How do you define a social media marketing strategy? A good way to look at it is as a way to focus your available resources in finding the best platforms and approach to increase your engagement and brand recognition to improve your company’s bottom line.
Think of it this way: if you set a goal to increase your likes on Facebook by 1,000 in the next 30 days, you then have something measurable and attainable to aim for. You are then motivated to concentrate all your efforts on Facebook and promoting content that will generate you more likes to the exclusion of any other platform in order to “win.”
Of course, setting SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-limited) goals can only benefit your business especially if you choose the right platforms for your business. A social media marketing strategy is only as good as its probability of reaching your target market. Sure, you might get 1,000 likes, but if your target audience is 16 to 24 women, and you get likes from 5 to 12 year old boys, you are obviously neither using the right platform nor the right strategy.
To ensure you get the engagement you want from your target audience, you need to find out three things:
- Your target audience
- Their needs and wants
- Where they are
Identifying your target audience
The first thing you need to do before even thinking about a social media marketing strategy is your buyer persona, This is a profile of the person you want to buy your product or service, or to otherwise interact with you online.
A buyer persona helps you to focus your efforts for best results right off the bat. You can provide the right content and choose the right platform if you know what your customers want to know and where they go. Your primary aim in marketing is to provide solutions to problems, but before you can identify problems, you need to know whose problems you are trying to solve. Does that make sense at all?
For example, if you are selling a bark collar, you are selling a solution for dog owners that can’t get their pet to stop barking. However, dog owners are not a homogeneous group. They could be single or married, with or without children, with or without a college education, and they could be any age, gender, ethnicity, and economic status. That is a pretty broad market, and you need to narrow it down so you can engage them better. You can launch campaigns for different buyer personas, but you should identify one that is more likely to engage with you and actually buy your product.
Creating a buyer persona (you can actually create as many as you want, but start with your primary targets) requires quite a bit of research. To make things easier, you can use previous interactions with past and existing customers to get you started. You can also develop a buyer persona by answering some questions yourself, or asking your sales and customer service people (if any) to help you out.
Finding out their needs and wants
The great thing about developing your buyer personas is that in the process, you will better understand what they need or what they want. You can certainly get a professional writer from scholaradvisor writing service to write your article or a video editor to polish your raw footage, but the important thing is to give the proper direction.
For example, if your buyer persona is a young professional woman, married with small children, you know she might need help in getting her children to sleep at night. You can create and post content describing how you bark collar can keep the dog from waking them up in the middle of the night. You can also post or show videos showing how a well-trained dog is a delight to have in the home, or a tutorial on how to train their dog.
Finding out where they are
Social networks have actually made it easier for you to reach your target audience, because different platforms generally appeal to specific age groups.
Snapchat, for example, remains a mystery for most people over 40, but 6 out 10 high school students use it on a daily basis, and 73% of millennials in the US use it regularly. Facebook, on the other hand, still dominates the social media world with a good mix of gender, age, and ethnicity, so it is a good platform for most buyer personas. With your buyer persona, you can choose the right platform for your business quite easily.
Here’s a cool infographic to get you started
They all sound pretty good, don’t they? More is better, you might think. However, hold on a bit. You may be biting off more than you can chew.
A successful social media marketing strategy requires you to create and post content regularly, respond to all comments, feedback, and queries promptly, and to monitor the metrics for each platform to know if your strategy is working, or if you need to make changes. That is a lot of work for one network, and you need to multiply that by the number of platforms you include in your strategy.
You should choose two or three platforms, and make sure you give it all your attention. By limiting yourself to the right platforms that best suit your business and buyer personas, you derive a lot more benefit than trying to be everywhere and diluting your effectiveness.
Guest Post By Stacey Marone
Stacey Marone is a freelance writer and a social media marketer. She likes exploring new cultures, places and gathering interesting facts. In her free time, she also does volunteer work and organises some activities for children. Her passions involve painting, reading, and writing. You can follow her on twitter @marone_stacey