Social media strategy is a summary of everything you plan to do and achieve on your social channels. It guides your actions and lets you know whether you are succeeding or failing. The more specific your social media marketing plan is, the more effective it will be․
As the Internet becomes more accessible day by day, the number of people going online is increasing dramatically.
Yes, traditional marketing still exists in its classic forms: print ads, phone communication, or direct marketing. But simultaneously, digital marketing dominates the online world. What does this mean? Well, this means that there occur lots of opportunities for businesses to promote themselves through the Internet. They can do it in so many ways, be it social media, inbound, email, video, or website-based marketing. Let us discuss today one of the essential pillars of digital marketing – Social Media Marketing, or SMM.
So, what can be the benefits of using social media for business, you may ask? Hmm, maybe because there are now more than 3 billion people using social networks across the globe, you now have that many potential individuals to target just by using the Internet.
If you are about to start doing marketing for social media, no doubt that first of all you should think out your social media marketing strategy. A successful SMM strategy will help your brand drive its goals into the top.
And if you don’t know where to start – just know you’re definitely not alone there.
So, how do one create a social media marketing strategy?
You just should ask yourself the following questions when defining your social media marketing goals:

What do you want. to achieve through social channels?
Who is your target audience?
Where would your target audience hang out and how would they use social media channels?
What message do you want to send to your audience through marketing for social media?

When identifying your social media goals, engaging your target audience and optimizing your results, here is what you need.

  1. Set SMART social media marketing goals for your social media marketing strategy;
  2. Research your target audience;
  3. Research your competitors;
  4. Establish your most important metrics;
  5. Create engaging content;
  6. Monitor insights, make reports on what’s working on social media channels and platforms, and what’s not.

So let’s go step by step.

1. Set social media goals that make sense for your business

First of all you need to clarify what you want from social media for your business or brand.
Whether this means sales, just increasing your existing online presence or gaining new followers is up to you. Because what matters is realistic social media goals.
Below are some examples of reliable social media marketing goals that businesses can set up.
Increase brand awareness. To make your brand identity memorable and increase your brand awareness on social media platforms, focus on content that emphasizes your personality or values.
Grow brand’s audience. To grow your brand’s audience, try to bring new followers by your brand to people who haven’t heard of your brand before. Simultaneously, find ways to grab again the attention of your current followers and target audience. Experiment with messages and content. For example, you can promote user-generated content or employ hashtags. Even something as simple as asking a question to the users can increase your engagement rate.
Example 1:

Increase web traffic. If you’re interested in generating more traffic to your website, marketing by social media can make it happen. Whether through promotional stories or social ads, keeping an eye on conversions and URL clicks can assist you in increasing your monthly traffic.
Example 2:

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Generate leads and sales. Don’t forget to remind your target audience about your new products, sales promotions, and give-away contests. Does there exist a more engaging way to do so, if not through social media channels?
Example 3:

2. Research your target audience

Identifying your target audience is a key step to ensure a successful social media campaign. Thanks to the demographic data and social media analytics tools out there, it’s really easy to define your target audience. However, when doing research and marketing by social media you need to remember that defining your buyer persona starts from the offline research, then turns to an online model. So don’t try to find your target audience online in the first stage. Do focus groups, conduct interviews.
After doing your offline work, you can take a look at today’s social media demographics on SproutSocial website The numbers presented here will help you to understand clearly which networks your brand should use and what types of content to publish. Here are some key points general to most online campaigns:

  • Facebook and YouTube are primary places for ads due to their high-earning user bases.
  • The majority of Instagram users are millennials or Gen Z.
  • LinkedIn’s user base is well-educated and value industry-specific content, that might be more complicated than what you see on Facebook.

3. Research your competitors

Every brand benefits from regular competitor analysis; keeping up with the market helps to understand better the current needs of your customers. By performing a competitor analysis, you’ll be able to:

  • Identify gaps in the market
  • Develop new products and services
  • Uncover market trends
  • Sell more effectively

So, how we do a competitive analysis for online promotion? The things you need to do are the following:

  1. Find who your competitors are.
  2. Determine what products your competitors offer online
  3. Research your competitors sales tactics on social media
  4. Analyze the level of engagement on your competitor’s content on each platform
  5. Observe how they promote marketing content.
  6. Perform a SWOT Analysis to learn their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

You can also use Competitor Analysis Tools to Spy on Your Competition. 

4. Establish your most important metrics

No matter what you’re selling, your social media strategy should be data oriented.
Because, if you want to target effectively to reach good results, social media metrics matter.

Let’s have a look on most important metrics:
Reach: A post’s reach is the number of unique users who saw this post.
Clicks. The number of clicks on your content, company name or logo is an important SMM metric. Link clicks are also critical toward understanding how users move through your marketing funnel.
Engagement. Here we’re talking about the total number of social interactions divided by the number of impressions. Engagement is all about seeing who interacted with your content and identifying if you got a good ratio out of your total reach here.
Organic and paid likes: Organic likes are the impressions to your post that are received naturally, without your additional efforts to modify their numbers. For channels like Facebook, organic engagement is much harder to gain traction, which is why many brands turn to paid Facebook Ads services.

On the other hand, earning organic likes on Instagram isn’t that difficult. Knowing these differences between channels can help you allocate your ad budget and the time you invest in different channels wisely.
An effective social media marketing strategy is usually settled on numbers.

5. Create engaging content

The data from Venngage show that one-third of marketers struggle with creating compelling visuals.
Although a hard task in itself, visual content still remains extremely important to marketers and the people they want to reach. Instagram is the best channel for such content themes given that this network is totally visual.
Example:

DEEM Tip: If you’re struggling to keep up with all these sources of SM content as many marketers do, consider social media management tools that’ll help you schedule your posts in advance.
For Facebook and Instagram posts you can use Creator Studio directly from Facebook.

User-generated content

User-generated content allows your followers to serve as “billboard creators” and provides them a new way to interact with you. Whether it’s using a hashtag or posting a photo, it’s a great move to boost your engagement rate.
Example:

Stories and time-sensitive content

Tapping into your followers’ FOMO (creating a Fear of Missing Out) well, the Stories content on Instagram and Facebook is becoming especially handy. Simply put, Stories are effective because they’re both interactive and can’t-miss.
Stories are especially valuable for taking your followers behind-the-scenes and making your SM feed feel a bit more personal. For example, consider how you can use Stories to cover an event or take your followers on a journey, or something as simple as asking a question or posting a poll. Give them hints and entertainment while gaining traffic.

VIDEOS! Make awesome videos, company lifestyle vlogs. Today, brands shouldn’t shy away from video, especially with the diversity of creative options and apps out there. Just look at the wave of popularity TikTok is enjoying nowadays!

6. Monitor insights, make reports on what’s working on your social media channels and platforms, what’s - not.

By now you should have a big picture of the ways to structure your social media strategy.

Without continuously analyzing your efforts, you’ll never know how one campaign worked better than another one. This means looking at your top-performing content and fine-tuning your new campaigns accordingly. Monitoring the metrics behind your campaigns in real-time allows you to make small “tweaks” to your social media marketing strategy rather than struggling with large time-consuming changes.

Hopefully this guide served you as inspiration for figuring out how to create a cool social media marketing strategy for 2020.

Good luck with your planning!

 

Maria Tsarukyan

Ambassador of Creating Buzz

Deem Communications