“Social media is here. It’s not going away; not a passing fad. Be where your customers are: in social media.” – Lori Ruff
In case you haven’t noticed, social media channels are some of the most popular sites on the Internet now, and just about every generation is a part of at least one online community. And because of this popularity, a whole new aspect of digital marketing has formed in order to reach these individuals. This is also why it is so crucial for businesses to be on social media, too. Though, despite knowing that your company needs to be on social media, there are many different options you can take, which is why you need to develop a social media marketing strategy before you just hop onto a platform.
What is a social media marketing strategy?
First things first, a social media marketing strategy is your business’ plan on how to reach your goals and how you will execute these ideas. When developing this plan, many marketers make the mistake of being too broad and not setting enough specific metrics that they want to meet. So, we are going to dive in on where you should begin when developing a social media marketing strategy.
What do you want to achieve?
As you start your plans, you need to ask yourself:
- What do I want to accomplish?
- What are my goals?
Keep in mind that your goals should be attainable, measurable and be able to pave the way for further growth. A good way to form goals both at the start of the strategy and as it continues is using the acronym SMART–in fact, every goal you set should be a ‘SMART’ goal as it aligns with your business’ objectives. SMART stands for: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. One example is: “My goal is to reach 100 Facebook followers within one month.” Looking at this goal, it is something that can be done within the time limit, it can be measured, and you can then advance the goal into something bigger, such as gaining 200 more followers the next month.
What is your target audience?
Another very important part of any marketing strategy is identifying and understanding your target audience. Your audience consists of the various people and businesses you’d like to choose your brand. By knowing your audience, you can even further specify the goals you develop later in the plan. It is especially important to know who your audience is when on social media as it can define which platforms your business should be a part of.
For instance, if your products and services are tailored towards other businesses, LinkedIn is a better social media platform to be on compared to Twitter. However, if you are trying to reach a wide array of individuals, Facebook and/or Twitter is a better option due to the high traffic to the sites. Choosing a platform should also work towards the type of posts you will create, like if you are planning a more visual and interactive experience, Instagram is a great option. Also, while many businesses, as well as people, have accounts on multiple social media channels, you don’t necessarily need to be on all of them; choose the channels that will work best for your target audience and your goals.
Having these two aspects established is a great way to begin and develop your social media marketing strategy. While there are still many other characteristics to build, you now have your foundation.