Social media has deepened its roots with consumers for over a decade. It’s hard to imagine life today without any type of social media. This new technology has given marketers a better way to reach a larger target audience easily and quickly.
Social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and TikTok are growing at a rapid pace. They're adding marketing tools for customer segmentation, targeting, ROI calculation, and more. There's no way around it anymore: every company needs to focus on a winning social media strategy.
An effective social media strategy is key to improving your brand's marketing and directly affects your reputation. Both the quality of content and engagement levels on social media are directly linked to sales and approval ratings of brands. Here are a few statistics if you're still not convinced:
- 54% of people use social media to research products
- 71% of consumers who have had a positive experience with a brand on social media are likely to recommend the brand to their friends and family
- 76% of American consumers purchased a product after seeing a brand’s social post
Whether you're brand new to social media or are refreshing your strategy, it's never a bad time to brainstorm ways to improve your brand's social reach. This blog will share 7 ways to improve your social media marketing strategy.
- Set effective goals
- Define your target audience
- Choose the best social media network to reach your target audience
- Build brand awareness
- Create quality content
- Engage with customers on your social channels
- Measure (and learn from) results
Set effective goals
Define your social media marketing goals based on business goals. The first step to creating or updating your social media marketing strategy is to outline concrete goals you'd like to achieve. This helps to determine your current baseline, target goals, and the budget allocation required to achieve them. When you are aligned with the organization’s goals, it is easy to create a marketing strategy.
More often than not, goals must be set within budget constraints, so it helps to brainstorm cost-effective methods to reach audiences. It is important to allocate a marketing budget for the upcoming financial year beforehand. Without a fixed budget for marketing, you will not be able to decide which social media platform to prioritize. Facebook and LinkedIn even provide flexible tools that enable you to calculate the cost of marketing ads on their platforms.
Define your target audience
Social media platforms serve different purposes. For example, people tend to check other platforms (LinkedIn for jobs and business news, Instagram for creative inspiration, etc.).
Since people expect certain types of content for each social media platform, it is essential to understand these trends and tailor your content to each audience. You need to study the target audience characteristics and define the product features that are suitable for them. This enables you to create marketing material that resonates with your audience.
Customer segmentation is an important tool to understand, as it transcends social media into pretty much every aspect of marketing and customer service. It ensures that the messaging about your products is correlated to customers' benefits. Social media collects rich data about users. For example, you can filter your target segment based on income, geography, gender, age, etc. on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
Choose the best social media network to reach your target audience
Once you've pinpointed who your target audience is and which social media platforms they "hang out," it is time to analyze the relative merits and demerits of individual social media platforms. Select platforms based on factors such as:
- Target audience
- Relevant for your product/service
There are professional digital marketing agencies that can help you understand the nuances of a particular social network. For example, you may be used to shooting horizontal videos, but vertical videos are more effective for Facebook.
Also, consider the use of marketing automation tools. Selecting social media platforms that provide readymade tools is a smart choice. Marketing automation tools reduce redundant work and enable marketers to focus on reaching their target audience efficiently. There are also third-party tools for social media that significantly enhance productivity.
For instance, Nike has increased its customer base with its 2019 "Dream Crazier" campaign. The ad went viral receiving over 31 million total views and 655,000 engagements on Twitter. It also inspired multiple celebrities, including Serena Williams, Ellen, and Reese Waters, to create their own "Dream Crazier"-inspired clips.
Build brand awareness
Social media is a major player in building brand awareness. There are two main components that we will discuss related to using social media to build brand awareness:
- Continually communicate the company's vision to your target audience. Use effective communication channels to connect potential customers with your company. You can tell compelling stories about customer experiences and how they identify with the company’s values. Consumer healthcare companies such as P&G give a sneak peek into their product development process, and production process to showcase their natural and organic methodology for skin care.
- Create reward programs to motivate your target audience to engage in the marketing campaign. Social media can shed some light behind the motivation of a target audience. Create innovative ways to engage with your audience, such as competitions, cashback, surprise rewards, etc. With effective marketing communications, you can formulate a holistic strategy to engage with customers in different stages of the buyer’s journey and provide them with essential information for making the right decision.
For example, Starbucks did this with its #starbucksunicornfrappuccino campaign. They made a huge splash on social media by making their unicorn frappuccino available for a limited time and encouraging customers to share their photos on social media.
Create quality content
Your social media accounts can only be as good as the content that is posted on them. Work with a team of writers to create interesting content, such as:
- Storylines about product features
- Blog posts
Regardless of the types of content that you create, make sure that your content can capture the attention of potential customers. Excellent content should showcase interesting product experiences that customers can identify with. It also helps to create a repository of marketing content posted on social media platforms regularly.
Engage with customers on your social channels
Social media isn't a one-way channel. Unlike other forms of marketing and internet promotion, social media enables you to show the personality and values that make up your brand. You can engage with people directly by responding to comments, questions, and concerns.
A lot of unsatisfied customers can take to social media to voice their concerns. They expect the organization to reply to them on social media. It is necessary to engage with customers to listen to their views and improve over time. By being there for your customers when they need it, you can effectively build loyalty among customers. You can even change people's opinions by responding to negative reviews.
Another great way to boost your engagement on social media is to create influencer marketing campaigns. Influencer marketing provides an organic way to reach more customers. You can learn from companies like Honda that address customer concerns on social media channels.
Measure (and learn from) results
The social media landscape is fast-paced and ever-changing, so your social media marketing strategy should be adaptable to changing conditions. By measuring and analyzing your results, you can determine what's working, what's not, and what changes can be made to achieve the best possible results.
Constantly review the effectiveness of your marketing campaign with various analytical tools, such as total customers reached, average clicks per 100 customers, average conversion rate, etc. to calculate their return on investment. You need to adjust marketing spend to achieve the best results continuously.
In this highly competitive world, the survival of an organization depends on how well it uses social media marketing to improve brand awareness, establish a connection with the target audience, and create personalized messaging. A marketer must understand the relative merits and demerits of different social media platforms in order to spend valuable marketing dollars wisely.
It is essential to balance efforts on social media with traditional marketing channels to create a powerful company presence in the customer’s mind. Your efforts on social media will pay off in several ways, including improving your online reputation and increasing brand awareness. It takes hard work and experience to make marketing campaigns a great success; you need to be humble and ready to learn from experience.
The 7 strategies outlined are developed from decades of experience with social media marketing professionals. By applying these strategies, any marketing professional can achieve marketing goals that produce business outcomes.
Social media marketing FAQs
What is social media marketing?
Social media marketing is the use of social media platforms and websites to promote a product or service. An effective social media strategy is key to improving your brand's marketing, and it directly affects your reputation.
What are the components of a successful social media marketing strategy?
A social media marketing strategy should include the following. Set effective goals. Define your target audience. Choose the best social media network to reach your target audience. Build brand awareness. Create quality content. Engage with customers on your social channels. Measure (and learn from) results.
How do you define goals for a social media marketing strategy?
Goals are critical to the success of your social media marketing strategy. They help to determine your current baseline, your target goals, and the budget allocation required to achieve them. When your social media goals are aligned with your organization’s goals, it is easy to create a marketing strategy.
How do you engage with people on social media?
You can engage with people directly by responding to comments, questions, and concerns. Many unsatisfied customers can take to social media to voice their concerns, so it is important to maintain a pulse on your social platforms and quickly respond to negative comments.