As a newcomer to the marketing world, social media has quickly established its dominance as one of the top strategies businesses are using to market their business. As a platform that offers both a free and paid approach, social media sites can prove to be a cost-effective way for businesses to reach its target audience and boost sales. However, this boost only applies if social marketing is done correctly.
While paid social advertising can be an effective marketing tool, utilizing a social platform’s reach for free should be a business’ first port of call, as this can ultimately result in a substantial return on investment when perfected. So, how should a business compose the ideal social media strategy?
Identify your goal
Before posting to any social media site, you must first identify what you want to gain from it. Do you want people to visit your website? Attend an event? Read a blog? Boost your business profile? These goals should ultimately be used to guide you when constructing the content of your post so that it engages and encourages your audience to interact.
Pinpoint your audience persona
With any marketing strategy it is essential to understand who your business’ audience is so that you can successfully adapt your tone, content, visuals as well as many other aspects, to ultimately encourage engagement with your brand. This is of particular importance with social media marketing as you get a very limited amount of space with which to convey your message. What is the industry/ job role is your target audience in? Should you speak formally or informally? What issues do your product and service provide an answer to?
Choose your social platform
There is no one size fits all approach when it comes to social media marketing. While one platform will work for one business, it will be entirely wrong for another, and subsequently will only result in wasted time and effort. The first two stages explored above will go a long way in helping you to determine which social media platforms will be ideal, whether it be Pinterest, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or any number of others. Depending on which platforms you choose you should have a good understanding of how often you will be posting, for example, you will post on Twitter much more frequently than LinkedIn due to the faster-paced news feed.
Compose your social post carefully
Having identified your goals, audience and ideal social platform, actually composing your tweet or post should be relatively straightforward. You should know what kind of content your audience wants to see, the tone you will use (relevant to both the social platform and your target audience) and how often you will be posting. There are also some techniques you can incorporate to be seen by a much wider audience than just your followers or connections. The use of hashtags, as well as tagging relevant businesses, organizations or influential people into a post, will expand your audience reach exponentially, and subsequently, encourage further engagement with your post.
Images & video
Research has found that 55% more people will retain information seen in a social media post if it is paired with a relevant image, and with an astounding increase of 10 million minutes viewed on mobiles daily across the globe, it is clear that these tactics should be utilized in your social posts. Go that one step further and include your own branded images and videos within your posts to boost your brand awareness even further.
The five points outlined are merely the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the perfect social strategy. You must also consider the ideal times to post, the ratio between company culture and valuable content to keep your audience interested, as well as strategies to grow your following, analyzing your competitor’s social activity and much, much more. However, in effectively planning your social media marketing strategy, you can open the doors to a vast target audience.
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