Where should you start with your social media marketing?
At the very beginning of your social media journey, you need to start with a strategy.
For your social media marketing to be as effective as possible, it cannot be a standalone thing next to your business or marketing strategy. It must underpin and incorporate the business activity and aims as a whole.
You need to analyse where your business is while creating your social media strategy. It is advisable to look into all of your current social media activity to date. This will help you to see any strong and weak points in your current activity and identify potential risks you may face being on certain social media networks. The next step is to research your social media environment and your competitors’ activities. You can also carry out an audit of your activity: this will help you focus on what communication channels are used, the theme of your posts, most popular posts and who your top followers are in order to target them better.
All social media platforms are ranked by businesses on the basis of how the network’s users are utilising that particular social media platform, the ways they communicate with other users (video, images or text), and by the strength of its advertising potential. Choosing which social media platform to use for communicating with clients needs to be connected to the business goals you have and what you want to achieve. This may involve:
- raising awareness about your brand or your product and service offering
- gaining more website traffic
- lead generation
- easier communication with your existing clients
- increasing sales.
The next step in building your strategy is to identify your target group and understand their demographics. Creating a persona which will play a role of a ‘real live’ person who will represent your target group will help with better targeting. When creating your persona, think of how they may look, their name, where they live, their education level, their marital status and their family set up. It is also helpful to think about their life goals, career, shopping habits, favourite brands, their ideology and how they may use certain social media platforms.
Once this is done, you need to start to define your content that will be directed to your chosen target groups, taking into account what they may want and need. The more detailed your communication plan is, the easier it’ll be to map out your content.
After the above stages of planning are done, you will be able to pick the right social media network for your business to make use of. When choosing your network, you need to think of the people, time and technical capabilities you need to properly maximise your social media strategy.
You will need to also potentially set a budget to go with your strategy, taking into account costs like potential social media manager costs as well as possible external costs like a freelance copywriter to produce your content if needed. There may be extra costs to factor in, such as advertising costs if you want to carry out paid social media campaigns. You also need to create a schedule to ensure you can accurately keep track of what will be posted and when, and what message you are communicating to your clients.
Once all the above steps are in place and your strategy is live, a crucial part is to monitor your social media marketing activity. Your marketing team should monitor the social media campaigns closely in order to see the effects of any activity. This will help to adjust and amend any activity that doesn’t go as planned, as well as plan out future activity.
While creating your social media marketing strategy, you can follow two options to carry it out. The first one is based on the idea of partnership marketing. This relies on building a long-lasting relationship with your users by giving them interesting and engaging content. This approach is focused on regular and long-term communications with your clients by building brand awareness and trust. It is a low-cost approach and is very effective in the case of smaller firms because it takes into account lower website traffic generated through social media channels.
The second approach you can take is a marketing one. It focuses on driving a lot of traffic to your website or on a set target of transactions you have set up as a goal, for example in your e-shop. Under this approach, building your brand awareness is not that important and the focus is on using social media as an advertising space. This approach is usually executed on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, as those platforms have advertising tools that you can use to allow you to have control over your adverts.
It is very common that both approaches are used at the same time to deliver the best and most effective social media outcomes.
Why should you measure the effects of your social media marketing?
The biggest benefit of monitoring your activity is being able to adjust it at any stage. Planning your activity using facts that you get from hard data will enable you to build a better strategy and optimise your activity.
By analysing your data, you can easily identify the posts that have the biggest reach and generate the most activity. This will allow you to see what kind of posts engage your audience, and the most engaged users will be targeted better by the platform’s algorithm.
Monitoring your follower interactions with your posts will allow you to better understand your target audience. By viewing their comments and actions under your posts you will be able to plan your future content. Not monitoring your social media activity will not provide you with good outcomes. Analysing your data will enable you to get to clients better and in a smarter way. This could lead to great outcomes and big savings on your social media marketing activity.
How can Mercia help you?
We know that posting to social media channels can often fall down the daily to-do list as there are too many tasks to complete in the day. It can also be difficult to produce regular, technical and interesting content for your followers.
We understand and can post engaging and informative updates on your behalf to enable you to concentrate on the running of your business.