According to one social media fact sheet, nearly three quarters of American adults use social media on a regular basis, so it’s a no-brainer to suggest that your business needs to be seen and heard on the social communities that are prevalent online.
By having a presence on social media, you will:
- Reach your target demographic
- Reduce the threat of your nearest competition
- Grow your customer base
- Make a profit and consequently, start to grow your business
This 10-step plan will give you all you need to know to get started, so keep reading, and then contact us if you would like to know more about the social media services we can offer to businesses such as yours.
#1: Define Your Goals
As with everything in business, you need to set goals. You will then have something to aim for and have the impetus to create a plan that will help you nail the goals you have set.
Examples of goals you might set include:
After defining these goals, you will have an idea of the direction you need to go in when using social media for your marketing.
#2: Consider Your Audience
What social media platforms are your customers using? Survey the customers you currently have on your database, as you will then have an idea of the platforms that you might need to target when remarketing to them, or when trying to reach others within your target demographic.
Look at the factors that make up your consumer base too, including age, gender, location, and spending power. Use these to determine which platforms your potential customers are probably using. Many will be using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube, but if you’re marketing to other businesses, remember LinkedIn too.
Hootsuite has compiled demographics for all of the major social media platforms, so refer to these when considering where to focus your social media marketing efforts.
#3: Monitor Your Competition
What social media platforms are your nearest rivals using? Find out using social listening techniques and the online tools that are available to you, as you will then get an idea of the platforms you might want to target.
So, you might want to use those platforms where your rivals are finding success, although you might also want to test the waters by filling in the gaps on those social media channels that aren’t yet being utilized by the competition.
Look at the content your rivals are producing too. Learn from what they are doing well, and consider those aspects that don’t seem to be working for them, and strive to beat them.
#4: Consider Your Content
After finding out what platforms your demographic is using, and after discovering the content that your rivals are posting, you will be in a better position to consider the content you need to be creating online.
Going beyond simple text-based messages, you might want to consider video, infographics, and any photographs that represent your product or service.
Live streaming is currently proving very popular with businesses, as you can use something like Facebook Live to connect with your customers in real-time. You can use it to share product reveals, for example.
And you could share content that your customers have posted about your business to build trust with potential new customers.
So, check out what is already being posted online, and then think about what you might do with the mindset of doing it better.
#5: Schedule Your Content
Sharing fantastic content is essential, but you need to have a plan in place for when you might share it.
There might be certain times of the day that your demographic are more likely to see the content that you have posted, for example, so work out when to maximize the effectiveness of your posts.
There will also be times in the day when you are more ready to engage with your audience, so you might want to post during these times so you have more availability to reply to questions and respond to comments.
When considering your schedule, you need to remember that you don’t need to share everything at once. If you post too much, your customers might tire of seeing your posts on their newsfeeds. However, you don’t want to post too little either, so be selective, and create a schedule containing the dates and times you intend to drip feed posts to your audience.
Social media calendars can support your content strategy so follow the link and check out the examples given.
#6: Track Your Posts
Find ways to analyze the effectiveness of your content a few days/weeks after posting it online You will then get an idea of what is and isn’t working, and this will help you to plan your content going forward. There are a number of social media analytic tools on the market, some of which are free and some of which you will need to pay for. Check out the previous link and use those that are relevant to you.
#7: Self-Audit Your Social Media
As a follow-on from the last point, you must make an effort to self-audit your social media efforts on a semi-regular basis. This will be your opportunity to see if you are meeting the goals you set at the beginning, and you might be able to determine whether some social media platforms are better than others. You might need to rethink your content strategies if you aren’t meeting your goals, or you might need to seek the advice of a digital marketing consultant to help you move forward.
#8: Engage With Your Audience
When you are making progress with your social media marketing, build relationships with your customers. Reply to comments, share the content that you know appeals to them, and answer any questions that they are asking you. By engaging with your audience, they will become more loyal to your brand, and consequently, they will connect more to your business.
#9: Utilize Your Social Media Followers
After connecting with your social media followers, encourage them to share your posts with their networks. This will ensure positive word of your business gets around online, and you might then see a rise in your customer base. Consider a referral program, and reward those customers who bring you new business.
#10: Keep Learning
Finally, this is something you should concentrate on regularly. Even when your social media efforts are going well, you should still commit to the self-audit that we mentioned earlier and make any changes necessary. You should also be alert to new social media channels, so keep an eye on those platforms that you aren’t yet using, and test the waters on those that you deem relevant to your demographic.
For help with your social media campaign, get in touch with our experienced and knowledgeable team of digital marketing experts. We specialize in social media marketing, so consider the services we can provide, and speak to us to find out about each one in more detail.