A Step-by-Step Guide to Building a Successful Social Media Marketing
According to the Global Digital 2019 Report, there are now over 4 billion internet users in the world. More than 3 billion of those are active social media users.
In relation to this, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are three of the popular social networks that made it to the top ten of the world’s most visited websites.
This explains why you need a social media marketing strategy for your business. Otherwise, you will miss on a lot of opportunities to build awareness and attract the right audience and customers for your brand.
Keep on reading to learn how you can build a successful social media marketing campaign for your business.
Step 1: Set Your SMM Campaign Goals
To ensure that your social media campaign is effective and can bring desired results, it is important to set SMART goals. And your goals can be any of the following:
This refers to increasing your business’ online visibility by posting social media content and using relevant hashtags.
Social media networks were initially created to foster connections among family, friends, and colleagues.
On your part, fostering engagement and connection with your audience (aka your potential customers) can make them feel a certain way about your business.
Increase Web Traffic
If you want an out of the box approach to boost your website traffic, social media is what you need.
For one, you can use the platform to share your own web content. And you can also point your social media followers to your website in case they want more information.
Generate Sales and Conversion
With the prevalence of e-commerce and online stores today, it is no brainer that social networks now offer features that are suitable for e-commerce (i.e. shoppable Instagram posts).
Hence, you can also use social media to increase your business’s revenue.
No matter what SMM goals you set though, it is best that you communicate this with your social media manager. That way, he can help you build a campaign that can help you achieve it. Not to mention that it will make it easier for you to identify which metrics to measure.
Step 2: Identify Your Audience
Before you build your campaign, you need to first identify who your target audience is.
For one, it can help you identify the kind of content that will resonate well for them. Second, you can use this information should you decide to run social media advertisements.
As Christina Newberry, an award-winning writer and editor, puts it, “Defining your target market is one of a marketer’s most important tasks. It’s the foundation of all elements of your marketing strategy, from how you develop and name your products or services right through to the marketing channels you use to promote them.”
And no, your audience cannot be “everyone.” Your target audience is the specific group of people who are likely to buy from you or hire your services.
You can use your web analytics to identify who your current audience and customers are. You can also use Facebook Audience Insights to help with your market research.
All you need to do is go to the Audience Insights dashboard, choose whether you want to measure everyone on Facebook or just those who are connected with your page. Set your target demographics like location, age, and gender. And then set the interests or industry that is related to your business.
The graphs will then show you whether you have a sizeable amount of audience that you can target for your business, their current stage in life (e.g. relationship status), as well as other brands that they have the most affinity with.
Another thing that you can do to know more about your target audience is to spy on your competitors.
Step 3: Spy on Your Competitors
As mentioned earlier, spying on your competitors is one way to learn more about your target audience. However, this is not just about who your audience is, it is about knowing how they engage and interact with a brand like yours.
Do your competitors post polls or host a Q&A session? Do they have Facebook Live sessions regularly? How are they leveraging their IG Story and IG TV channels? Which of their campaigns did well?
Another reason you should spy on your competitors is to give you an insight into how much of engagement you should expect for your own brand.
These are just some of the few things that you need to keep in mind while you and your social media manager are crafting your SMM campaign. That’s because whatever works for your competitors can also work for your brand.
On the other hand, monitoring how your competitors are leveraging their social media platform allows you to do two things:
- Learn from their mistakes
- Find unknown ways to use social media
You can even use social listening tools to measure the sentiments of your target audience on a particular brand or product. That way, you can use this opportunity to join in on the conversation and introduce your brand.
Step 4: Identify the Necessary Social Media Tools
Knowing what social media tools to use can give your business a competitive edge when it comes to social media marketing.
As previously said, social listening tools help put your finger on the pulse of your target customers. Thus, it gives you an insight into how the people feel about your business and products, as well as that of your competitors. You can also use this tool to join in on a conversation where you can introduce your brand.
But aside from social listening tools, there are different kinds of social media management tools that you can take advantage of:
There are tools like Buffer that helps you create and publish social media content, as well as to measure your brand’s social media engagement. Or you can opt for a social media dashboard like Hootsuite, which allows you to manage all your social channels in one place.
There are also tools that come with a customer relationship management (CRM) feature like Sprout Social. Thus, it allows you to serve your audience and customers better.
Another example and every social media manager’s best friend is a social media scheduling tool like Edgar. That’s because it allows you to just create a library of social media content, schedule it, and then let the tool publish it without you needing to do it manually on all of your social channels.
You will also need a social media analytics tools to help you measure whether your SMM campaigns are working well.
Step 5: Build Your Social Media Content Calendar
Hootsuite’s Inbound Marketing Lead, Shannon Tien defines social media content calendar as a “tool to help you plan and schedule all your social content in advance.”
For one, it helps you to not miss important dates, as well as elevate your brand and engage with like-minded people.
For example, you are a clothing brand that sells Star Wars-inspired t-shirt. Then you may want to post and do something for #StarWarsDay other than piggybacking on the popularity of #MayThe4thBeWithYou.
Second, it helps you balance promotional and non-promotional posts. Social media users do not like it when they are bombarded with posts that scream “for sale.” Thus, it is important that you balance it out by sharing helpful, relevant, and engaging content. That’s because they will not feel pressured to become your customers.
Here are some quick tips on how you can create a social media content calendar:
- Start with a social media audit. Take stock of your existing social media marketing strategy, identify which channels and type of content are generating desired results for your business, as well as how often do you post on each channel.
- Familiarize yourself with every platform’s user demographics. Whether you like it or not, each network has a distinctive audience, and these can shape that kind of content that you can share on every platform.
- Determine how often you should post. You can choose to keep the pace, increase, or decrease it depending on what you gathered from your social media audit. This is also a good time to check your analytics to know when is the best time to post.
- Determine what to post. Again, you strike the balance between promotional and non-promotional posts. Your social media audit is also key to help you identify which content resonates with your audience.
- Set up your content repository. Your content repository is basically where you will store all of your social media content, including the draft, images and videos, and hashtags and promo codes you will use in a post.
- Establish a process. This includes documenting who will be responsible for managing all of your social media channels, creating and approving your content, as well as who will update your content calendar. Once everything is taken care of, it is time to fill your content calendar and post away!
Step 6: Run Your SMM Campaigns
Now for the fun part: Running your social media marketing campaigns.
This includes posting your content as per your social media content calendar. Just keep in mind that you need to find the balance between promotional and non-promotional ones.
Also, it is important to consider what message you want to get across whenever you share content on social media. And it should be something that is in line with your brand.
Say, you are promoting your business as ethical and eco-friendly. Then your audience should see it on your social media content. Otherwise, it will be difficult for them to associate your business with particular advocacy.
On the other hand, your SMM campaigns are not limited to what you share on your social profiles regularly. Even your holiday or anniversary promo is a campaign.
Thus, you need to plan ahead if you want to run promos and giveaways. Whether you would want to have it done organically, seek the help of an influencer, or you are willing to spend for a social media ad or two.
Set up another social media marketing strategy if you need to. That way, you can accommodate important campaigns in your regular day-to-day social media activities. Doing so will allow you to run and measure your campaign effectively without mixing it up with your regular posts.
Step 7: Monitor and Analyze Your Campaign Result
Last but not least, you should include monitoring and analyzing your social media campaign in your strategy. Otherwise, you will never know whether what you are doing is effective or not.
However, monitoring and analyzing social media ROI is not about how many followers you have. It is about whether your campaign was able to help you achieve your goal.
So, if your social media marketing goal is to drive sales and conversions, then you need to check whether your business revenue increased and how much of it came from social media.
If it is audience engagement, how many likes, shares, and comments did your post generated? If it is an increase in website traffic that you want, how many of your website visitors came from your social media channels?
For brand awareness, you can measure how many people are talking about your business and your products, and whether or not the sentiment is positive.
Luckily, there are social media tools and resources ‒ free and paid ‒ that allow you to measure the success of your social media campaign. So, be sure to take advantage of those.
As mentioned earlier, there are more than 3 billion active social media users around the world. This means that your business has the potential to reach millions of people through social media, and turn them into paying customers.
However, you cannot achieve it without a solid and successful social media marketing campaign. In order for that to happen, you need to take the following steps:
- Set your SMM campaign goals
- Identify your audience
- Spy on your competitors
- Identify the necessary social media tools
- Build your social media content calendar
- Run your SMM campaigns
- Monitor and analyze your campaign result
Doing so will not just help you run a campaign that will resonate well with your target market, it will also let you know whether it is effective or not.