If you're confused about your social media marketing strategy in the age of GDPR, data scandals and privacy laws and algorithm changes, we don't blame you. The social media terrain is always shifting and it's not uncommon to experience at least a little confusion and trepidation when it comes to exactly how your business will leverage it.
Despite the knocks, social media is still a marketing tool that business cannot afford to ignore, and social marketing still needs to be a core element in your digital marketing strategy. Social marketing leverages social networks to drive user acquisition, engagement, and retention. It includes building a social audience, content marketing and engaging with audiences on social networks.
Setting up a social media strategy begins with figuring out exactly what you want out of social media. In other words, clarify your social media objective at the outset. Your social media objective is likely to have a couple of bullet points to it, these being your goals. In forming your social media objective and setting your goals, take the tried-and-tested SMART approach.
Social media goals should be:
- Specific: You know exactly what you want to achieve
- Measurable: You can get data to show your progress and achievement
- Attainable: You set goals that you can realistically reach
- Relevant: Your goals have relevance to your bottom line
- Time-bound: You've got due dates and deadlines
Even with the SMART goal-setting approach, it can be challenging to work out what you really want from social media, but perhaps some examples might get the creative juice flowing.
The most common social media goal is to increase brand awareness. This means developing a distinct brand identity with clear brand values that creates a lasting impression on users. Shameless self-promotion won't increase brand awareness. Rather, use content that emphasises your brand identity and brand personality. A consistent voice in all your communications is critical.
If your business has high traffic and low sales, a social media marketing goal might be to achieve higher quality traffic. Here, you're emphasising getting the right people rather than lots of people. Meeting this goal will mean making your content super relevant to your target audience, drawing in those users who are most likely to become customers and stay customers.
Businesses that have a brick-and-mortar base might have a goal to drive in-person sales. To drive in-person sales, you need to drive in-person interactions. Setting up events and advertising them on social media is likely to bring more people through the door, but keep your focus and use precision targeting to attract the most likely sales prospects rather than taking a mud-against-the-wall approach.
With the cost of paid advertising channels, you want to be sure you're getting bang for your buck. In this case, your goal might be to increase ROI on your advertising spend. Analysing your social media spend can go a long way towards improving your targeting and reducing your ad spend while increasing its effectiveness.
Many social media campaigns make effective use of user-generated content. Making a goal of leveraging user-generated content could help your brand grow with little advertising outlay. If your customers consistently have good experiences, a gentle nudge in the direction of posting about their experience of your business, brand or product can boost brand awareness, impact and popularity.
Goals driven by measurable data and clear strategies that relate directly to a clearly defined audience will bear fruit over time. The results may not be instant, but the return on investment is over the longer term. As they say, social media marketing is a marathon, not a sprint.
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