Social media is huge. According to data collected by Asset Digital Communications, almost half of the world’s population (about 3.96 billion) is on social media. Your audience is on social media, too.
”Social media's power is commendable as you get to reach a large number of people within seconds of posting an ad, helping you reduce your costs, and making your ads reach out to your potential audience through these social media advertisements.” Digital Marketer
Your audience uses social engagement platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram (to name a few) for more than just staying in touch with friends and family. Around 54% of “social browsers” use social engagement platforms to learn more about products and services before they buy.
Consumers can find reviews on your products and services, and read comments about your brand whether you manage social accounts or not. So, it’s important that you take control of your brand image on social media platforms. But, it’s equally important that you go in with a solid strategy.
Part of creating a solid social media strategy is documenting your brand’s goals and procedures. A documented strategy is essential and helps you succeed in a number of ways. By documenting your strategy, you give your employees a clear understanding of how to handle certain situations, as well as what they’re expected to accomplish in a given period of time.
Some brands choose to incorporate elements of agile project management into their marketing strategies in order to take advantage of the benefits provided by the agile methodology. Whatever methodology you choose to work with, the important thing is to document your marketing strategy thoroughly and with clarity.
Marketing is tough, especially if you’re trying to manage marketing campaigns while running a small or medium-size business. In instances like this, information is power. And so, to help you get the most out of your marketing efforts, our experts at HipSocial have put together a short, step-by-step guide that will walk you through the process of creating an expert social media marketing strategy that helps you protect and grow your brand image online.
1. Identify Brand Goals & Objectives
Before diving head first into social media, it’s important to take inventory of the goals and objectives you and your team share for your brand. Your vision, and that of your staff, is essential. So, be sure to get feedback from employees and partners.
Norman Vincent Peale famously said: ”Shoot for the moon. If you miss it, you will still land among the stars.” And while this quote is inspiring, it’s not always practical for your brand. In business, there are consequences to lofty goals that aren’t met. Lost revenue and a drop in morale are just a couple of the drawbacks to setting unrealistic goals.
When documenting goals and objectives for your social media marketing strategy, consider the strengths and weaknesses of your employees. Maintain an open and transparent line of communication with your team so you’ll know as soon as possible if the goals you set are unattainable.
2. Conduct Audience Research
After you’ve documented the goals and objectives you’d like to attain from your social media marketing efforts, the next step is to consider your target audience. social engagement platforms make it easier than ever to reach large segments of prospects, but it’s a mistake to cast as wide a net as possible and hope for the best.
Audience research allows you to narrow in on a segment of your audience on social media that is most likely to benefit from your content, products, and/or services. These are the users most likely to engage with your content, and they’re also most likely to spend money with your brand.
Social engagement platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn, among others, provide powerful tools that enable you to dig deep into the online behavior of your audience. You can highlight specific interests, goals, desires, needs, and challenges relevant to your targeted audience.
Creating detailed buyer personas allows you to visualize a fictional ideal consumer. Spend time identifying your target audience and researching their traits, interests, and other motivating factors. Then create a buyer persona for each social media campaign that presents the ideal consumer. This gives your marketing team a great starting point when creating content for social media, blogs, and even your website.
3. Analyze Your Competition
Competitive analysis enables you to peer inside the operations of your largest and most successful competitors. You can use social engagement platforms to gain invaluable insight into strategies and campaigns that outperform the rest of the pack. When you spot trends, you can use them as inspiration to create your own successful marketing campaigns and tactics. Implementing the strategies of your competitors may seem odd at first, but it’s a common practice that’s used by businesses in all industries and verticals.
Social listening tools like HipSocial allow you to automatically monitor social media comments and engagements relevant to your competitors. You can also monitor your own brand mentions to improve response time and enhance customer support, but more on that later.
4. Create Engaging & Targeted Content
From a marketing perspective, there’s something uniquely intriguing about ”viral” content. Marketers want to understand what makes a post go viral. In truth, it’s very difficult to reverse engineer a viral piece of content. There are, however, tactics you can employ to consistently put out engaging content that benefits your audience online.
For starters, you need to know what’s trending. Google Trends is an excellent place to start. Beyond that, simply being present on various social engagement platforms will keep you well informed concerning relevant trends in your neck of the woods. Platforms like Facebook and Twitter even provide trending lists for your region. What’s more, this region can be manually changed to discover trends anywhere in the world.
On top of trends, it’s also important to take advantage of the benefits provided by social media management software. HipSocial, for instance, allows you to monitor social engagement platforms by setting up customized social streams. This way, you can stay on top of certain keywords and brand mentions from multiple social engagement platforms. The best part about HipSocial is that everything is centralized and you can even interact with users on various social engagement platforms from the HipSocial dashboard.
5. Use Social Engagement Platforms to Enhance Customer Support
Consumers have more power at their fingertips than ever before. In this digital era, they expect your brand to be present on social engagement platform, and they expect a timely response to inquiries. Social engagement platform give you the power to enhance customer support by acting as a direct line of communication between your brand and its loyal base.
Chatbots are growing in popularity as they provide a means of responding instantly to all customers. Consumers, however, are getting over the novelty of chatbots. So, it’s important that you do more than just include an initial response. If you’re going to use a chatbot, be sure to include answers to frequently asked questions. That way the consumer can ask a question and get an immediate answer. But don’t keep consumers waiting too long. Even though your chatbot replies instantly, be sure to follow up with consumers as soon as possible.
There has never been a better time to grow your brand on social media. With such a large number of people using social engagement platform, you’re guaranteed to get your brand in front of prospective consumers in the market for whatever it is you’re selling.
The pandemic of 2020 has forced brands to reevaluate the way they do business, both internally and externally. With such heavy emphasis being placed on digital engagement, it’s more important than ever to ensure your brand’s image is maintained online.
HipSocial, by 500apps, provides the tools you need to monitor your audience and grow your brand through good times and bad. Try it free for 30 days and see for yourself!