Social media is one of the most powerful marketing tools for companies today. If you are a business owner, you can use the different platforms to reach more potential customers not only in your city or state, but even nationwide. Advertising on the various sites is more cost-efficient (and sometimes, even free) as well.
Additionally, you can interact with people on different sites for free. This will help you generate more leads that you can convert into sales.
However, including social media in your marketing strategy is not the same as using them for personal reasons. To get the most from these platforms, you have to understand and correctly utilize their different layers of functionalities. If you fail to do so, you won’t be able to harness all the benefits these sites can offer to businesses.
Creating a social media marketing strategy is one method of optimizing the capabilities of the various sites to benefit your business.
With a well-made plan, you can become consistent with posting something on the different channels every day. You will avoid rushing to create content to share. Lastly, you will be able to track and be part of trends, which is crucial if you want your brand to stay relevant.
Coming up with a social media marketing strategy, though, requires a lot of thinking, careful planning, and hard work. This is particularly true if you are creating one for the first time.
If you want to create a strategy that will work for your brand, follow these tips shared by a top social media agency in Dubai:
Set clear-cut goals
The first thing you have to do when creating a social media marketing strategy is to determine what you want to get out of this campaign.
Be as specific and concise as you can be with these goals. Do you want to boost brand awareness, increase traffic to your website, engage with more people, or generate new leads? Or do you want to do all of these on social media?
If it will only be you or another person handling all marketing campaigns, it is best to set a handful of goals first. Choose ones that are easy to measure. By doing so, you will have an easier time tracking their progress and results and making the necessary changes.
Know your target audience
Your chances of hitting your goals will be higher and faster if you consider your target market when putting your strategy together.
Creating an audience persona is the best way to be sure your marketing strategy will target and attract the people who are more likely to purchase your product or service. When you know the motivation, mindset, and the words your potential customers use and the benefits they value, you can create content that connects with them.
There are different ways to make your audience persona. You can start by studying your past and current customers. Ask yourself what qualities they share and what made them decide to choose your business.
If you want more accurate answers and information so that you can create a realistic audience persona, conduct a survey. Prepare a list of questions that will allow you to know more about your previous and current customers.
Once you have the results, look for trends and commonalities in word choice, challenges, emotions, and benefits. Include all these in your audience persona template.
Conduct a social media audit
To ensure you get the most from your online marketing campaign, assess your present social media presence and do some cleaning or tweaks.
Begin by listing down which social media channels your business is already on. Next, think about which accounts to keep and which ones to abandon. Additionally, research other sites and decide whether you should join them or not.
To know which channels to retain, leave, or add, try to find out if your target audience is on these platforms. Check if your competition is there as well.
Additionally, think carefully if the social media site can support your goals and if you can be active on this platform. If the channel does not have the features or capability that will help you reach your objectives, and you think you don’t have the spare time to maintain and grow your account, close it or skip signing up.
Choose your metrics
Although likes and shares are nice to receive and look at, you need to focus on an essential part of your strategy: publishing or sharing content that results in customer engagement or sales.
To choose the right metrics to keep an eye on, consider your goals and select the ones that will measure them. For instance, if your goal is to engage with more people, engagement should be one of your metrics. You can measure this by looking at the number of likes, shares, and mentions your post receives.
Other metrics that you can consider are post reach, number of clicks, hashtag performance, share of voice, referrals, and conversions.
Tracking most of these metrics requires specialized analytics tools. If installing them in your system is beyond your or your team’s capabilities, let a digital marketing agency in Dubai help you out.
Create engaging content
To reach your goals, you have to focus on the most vital element of your social media marketing strategy: content.
Your content, of course, should be based on your goals and, at the same time, showcase your brand identity. They should also be relevant to the channels you will be posting them on.
At present, the most effective types of content on social media are:
- User-Generated Content or UGC (content made by customers)
- Live streams
- Client testimonials
Play with any combination of the different types of content as you start implementing your social media marketing campaign. Remember to regularly check the metrics to know which ones work best so that you can create more, and which ones are the least popular to avoid wasting time and money creating and posting them.
Create your posting schedule
Finding the best times to share your content can be tricky. Even if you use well-documented research to figure out the perfect schedule, keep in mind that different studies show different data. Additionally, audiences may engage more on other days or times.
However, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t use published research to come up with a posting schedule. You can use them as a starting point. Also, look at the figures from your metrics to draw your conclusions.
Moreover, don’t be afraid of experimenting with different schedules. By doing so, you will eventually find the best times that will enable your posts to get more engagement.
Once you start implementing your social media marketing campaign, track the results regularly. Don’t hesitate to make changes immediately if you find something that isn’t working.
Since creating, implementing, tracking, and modifying your online marketing strategy sounds like (and it really is) a lot of hard work, if you are doing everything on your own, consider working with digital marketing specialists. By doing so, you will have an expert helping you out continuously as you navigate the world of social media.
Stuart Harris is the Creative Director at Yellow, a Dubai branding agency, digital partner and advertising company working with progressive businesses to build bold, meaningful brands.