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Best Guide to Effective Social Media Marketing Strategy

“As the sound of the music changes, the dance style also changes”. As more and more people turn to social media, with social media channels like Facebook receiving billions of users at any given time, businesses are turning to meet this huge marketing opportunity. Thus, social media has over the years grown in popularity among businesses based on its high potential to drive sales hence revenue.

By leveraging the potentials of social media marketing and content marketing, business owners may be able to widen their customers and audience base dramatically. Although social media remain a powerful tool in driving business success, not having an effective social media marketing strategy, experience, or insight may ruin your business effort.

It's primordially important to equip yourself with understanding of social media marketing fundamentals. From creating unique quality contents and maximizing quality, to increasing your online entry points and getting your content go viral on social media. Let’s start with a brief definition of social media marketing strategy.

 

Social Media Marketing Strategy, What is It?

Social media marketing Strategy refers to the techniques, tactics and/or processes employed by businesses and marketers to generate leads, drive traffic, increase awareness, engagement, click-through, and audience through social media channels like Facebook, and Twitter.

Just like every effective digital marketing or project, effective social media marketing strategy begins with an effective social media marketing plan. The first step to effectively take a leg up on the competition is to have a solid, smart social media marketing plan in place.

 

What is a social media marketing plan?

Social media marketing plan is a road map that drive your social media marketing strategy to meet its required goal. It’s the summary of processes, techniques and tactics you plan to do to achieve the goals and objectives you hope for your business using social medial channels. Your plan should simple, specific and should include things like an audit of all your social media accounts, the goals for your social media strategy, the time frame you wish to take to achieve the goals, the tools you will need, and the metric you will use to measure its effectiveness. Generally speaking, you should have a SMART marketing plan (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Reliable, and Time).

The more specific your plan, the more effective you’ll be in its implementation. Keep it concise and simple; avoid getting a broad social media marketing strategy that it becomes unattainable. Your plan is to guide your actions, but there should also be a measure by which you determine its effectiveness within a state time interval say 3 or 6 months.

 

How to Develop an Effective Social Media Marketing Plan

To draw an effective social media marketing plan, you may have to do the following:

 

1.   Make a Goal

The mistake most marketers and business owners do is to jump into creating contents without any proper planning. Seriously, this is the first step to failure.

The very first thing any successful marketer and business owner must do is to take time out to document their goals. This will give them a clear road map and what they have to do to achieve their goals.

Thus,, before talking of social media marketing strategy for your business, you should be able to state what you want to achieve with it. What type of increase do you want (leads, traffic, convert, product awareness, click-through…)? How long do you want to take to get this increase (one month, three months, one year…)? You must have a clear road map to your destination before you embarked on your journey. Social media marketing strategy without a precise goal only leads to wasting of precious time and may actually take your business to its doom.

In order for your social media efforts drive toward your business objectives, your goals should align with your broader marketing strategy. Thus, you’re more likely to get investment if your social media marketing strategy is shown to support business goals. Also, it’s worthy to focus your goals on advanced metrics like leads generated, click-through rate, and web referrals.

 

2.   Social Media Audit

Before you get into putting your plan in place, you need to understand all about the social media marking environment thus, you will need to conduct a social media audit. Your audit will be simply to figure out who is currently connecting with you and through which social channel, and how your competitors’ presence compares with yours. Your audit should give you a clear picture of every one of your social account, your audience, and what purpose they serve. What about updating or deleting any? What about fake branded account? You may have to report them to ensure people searching for you on get connected with the accounts you manage. Take out time to determine the purpose or goal you want to achieve with every social account you have. If you can’t figure out its purpose, you should probably delete that account.

Your audit is also a good medium for you to determine the social media channels that are good for you by being able to determine your audience and their need. This way you will be able to create contents that will meet these needs hence your social media marketing strategy will be more effective.

 

 3.   Create or Improve your Social Media Accounts

This is the time; you have to create your social media presence. At this point, you have your goals set, you have your mission statement, you know exactly who your audience are, where they are and what they want, your audit have also identified your competitors and what they are doing. So, you have all the information you need to take a hedge on competition and better your social media marketing strategy.

Start by ranking the social media channels according to which best meet your goals. In case, you don’t yet have social media profiles on each channel you planned to focus on, build them from the scratch with your broader goals and audience in mind. On the other hand, if you have existing accounts, you may have to update and refine them to align with your goals for best possible results. Each social media channel has a unique audience thus, content marketing strategy differ across channels.

Optimizing profiles for SEO can help generate more web traffic to your online properties. Cross-promoting social accounts may extend the reach of your content. Make sure your social media profiles is filled out completely, with good images and text optimized for the social network in question.

 

4.   Create a Content Marketing Plan

Again we come back to content. This just reminds us how powerful and important your content marketing strategy is to your digital marketing strategy.

In order to succeed with our social media marketing plan, we’ll be required to have an effective content marketing plan and thus, integrate both plans for maximum output. You’ll have to create unique quality contents, tailor for each social channel. As well has an editorial calendar for effective update.

An effective content marketing plan should be able to provide answers to the following:

  • How often you will post content
  • Who are your target audience
  • What type of content do your audience prefer
  • Who will create the content
  • Types of content you intend to post
  • How you will promote the content

 

5.   Create an Editorial Calendar

It will be wrong to get the same contents (no matter how good it may be) to your audience repeatedly. Hence, you will an editorial calendar plan to be able to effectively provide update to your audience. Your editorial calendar lists out the time and dates you intend to post contents on your blogs, Facebook, and Instagram, Tweets, and other content you plan to use during your social media campaigns.

Create the calendar and then schedule your content regime in advance rather than updating constantly throughout the day. This cut the chance of repeating contents and gives you the ability to craft your language and format of these messages rather than writing them on the fly whenever you have time. Also, give will give you time to keep your engagement and customer service rather than your content.

Important to note is the fact that, your editorial calendar reflects the mission statement you’ve assigned to each social channel. If the purpose of your Facebook account is to generate leads for example, make sure you are sharing enough lead generation content.

 

6.   Budgeting

To be effective at social media marketing strategy, you may need to put it a good quantity of fund (money), time (commitment) or a combination of both. Thus,, you need to plan how much of your marketing budget you are willing to put into social media marketing or how many hours a day or week you are ready to put into social media marketing to better it. Also, your level of competition and how quickly you want to see results should dictate how much you’re going to spend. Set specific goals for yourself, such as building 1000 links per month, or developing 50 numbers of new on-site posts per week, or increasing inbound traffic by 65% percent (this may be difficult to estimate at first). With respect to your business, you may want to focus on one area more than the others.

 

7.   Cost of Social Media Marketing

Many companies are spending tens of thousands of dollars every month on social media marketing. If you are hiring a high quality social media marketing firm to provide comprehensive social media marketing coverage for your business, you should budget at a minimum between $3,000 and $5,000 per month. Lower pay package can be allocated to companies providing specialized sub-channel of social media marketing such as Facebook only management.

 

8.   Analysis and Re-Assess your Social Media Marketing Strategy

Regular social media marketing analysis of your social media content helps to identify what’s working and what isn’t working. Good measures of engagement and success include shares, links, views, comments (on blog posts, etc.), social network shares (Facebook likes, etc.), and conversion rates. Your social media marketing strategy analysis should be focused on two principal goals:

  • Frequently update and improve older social media marketing content: If you tried to optimize an article for a particular keyword, but your website is getting more traffic or leads for a different variation of that keyword, then you have to go back to that article and re-optimize it for the new keyword. By changing the position of the keyword (such as putting it in the title) might significantly increase traffic.
  • Study your successes to enable you can repeat those strategies: Does your audience love webinars? Then make more webinars. Adjust your editorial calendar going forward so you can focus more time and effort on the content types that really resonate for each social media channel.

 

9.   Test and adjust your social media marketing plan 

To be able to identify the adjustments you need to make to your social media marketing strategy, you have to constantly test it. Build testing capabilities into every action you take on social networks. This can be done by:

  • You may use Hootsuite’s social media analytics to track the reach of your social campaign (success) and reach of social campaigns
  • Use Google Analytics to track page visits driven by social media

You may want to adjust your social media marketing plan according to your test outcome.

Surveys (online and offline) are also a great way to gauge success. Ask your social media followers, website visitors, customers and email list how you’re doing on social media. Such survey is often very effective. You can implement same survey method offline. The outcome of such survey process is often very valuable when you look for areas to improve

 

The most important thing to understand about social media marketing plan is that it’s constantly changing due to the emergence of new channels. You may want to add them to adjust your plan to accommodate them. As you attain goals, you’ll want to set new targets. Expect challenges to arise that you’ll need to address. Also, in the event of scaling or growing your business, your social media presence must also grow for different branches or regions.

At one point, you may need to completely rewrite your social media strategy to reflect the latest insights, and make sure your team is aware of what has been updated.

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