Social media marketing is an integral part of the modern marketing mix. The currently most important goals of marketers: advertising for services and products as well as greater awareness of the brand. But why is social media marketing so important? – We show what benefits can be expected from this type of marketing and describe five steps towards a successful social media marketing strategy.
How does a social media marketing strategy help companies?
Social media marketing is completely aimed at finding your target customers where they themselves like to surf and exchange ideas with like-minded people. It is the platform with the hot leads and the target group determines the encounter and the platform .
Every social medium has its own rules. LinkedIn, for example, rates your followers’ comments higher than every like. Such details should be part of your SMM strategy. That’s why it pays to be as familiar as possible with how your target customers’ preferred platform works. It also means that your strategy should be customized for each social medium. It’s worth the trouble.
These are the advantages of strategic social media marketing
- SMM strengthens brand awareness
The masses on social media are the potential of any brand presence there. They increase the level of awareness and overall perception of companies – also through the possibilities of interaction. Comments, likes and shares ultimately bring more traffic to the links to your website.
- SMM generates leads and increases conversion figures
Anyone who advertises on social media primarily reaches followers through their account : ie people whose interest has already been aroused. Your content should apply to them first. Blog articles, competitions, videos or direct links in the information on your company’s presence are recommended for the emerging community. Some platforms even allow direct sales.
- SMM maintains relationships with customers
The dialogue that is possible with your followers on social media platforms ensures lasting relationships. In addition, answers and input on urgent questions can be obtained directly from the community. Well-known brands promote a significant part of the direct sales of their consumable products through this dialogue.
- SMM allows you to learn from the competition
The social media public offers deep insights into the tactics and procedures of your competitors. In this way, impulses for your own online presence are possible in order to optimize and highlight your marketing step by step.
How to develop a successful social media marketing strategy
A social media marketing strategy is basically the same as the strategic steps of other forms of marketing. This means that the general rules of strategic and successful marketing also apply here. They’re just broken down into that specific marketing channel.
Strategy Step 1: Research buyer personas and target audience
In order to really reach desired customers, you have to know something about them. The necessary first step of any social media marketing strategy is therefore to analyze your audience and determine your buyer personas. Their needs and interests are the focus.
Ask specific questions like
- Who do I want to reach?
- And on what grounds?
- What similarities does this target person have with others?
If you sell gardening tools, then an initial classification of your persona could be: Member of generations X/Y, professionally arrived with access to their own garden, likes to visit the following social media: … because …
The more accurate the insights, the more engaging your posts will be. What attracts the followers and ideal customers they want to acquire? What are pain points? What tips are your personas interested in?
Wrap these topics in content forms that your persona engages with.
Strategy Step 2: Determine your primary social media platform
It is an empirical value that a selection of the right social platform for one’s own company has to be made. And when in doubt, even against your own preferences. Because the results from step 1 are decisive for the selection.
As SMM specialist Andrew Delaney (formerly HubSpot) puts it: Your customers define the platform. – You need to be where your potential customers are today and may be tomorrow. It is better to be ahead of the curve than to lag behind.
For example, if your persona is Millennials, then your best social media channel would probably be Instagram. Millennials currently make up by far the largest user share here.
Deal extensively with the relevant social media.
Strategy Step 3: Create unique, engaging content
With billions of users on social media, it’s obvious that personas are scrutinizing not only your content but also that of your competitors. Hardly any competition is still asleep here… – That’s why the quality and design of your contributions determines their success.
In addition to the requirements already mentioned, posts on social media therefore require creativity. Which idea is unique? What concept makes your content distinguishable?
Many platforms support this effort towards individuality. They offer special functions. The live video feature on Facebook is an example of this. This allows news about products or special campaigns to be displayed in an appealing way for the target group: As a hybrid mini-event that automatically offers access to everyone in the network.
Last but not least, existing fans and followers are also possible contributors to content. Share their posts and content. Invite your followers to use hashtags when they comment or post about your products or business.
Strategy Step 4: Organize posts into a schedule
In order to publish your social media posts at the right time and in relation to each other, a time plan or even an editorial plan is recommended.
Modern software can take a lot off here. Here you can efficiently plan the publication of your content. And those who handle their social media management in this way not only ensure that the schedule is adhered to. The automated tools also measure engagement and perception of the posts. So you save time for more important tasks.
The functionalities of HubSpot ‘s social media tool are very extensive . Alternatively, Hootsuite and Sprout Social are widely used.
Strategy Step 5: Measure the results of your social media posts
The first goal of any social media marketing is to achieve your goals through activities on the individual platforms. The goals of your company.
To make sure they don’t go wrong, you need to track all of your posts, across all channels. To do this, you need to review and manage your social media metrics.
KPIs, as key figures are called in technical jargon, provide information about how successful a marketing activity is in social media. The business lexicon defines the key performance indicators as: general key figures […] that relate to success, performance or utilization [of marketing].
Social media KPIs evaluate your account and its success using different analysis units.
The benefits and advantages of a functioning social media marketing strategy are obvious: it can be used to clearly advance the brand, sales, customer contact and market overview. The benefits are manifold.
The same approaches that lead to success with other forms of marketing can be used for the planning and success of this strategy. In addition to precise knowledge of the target audience and their preferences, it takes tailored, original content and a planned, controlled approach.