Today, there is hardly a business that hasn’t yet considered creating at least one social media account to improve its performance and brand awareness. Social media strategies have always been an important part of successful promotion, and the COVID-19 situation has accelerated this process even more. So, implementing an SMM strategy is not a matter of “why?” anymore, it is a matter of “when?”.
Well, why don’t start right now then? In this article, you’ll find a 7 steps guide on what to expect from creating your own fruitful SMM plan, so keep on reading to learn more about it!
What Is so Important about Social Media Marketing?
In recent years, there has been a huge raising in social media marketing’s (SMM) popularity. Since everyone talks about implementing advertising strategies in their business models, does it really worth it?
As a matter of fact, it does, and there are further reasons to adopt SMM for your company promotion:
- It reminds people about your business, which is extremely important nowadays, given all the lockdowns that separated us from brick-and-mortar shops in the recent 2 years;
- SMM lets people get to know your business better, as it’s not only about advertising, it is also about sharing stories and making conversations with your audience;
- SMM strategy is relatively inexpensive for the results you get;
- It makes your company easier to find out about, be it through reposts or deliberate googling.
Now that the benefits of SMM are clear, it’s time to move on to the subject of creating a strategy itself.
7 Steps for Drawing up a Social Media Marketing Plan
Once you are ready to create your social media strategy, it’s important to come out with a plan first. In this article, we present 7 relatively simple steps for a fully realized and effective strategy that will win your business a good reputation and recognition both online and offline.
Step 1: Set up Your Business Goals
Building a successful social media marketing strategy isn’t so much about conquering the whole Internet for the sake of conquering the whole Internet. Instead, it’s about increasing brand awareness and building your online presence on social media platforms.
As we approach the year 2022, plenty of advertising companies aim their marketing efforts at establishing business accounts on social media networks due to several reasons:
- The growing presence of social media in everyday life;
- COVID-19 outbreak, which resulted in more people opting for online shopping than ever before;
- SMM increases the target audience of a business.
As you can see, online presence is not a target, it is a tool for improving brand engagement, as well as letting more people get to know your brand identity.
This is why business owners need to set clear goals for their companies instead of developing a social media strategy without visualizing the destination point.
Step 2: Pinpoint Your Target Audience
Before writing social media posts, you need to know who they are being created for. Even though today, in the 21st century, the age gap is relatively insignificant, and old people and children can enjoy the same content mix, it’s still crucial to research your audience’s preferences.
As easy as this step may sound, it must not be neglected or taken lightly. Make sure to get to know your audience through quizzes and feedback, or by using applicable analytics tools.
This task may be somewhat time-consuming, so don’t be shy to ask social media marketing agencies for help.
Step 3: Meet Your Competitors
Even though many businesses prefer aggressive competition, the better approach to achieving your business objectives would be to learn from other companies, not burning all the bridges. There is nothing wrong with learning from your competitors, especially if you are a new kid on the block.
Don’t forget about such thing as collaboration as well. You’re probably already familiar with this phenomenon from YouTube and other social media platforms. So why not use the opportunity to create interesting content with your competitors?
Alongside such obvious benefits as improving relations with fellow business owners, you’ll get to learn from someone who has solid experience in running a company similar to your own.
Step 4: Focus on Content Strategy
To achieve social media engagement, it is important to provide your target audiences with quality, original, and relevant content.
Sure, many businesses still bet on making the number of their social media users as high as possible by simply grinding for followers. However, with today’s social media channels, quality is more important than quantity.
So, where do we start? Here are several simple tips on coming out with effective content management:
- Choose your content formats. The easiest way to do this is to figure your target audience out. Young people generally prefer such formats as vlogs, while a strategy focused on articles may be more applicable to adults. In addition, don’t forget about such an option as user-generated content, as well as about the fact that all demographics value interactivity;
- Provide valuable insights. Social media success and usefulness of the content are strongly connected, as Google algorithms are designed to rank the most relevant posts, videos, and social media ads;
- Follow a content calendar. Sticking to a posting schedule is very important as it allows your social media followers to feel confident about when to expect your next publication. There are many content managing programs, so it won’t be a problem to find the best scheduling tool for you.
Step 5: Know How to Measure Success
There are obvious signs of social media marketing improving the company’s online presence that you can see with a naked eye. If your company gets new subscribers, if people share your content on social media, then things are probably going well.
However, every social media strategy needs good management, as there are plenty of underlying nuances that can play both in your business’s favor and against it. More often than not, those signs are invisible to an untrained eye.
However, there are several metrics to measure performance:
- Brand mentions. This metric indicates how many people are invested in your brand enough to care about mentioning it in their publications. The principle is the same as with networking, only it’s not just one person, it’s a whole business being introduced to its friends’ friends;
- Website traffic. Your social media marketing strategy needs to drive traffic back to your site and provide high ROI results. This is where competitive analysis may come in handy as well;
- People’s opinions. Even though they say that there is no such thing as bad press, ill repute is hardly something to aim for. With the abundance of social media, their users can be involved in personal interactions with far more people than ever, so maintaining a good reputation is a very important step for success;
- Conversions. How many people visited your website or social media page and didn’t lose their interest a few moments later? One of the main goals of any SMM strategy is to convert visitors who simply stumbled upon your online shop into regular customers. Make sure that your strategy is good at keeping up with your competitors’ conversion rates.
The data obtained from these metrics will allow you to better understand your social media marketing strategy and take action immediately if something is off and needs improving.
Step 6: Explore New Possibilities
Even if your current social media marketing strategy works just fine, there are always better opportunities that present themselves from time to time. To keep your SMM plan up-to-date, you (or your marketing team) have to be aware of changes in the market.
For example, only a decade ago YouTube was the only real option for people who wanted to earn a living by making video content. However, Twitch, a new alternative, appeared eventually.
Several years ago, many YouTubers moved to this platform due to its more loyal policy and better options to promote new channels. As a result, after their relocation to Twitch, some of them built successful channels to monetize their content.
Keep monitoring new projects and platforms to expand your SMM strategy on, as this will highly increase your company’s chances to become successful.
Step 7: Maintain the Results
Every business is about constant growth and improvement, and it’s not an option to stop after achieving your goals. For an enterprise, stagnation is the same thing as going downhill.
Nonetheless, there is no need in turning your small coffee shop into another Starbucks if you don’t wish to. Just remember that maintaining success can be done by setting new targets. Social media campaigns will allow your business to reach its full potential without turning from a small family shop into a huge burden.
For example, if your first goal was to attract 1000 followers, your next goal may be not only attracting another 1000 followers. Raising money for charity is also a possibility.
Sticking to a good social media strategy, performing social media analytics, and paying close attention to your target market will help your team reach social media goals and contribute to the overall image of a company.
To Sum Up
In conclusion, it must be noted that every social media marketing strategy is unique, and the best ones are also customizable. That being said, your own way of creating the best SMM plan can be somewhat different from the one presented in this article, considering all the nuances your business has.
However, the 7 steps that you have learned from this article will help you to solidify your vision and give you a point to start from.
There is one final piece of advice for today that may come in handy: for your company or a startup to grow strong, you and your team must know exactly what you are doing and why. More often than not, calculating all the possible outcomes can be tricky. Luckily, there are digital marketing companies that are ready to help you with organizing the whole process!