Most business organizations today are well aware of the importance of having an efficient social media marketing strategy in place to ensure their consistent growth and success. However, when it comes to actually creating such a plan, most organizations have no idea of how to do it. In fact it is not uncommon for the inexperienced professionals offering social media marketing services to feel equally thrilled and overwhelmed by this new responsibility. This is mainly due to the fact that the evolution of social media as a marketing medium is not too old. In addition the constantly changing nature of social space makes the online marketing professionals unsure about the best ways to exploit this medium.
Discussed below are 8 easy steps that can help the marketing professionals to overcome these challenges and create a highly effective and result oriented social media marketing strategy:
1. Clearly Define – The Objectives
The first and the most important step in the direction of planning a successful social media marketing strategy is to clearly define the objectives to be achieved. This makes it easier for the businesses to measure the success of the strategy as well as the return on investment being offered. It is also important to align these objectives with the overall business goals to get measurable benefits in terms of enhanced traffic and a significant rise in conversion rates.
2. Know – The Target Audience
Having a proper understanding of their target audiences is the key requirement for any business to develop an effective marketing strategy. This includes moving beyond the traditional target market demographics and gaining meaningful insights about customer behaviour as well as the manner in which they engage across various social media platforms. This makes it possible for the marketing professionals to create relevant social media strategies that match the needs and interests of the target audience.
3. Perform – Social Media Audit
For businesses that already have a social media marketing strategy in place, conducting an audit helps them access it strengths and drawbacks. However, for businesses planning a fresh marketing strategy, such an audit provides them vital information about the level and type of competition within the niche. It helps the providers of social media marketing services to learn about the best platforms for reaching out to the target audiences in an effective manner.
4. Create – New Accounts & Improvise Existing
Having decided about the best social media networks that they need to focus on, the business organization should next work on creating new profiles and improving the existing ones. This includes providing a clear mission statement for their brand as profile title, placing the correct keywords and images that the customers are likely to search for and aligning the profiles with their strategic business plan. It is advisable for the business organizations to limit themselves to using only the most relevant platforms, rather than trying to cover all channels.
5. Create – Cross Functional Team
Unlike the traditional marketing strategies, the social media marketing influences the various departments within an organization. This can be better understood by the fact that while the marketing professionals can help the businesses to connect with the target audiences, they might not be able to provide satisfactory customer service and support. That is why creating a cross-functional team comprising of professionals and resources from different departments. This ensures efficient management of the various aspects of the organization’s social media marketing strategy.
6. Set Up – Content Plan & Calendar
One of the key aspects of creating an effective social media marketing strategy is to have a well outlined content plan and calendar. This provides the digital marketing professionals a clear idea of the type of content they need to use for maximum customer engagement. It also helps them establish a time table for posting the content on the most relevant platforms and the frequency of posts. Using different types of media including text, infographics, images and link posts is also recommended to gain better results.
7. Schedule – Monitoring, Engagement & Analysis
It is important for an effective social media marketing strategy to incorporate a schedule for monitoring the accounts and profiles on various platforms. In addition it also needs to provide information about delegating the responsibility of engaging the customers and responding to their questions and comments. Providing professional and timely response and feedback to the customers is essential to help build the trust and goodwill of the brand. In addition, the profiles need to be regularly analyzed for tracking their performance and also removing any inappropriate content.
8. Test & Improvise – The Strategy
The best way to determine the efficiency of a social media marketing strategy is to actually implement it on a test basis. This helps the marketing professionals to determine the practicality of the strategy and provides them with valuable information about what can work for the business and what is irrelevant. After the testing, it is important to make the required changes in the strategy and then retest it before final implementation.