As a business owner, you need to know the essential elements of a social media marketing strategy if you want to increase the chances of success for your business. Social media marketing has changed the whole marketing strategy concept. There are about 3.7 billion people who use social media–which is 48% of the total global population who uses this powerful tool at their fingertips.
That is the reason why many businesses, especially small businesses, are taking advantage of social media marketing to increase their brand awareness. According to Clutch, over 71% of small businesses use social media, and 86% of these businesses use Facebook as their channel.
What are the benefits of social media marketing?
Here are some reasons why social media marketing is important for small businesses.
Helps you connect with your customers
You can connect with your customers and target audience 24/7 from any part of the world with the help of social media. When you start communicating more with your audience, you will leave a positive impression, and customers will perceive you as approachable and reachable.
You have total control of your online image or branding. Branding is the people’s perception of your business. Creating and maintaining social media branding is much more than your logo design, theme of your page, and customer service. It is how a customer feels towards your business due to consistent interaction.
Improve customer service
Social media enables you and your customers to establish a one-to-one interaction by creating a conversation channel. This allows them to give feedback (positive or negative) and lets you resolve any queries as soon as possible.
Social media marketing is free. In case you need to shed some cash, there are low-cost advertising features that some social media platforms offer for you to promote your content to a broader audience.
To execute a successful marketing campaign using social media, you must first outline a marketing strategy which should include a few essential elements.
5 Essential Elements of a Social Media Marketing Strategy
1. Define your target market
Defining your target market is the first step in establishing your social media marketing strategy and probably the most important one. This is because your target market is your potential paying customers. The more you understand your target market, the more precise your content or advertisements can convert those targets into customers. But first, you need to conduct audience research for you to identify your target market.
2. Choose your social media platform and social media tools
It is essential that you choose the right social media platform for your business. Here are the best social media platforms for social media marketing.
As of the third quarter of 2019, Statista reported that Facebook already has 2.45 billion active users, making it the biggest social media network. The reason why Facebook is the best social media platform for marketing is because of its features for businesses such as:
- Watching the activities of your competitors’ pages with Page to Watch Feature.
- Finding out how your market responds to your engagements by exporting your Facebook insights data and analytics.
- Targeting your preferred market using the Audience Optimization Feature.
- Taking advantage of Facebook’s free stock images for your advertisements.
- Knowing how well your Facebook ads impressed your target audience with Facebook’s Relevance Score.
- Tracking your target audience interaction on Facebook using Facebook Insights that also let you know when and how you should post contents.
Also owned by Facebook, Instagram is one of the most popular social media channels in the United States. It is mainly used by Millennials–in fact, 67% of Instagram users are between 18 to 29 years old. Some of the important features of Instagram for marketers are:
- Video post feature
- Live video
- Stories feature
- Shoppable tags, both in the stories and post
- Use of relevant hashtag to increase your visibility even to your non-followers
- Interact with your market through direct messages (DMs)
- Use tweets, photos, GIFs, and polls to connect with your market
- Interact with influencers
- Use Twitter’s advertising options
YouTube has 2 billion active monthly users, and it was hailed the most downloaded iOS app in 2018 with a total of 5 billion applications installed to Android devices as of December 2018. Why use YouTube for your social marketing strategy?
3. Use different posting strategies on each platform
It would be best if you execute different content posting strategies for each social media platform. The message you are trying to convey on your posts should be the same; you just need to change your communication style according to the specific social media platform to make it more appropriate and effective.
Also, each platform offers different features and tools that you can use for marketing or advertising purposes. That is why you must learn how to use those tools in order to maximize and market content effectively.
4. Use a content calendar to schedule posts
A social media strategy requires regular publishing to keep your target audience engaged. Social media calendars help you plan out your posts in advance, thus, saving you time in the future and ensuring that your posts are well-thought out. You can also plan ahead on what content to use especially during holidays.
5. Set clear measurable goals
A social media marketing strategy needs careful planning and this includes setting clear and measurable goals to evaluate your performance. The most common marketing goals are:
- To increase web traffic
- To drive more sales
- To grow brand awareness
- To reach more target audiences or demographics
- To increase profit and revenue
Understanding social media marketing and how it works can be daunting at the start. There’s a big chance that you might be overwhelmed with all that you have researched online. Good thing there are online courses to guide you on your social media marketing strategy. Here are three of Skill Success’ online courses that you can try:
- Social Media Marketing Masterclass
- Social Media Marketing Strategies For Entrepreneurship
- Social Media Marketing Simplified For Artists and Creatives
After taking these online courses, you’ll be on your way to building your brand and growing your business using social media marketing strategies!