Name one brand that isn’t in social media.
That’s because today, when something is not in social media, it probably doesn’t exist. People, events, brands, even government institutions are engaging their followers through social media.
Brands invest in social media marketing because it doesn’t just guarantee awareness or increase profit. Social media gives you a platform to be closer to your followers and ultimately earn their loyalty.
As a blogger, you may not have thought about it, but you need to see what you do as a business. You have to build your brand – if you want to succeed, that is.
It is no wonder that most companies today have stepped up their game with 70% of marketers saying they will increase their social media budget and boost spending in years to come. Brands are actively hiring social media specialists, managers, officers, or whatever it is they want to call them. Whatever the title, their objective is to create an effective social media strategy.
The marketing battlefield has shifted to social media wars. How do you create effective social media strategies for brand equity and revenue? How do you do things differently? How do you rise above the competition?
Here’s how to fine-tune your social media strategy and get ahead.
Target the right audience
We can’t overemphasize this. The audience is at the core of every brand and you have to know who they are if you want to matter to them. The more you know them, the more you can effectively map out your social media strategy: what types of content to publish, the best time to publish them, and which channel to use (Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, etc.).
Creating a social media persona goes beyond bio-data information. You have to know their interests, hobbies, and what makes them tick. This is where data analysis comes in. Brands also have to engage their audiences regularly to know them better. Your followers will evolve as fast the medium does, which means you have to find ways to catch up and grow with them.
Focus your efforts
The social media world is vast. There are a lot of social media tools to choose from. But face it: you can’t be on every network and expect things to flow as smoothly. You simply can’t manage that. Have an ideal community in mind.
Identify the people who will be in this community (so, we go back to knowing your audience). Then ask yourself: where are they? On Facebook? Instagram? Snapchat? Focus on just a few social media channels to make the best out of your social media strategy.
Now that you know who your audiences are and which channels to focus on, you have to be consistent. Remember that strong relationships are built by consistent and regular interactions. Aside from consistently publishing content (you may schedule your posts accordingly), you can start a regular routine by creating activities and to-do lists. Be consistently consistent in order to allow recognition and significance.
Show them who you are
In a virtual world, authenticity doesn’t come by very often. The trouble with digital marketing is that personal interactions, in the traditional sense at least, are compromised. Building emotional connections presents a greater challenge.
But this doesn’t mean that you can’t make real connections in the virtual world. Digital marketing agencies just have to be clear about the message they want to communicate. Are you the cool, hipster brand? Are you the emotional brand? Are you a lifestyle brand? Inject your social media profile with personality. You have to be real and authentic. When you publish something, make sure it incorporates your style.
Deliver excellent customer service
Speaking of building connections and relationships, you have to learn to respond to feedback, good or bad. Don’t make your followers feel like they are sending their thoughts to a black hole. You have to realize that if you signed up on social media, you are going to get more questions, comments, and complaints. And they expect you to answer and answer fast.
Step up your customer service game. A study revealed that 71% of customers who have a positive experience on social media will recommend the brand and will spend 20 to 40% more money to patronize the brand. How fast should you respond? An Edison research said two-thirds of customers expect a response on the exact same day.
Content is (still) king
Of course, you have to create and publish the right content. Start with a strong headline, a gripping visual, a solid body, and a strong call to action. Depending on the audience and the channel, identify the types of content you will run: blogs, guides, tutorials, videos, memes, infographics, etc. Mind the social media network because different channels are likely to have different audiences.
Have realistic, measurable goals
Before you create your social media marketing process, you have to set up measurable goals on which you can track your progress (or failures). You can’t just jump on the bandwagon without knowing where you want social media to take you. Some of the metrics are number of likes, followers, mentions, and website conversions. Only if you have measurable goals and KPIs can you demonstrate the value of your brand’s bottomline.
Strengthen offline relationships
Social media marketing does not mean you have to brush aside face-to-face relationships. Use your social media to promote events, products, and services. When customers start inquiring or walking in, make sure you make the experience as efficient and remarkable as what you promised online.
Get ready for challenges
Don’t be in denial. The truth is: you have to anticipate stumbling blocks because they are going to happen. It’s just really a matter of time. In your social media marketing process, define how responsibilities will be covered. How will you handle negative feedback? How will you handle competition or copycats? Preparing for pitfalls should not be underestimated.
Do not be afraid of social media. It sure is a tough world given the competition. But with the right objectives, plan, and course of action, you can overcome all the complexities.