Are you ready to create a Social media marketing strategy from scratch?
Good! let me explain to you How to create a Social Media Marketing Strategy from scratch! Before that let’s get into 3 basic questions;
1. What is Social Media Marketing?
The term social media marketing (SMM) refers to the use of social media and social networks to market a company’s products and services.
2. What is Social Media Marketing Strategy?
Social Media Marketing Strategy is nothing but a plan and the step-by-step execution to maximize user engagement and interaction across social media to achieve a company’s objectives. The topmost objectives of any company are traffic, leads, sales, and overall growth in revenue.
The step-by-step execution of your plan controls your operations and notifies you if you are failing or succeeding.
3. Why it is important?
As per the report latest report by Datareportal, 53.6% of the world population are active social media users. It is a big opportunity. So take advantage of these platforms to market your company’s product or service.
Now let’s discuss, how to make a realistic and measurable plan. This article will give you a step-by-step guide on ‘How to Create Social Media Marketing Strategy from Scratch for your business successfully.
How to Create a Social Media Marketing Strategy from Scratch
Here we have covered 7 important tips!
- Set realistic & achievable business goals
- Balancing Pull & Push Marketing Methods
- How to Define your Target Audience
- Examine your competition
- What kind of Content works
- Data Collection for Optimization
- Optimizing your accounts for better reach & engagement
- Social Media Trends for 2021
#1. Set realistic & achievable Business Goals
Establishing your goals and objectives is the first step to developing a winning social media marketing strategy. You cannot determine your success without goals. All your goals should be time-limited, relevant, achievable, measurable, and specific.
So first, you need to define;
What results are you expecting from social media marketing?
I hope, most of your answers are to improve brand awareness, increase followers (community), boost user engagement, get website traffic, generate leads or sales…etc.
And of course, the above goals must be your topmost goals or objectives while creating a winning social media marketing strategy.
Improve Brand Awareness:
Brand Awareness is nothing but the level of familiarity your company has. Marketers say that “Customers are in control”. It means users are done with their decisions before buying something. They do all research before buying something.
So use good content to improve brand awareness. the content must emphasize the personality and Unique Selling Propositions of your business rather than promoting your products or services.
Is #technology making us less #happy, less free, and less connected?? #Tecnologia #techno #gadget #gadgetaddiction #GoIndiaGame #GilgitBaltistan #GoIndiatickets #HappyDiwali pic.twitter.com/sBsq3ccCyr— Merricart (@merricartindia) November 13, 2020
It’s really important to get a new audience. New followers are equal to introducing your brand to a new group of people. Growing followers will increase awareness and help you to get new conversions.
Take care of your content marketing strategy. It must be able to boost the user-engagement. Content with a good user engagement rate will reach more prospects organically.
Get Website Traffic
Website traffic can be generated through paid and organic methods.
Leads & Conversions:
In paid promotions, after you get enough traffic from your brand awareness or discovery campaigns, do Remarketing campaigns to generate more leads and sales. Users or Prospects who visited your website at least one time will be in the ‘Consideration Stage’ and a certain percentage of those will convert or buy your products. Also, use social channels to provide coupon codes to increase the conversion rate.
Ensure that your social media goals line up with your general marketing strategy.
#2. Balancing Pull & Push Marketing Methods
The below one is the users’ buying funnel touch point diagram. Social Media has a vital role in creating brand awareness (let it be paid or organic).
You may be a new brand or an existing one. It is important to create a combination of Pull & Push social media marketing strategy always to achieve your goals.
Let’s discuss Pull Vs Push marketing;
Pull Marketing is nothing but Organic. A method to reach your target audience via social media organically.
How to do social media pull marketing?
Optimize your business accounts/pages for better organic visibility on social channels. Use relevant keywords in the title and description. Make relevant user-engaging content and post it with the right hashtags (use Metahashtags to generate relevant hashtags).
Push Marketing is paid. A paid campaign will push strangers/prospects to visit/revisit your business and take an action. For example, visiting your brand and taking an action (leads or sales) by seeing your Paid social media ads.
For a successful social media marketing strategy, initially, the budget allocation should be a 70:30 ratio. 70% paid campaigns (Push) and 30% for non-paid activities (Pull). Gradually, the Push Marketing budget can reduce depends on the objectives you have.
#3. How to Define your Target Audience
To define your target audiences, you should ask yourself a few questions;
- What kind of products or services do I offer?
- What demography should I consider for my products or services?
- Which is my serviceable location?
If you have answers to the above questions, you may choose your Social Media platform to achieve your targets. For instance, LinkedIn is good to reach out to professionals, Instagram is good for the Fashion or Lifestyle audience..etc
Also, you may consider multiple platforms if your services or products have a different target audience.
Once you define your target audience, you may start running the discovery or brand awareness campaign. Also, enable the ‘Look-a-Like’ option in both the Brand Awareness and Conversion campaigns which help you to reach prospects with similar interest and affinity.
Use social media analytics to collect a lot of precious information about your audience regarding demographics and how they connect with your brand on social media. These analytics assist you to refine your social marketing strategy and improve your ads.
You may use Social Media Marketing Tools to leverage your campaigns. Social Media Analytics tools like SproutSocial, HootSuite, Zoho Social…etc are also available to find what’s happening with each platform in a single dashboard.
Remember, It is vital to reach the target audience through social media, making them your followers, engaging, and converting them into real customers for every business in today’s world.
#4. Examine your Competition
Before creating any content, it is important to know how your competitors are doing.
There are high chances that your competition is utilizing social media platforms. It means that you can get to know more about what they do. Competitor Analysis Tools like Sprout Social, Social Blade, FanpageKarma..etc will also assist you to spot business opportunities, how your competitors are performing, types of content, numbers…etc.
For instance, your competitor may be more dominant on Twitter, but exert less on other social networks like Facebook and Instagram. You might need to concentrate on the networks where the audience is insufficiently served to become the dominant player.
Social Listening is another method used by social media marketing companies to monitor the competition. They track their profiles for keywords and successful posts to offer you information that can assist you to accomplish your marketing plans and business goals.
For instance, refer to the below video and understand how you may use the Hootsuite stream for social listening;
With all these tools and analysis you will a fair idea. But do not copy-paste the same. You must have a different approach and strategy. I hope all of you have at least one ‘Unique Selling Proposition’. Promote that in a different way.
Now you are ready to create content.
What’s next? Create content and start engaging with your audience.
#5. What kind of Content works better
Content creation is one of the toughest parts when it comes to creating a Social Media Marketing Strategy. End of the day, the audience must accept your content. I mean, they should engage with your content. I may be likes, comment, share, or watching the videos.
Most of the brands go for experienced agencies or Brand Management companies to create their content. Because engaging content-creation is really tough.
It’s up to you. But here I will try to cover some of the best engaging content formats.
User-Generated Content: UGC, user-generated content, is a brilliant format to reach and engage with more audiences. These contents are created by your user or customer who is a non-paid fan of your brand. They really love your brand and created content to appreciate your product or service. Such content you must reshare on your social platforms. Since your user is featured by your brand in your social platform, they may even brag to their friends or colleagues about being featured.
- Podcast: Known as New Radio. Recently it starts gaining momentum.
- Client or Customer testimonials
- VR Contents: It is one of the real-big-hit content nowadays. Engagement is really on VR content. All you have to do that invest in a 360 VR Camera.
Now you identified your Business Goals, Target Audience, Competitors, Content Strategy. It’s time to create and post content on different platforms.
#6. Data collection for optimization
Once you start posting, you need to evaluate your current social media marketing efforts and determine what you have already accomplished. Learn what works and what does not and compare your presence on social media to that of your competitors.
What all the metrics you keep an eye on?
Generally, most of the Marketers have an eye on Actionable Metrics. They do not consider Vanity Metrics.
Oh sorry! Let me tell you, What is Vanity vs Actionable metrics?
Vanity Metrics are the numbers or stats that look good in your papers such as Likes, Comments, Shares..etc. It shows that you are making a difference in your efforts but really not.
Actionable Metrics are the specific business goals such as Lead or Sales. The stats that link to your targets.
But for data-driven marketing efforts, nowadays marketers start considering vanity metrics too. Vanity metrics which you should consider are below;
- Reach: Number of unique users who saw your post
- Engagement: such as Likes, Comments, and Shares
- Hashtag Performance: Which hashtag is performing well (created by you or the existing one)
- Paid and Organic Likes
- Sentiments: Impact of your post. Positive or Negative
The above piece of information gathered acts as an excellent starting point when planning on enhancing your outcomes. Social Media Audit also offers you a clear image of the roles of each of your social media marketing strategies.
Also, seek impostor accounts to determine whether there are false accounts that use your business or brand name. If any, ensure that you report them and verify your account to make sure that your audience understands that they are dealing with you.
#7. Optimizing your accounts for better reach & engagement
I don’t think so users will operate on ‘your time’. Also, it is important to have timely responses. How to manage these scenarios?
Every social platform will give an insight into the User’s most-available timeslots, highest engagement slots…etc. make sure that your posting should be matching with above slots. If you and your users are available at the same time, you may respond to their queries or comments simultaneously while posting your creatives.
Always remember, you cannot gain followers and customers just by posting interesting content, talking to them is really important. Make sure that you do not leave anything unattended. Also, if the audience mentions you in their post, please find the time to appreciate it. People are commenting and liking has an interest in your brand.
Also, analyze what is working and what’s not. Definitely, there will be a trial and error. But constantly put effort to understand, analyze, and make changes accordingly. There is nothing one-size-fit-for-all strategy in social media marketing.
While it is crucial to make your brand unique and distinctive, you can also get inspiration from other successful companies in your industry. You can look at their social media success stories to gain insights that can add value to your business. You can also search for award-winning campaigns and social accounts to learn more about their strategies.
In general, ensure that you have Branding Guidelines to record all your decisions on style, tone, and voice. Also, ask the consumers for inspiration to better understand their needs.
It is essential to have a Social Media Calendar. You should plan for when you will post specific content to obtain maximum impact. The Social Media calendar also needs to include the time you will use to interact with your audience.
A social media calendar includes the times and dates at which you will post various content on different social channels. It ensures that you space out all your posts appropriately and publish them at the most excellent times. It also aligns your posts with your business objectives.
Ensure that you re-evaluate your social media marketing strategy on a regular basis to understand what works and what does not to refine it within no time. Ensure that the changes you make align with your business plans.
#8. Social Media Trends – 2021
We collect trends every year from Industry leaders and update the information in this article. You may bookmark this link to check every year for the latest Social Media Trends. I am smart uh?
Let’s discuss Social Media Trends for 2021.
This survey we have taken from HootSuite and they collected this data by interacting with industry experts, social media analysts, public surveys, marketers…etc. You may find one interesting fact that TikTok is still not ranking higher for actual business goals.
Facebook is still leading in so many industries such as financial services, health care, lifestyle, fashion, education, government…etc.
But industrywise if we take;
Instagram ranks top for Retail as the most effective platform, where LinkedIn ranks top for B2B and Technology. These data you may use to perform better in 2021 based on your industry.
Another interesting part is that Pinterest performs high in conversions for a lesser budget.
Also, the industry report says that Twitter and Pinterest are really good at Organic reach and conversions compared to other platforms. So, the budget-constrained businesses may spend more time on these platforms.
The report says that 60% of businesses are planning to increase their investment in Instagram in 2021. Because it is good in both organic reach and storytelling. Also, Instagram has a huge database and really interesting features.
Top platforms marketers plan to increase their investment in 2021;
- Healthcare – Instagram, then Facebook
- Financial – LinkedIn, then Instagram
- Education – Instagram, the YouTube
- Technology – LinkedIn, then Instagram
- B2B – LinkedIn, then YouTube
- B2C – Instagram, then Facebook
The top 5 Social Media Trends in 2021 in Marketers’ perspective
New Customer Acquisition is on Demand
The latest report says that post-covid, user engagement in social media become 3x. So the number one goal of 73% of marketers in 2021 will be ‘New Customer Acquisition’ through social platforms. Because most of the transaction has become ‘Online’ post-covid.
It is actually overtaking the goal of 64% that is ‘Brand Awareness’ and only 23% are into ‘Improving Customer Experience’.
Social Listening over talking
As you know, people are on social media to connect with each other, Not with brands.
Market survey says that 62% of users on social platforms believe that businesses do not create interesting content.
Social platform users consume the content rather than liking, sharing, commenting, or creating their own content.
As a Marketer, if you wish to conversate with your users through social platforms, first, listen to them, understand what they are interested in, on what kind of content they are engaged in, and then create your content strategy.
Most of the wise marketers are going to adapt to this strategy in 2021. More they will listen to the audience before creating a content strategy.
Increase in Baby boomers
This pandemic made a historical trend in social media that baby boomers boom on social platforms. I feel that we always ignore this generation when it comes to social ads. But this is the time to change the strategy. Smart marketers are going to target this generation in 2021.
According to the latest report, 70% of the online users who are 55-64 aged have done at least one transaction in the past month.
Note* ‘Baby Boomer’ is a term that used to define a person who was born between 1946-1964.
Social Transformation is at a Peak level
During the pandemic, Social Media platforms became the strongest bridge between brands and users for communication where many traditional strategies collapsed.
Also, the report says that Brands prioritize customer retention than RIO and Acquisition during the pandemic.
So there will be a demand for Social Data Integration into CRMs like Salesforce, Zoho, or SAP. It will be both paid and organic social media activities. The use of social data will increase in 2021 for driving ROI.
Purpose-Driven Brands will sustain in the race
There is a trend which started before 2020 sped up by pandemic that users are more loyal and interested to do the transaction with brands who are really addressing the social issues.
Survey says that 60% of consumers said that they do more transactions or avail services from brands that have taken care of their workforces during pandemics.
Brands will try to take the necessary step to fill this gap in 2021. But unfortunately, they can’t fake always on Social Media.
After mapping out your social media marketing strategy, ensure that schedule your posts, engage with your audience, and measure the performance. You can use the seven steps outlined in this article to start your social media marketing journey. You can also hire experts to do your social media marketing while you concentrate on growing your business.