When it comes to marketing tools, social media is fast and powerful. Used properly, it can build customer relationships with a personal touch. A common error committed by marketers is not creating a plan before jumping in. In order to receive the full benefits of social media, there needs to be a strong marketing strategy in place that takes customers and goals into account.
Set Goals and Objectives
Before building a strategy, marketers need to know what the desired result is. Whether it is about increasing sales, attracting more web visitors or making a brand more visible, social media can help but has to be approached in different ways. Focusing on one or two objectives is more effective than trying to tackle everything at once. In addition, those objectives should have a direct link to the goals of the business in order to keep everything grounded.
Know the Demographic
While it is good to have goals, a strong marketing campaign is built on knowing the target demographic. Taking the time to build customer profiles will bring clarity through questions about age, education, income, children, spending habits and technology preferences. This step will ensure the social media campaign is reaching the right audience.
Study the Competition
Competitors are a great learning tool because they have already tried various approaches and found one that works. Choosing a small group of competing businesses and studying their social media messages can provide direction in regard to tone, product placement and the culture that surrounds it.
Create Messages and Choose Platforms
Using the customer profiles as a guideline, create three social media messages about the brand or business. Utilizing the strategies of competitors is fine as long as the messages are unique and creative. Choosing the right social media channels to post those messages on is vital. A more youthful product will appeal to Twitter users, while a business-oriented service would present well on LinkedIn. Influential bloggers are also helpful for generating buzz around a brand.
Develop the Content
In order to engage the right audience, social media content needs to be relevant and compelling as well as being aligned to the channel on which it is posted. Plain product information can become stale. Using various types of media such as photos, infographics and videos brings real value to the target demographic while keeping the social media presence attractive and interesting. Attention spans are very short on the Internet, which is why frequent posting of fresh content is a must. This also has an effect on SEO and page rank.
Done the right way, a well-constructed and targeted social media campaign is a marketer’s best friend.