Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and others have certainly become a catch-all for everything that’s relevant in today’s world.
Consider this fact: of the 7.7 billion population worldwide, 3.4 billion of them are active social media users!
On average, Internet users have 5.5 social media accounts, and they spend about 116 minutes per day browsing on these platforms.
Indeed, from establishing networks with other people, to publishing and promoting brands, social media sites are powerful platforms for businesses of all sizes. This is why as much as 81% of small and medium-sized businesses use some kind of social media to reach customers.
What is Social Media Marketing?
If you’ve taken a second to notice the wide landscape that is the Internet, you know that there are so many ways you can market your brand. And among these approaches, social media marketing is one of the most popular.
Basically, it involves planning activities like posting text, images, videos, and other content on your profile. Social media marketing also involves investing in paid ads.
The main objective is to drive audience engagement and improve your business’ online presence.
Effective social media marketing can bring valuable returns to your brand image and bottom line. Because you are interacting with billions of people online, you are able to drive leads and potentially increase your sales. Plus, with a consistent strategy, you can build a community of devoted brand advocates who will share and market your brand to their respective networks.
Social Media Marketing: Top Goals and Strategies
Social media marketing isn’t quite the same as it was a few years ago. Before, you could get away with pretty much just being active on your accounts. Nowadays, with a whole lot of competition, you have to do more than just existing online. You have to find different ways on how to boost engagement. That means knowing who your audience is, and what they are looking for.
Here are the necessary goals and strategies to consider if you want your social media marketing to generate real impact for your business:
- Start with goals that solve your biggest issues
Before bursting onto the social media scene, it’s important that you come up with a plan. With your team, try to pinpoint what your challenges look like, and how they affect your goals.
Are you failing to reach your target audience? Do you only get a few likes? Or do you get a lot of likes and shares but come short when it comes to actual customers?
With this new year starting, assess your biggest challenges and see how you can turn them around in order to reach your goals. Maybe you are investing in the wrong social media channel for your product. Or maybe your goal of a million new followers is just a tad unrealistic.
Whatever performance target your whole team decides on, make sure you are able to think about these important social media goals and how they translate to your particular context:
- Strong brand awareness
People are more trusting of brands that produce authentic, informative, and meaningful content rather than brands that just stick to promotional messages. So, do your best to curate a strong brand personality across your chosen social media platforms.
- Push for quality sales
Social media targeting allows you to reach core customers who will be responsive to your brand. Monitoring and listening to market pulse and what’s on trend with regards to keywords, hashtags, and other marketing tactics will get you more value for your social media investment.
- Harness your loyal community
Are you fostering your connection with loyal customers? Are you maximizing the feedback and the user-generated content that your fans create? There’s no short cut to building a community of brand ambassadors and loyal customers. Take charge of creating a positive brand persona on all your social media accounts.
- Improve ROI
All marketing efforts are essentially meaningless if you don’t know if they are even worthwhile to begin with. With social media marketing, this goal is specific to tracking and measuring your performance to ensure that labor, ads and design are all contributing to your bottom line in the end.
- Prioritize the best social platform for your brand
Small businesses have limited budget compared to enterprises. And while each network can offer a unique set of benefits, some platforms are more suitable for your brand than others. Hence, it pays to know which network can drive results for you.
According to Forbes, you can ask several questions to determine the answer.
The first question is, “What are your goals for social media?” Say, you want an online customer service platform, then you may want to stick to platforms like Facebook and Twitter that provide high level of interaction. If you are trying to showcase your B2B service, LinkedIn might be a good fit because of its predominantly professional members.
The next question is, “Who are you trying to reach?”
You wouldn’t want to waste effort and resources misdirecting your social media marketing strategy. You have to look at the data and segment your potential customers – by age, location, gender, and income levels. Then, determine which social platform your target audience use.
Let’s say your products are meant for young people. Snapchat is what most millennials (18 to 24 years old) use. Facebook is more general with 68% adults active on the site.
Know where your audience is and strengthen your local strategy especially if you’re a brick and mortar business.
And the last question is, “What are my competitors doing?” Focus your resources on networks where your industry is known for. Say you are a fashion brand. You may want to boost Instagram, Pinterest, and Snapchat because they are heavy on the visuals, which your industry lends itself to.
For B2B services meanwhile, it’s a bit harder to market such offerings with imagery. Video-hosting sites like YouTube and LinkedIn are more ideal in this regard.
Social media marketing means choosing the best way and the best platform to showcase your business. There will never be a template for the perfect combination of content, ads, and audience engagement strategies. Social media is unpredictable at times. But with these tips, you can start making your process much more in line with what your goals are and what your target audience will appreciate the most.