One of the services Digital Wake offers is social media marketing management. Business owners quickly discover that managing a social media campaign takes a lot of effort! Here are some of the items we discuss with our clients when creating a social media marketing effort.
Set Social Media Goals
Your social media goals should align with your overall marketing strategy. Also, your goals should be S.M.A.R.T. — Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Timely. It’s not enough to say you want to increase brand awareness and sell more widgets if you don’t have a way to measure it and you don’t make widgets! Tracking metrics associated with your goals is crucial to determine the success of your social media campaign. Once you identify your goals, take the time to identify what to track and how to track it. There’s a lot to consider with social media metrics and you might find this article helpful.
Know Your Audience
This may seem obvious, but it is also an area that businesses struggle with sometimes. Do not assume you know who your customers are and what they like. For example, if you’re trying to reach Gen X consumers and think they aren’t on apps like Instagram or TikTok, your message may not be widely seen. Thus, it makes sense to do your research.
Here’s a chart published by the Pew Research Center that shows what social media sites are used most. You can also read the article from the Pew Research Center. It’s a good first step in conducting relevant research.
Additionally, take some time to create a customer persona to target your social media marketing. For this activity, you want to write down attributes of current customers as well as potential customers that you may be able to identify from your current analytics. Review your available data points to collect age, zip code, income, past buying behavior, etc. If you don’t have this information in a customer database, consider developing an email or online survey.
Know Your Competition
If you intend to convert casual visitors to loyal customers, you need to know who your competition is, what social media platforms they are using, and how well they are doing on those sites. Look at their posts, but also look at the activity with each post. You might find a tactic you can use or find a weakness in their approach that you can use to your advantage.
While analyzing your competition on social media sites, you should also review what customers are saying in response to any posts. For example, let’s say you operate a print shop. You do pretty well with repeat business on signs and banners, however, you’ve struggled to get your t-shirt printing profitable. As you’re checking out your competition’s social media messages, you see several customer comments about design quality and shirt shrinkage when washed. This is information you can use to develop a potential social media campaign about your t-shirt printing service.
Review Current Social Media Messaging
Now that you have a clearer idea of your social media goals, who your customers are, and what your competitors are doing, it’s time to look at what you’re doing and decide what can stay and what needs to get fixed. Based on your research, are you using the same social media platforms that your customers are? If so, are you using that platform to its optimal use? If not, you may find it helpful to have a mission statement based on how you plan to use that platform. For example, Our Facebook ads will promote our current inventory and special events to increase sales. Or, Our Twitter account will encourage customer feedback and mitigate any sale or delivery issues.
Once you know which sites are best for your business and identify how best to use them, it’s time to either set up an account or update your current profile settings. Specifically, make sure to fill in all profile fields, capture relevant keywords that might be used to search for your products, service, or business, and include images that are correctly sized for each site.
Create Engaging Content
Here comes the fun part of having a social media campaign… showing off your product/services and engaging with customers! When creating content, you want to capture your audience’s attention as well as ensure your brand/business appears trustworthy.
Also, when deciding what content to include on your different social media sites, make sure you take advantage of each platform’s strengths. When posting to Twitter, for example, the text in your posts must fit within the character limit. Using popular/trending hashtags also helps your content show up in the right social media channels. When posting to Instagram or Pinterest, your content should include sharp images with strong caption writing. Facebook content can use a variety of text, images, and videos. The goal with social media content is to find a way to connect with the audience using the social platforms they interact with most, in the most effective way possible. You are essentially making your company look less like a business and more like a person with a specific identity.
Set Up a Content Calendar
In addition to determining what content to include in your social media posts, you need to also consider when to post (there is actual research that suggests the best times to post on certain sites!) You may find it helpful to craft a content calendar. This calendar should list the dates and times you’ll post types of content on each social media platform. It’s a great way to plan all your social media activities as well as ensure you’re using the sites according to your S.M.A.R.T goals and mission statements you created earlier.
You should also consider tying your posts to special holidays. Digital Wake uses its social media platforms to promote our services, highlight a new blog post, and share news and updates. However, our social media expert also creates posts that align with certain holidays like World Password Day (May 7) or Get to Know Your Customers Day (July 16). You can find a list of these type of holidays here.
However, as our social media expert emphasizes, it’s not all about posting news and trying to drum up sales. Sometimes it’s just good to promote and support your community. She says, “I like to just look around on all platforms to see if there are any trends I can hop on to stay relevant and check to see what’s going on in the local community to try and connect with our local audience.”
Assess and Re-Assess
The last part of managing a social media campaign is to perform continual assessment. It’s tempting to just hit Enter and then go on to your next task. But you’ve worked hard to create an effective campaign, you need to make sure the Return on Investment is there. Also, the social media world evolves daily. What was a trending hashtag on Twitter yesterday has been forgotten this week. Just because the picture you shared last week was a hit with customers, they may not want to see it three weeks in a row. Your audience likes variety and one of the reasons they may follow your social media site is to see what’s new. Make sure you are assessing what is being liked, commented on, and shared, and then find new ways to capitalize on that.
As you can tell, managing an effective social media campaign is time intensive. Many large businesses have at least one full time person dedicated to social media marketing while others handle print and television marketing. The benefits of being on social media are obvious, but there is also potential for error. Hopefully this information provides you with a foundation from which you can consider your social media efforts. As always, Digital Wake is here to help you make the best use of your digital presence.