In its short 17 year life, social media has completely changed the way businesses interact and engage with its customers and clients. These days, a business's online presence plays a critical role in its growth and success, and social media is a huge component of your online brand. There is no silver bullet to social media success, but a comprehensive social media marketing strategy will ensure your approach is considered and informed so you’re ready to hit the keyboard running.
What is a social media marketing strategy?
Simply-put, a social media marketing strategy is your plan to build and engage your online audience. It should outline the overall objective, channel recommendation, content pillars, sponsored posts and advertising budget, key metrics, image guidelines, brand personality, engagement and target audience to ensure you take the right approach for your business.
The four key elements of a social media strategy:
1) Set your objective
Growth of likes, comments and followers is great, but how does that actually effect business sales? Why are you using social media for your organisation? Setting objectives and KPIs for your socials is imperative to ensure you’re reaching goals that will positively impact your business. As an example, your social media tactics and implementation would look very different if you want to raise brand awareness versus if you want to increase leads. Reviewing social media page activity in a detailed report, outlining your objective and key metrics, is recommended to ensure you’re on track to reach your business goals and give you visibility to adjust your approach if necessary. Upon review, consider which content types / posts perform best and which don’t, and why? Then use this insight to inform a review of your content pillars. This will make sure your time invested in social media is well worth it.
2) Select channels
When MySpace launched in 2003, social media was put on the online map. 12 months later jaggernaut Facebook made a huge splash into our digital lives, followed by Twitter and the use of hashtags. Next came Instagram, LinkedIn, WhatsApp, Pinterest, YouTube and Snapchat (to name a few), and more recently, TikTok. *18 million Australians are active social media users (71% of our total population) and spend an average of 2 hours and 23 minutes interacting on their feeds each day. So, there is a good chance your target market is using social media. There are many different social media platforms out there and probably more to come so as a business, it’s crucial to understand what platform(s) your brand belongs on and where your target market is spending their scroll time to be effective in your communication. Remember, not all brands should be on all platforms. For example, if your content is not visually appealing enough to stand its ground on Instagram, it's probably better shared on another channel. And if you find you're scrabbling around for content each month, consider streamlining the platforms you’re on. Quality over quantity is best.
*Original source - https://www.smperth.com/resources/2020-social-media-statistics/
3) Content pillars
The content you put out there on social media is an extension of your brand, so should reflect your personality and give users the same brand experience as if they were meeting you in person. Content pillars are a collection of three to five topics and your content should always be categorised under one (or more) topics. For example, your brands content pillars could be expertise, industry leaders and team updates. Content pillars keep content relevant and fresh for your audience, allow you to remain in line with brand tone of voice and values, ensure varied content is posted (avoiding repetition) and offer value-add to your followers (i.e. they’re richer/wiser/inspired for following you). By creating content pillars for your socials, you can be confident that content is controlled and themed appropriately, while remaining on brand.
4) Advertising campaigns
Social media offers a fantastic opportunity to advertise and reach your target audience or re-engaging an already aware audience. Social media can be a key component to an online advertising campaign by effectively targeting specific groups of people and encouraging them to interact with your brand online. There are many different ad objectives (such as traffic, engagement, lead generation, messages, conversions or store traffic) available when advertising on social media, so before you start splashing the cash and hoping for the best, create a clear advertising campaign plan to make sure you get the best return on investment. Then you can select the social media ad objective that compliments your plan and sets you up for a successful campaign.
Other online tactics
Social media is not the only platform you can use to reach your audience online. In fact, it's more effective when used alongside other online platforms and tactics.
Consider the following as part of an integrated online approach to maximise social media effectiveness:
• Google advertising
• Remarketing advertising
• A well designed website with search engine optimisation (SEO)
• Compelling website landing pages
• Google and Facebook client/customer reviews
A social media marketing strategy will ensure your social media works hard for your brand to deliver good ROI. Speak to PIER about how we can help set you up with a solid social media marketing strategy.
By Jacinta Brideson – Facebook Blueprint Certified Digital Marketing Associate