Successful social media marketing is about so much more than just creating and curating content on a regular basis. Having clear objectives, defined performance metrics, and a singular brand voice is critical to leveraging the power that social media can have for marketing your products and services.
Find out what you need to know to get the most out of your social accounts with WebMarketers:
Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail
Uploading content and links haphazardly to Facebook is fine when you’re doing it on your personal accounts.
With no objective outside of personal enjoyment, it’s basically impossible to ‘fail’ at social media.
When using it for business, failure is a very real possibility. Different objectives require a different approach, but many that manage social media for business fail to recognize this.
The bulk of a social media marketers work isn’t front end content composition and curation; but back-end information gathering, analysis, and strategy.
Perform the work of incorporating this analysis into a social media strategy and plan designed to meet the precise needs of your business, and you can unlock the power of social media to generate value.
Success starts with strategy, so start with step 1 and:
1) Analyze Your Presence in the Social Media Environment
Before you find out where you want to go, you need to figure out where you are.
Establishing a position to capture value from social media requires you to understand who’s participating in conversation online concerning the needs that your business addresses.
Your potential customers are asking questions that you can answer. Ask yourself:
Where are they asking them?
Finding an answer to this question starts with simply searching social media platforms.
Put yourself in the shoes of a potential customer, and seek answers to questions your customers might ask with the search bar.
Take note of who’s supplying the answers to these questions. Looking through likes and shares ought to inform your impression of who’s demanding them.
What measures are you taking to engage with them?
Do you have active accounts on the social platforms you’re finding activity on?
You’ll want to ensure that you do, and that your presence positively represents your brand. This means a profile complete with high quality pictures, bio, banner image; etc.
What measures are your competitors taking to engage with them?
Compare your both your social media profiles and efforts as they relate to your competition.
What are their comparative strengths and weaknesses? What opportunities are present for you to differentiate your brand, and lend unique insight to the questions your market is asking?
2) Know Your Audience
Developing useful ‘audience personas’ is a critical component of success for social media marketing.
Audience persona’s are useful when they are comprehensive. The more specific you are about who you’re talking to, the more precise your understanding of their needs are.
The needs of ‘middle aged women’ are broad and therefore more difficult to address. The needs of ‘middle aged women, aged 35-40, in an executive role earning over 70 000 dollars, with kids and a golden retriever’ are far easier to identify, and address.
Who’s sharing, liking, and commenting on the most active social media accounts and posts in your space?
Conversation concerning your industry is occurring between your potential customers and your competition in full public view. Eavesdrop.
Identify common features of those asking questions and getting answers. Who’s liking, sharing, and commenting on successful social posts and accounts? What are they asking?
All of this information is available and easily accessible, all it takes is a little time, energy, and creative searching to find it.
3) Define Clear, Achievable Goals
After establishing a rounded impression of your social media environment and your current position in it, it’s time to define where you want to go.
Charting a Course is Easier with a Precise Destination:
The more specific you get with deciding where you want to go, the more likely you can expect to get there.
When defining your goal, it pays to be specific!
A goal to ‘increase shares by 300%’ is like sailing the seas in search of Atlantis.
A goal to ‘educate and entertain 14 to 16 year-old female gamers’ is like charting a course to a precise longitude and latitude.
Only in when you know where you want to go can you expect to get there!
4) Identify Metrics of Success
You can’t determine if your social media efforts are ‘moving the needle’ if you don’t have one.
Even worse, if you’re looking at the wrong one to measure the success of your efforts, you misinform future actions.
The precise metric of success for social media campaigns vary on a case-by-case basis. It can be tough to determine exactly which one is right for you, but easy to know which ones are most definitely wrong.
Measuring likes, shares, and engagements is useful; but the broad applicability of these values makes them not useful unless understood in a specific context.
All social media campaigns can be measured according to likes and shares, but how do those values relate to your specific goals?
If you want your social media to increase lead generation, instead of simply counting likes; compare the number of likes and shares your posts generate against the traffic they bring to your site, and conversions they consequently generate.
5) Create and Curate Engaging Content
Once you’ve got a framework for measuring the success of the content you post across social media platforms; it’s time to get down to actually creating and curating it.
Determining exactly how you’re going to manage content and what you’re going to be posting is a matter of solid content strategy and planning. Find out how to make one around your goals here.
6) Let The Tools Do The Work
If you’re drafting and posting content for each social media platform on each platform, you’re approaching social media management inefficiently.
There is a whole range of software and services available online that can automate the process of social media management.
Delegating the work of social account management to automation software like Buffer, Hootsuite, Agora Pulse, etc. provides you time and energy, as well as comprehensive performance analytics, that you can use to track the success of your efforts.
With greater access to information, time, and energy; you can proceed to the final step critical to social media success:
7) Continually Focus and Refine Your Plan
With access to information regarding the successes and failures of your social media posts, you’re equipped to optimize your strategy.
Analyze patterns in the data your social media management software provides.
Perhaps certain topics are more successful than others. Maybe the data reveals that certain geographic areas are engaging with content more than others. It could be that posts on Wednesdays are more successful than any other day of the week.
Identifying patterns like these reveal opportunities that future posts can take advantage of! Continually ensuring that your content and social media strategy incorporates and takes advantage of them is a sure strategy to maximizing your social media success!
Serious Social Success With WebMarketers
With the information above, you’ll be able to get to craft a social media marketing strategy that will capture legitimate value for your business.
For more insight into getting the absolute most out of social media marketing, content marketing, or digital marketing of any kind; keep your eye on the WebMarketers blog, or fill out this form with any questions you might have!