Social media marketing isn’t optional anymore. With 68 percent of American adults regularly accessing Facebook, you’re missing a huge potential audience if you don’t market on social media.
But how do you market your business on social media?
The key to effective social media marketing is to create a strategy. Don’t rely on one-off ‘blast’ posts to carry your message.
Over 80 percent of Instagram users follow at least one business. Those users expect to see regular content from those businesses. But that content needs to be planned effectively.
Read on to learn how to build a successful social media marketing campaign.
1. Check Out the Competition
Check out your competitors before creating a social media strategy. How do they use social media?
This is invaluable as much for learning what doesn’t work as what does. Perhaps you find one of your competitors using the ‘Twitter blast’ approach. But their posts get no engagement and they have few followers.
That tells you what to avoid.
You can also find out what topics get the best engagement from their followers. What types of content do their audience prefer?
If their audience shares more of their video content, then it makes no sense for you to focus on written content.
This research also lets you decide which platforms to focus on. Instead of running a campaign on all of them, you might decide your audience is most active on two or three. Focus your efforts there.
2. Choose Your Objective
What do you want your social media marketing campaign to achieve? Setting your goal helps to keep your strategy focused on a single objective.
That determines the shape of your entire campaign. A goal to win followers needs a different campaign than generating leads.
Knowing your objective means you can choose how you’ll measure the campaign’s effectiveness. Let’s use a lead generation example.
You won’t need to measure ‘vanity metrics’ like post shares or likes. Instead, you’ll measure the number of client inquiries or link clicks on lead magnets.
This dictates the copy you’ll need to support the behavior you want to promote. It also links to your digital footprint so you know where users came from to land on your website.
3. Create Content for your Social Media Marketing Campaign
Having looked at what your competitors are doing, you’ll have a good idea what content works. But you don’t want to copy them.
Create different types of content that promote the single message driving your campaign. Repurpose content by turning blog posts into infographics or videos.
Put your own spin on everything to make it unique to you.
Keep testing and measuring engagement to see what your audience responds to. Don’t worry about oversaturation. Not everyone will follow you on every single platform.
Even if they do, they won’t see all of your messages all of the time. So it’s fine to repeat them to capture people in different time zones.
Add branded hashtags on platforms like Twitter and Instagram to make it easier to track engagement. Users won’t always remember to tag you directly, but they will use hashtags.
Remember to use common hashtags too to reach a wider audience.
4. Build Your Strategy to Balance Promotional and Nonpromotional Content
No one likes a person who only talks about themselves. Social media users feel the same way about the companies they follow.
So when you’re building your social media calendar, strike a balance. Post your promotional content alongside related content by other people.
It helps to establish you as an authority in your niche. But it also gives your followers more content to share, sending your brand further out on social media.
You’re also more likely to get shares by the authors of the other content you promote.
Some businesses use the 80/20 ratio, based on the Pareto principle. For every one piece of your own content you share, share four pieces by other authors.
It’s a good idea to use a form of social media management to schedule this content. Block out time to schedule it in advance to save you flicking between platforms throughout the day.
5. Be Human
In other words, embrace the power of ‘live’. Facebook Live, Instagram Stories, Periscope, and YouTube all offer you the opportunity to broadcast live to your audience.
This instantly shows there’s a ‘face’ behind your campaign. Your business stops being a PR machine and becomes human. Meaning your audience can more easily connect with you.
Open the floor to questions. This helps show your transparency and willingness to help.
These platforms also make it easier for companies with lower marketing budgets to get involved. No one expects Hollywood-style production values on Facebook Live. You can focus on the message and interacting with users instead of worrying about cinematography.
And you can share the video as part of your campaign once you’ve gone off-air.
6. Listen to your Audience
Social listening is the key to understanding the effectiveness of your social media campaign strategy.
Some companies make the mistake of only listening to what people say to them. Comments on posts or @ replies on Twitter can yield useful insights. But they’re not the full story.
Adding social listening tools to your arsenal lets you see what people say about your brand. You’ll be able to check if people find your campaign overwhelming or annoying.
You can also use social listening to find out more about how audiences feel about your service or industry. Use their questions or opinions to create new content for a future campaign.
7. Evaluate the Campaign
Campaigns are most successful when they have a finite lifespan. Determine how long your social media marketing campaign will last.
Check all of the metrics you established in step 2 at set points throughout the campaign. This lets you make adjustments as needed if you’re not hitting your goal.
If you are hitting your checkpoints, then identify the best-performing content. When you create your next campaign for a similar objective, you know what content to plug into your strategy.
Follow these Steps for Success
Follow these seven steps to create and execute your social media marketing campaign. Remember to evaluate everything, both during and after your campaign.
Knowing what works, and what doesn’t, helps you to plan the next one. You’ll be able to run a social media marketing campaign on autopilot before long.
But we recognize it’s a lot to take on, especially if you’re new to marketing on social media. If you’d like help in managing your social media, contact us today.