy scheduling your content, then your audience likely won’t enjoy keeping up with your feed. Don’t be scared to get creative with your content and try out new things to test on your channels – what have you got to lose!
Use engaging images and graphics to spark interest. It’s true what they say, a picture really does speak a thousand words. Using images within social content can get your user’s attention and help them to remember your brand message. Think out of the box by using GIFs, graphics, videos and images. If you’re stuck for real-life images, it can be well worth using royalty-free stock photo websites, such as Unsplash, Pixabay or Pexels. Canva is also a superb tool for creating eye-catching graphics and videos!
Use a Scheduling Tool
One key factor of a winning social media marketing strategy is timing. After all, your content will need to go live at a time when your target audience is most active on social media, so it may be well worth investing in a social media scheduling tool. Not only will this mean that your content will be published at an exact time, but it will also mean that no matter where you are in the world, your social channels are also still running smoothly!
Identify Optimal Posting Times and Frequency
This also links back to timing, as it’s important to establish the optimum time for posting each day that you post. While many people may think that the best time to post is either a Friday lunchtime or a Saturday morning, this can very much differ depending on your industry and audience.
As an example, one of our clients has a dental clinic situated in Essex, with their optimal posting time typically in the morning and on Monday and Thursday. Whereas, we also have a Leicestershire wedding venue who best reach their social media audience on a Wednesday evening. As mentioned above, social media is about trial and testing!
An important aspect of a successful social media campaign is to be aware of social media best practices, as these play a significant role in who views your post, how many click-throughs to your website you achieve, and also how well you’re able to reach the right audience.
Some of the main best practices include using hashtags, adding website and landing page links and using the correct size of images or videos within your content. Why not check out our favourite social media strategies of 2020?
Keep Two-Way Communication Alive
Community and engagement management is a huge aspect of the success of a social media marketing campaign, and as such, it’s important to manage the inbound comments and messages from your audience to keep the two-way communication alive.
With social media becoming a number one route for some customers shopping with a brand, it’s important to regularly monitor your channels and ensure that any enquiries, questions, comments or reviews are responded to. Engagement doesn’t just relate to what you post, but also how you respond to your audience!
Monitor Your Analytics
When running any campaign for your business, whether it be through SEO or even PPC, it’s crucial to measure the performance to identify if the campaign was a success, or what can be improved for next time. Of course, social media is no different, and you should be monitoring your social media analytics too.
These metrics allow you to identify whether or not you are on track to meeting your business objectives and goals, whether it be through measuring followers, likes, engagement rates, click-through rates or conversions. Not only will metrics allow you to view the success, but it can also provide you with insights as to what is and isn’t working, what your audience engages with most and how your social media presence compares to that of your competition.
Nurture and Grow Your Social Channels
You should also understand that social media campaigns won’t show amazing results overnight – it can take time. Nurture and grow your social channels and understand that your audience usually won’t invest in your product straight away and are likely to need some time.
As shown in the social media marketing funnel below, your audience will start at the top of the funnel as they gain awareness of your brand and message, then slowly making their way to the bottom of the funnel as you nurture and grow your social channels. The process consists of awareness, consideration, conversion, loyalty, and then followed by advocacy.
We Can Help!
Our best advice of all? Work with our talented social media team! We can provide you with a social media marketing strategy specifically tailored to your business’ goals. Whether it be through organic social or even paid social, we listen to your objectives and help you get there with our expert social campaigns.