Social media is an incredibly powerful form of communication, not only for people to stay in touch online with friends and families but also for businesses just like yours to have a direct line to their customers.
But if you really want to harness the full power that social media can offer, you need to put together a strategy or a plan that will help you through social media marketing.
To help you along, we’ve put together the framework to create a successful social media marketing strategy, plus a few critical reasons why you’d want to
Top 22 Benefits of Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing has so many benefits that it’s all but imperative for any successful business to have a presence on at least one of the social media platforms.
Learn more about why social media has become so integral for businesses wanting to grow and reach their community.
1. Tell your brand story.
Social media gives you the perfect chance to tell your brand story your way. Use your bio, social media content, brand voice, and personality to present your brand in the way you want it to be perceived.
Create authentic social media and video content that shares your mission and the story behind the brand to help build genuine connections with followers and customers.
2. Create brand recognition.
If you create cohesive social media content that matches your branding, it can help to create brand recognition online. Make sure you brand your social media platform as well to ensure your presence is recognizable across the board and on any platform.
This includes creating similar looking graphics, profile photos, cover photos, calls to action and more.
3. Keep customers in the know.
Your social media profiles should be one of the first places you share company announcements, new products, services or features, and similar launches. If you’re hiring, share it on social media. If you’re closing for a holiday, share it on social media.
While you always want to be strategic about your social media content, using this platform as a way of notifying customers of any changes is a great way to build trust in your followers.
4. Increase brand awareness.
When your brand posts on social media and engages with your audience, it helps put your brand name in front of a much larger audience.
Additionally, when your followers share your content, they’re introducing your brand to their own followers, leading to increased brand awareness and helping more and more people discovering your business.
5. Build a community.
Social media gives you the perfect opportunity to round up your most loyal customers and audience members and create a community for them.
Whether you simply remain hyper-engaged with your audience on a specific social media platform or you create a social media group, building a community is a great way to improve brand loyalty and get constant customer feedback.
6. Bring in organic traffic.
Social media is an incredible way to bring free, organic traffic to your website. And while social media offers affordable paid options, it’s exciting that this form of marketing can help improve your organic and earned traffic as well.
By creating a successful social media strategy, you can exponentially increase the amount of traffic that your website receives just from social media.
Social media can also help improve your SEO, increasing your rank on Google and other search engines, bringing even more organic traffic to your website.
7. Provide customer service.
Consumers often mention brands online when referring to either a good or bad experience with that company, and it’s your responsibility to monitor and respond to these queries.
Using your social media presence as a customer service platform is a great way to respond to issues as they arise and ensure your audience knows your brand is going to be there for them.
8. Gather social proof.
Whenever customers leave reviews on your Facebook Page or you find positive mentions of your brand online, save that content to share online as social proof.
Positive reviews and social proof make 90% off Consumers more likely to buy from your business, so flaunt what you’ve got.
9. Become a thought leader in your industry.
Sharing educational and credible content on your social media platforms can help to position your brand as more of a thought leader in your industry and a trusted source for information.
Not only does this help with word of mouth marketing, but it can also help improve your website’s SEO as more and more sites will start linking to your content as a reliable source.
10. Gain easy access to competitor strategies.
Social media is also an awesome way to scope out the competition and see what they’re up to. Check out your competitor’s social media platforms to see how often they post and what types of content they’re sharing to get ideas for your own strategy.
Platforms like Facebook also offer transparency into your compotators ads so that you can get a glimpse at how many ads they’re running and what they’re promoting.
Gathering information on the competition and analyzing how their current strategy works for them is a big part of creating your own strategy, and social media allows you to easily do some valuable recon.
11. Gather customer research.
Keep an eye on your social media insights and analytics to gather demographics about the types of users who are following your brand on social media. You can make sure they’re in line with your target market by double-checking their age, gender, interests, and more.
12. Facilitate conversations around your brand.
When you create engaging content that gets comments, shares, likes, etc., you’re starting to generate buzz around your brand. If you notice that certain types of content generate more interaction than others, you want to make sure to create and share more of those types of posts.
This will start to encourage more responses and mentions of your brand, getting more of your followers – and subsequently their followers – involved in the conversation that’s all about you and your company.
13. Take advantage of social listening.
Social listening allows you to monitor certain topics, hashtags, brand names (namely yours), etc., so that you can keep an eye on what people are saying and if there are ever any conversations you need to respond to related to your brand/industry.
This is a great way to catch any mentions of your brand, but also to find trending topics in your industry, to analyze the types of content your audience likes and shares, and to get a glimpse into how your followers speak on social media.
14. Increase your reach with hashtags.
Be sure to put together a hashtag strategy for your social media content that helps you get your content in front of even more eyes. Hashtags create searchable links and are great keywords to help your content get found by even more viewers.
Tools like Hastagify or RiteTag are helpful for determining the best and most relevant hashtags to include in your tweets and Instagram posts.
You can search for various potential hashtags to see which ones get the most search volume and keep a log of the best options so that you can easily incorporate them into your future social media content.
Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn are the best social media platforms to use hashtags on as they’re not as searchable on other platforms like Facebook and Pinterest.
15. Promote your blog content.
While your content marketing strategy should also include a lot of SEO best practices to rank higher in SERPs (search engine results pages) and increase organic traffic, you should also regularly share your blog content on your social media platforms.
Many platforms are powerful when it comes to generating website traffic, so ensuring blog content is a big part of your social sharing calendar is the perfect way to send even more audience members to your website.
16. Improve your link building strategy.
So let’s say you took our advice in the last point and started sharing your blog content on social media. More and more people online come across your blog content, read it and share it, increasing the eyes on your blog even more.
The more people who are introduced to your content, the more likely they are to link to your content, increasing backlinks to your Improve your SEO All the Same time
17. Retarget your audience.
Social media ads are a really excellent way to keep your business top of mind for potential customers, namely by creating and executing Retargeting campaigns
Retargeting your audience involves implementing a pixel onto your website that tracks user behavior, then places ads in front of users who have visited your website but haven’t taken action and converted into customers.
These types of campaigns are highly effective as you’re able to gently nudge people in your funnel down to the bottom and compel them to make a purchase.
18. Create viral campaigns.
While it’s important to note that it’s difficult to create viral campaigns – and they don’t always happen on purpose – going viral on social media is still possible and is a great way to create buzz around your brand.
Pay attention to trending topics, things your audience loves, and memes that are relevant to your business to see if you can create a winning social media campaign that gets viral attention and propels your brand forward in recognition and awareness.
19. Easy A/B testing.
Social media is also a great place to test various ideas and messaging points with your audience. Whether you choose to do this via advertising or by testing different content ideas, you can easily pinpoint the more popular post by doing A/B Tasting Tool On Social Media.
20. Make sales and boost conversions.
You can also use your social media profiles strategically to make Sales and boost conversions, resulting in increased revenue and ROI.
Ecommerce brands and business owners can set up storefronts on social platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest to make direct sales, while service-based brands can promote demo videos and sales pages to convert leads and followers.
21. Generate leads.
Sharing lead magnets and sales pages on social media can help to increase the number of leads you’re able to add to your CRM. Whether you choose to share these organically or through paid ads is up to you and what works for your social strategy – more on that in a bit.
22. Social media is free.
The best part of all of this? Social media is completely free! You can do all of this without paying a dime – only some of your time.
While investing in social media ads will also help ramp up your success, you don’t have to pay to use any social media platforms and you can still start to see awesome results as long as you put together and implement the ideal social media strategy.
To help you move forward in your social media success, let’s dive into the steps you need to take to actually create a social media marketing strategy that works.
How to Create a Social Media Strategy
Now here’s the good part – actually putting together your social marketing strategy and getting started promoting your business online.
We’ve put together a quick eight-step process to help you build a successful social media strategy that will work perfectly for your business and industry. Remember that social media marketing is not one-size-fits-all, and your strategy needs to be perfectly suited for your specific brand and needs.
Walkthrough the strategy building process with us.
Step 1: Set SMART goals.
The very first thing you need to do is create clear goals and objectives for your social media strategy.
We like to use the SMART method when building strategies. SMART stands for:
And while SMART goals can be used across a variety of industries and needs, they also work perfectly when creating clear objectives for the success you want to get out of your social media marketing strategy.
Let’s get a bit more specific about how you can create these goals.
You want your goals to be as clear-cut as possible. Don’t set a goal for “increasing social media followers.” Which platform(s)? How many more followers do you want? You want your goals to have all the necessary information so you know if/when you’ve achieved them.
When putting together your social media strategy, try to aim for 3-5 clear, specific goals that you’re hoping to work towards in your marketing.
It’s also important to be able to measure the success of the goals you’re setting. Instead of having a more abstract goal like, “Increase website traffic,” try adding in a way to measure success by saying, “Increase website traffic by 5% MoM.”
This gives you something that you can actually track to see if you’ve met your goal. Simply working to increase website traffic doesn’t help much if you’re only seeing 100 new visitors a month. Sure, you’ve technically hit your goal, but is that actually going to help your bottom line?
This is another essential aspect of your social media goals. Are these goals actually attainable? There’s a big difference between goals that are aggressive and goals that simply aren’t realistic.
For example, if you’ve just recently started your Twitter profile, don’t make it a goal to get 10,000 followers within your first month. Unless you’re lucky enough to have a piece of content go viral, it’s probably not going to happen, no matter how much effort you put in.
Instead, start small, and work towards a percentage increase each month. Make it a goal to hit 100 followers in your first month, then work to increase your follower count from there.
If you’ve had your social media accounts for a while and you’re looking to ramp up your marketing and revamp your strategy, take a look at how your accounts have grown for the past few months to know what a realistic goal for growth might look like for you.
Make sure the goals that you set are closely aligned with your business objectives and make sense for your audience.
For example, you don’t want to set a goal of increasing engagement and repins on Pinterest if your audience doesn’t actually use the platform. While you might think you need to focus on every social network, it’s important to only focus on the platforms and tactics that are going to help grow your audience and your business.
Give every goal you create a deadline. Will you check progress each month? Each quarter? Is this a year-long goal? Creating time-based goals is essential to tracking the success of your social media strategy.
And if one of your goals is a bigger one (i.e., increased revenue over the whole year), be sure to give yourself milestones and dates to check in on your progress to see if you’re on track for hitting your goal or if you need to make some adjustments to your strategy.
Step 2: Create customer personas.
The next step in creating your social media marketing strategy is to create solid customer personas that represent your target audience so that you know exactly who you’re marketing to.
While many marketers have an abstract idea in their minds of who they need to cater their content to, putting together an actual buyer person can give you a much more realistic vision in your mind of who, specifically, you’re trying to resonate with your content with.
Defining your customer personas is also key in determining which social networks you need to focus on most.
There are just a few things you need to pinpoint when creating perfectly targeted customer personas.
The first thing you need to pay attention to is the basic demographics of your target audience. What gender do they identify with? What is their age range? Income? Job? Family?
Why is this information so important to have on hand? Well, for example, a marketing SaaS company can have a really ambiguous target audience. While some tend to target marketers, others need to focus more on CEOs and major decision-makers.
It’s essential for everyone on the sales and marketing teams to be 100% on the same page as to which social media users they’re trying to reach with their messaging, and putting together basic demographics is a great start.
For more B2C brands, you need to have a good idea of the things your audience likes to do and their overall interests, especially when it pertains to your product or service.
This could include hobbies, workout regimen, skincare routines, favorite stores and restaurants, and more.
Buying Motivations & Pain Points
Think about what drives your target audience’s buying decisions. What would be the motivation that would get them to sign up for services or click that check out button?
Furthermore, what pain points or problems do your target market have that your product/service is the solution for?
Talk about how your brand is the answer and how you can further motivate your target audience to take action.
Step 3: Determine which platforms you’ll utilize.
Since you spent some time in the last step researching and pinpointing information about your target customer, it’s the perfect time to figure out which social media channels will work best for your brand.
If you’re not sure where to start, put those demographics you listed to good use and double-check each social media platforms user demographics.
You also want to consider the type of content your business creates and will be sharing. If your business isn’t super visual, a platform that’s all about aesthetics like Instagram or Pinterest might not be for you.
Let’s cover the top social media sites and why you might choose to have a presence on them or not.