Best social media marketing strategy steps for 2020
Table of Contents
Numerous companies and brands get into social media on an impromptu basis. Everyone, including businesses, realizes the growing importance of social media. But many have no clue how to create and execute a social media marketing strategy?!
Well, with this article you have nothing to worry about. Social media marketing strategy is important, but social media is not easy to get through. Ubercircle intends to help you get ahead with the top tips and tricks to master social media marketing.
The advent of social media has given all its users an extremely powerful tool at their fingertips to share content globally within a matter of a few seconds. A well-executed social media marketing strategy helps to increases brand awareness, validates your brand, increases traffic and engagement.
So let’s begin with what does social media marketing even means?
“Social media marketing (SMM) is a type of Internet marketing wherein social networking websites are used to market to customers.”
SMM aims to create content that people will share on their social networks to help surge brand exposure and reach. Social media marketing makes use of platforms for connecting with the audience for branding, increasing sales, and driving traffic to the website. It would involve publishing enthusiastic content on social media, paying attention to your followers and engaging with them, assessing customer engagement statistics, and making advertisements.
Currently, the most used social media platforms include –
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest, and Snapchat.
According to Ambassador, 71% of the customers who had a good experience with a brand’s social media service will be likely to recommend it further to others. The wonders of influencer marketing have been growing, no doubt, but it is still vital for any good brand to operate some social accounts themselves.
What does a ‘strategy’ for social media marketing mean?
A strategy gives direction to your marketing. In the absence of a strategy, posting on social media platforms becomes pretty much just for the sake of it. A lack of understanding of one’s goals, of one’s target audience, and their needs and desires, are characteristics of a brand’s doom.
Strategizing with the help of this article will, therefore, give you tips on how to be on the most efficient track for generating leads and boosting your brand awareness.
The social media marketing strategy can be divided based on the different social media platforms and their uses:
- Social networks
Also called ‘relationship networks’, social networking platforms are platforms where individuals, brands and organizations get online to share information. It is important to note here that social networking platforms are not like regular networking sites. They include Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin.
While Instagram may be a media sharing network where one uploads a picture of their aesthetic coffee, sites that fall under this type include those where you can look for recent news, infographics, conferences, open debate forums, etc.
With the rise of the usage of the internet, networks under this category have become a vital part of modern life. Why?
It is used by individuals not only for sharing events but, reading the news, finding a new job,etc.— and turning each one’s offline life into an online social experience. These sources are assured to provide a wealth of information.
- Media sharing network
The media sharing category includes websites that are used mainly for sharing pictures, videos, streaming live content, and other types of media. This includes Instagram, Snapchat, and Youtube. Such media sharing networks provide people and brands a platform to look for media online as well as share it.
Though the previously clear lines dividing media sharing networks and social networks are today vanishing as the features on each site grow. What differentiates media sharing networks is the primary purpose it is used for, that is, casual socializing.
The age group that makes use of such media sharing networks is also quite different from social networks. You can find more on our guide to certain important social media statistics to note in 2020 and social media advertising guidelines.
- Discussion platforms
Discussion platforms are sites where users go to look for the hot topic, what everyone is talking about and discuss further on it. Users on such sites are open and frank. The formation of social relationship networks is not the focus of such platforms. In fact, they focus on implementing measures to decrease anonymity in order to form a safe online space.
Discussion forums like Quora, Reddit, etc. have been known to be tremendous spaces for indulging in detailed consumer research and truly honest thoughts of consumers.
- Review platforms
Consumer review networks are platforms where people review brands, products, services, businesses, travel locations, and almost anything else.
Reviews fall under content that enhances the value of numerous websites and online services—for instance, give it a thought to your last buying experience with Amazon, or your latest experience of using Google Maps, was it easy? Was it difficult? Was it beneficial? Answer in our comments section! Such type of answers helps create a review image of the brand.
A brand must have the ability to entice positive user reviews as well as have the sportsmanship to deal with the negative ones. In order to do so, a team member must be dedicated to addressing all reviews relevant to the business.
- Blog platforms
The last, but very famously used type of media platform is blogging platforms. Blogging and publishing platforms provide users as well as brands with tools to publish content online through techniques that promote sharing, discovery, and commenting. Networks under this section range from traditional blogging platforms such as WordPress and Blogger to microblogging platforms such as Tumblr as well as interactive publishing platforms like Medium.
A successful promotion strategy ought to include marketing through these websites because it promotes the visibility of your brand. A blog is not merely to raise awareness of a business along with generating additional engaging content for social media channels, but it also helps to shape out a niche for the brand in your industry.
Before we begin with the process of strategizing for marketing through social media, let’s take a look at a few basic facts:
- 93% of marketers use social media for conducting businesses
- 70% of brands make use of Google’s social media platform, that is, Google +
- Facebook, Twitter, and Google are the top 3 social media sites used by marketers
- Flickr, Tumblr, and Stumbleupon are the least popular sites used by marketers
- 34% of marketers have used Twitter to successfully generate leads
A crystal clear plan is a prerequisite to make social media an asset for you. A social media marketing-strategy must provide a holistic bird’s eye view. Being backed with a solid strategy makes it easier to know customers as well as assess the performance of the competition.
Next comes the building of an appropriate strategy for social media marketing:
#Step 1 – Dive into your buyers’ minds and find your target audience
To begin with, creating a social media marketing strategy, a brand must dive into their buyer’s minds. Let’s answer a few questions in the comments section to get you started:
- Who are they? (E.g. job title, age, gender, salary, location, etc.)
- What are they interested in that you can provide? (E.g. entertainment, educational content, case studies, information on new products, etc.)
- Where do they usually hang out online? (E.g. Facebook, Instagram, etc. or niche platforms)
- When do they look for the type of content you can provide? (E.g. weekends, during their daily commute, etc.)
- Why do they consume the content? (E.g. to get better at their job, to become healthy, to stay up to date with something, etc.)
- How do they consume the content? (E.g. read social media posts, watch videos, etc.)
After answering these questions, you have set foot in the best way to conduct a perfect social media marketing strategy. Before answering these questions a brand might unintentionally be creating blogs targeted towards the elderly. And you would never receive any serious traffic even with the best product quality because your target audience was not right. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to follow a question/answer template and understand what do your users look like (not literally!).
The foundation of an appropriate social media marketing strategy is understanding who is the target audience and what and why they make use of social media. Therefore, the next step would be to make use of demographics and psychographics.
#Step 2 – Develop your buyer persona
One of the most efficient ways of creating a marketing buyer persona is to make use of the 5Ws and 1Hs approach. According to this approach, you must answer:
Who are the consumers?
This helps ascertain the demographics of the target audience. Demographics would include age, gender, income level, background, culture, job title, location, etc.
What will make users interested in your content?
It is important to ascertain what are the trends, what are your users’ interests and hobbies. If you are a clothing brand creating western clothes for ages from 13-50, but most of your audience is interested in subtle, black-white, basic, nude colors then your social media posts, profiles, and captions should depict the same.
Curating marketing content based on the likes, interests, and hobbies of your consumers may look like a time-consuming task. But it is the very ignorance of this step which is why not all brand social media platforms have 23 million followers like Apple’s Instagram.
Where do they usually hang out online?
This question aims to ascertain which social media platform from the types described above is the most suitable for your respective brand. Depending on your buyer persona and target audience Reddit may be more appropriate to serve as your social media marketing than LinkedIn.
Therefore, while conducting an analysis of your consumer persona, make sure to include the most widely engaged with social media platforms too.
When do users find the content provided by you?
This question looks to answer the time when most of your users come online for viewing your content. For analyzing the best time to post, you can either make use of the analytical data you gather from the first three questions or make use of online information on the same. For a guide on the best time to post on Facebook, you can make use of Ubercircle’s blogs.
Why do is the content consumed by users?
Next, you must look to answer the intentions and reasons behind the content consumed by the user. For instance, are they making use of your product/service to get better at their job or to become fitter or to stay updated, etc? The most efficient and basic way of doing so is through consumer surveys.
How do users consume content?
Last how the consumer consumes the content. This does not refer to the social media platform, that is addressed in the later steps. This question, on the other hand, answers how the users consume media – whether through caption content, pictures, videos, live streaming videos, etc.
#Step 3 – Determine which platform
One of the most crucial steps for a social media marketer is to determine which platform will be the center of your social media marketing. There is never an absolute right or wrong answer as to which social media channel is perfect. Instead, it is more about catering to the needs of the target audience and where they are most likely to spend their resources.
Numerous businesses are not able to cater to their audience appropriately even on one social media site, let aside dozens simultaneously. Therefore, it’s vital to select one or two (maximum three) channels to narrow all your efforts toward.
You need not worry about missing out on traffic— because by following all the steps rightly you can channelize and boost your business through a single (or two) networks. Remember to select quality over quantity.
#Step 4 – Conduct a rigid competitor analysis
Numerous brands tend to leap into social media content creation for their accounts without much thought. While making relevant content is very important, it is important to ascertain who are your competitors, and what are their marketing strategies.
Competitive analysis helps in understanding who is the competition and what are they doing efficiently (and not so efficiently). You will get a great idea of what are the expectations in the industry, and set social media targets accordingly.
For example, if one of your competitor brands is more dominant on Facebook, but not as much on Twitter or Instagram, then you can focus on networks where the audience is unserved, instead of attempting to gather fans from a dominant player.
#Step 5 – Responding to negative comments
After you have created a buyer persona, ascertained your target audience, determined the most efficient platform and understood your competitor, you would be at an advantageous position to begin the execution of your marketing strategy.
But any social media marketer must set a sort of daily reminder to respond constructively to negative comments. You do not necessarily need to follow the whole – ‘customer is God’ approach but it is important to note:
- Respond punctually. No user would like to get ignored and look for attention and responses. So make sure you respond timely.
- Remail professional. It is very easy to get caught up in feuds, but remember you are speaking not for your side, but your brand’s.
- Barring a few exceptions, try to make it a point to never delete negative comments. It makes it seem like you have something to hide.
- Lastly, don’t forget to respond to positive comments.
#Step 6 – Conduct a social media audit
After a short duration of your execution of strategy, make sure to monitor responses and feedback. Rigorously attempt to understand –
What strategies have increased traffic? Who is responding and who was your initial target? How does your presence compare to that of your competitors’?
The audit must provide a clear and crisp image of what aim each of your social accounts serves. If the aim of the account is not clear, then you must re-strategize soon.
Increases brand reach
90% of social media businesses have found social media to be an effective branding tool. In fact, in 2019 29% of the U.S. population had a social media account and it is only expected to grow from there. Owing to the mere amount of people on social media, it becomes apparent as to why using a social media platform has immense potential to aid and improve brand awareness.
Social media has also been known to raise brand awareness and in turn, drive engagement. Engagement of this kind comprises of features including – comments, shares, likes, and re-posts. It can also be helpful to increase brand awareness by way of directing traffic right toward your site. This can be done easily through direct links to the website in your bio, profile, and posts.
Generation of leads
About 82% of social-media businesses (SMBs) have stated that social media is effective for generating leads. Sharing product features and reviews can help in generating leads. Interactive features such as live video streaming, question polling, contests, etc. help in keeping users engaged with your company.
As the engagement with your brand increases the likelihood of generating leads by way of
Other media partners like radio stations, television agencies, etc.
Improves relations with their customers
With the rapid growth of social media and consumer awareness, it is important to have a stable and positive relationship with your consumers. The most efficient way to do so is using the most ‘in’ means, that is – social media.
Posts, comments, likes, and various other platform-specific features help in making the consumer feel especially and personally connected.
Faceless corporations are a concept long gone. Today, consumers are not merely concerned with the product they buy, but also the values and ideals of the company they are buying from. Social Media is known to have a 100% higher lead close rate in comparison with outbound marketing.
Go ahead! Let us know how you feel about this article in the comments section? Do let us know what social marketing strategy did you come up with?