Social media marketing plays a key role in business success. These ideas can help you form a winning strategy.

Tags: social media marketing, marketing tips

Winning at social media marketing is something every business wants to do, but few succeed in doing. Success in using social media to market a product or service and build a brand requires consistency, measurable goals and a smart strategy.

The following ideas cover some of the steps to take that make winning at social media marketing a reality. They all build off the idea of setting goals from the outset and having a doable plan to attain those goals, taking a step-by-step approach.

Tips For Social Media Marketing

Many businesses make an attempt at social media marketing. In some cases, that’s because business owners, especially small business owners, may not know about the digital tools for marketing that are available to them. But in most cases, it’s because they didn’t put the following best practices into play.

Professional digital marketers have learned over the years what works and what does not work. These following ideas are foundational and represent steps to take that lead to winning at social media marketing.

Understand Your Market

Before creating content for social media marketing, you must know who it is you want to reach. In digital marketing, nothing is worse than creating a ton of content that your audience doesn’t care about. It’s critical to take the time and think through who your audience is and what they want. This may involve research, such as questionnaires sent to customers or online surveys. Only when you truly know your audience can you then create social media content that speaks to them.

Develop a Smart Strategy

Good content has been proven repeatedly to work in social media marketing, but you must have a comprehensive marketing plan and solid set of strategic goals. Both long and short-term strategies depend on the audience, industry and business objectives. A key part of the plan is related to the audience – not only knowing them well, but also knowing what social media platforms they prefer. There should also be a plan for when you will post content consistently, as well having people in place to research, write, edit and post the content.

Create Value

Every piece of content should create value for the client. There are many different ways to create value. The content could address a customer need. It could contain information that is interesting to your audience. It could also entertain or amuse people in your audience. The idea is that all  social media marketing content creates value for the consumer in some way. You can measure the value by the number of clicks, views and shares the content receives.

Set Important Metrics and KPIs

Once you have a plan in place and start producing content for social media, you want to have an idea of what success looks like. With content, it’s important to take a data-driven approach and measure the impact of content through key performance indicators (KPIs) that are readily available. Some ideas include:

  • Clicks. The number of clicks on a piece of content.
  • Unique visitors. Otherwise known as “reach,” this tracks the number of unique IP addresses that view a piece of content.
  • Engagement. This is the total number of social interactions, divided by the number of total impressions. This number gives you an idea of how many of your total viewers feel comfortable interacting with your business.
  • Hashtags. The performance of hashtags – which were the most used, which were linked to your brand – helps you identify the most successful content.

Engage Your Audience

The distinguishing characteristic of social media is that it promotes engagement between consumers and businesses. Whatever tone you take with your social media postings, make sure it’s inviting and encourages people to interact. Simply posting social media without engaging with customers is not making full use of what social media offers.

Don’t Constantly Promote

If winning at social media marketing is your goal, then you have to realize it is not like a TV commercial, radio spot or billboard. The idea is to build a brand that people turn to for information about a certain product, service or industry. The idea is to engage and inform, not constantly promote a product. Consumers understand the difference and will reward businesses that don’t constantly try to sell them on something.

Make It Easy to Buy

At the same time that you don’t want to constantly sell through your social media content, you do want to make it easy for a consumer to buy your product or service. Social media accounts can include links to pages where people can make a purchase or fill out forms to receive more information (known as a landing page). Don’t make it over-complicated or require people to click through a series of pages. Convenient ordering and efficient delivery of the product or service are keys to success.

Winning at social media marketing requires planning, a sound strategy and a commitment to stick with it. Those who take this approach will enjoy the rewards of an expanding, loyal consumer base that drives the business to a new level.