Social media marketing is the process of creating content for social media platforms to promote your businesses product or services. Social media marketing allows you to connect with your audience, drive website traffic and therefore, hopefully, lead to an increase in sales.
This involves actively publishing and engaging content on your social media profiles that relates to your target audience.
Why is social media marketing important for businesses?
Social media marketing is a quick, cost efficient way of creating brand awareness. It enables you to engage with your current customers and reach new audiences. This in turn, allows you to boost your leads and sales. According to Statista, in December 2021, there were a total of 60.37 million social network users in the UK. This is predicted to increase to 64.75 million 2026.
With over 53% of the world’s population on social media and with the continued predicted growth, it’s very important that your business has an effective social media strategy in place. This will help you reach the right audience for your business and maximise the benefits from your social media efforts.
How to create a social media marketing strategy
A social media marketing strategy is a plan of action that outlines everything you want to do and achieve by using social media. A social media strategy will help guide your actions and allow you to analyse whether your social media efforts are working.
Tela has put together a list of 6 steps to help you start your social media strategy.
Step One: Set goals
Setting targeted social media goals are a crucial part of your social media marketing strategy. Goals help give you clear direction with a purpose, can help guide your budget and allows you a chance to see how well you are doing. Non targeted content can often be a waste of time and money, so taking the time to identify clear goals can really help you get the most out of your social media marketing efforts.
A good guide to follow when setting goals is SMART. SMART is an acronym that stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound. This method will help you set focused goals with a valuable way to measure performance. For example, a specific goal would be to increase the number of followers your business has on Twitter. To make this measurable and time-bound, you should use specific metrics such as increasing your following by 20% and to complete this within 4 months.
Step 2: Research and learn about your audience
Developing an understanding of your target audience is potentially one of the most important parts of your strategy. These are the people who are most likely to be interested in your content. Your target audience isn’t “everyone” and your mission is to identify your niche audience and dominate it. Audience research will help you create relevant content, which can lead to higher conversion rates. You should think about your audience’s age, location, income, interests and what social platforms they are most likely to be using and tailor your marketing efforts depending on these areas.
Step 3: Competitor analysis
Another important part of your social media marketing strategy is to identify your competitors and complete competitor analysis. This involves looking at what they are doing/posting about and then learning from their ideas, successes and failures. This will allow you to determine your competitive advantage and use this information to help create future content.
Step 4: Create a plan / content calendar
To maximise your social media marketing efforts, it is important to have a plan in place. A posting schedule is crucial in helping you post consistently, which is necessary to keep your audience engaged. It will outline how often you want to post on each platform and what sort of content you want to create. A good posting schedule will include the dates and times for when you will publish content so you are able to see what goes out where and when. This is also where you should think about what times your audience are most active, to make sure you reach the biggest audience. A content plan will help you stay organised and on-track. They also provide visibility to all team members so everyone can see what is going on.
Social media scheduling tools such as Hootsuite or Buffer allow you to schedule posts to go out in advance, allowing your business to be active even during busy times.
Step 5: Create engaging / compelling content
The next step of your social media strategy is to actually start creating content. This is where your audience research will come to use and you should tailor your content to them.
Step Six: Evaluate performance and adjust strategy accordingly
As you start to implement your strategy, you should also start to track your results. This is necessary to see how well your social strategy is doing.
For every goal set in your social media strategy, you should have a related metric to help track your social media performance. Most social media platforms have their own analytics where you can track metrics such as conversion rates, engagement, click through rates etc. You can use these metrics to determine what is working and what isn’t and then adjust your strategy accordingly.
A good social media strategy will optimise your social media efforts and support your overall business goals. If you follow each of the steps listed above, you should be well on your way for a great social media strategy. This will help you to stay organised and post consistently by planning in advance. When done correctly, a social media strategy will lead to more engagement, traffic and leads.