Connecting with consumers via social media has become a significant component of a successful content marketing plan. The article below shares six tips to build a social media strategy that works. CK
Article written by Mark Schmukler originally appeared in Marketing Insider Group on March 18, 2021.
Billions of people around the world are on at least one social platform. Nearly ninety-two percent of marketers1 in U.S.-based businesses larger than 100 employees leverage social media marketing to tap into this large consumer group’s potential.
Some B2B companies tend to neglect social media altogether, dismissing the opportunity to showcase their brand’s identity and connect with their following on a one-to-one level.
This is a massive, missed opportunity to generate leads, create interest around products, and establish a presence that resonates with their audience over time.
Social media strategies have become key to meeting critical marketing goals for many businesses, and the ones that work well start with deep consideration. Form a comprehensive plan, pledging to follow the tactics you outline and use benchmarks to adjust for success.
What you need is a strategy that actually works. In this blog, we discuss six tips for establishing a social media strategy built for success.
- Determine a Target Audience
When starting on social media—or revitalizing your current online presence with a new and improved plan—you must understand who you want to reach. Knowing your audience reveals specific wants and needs that you can address, bringing value to the consumer and your company.
Start by figuring out what makes your business unique and which of your products or services are most popular. Look through existing followers or purchasers and pinpoint the age range, locations, and interests you tend to capture with your offerings. This hones a target audience and allows you to narrow down who you should speak towards on social media.
- Define Buyer Personas
The more specific you are about defining your audience, the more effective your social media strategy will be. Buyer personas reflect segmentations within your target audience. For B2B, you will likely target the C-suite and other decision makers. B2C professionals, on the other hand, might zero in on more personal buying patterns and interests.
Here’s what you need to know about these audience segments: pain points, goals and motivations, reasons for purchasing (or not purchasing), and preferred methods of interacting with companies. This might lead you to use LinkedIn over Instagram or vice versa, but it is essential to understand who exactly needs what you have, why, and how to reach them.
- Create Meaningful Content
Start by establishing a consistent, clean, and recognizable brand identity. Truthful and unique brand personalities back strong presences online and on social media. Leverage the same logos, colors, images, and tone of voice to stay top-of-mind and recognizable.
To engage with your audience, you must continually serve up content that aligns with their pain points and goals. Your posts are only as effective as they are relevant to your audience, so prioritize each social post’s value over securing a sale.
Promote helpful pieces like blogs and case studies while also announcing new product launches, acquisitions, or other noteworthy news. Meaningful, relevant content is founded on the questions customers have, and a successful social media marketing strategy will turn issues into topics, enhancing clicks and satisfaction.
- Establish a Marketing Calendar
Some companies’ social media posting may feel relatively random; however, a successful strategy requires a plan that outlines posts for each month. This assures social media initiatives don’t fall by the wayside, which is common when companies head a social media venture with randomized posting.
Marketing calendars can also keep you accountable when it comes to sticking to a posting cadence. Each week should look relatively the same, which displays organization and competence.
Marketing professionals must invest time and resources in social media to uncover posting patterns that can help you determine future posts and plans. See which resources garner the most interest, what time and day your audience is engaging, and which channels are successful. Then adjust future monthly calendars based on your new insights.
- Become a Thought Leader
Your company may be one of the thousands in the same industry, making it hard to stand out. Make it your goal to set the standard rather than following it. You can do this by producing thought leadership pieces that have a massive impact on your brand or company’s perception. A successful social media marketing plan is about quality over quantity.
Once you gain clarity around your company’s differentiating, attractive factors, lean into topics that are uniquely yours and become the go-to source for specific topics. Hosting webinars is a great way to solidify your thought leader position. You can use social media to promote before, during, and after the event to get the most eyes on your webinar.
- Revisit Your Plan
Companies often neglect social media due to a lack of resources, time, or recognition. Stay on top of your marketing strategy by setting aside time each day to address your monthly calendar, ensure you are on track with posting, see where you are succeeding or failing, and manage your long-term plan.
Time blocking is one way to hold yourself accountable for sticking to the newly established social media tactics you fleshed out based on the target audience, buyer personas, and success rate of content and engagement. Commit time to revisit your plan no matter how busy your schedule is, and you will surface more opportunities to promote valuable content and adjust your strategy where necessary.
If you don’t have the resources to handle this in-house, social media is a great task to outsource to an agency.