Social media marketing is an ever-changing landscape and knowing what works and what doesn’t is a special skill. Not everyone has it, but after reading this you will have a better understanding of the goals and tactics used by social media marketers.
Whether it is on Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, or any other website, the goal of a social media marketer remains the same. They look to increase the visibility and online presence of a business, person, group, or entity. The goal is simple, but the path to achieving it can be tricky and requires a practiced hand. If wading into this swamp for the first time, these simple truths will help guide people along.
Define Your Business Goals
Decide first what it is that the you want. A concrete goal will allow a smooth progression from planning stages right through goal achievement. If it’s an increase in call volume, the approach may differ than that of desired clicks and ad revenue. One approach may not fit all, so it is vital to start with outlining the goal in clear terms and moving toward that goal in successive steps.
Once the goal is well understood by all parties, the initial planning stages can begin.
This seemingly obvious point is missed by many initially, and the marketing must be redesigned. Regardless of the company, person or group, several things drive a good marketing plan. Remember: brand awareness is the key to all marketing.
Understand Your Customer’s Behavior
Which websites do you want to focus on?
What’s your target customer?
Who is the business trying to reach?
Is the customer a young man in an urban area with over a million people?
Is the customer trying to reach baby boomer women in rural America?
What Social Media Sites Do They Use?
Depending on how these questions are answered, you’ll need to target different social networks.
Facebook’s demographics skew female, and almost all rural women have a Facebook presence. Instagram is the polar opposite. It is widely used by urbanites and cosmopolitans. Young men especially are frequent users of Instagram. They tend to spend less time online overall than rural women but are easier to reach by volume. They scroll through and see more content, in less time.
Demographics differ from site to site. Users of Snapchat, and say, Reddit have some overlap, but they are looking to interact in different ways at each website. Choosing the right websites to focus on is the first and most important part of this planning stage.
Using demographic habits to your advantage is the key to driving a successful social media marketing campaign.
Sure, you’ll want a presence on all sites. It’s important to focus on content that reaches customers though. A political blog would find more readers at Reddit or on Facebook than it will by posting screenshots of titles to Snapchat.
Create Content That Aligns With Your Customer Needs & Business Goals
The next step would be catering the message, promotion, or contest to the proper audience.
Create content that matters to customers and promote that content. Diversity of content is not always the ally of a marketer. It is important to focus on brand, messaging and tone to build brand awareness. Don’t fall into the trap of oversaturation in the messaging.
Let’s Take Sales, For Example …
If sales are part of the equation, then a focus on sales is paramount. Does the business completely rely on their online presence? If so are the promotions and marketing geared toward understanding this the linchpin of the business? Make that the focus of a sales drive, and most other things naturally follow. Driving sales is not always about the pitch, it is about the reward for the customer.
They are rewarded by the product itself, but also find a measure of satisfaction in the interaction.
The loyalty and overall experience they feel by partnering with the company is what matters to the customer, so focus on that. Give them an experience they will remember positively. Contests, promotions, and cheerful content are generally the way to go.
Track, Analyze, Refine
Finally, tracking these trends is a must. Whether looking to reach young men on Instagram, Gen-Xer’s on Twitter, or Gen-Z on instant-delete apps like Snapchat, tracking the success of the plan is essential.
Several platforms for aftermarket tracking can facilitate the task of analyzing metrics. Sites themselves often allow tracking of clicks, reach, and overall engagement.
Engagement is just as important to track as clicks themselves are. It can show the effectiveness of the marketing plan and allow the customer to see how much time is spent on which aspect of their business.
Proper use and tracking of hashtags also allows a better understanding of engagement.
You Can Do It!
Social media marketing is a tool that all businesses, groups and charities must approach with a goal in mind. Having that initial goal, executing the proper plan, and analyzing the final results are the keys to driving marketing.