Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, Periscope, LinkedIn … the list of platforms used by marketers goes on and on. Why the intense focus on social media marketing these days? It’s where your customers are: 74% of adult internet users are active on social media and 55% of buyers use social media sites when researching products. When your customers are on social media looking to learn more about you, it’s important that you’re there to make a good impression.
Most marketers are already well aware of this fact: 92% of marketers agree that social media is an important part of their business and 97% are using social media as part of their marketing strategy. 64% of sales teams use social media to reach their sales quotas, and 61% of B2B marketers use it to build leads. In fact, 31% of all traffic to websites is driven by the top 8 social media sites which together serve about 4.2 billion active monthly users.
So what’s the best way to approach social media? Let’s see what Social Media Marketo has to say:
12 Simple Steps for an Effective Social Media Strategy
- Define target audience. What age, gender, location, income, and education groups are you targeting? Tools like Alexa and Google Adwords are helpful for research. The fuller the profile, the more accurate the targeting.
- Research buyer persona. These are fictionalized personas that can help you humanize your customers and develop an understanding of them. You can use a site like http://MakeMyPersona.com to figure out how to best target your audience.
- Research influencers. There’s a reason why we call them influencers – they influence! And if you can get one on your side, the results can be priceless. Spend some time researching influencers in your industry or field. Find one that tends to share top content and would find your offerings relevant, then connect with them on social media and work on building a relationship by sharing their content. You can use BuzzSumo to track key influencers.
- Identify social media platforms used by buyer persona. BuzzSumo can help you identify which platforms have the highest number of shares for specific keywords, or search the sites on your own. You can also survey your existing customers and see which sites they tend to use the most.
- Look at your competitors’ preferred social platforms. Where do your competitors tend to hang out online? How has that been working for them? Are they building engagement? If they’re not, is it because the platform lacks the audience or because their strategy is poor? You may be able to get an edge!
- Produce content that addresses buyer persona pain points. Potential customers often post their questions or concerns online, and spending some time researching them can give you great insights into what they need. Look at forums or sites like Quora to track down their comments and then produce content that answers their questions or offers solutions.
- Create a content bank. Develop videos and tutorials, write blog posts and whitepapers, and create infographics and images. The content should be consistent, relevant, interesting, and valuable to your audience. Mix it up – not all customers will respond to the same content types, so it’s good to offer a variety!
- Engage and build relationships. Aim for a genuine 2-way relationship by asking readers for feedback and showing interest in their interests – what sort of content would they like to see? How can you help them solve their problems?
- Maintain a consistent content publishing cycle. Even if you’re not writing all of the content yourself, try to post regularly. It’s fine to share relevant industry expert content with your readers as long as you credit the source. In fact, sharing influencer content is a great way to build those important relationships, as mentioned above. So share away!
- Invest on getting more social followers. Building a social media following takes time and effort. Liking, retweeting, favoriting, sharing, posting relevant ads, and engaging with your audience is an investment and one that will pay off if done properly.
- Automate sharing with tools. Use a tool like Hootsuite to automate your social media activity. This is an amazing timesaver and can save you the hassle of posting to each site individually as well as allow you to easily schedule posts in advance.
- Evaluate your results and improve your strategy. If your strategy isn’t working for you, you need to tweak it. Look at your analytics and figure out which pieces of your social media marketing are failing you and why. If a certain type of post isn’t doing well, think about tweaking it. If a piece of your content gets a lot of positive attention, try sharing it in a different form like an infographic. A good social media strategy is responsive and dynamic, so consider it a work in progress.
Great tips for crafting an amazing social media strategy! Is there a holy grail digital tool that your company swears by when it comes to social media marketing? Which platforms are performing best for you? Let me know in the comments!