How To Build A Killer Social Media Strategy
The previous decade or so has managed to witness a radical shift in terms of business practices, and marketing strategies. Given that an estimated 24 million or so businesses operate online, the scope and wealth of cyber-space marketing has managed to reach unprecedented heights. Booking an impressive billboard, or otherwise obtaining a two-page spread within a leading magazine might just not make the cut as effective advertising strategies any longer. Marketing has now evolved and adapted in order to absorb changing consumer preferences and patterns into stride; if the teenagers have dropped the bubblegum-hued magazines for Instagram, it might be time to hire an influencer and market your brand exclusively via social media.
An estimated 2.67 billion individuals have been projected to become social media users by the year 2018. Within 2016 alone, nearly 70% of the total Internet population was using social media. Social media – whether to advertise, socialize, connect, educate, or debate – has found itself to be a lucrative niche for businesses hoping to attract new knots of clients.
Here is your guide to developing a social media strategy, and how to direct your brand towards success.
Identifying an Audience
This might require quite a bit of number-crunching and data-analysis, in order to best understand the patterns of usage, and overall preferences of any single target audience. For instance, if you intend to engage avid readers or writers, beginning your marketing initiatives on a picture-sharing network – such as Pinterest – might not stand as the most productive route to take. Invest time and effort into generating content, and connecting with varying blogs, online journals, and writing communities.
Identify your audience as explicitly as is possible, and market likewise. Instagram, for example, is a niche dominated by the cosmetic industry. Hence, pushing your video-game centric branding on that platform might not prove to be as effective.
Treat your social media marketing plan as viable and constructive as any other advertising campaign a business would otherwise engage with. Outline what is the exact purpose of your campaign; does your business intend to increase site traffic, or rank higher in terms of search-engine results? Does the brand look to boost sales, and exhibit a stronger conversion rate? Is the business focusing on retaining customer loyalty, and acquiring repeat customers?
Marketers often employ the S.M.A.R.T method when creating an effective social media marketing strategy. This outlines both the overall plan, as well as any smaller objectives, to remain fundamentally specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based. How often should Facebook posts be updated? How many Google+ followers should you amass within a specific timeframe?
I write more about goal setting using this method in my recent post Goal Setting As A Blogger in 2017. Make sure to read this if you are looking to set your goals!
Sponsorships and Influencers
The access, reach, and impact of online influencers currently stand as immeasurable. Social media personalities carry hefty amounts of followers, and impressionable fans. The top YouTuber, Felix Kjellberg, for instance, boasts close to 54 million subscribers. Instagram models and celebrities might carry millions of followers apiece, and a paid endorsement would generate positive traffic and exposure for any brand. Additionally, offering discount codes for followers clicking links that influencers have shared, for example, might provide further incentives for potential customers. Crunchyroll and Audible, for instance, stand as two brands that have routinely sponsored YouTube personalities, and have amassed newer degrees of traffic and business as a direct result.
Remaining Active and Connected
A bit of leaving advice, and one which might prove to be invaluable in the long-run: remain consistent. Social media is the product of close-knit communities, and rapid communication. Fully immerse your branding into the fray, and engage with both potential and existing customers. Create and curate social accounts, and retain an active presence online.
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