How to create a streamlined social media strategy
The fact is that it takes much more than pure enthusiasm to develop a good social media strategy.
When digital marketers are asked to name the most effective digital marketing strategies, the number one answer they give is social media marketing. Its closest competitors, content marketing and the use of marketing technology, are strategies that complement and rely on social media marketing. And it’s not without reason that social media marketing is so popular. It’s cost-effective, it has a low barrier to entry, and it provides access to large audiences.
Every social network has its own set of rules, best practices, and strong sides. Twitter, for example, is the social network for boosting engagement, for various reasons. Pinterest is the social network marketers use if they want to reach a primarily female audience. LinkedIn is the B2B marketer’s social network, while Facebook does a little bit of everything. It’s not uncommon for marketers to use more than one social network at a single time, and it takes a lot of coordination to create a unified social media strategy that works without problems.
Every business, brand, or marketer who wants to reach an audience first needs to understand who their audience is. The very basic insights will allow marketers to understand when and where they can reach their audience. More advanced insights will allow them to fine-tune their messaging while considering audience habits and behavioral patterns.
Today, marketers can rely on Big Data analytics to power their audience research process. Using insights they can get by analysis of large sets of data, marketers can develop very detailed customer personas. With the ability to better segment their audience, marketers can also make sure the messaging each segment receives on social media contains the most effective type of content.
Getting the Content Production into Order
Marketers who want to streamline their social media strategy should improve their content production. Even though social media and content are usually cited as two separate digital marketing strategies, they synergize well and produce great results together. Social networks are great channels for spreading content, and high-quality content can increase social media following and reach.
Every audience has its own content preferences. In general, however, there is a hierarchy of content when it comes to engagement. Articles come first, and they are followed by video and photos. For every type of content, marketers need to make a couple of important choices. Articles, for example, can vary from medium-length pieces to heavily researched cornerstone articles. The first might boost engagement more, but the second will get more backlinks. So that’s the first strategic choice — what type of content do we need and what do we want it to achieve.
The second choice is about the production itself. For a medium-length piece, marketers can rely on freelancers or in-house writers. If they want their content to have more authority, they might decide to hire third-party services of professional agencies. Even using a custom writing service might be a good idea because people who provide them usually have a good grasp of structuring content properly and doing thorough research. The same principles can be applied to video and photo content as well.
Setting a Direction
“What do we want to achieve” is the question every marketer needs to ask when streamlining their social media strategy. Without having a goal, marketers cannot know whether their strategy is successful or not. They will not know what actions they need to take, which segments of audience they should aim for, and what metrics they need to monitor to measure success.
The previous steps should have helped marketers decide what they want to achieve. By understanding the audience, marketers can clearly see where their clients are coming short. They can then strategically make use of their resources to fix the rising problems. And if their content machinery is in check, they will know exactly which resources they will have at their disposal to achieve their goals. Having a direction will also help marketers decide how to roll out their campaign.
Deciding What to Measure
Measuring the outcome of a social media strategy is a business-critical procedure that should be performed during and after the implementation of a strategy. Real-time data will allow marketers to make adjustments on the fly. The data gathered after the end of the campaign is incredibly valuable for improving the performance of future campaigns.
It’s very important that marketers align the performance indicators they follow with the goals of their campaign. If increasing the reach in a specific segment of the audience is the goal, for example, then traffic data, impressions, and the number of new followers is the most valuable indicators. If lead generation is the goal, valuable indicators include the number of leads, cost per lead, and lead conversion rates.
There is a sense that every business and every marketer can easily join in on the social media marketing craze. While this might be true, the fact is that it takes much more than pure enthusiasm to develop a good social media strategy. Marketers who want to develop successful strategies need to have a well-defined audience, a clear vision of their goals, a great content-creation setup, and a way to measure the success of the strategy. Marketers who fail at any of these segments will not have a streamlined social media strategy.