A social media marketing strategy is a requirement that every single brand should have from the moment that they start because nowadays if you don’t have a presence on the internet, then you’re not going to have a meaningful impact. Social media is the biggest pool of interaction and engagement on the internet these days, so it’s logical to want to tap into that area.
Now, social media marketing consists of planning and adapting the different social media to establish a means of communication with users to achieve the marketing objectives of a company. In other words, social media marketing is the future of communication, an arsenal of Internet-based tools and platforms that increase and improve information sharing. This new medium makes the transfer of texts, photographs, audio, video and information in general, flow between users and the Internet.
For the aforementioned, social media for business is something that everybody wants to achieve, but not everybody knows how because they haven’t prepared enough or haven’t done too much research on the matter. In that regard, here we are going to provide information you might find helpful regarding a social media plan and what you need to know about it.
Benefits of a social media plan
Before we dwell on some of the best tips and tactics that may help you to expand your brand on the social media landscape, it’s important that we consider the benefits that we are getting from it, thus cementing our motivation and our perspective on that. Here we present you the main benefits of a social media plan:
- A better focus. This is something that comes with every single type of planning, but it’s especially important with a social media plan: it gives you a better focus because you’re more aware of what you need to do and you are more focused because you’re more aware of what you want to achieve.
- A lot more engagement. The level of interaction and engagement with your target audience that you’re going to get from social media platforms doesn’t compare with anything else on the internet, so this is an area that has so much potential in terms of how much you can connect with your audience that you can’t skip it these days in any shape or form.
- It can present many business opportunities for you. A social media marketing strategy is not only going to result in getting your brand out there and engage with your target audience in a much more efficient manner, but it’s also going to help you to connect with other brands that may want to connect with you and do business together, which is something that can help you at the long term. This is particularly useful for you if you’re running a small brand.
- Give more attention to the client. Believe it or not, this is a huge benefit that can come a long way for you as a business, especially when you’re starting out. The possibility of being able to connect a lot more with your client and being able to provide answers, solutions and opinions to whatever they are requesting is something that can be quite beneficial for you because it shows that you care about your clients and that you want to provide the best possible service in that regard.
- They have more options to convert. Social media is another way to impact the customer and offer reasons to opt for our products. Every post, every video, every interaction is an opportunity to reach our target audience, and earn their favour deal.
- They improve the conversion rate. Social networks make it easier for the brand to show its more human side, an emotional component that is hardly transmitted with such closeness in the other channels. This proximity allows obtaining a different type of response from the client, in terms of engagement and loyalty, which translate into customer retention.
- They allow you to obtain useful data to get to know the target audience better. The very open and public nature of social networks allows to track and monitor the activity that occurs in it, and extract information of great value about trends, behaviour patterns and user preferences, or feeling towards the brand. All this allows to make an x-ray about the current environment surrounding the brand and work the strategy on a real scenario.
- They promote the loyalty of their customers. Convince & Convert indicates that more than half of the users (53%) who follow a brand in the United States are considered more faithful to it. A follow is a vote of confidence, before which the brand must know how to act, valuing the act by the client. Social networks allow this direct contact, offering a unique opportunity to talk about you to you, and forge a stable and faithful relationship.
- They allow obtaining more referential traffic. Social networks act as a source of first-order traffic. Consumers use social networks to discover products, both by brands and referenced by their contacts and friends. If these products claim your attention, they will awaken the desire to know more, by resorting to the corporate website.
- They improve search engine positioning. One of the most influential SEO factors is social mentions. These interactions translate into recommendations towards the brand and its content. Details that search engines have more and more in mind, given that it interprets as synonymous with useful content and quality. Therefore, the company must promote social interactions, and create opportunities that feed the desire to share and comment on the part of users.
- Marketing costs decrease. Although social networks are not free, it is true that the costs of managing a social media strategy are significantly lower than those of hiring a campaign in traditional media. Hubspot shows that companies are able to obtain results in terms of referential traffic by dedicating 6 hours per week to the management of their social media strategy.
A social media plan is where you draw the line between being a professional and an amateur, so this is something that you need to deal with in a very serious manner because it can make the difference that you need to grow and improve as a brand.
Differences between social media and traditional means
Unlike traditional media where readers or viewers are passive participants, a social network is a place where customers actively participate and exchange information, sharing experience, giving their opinion and comments based on their understanding. This means that markets can interact with the customer in real-time and benefit from communication; the organization really gets to listen to the customer and understand more about their perception of the brand, as well as the product.
Social media channels help build collective opinion and precipitate healthy debates on certain topics. The second important feature is that social media marketing spread through the variety of channels and media compared to the limited channels that the press and the media operate. Social media works with several tools, including audio, video, text, audio pods, and private forums, public discussion forums, chat, emails, as well as blogs, among others.
Third, social media is a dynamic and flexible medium that continues to change content, tools and continues to evolve all the time. Fourth, social media requires a different type of vendor participation because compared to traditional media in which vendors conduct customer-designed campaigns and advertisements focused on a particular audience or group, social media allows participants lead the discussion and marketers must listen, rather than lead the discussion. Sellers have to approach potential customers in an indirect way, helping to build public opinion and then indirectly orienting them towards taking an interest in their product.
It is also worth mentioning that, by correctly positioning the product or service on social media, sales can be increased up to 100% with a good marketing job at a relatively low cost compared to promotion through traditional media such as radio and television.
It is important to highlight that, having a presence in social media does not mean creating a series of profiles of the different networks with the sole objective of promoting each of the products that are owned, since doing this would be to give it an inappropriate use. The use of these technological resources must be done in order to share valuable information with customers where there is a more direct interaction with consumers that allows creating an environment in which customers feel so identified that when making a decision to purchase, be inclined to the one that has provided sufficient support through these networks.
There is a wide variety of social media tools that companies can use. Social media means a space or platform where the audience connects in different ways. It is important to decide which social media tools are exactly right for the business, and then use them properly and at the right time.
There are no better social media than another, each one is important by different variants and they differ in their characteristics and functionalities, making them all-important for one objective or another, depending on the strategy, the audience and the goals we want to achieve. However, the most popular platforms are:
- Audio sharing: It is based on sharing your own audio content and discussing it with others; share, rate and discuss your podcasts. Example: Podomatic, iTunes, SoundCloud.
- Blogging: It is based on writing an article online with messages published in reverse chronological order. It allows longer messages and all kinds of content (text, audio, and video). Examples: WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr.
- Share photos: It is based on sharing photographic documentation, creating galleries, receiving comments and commenting, rating and sharing photos from other users. Examples: Flickr, Fotki, Photobucket.
- Video Sharing: It is based on sharing video content, collecting information, documentary events, sharing, valuing and discussing the content of others. Examples: YouTube, Vimeo.
- Social networks: It is based on the construction and maintenance of relationships based on common interests, relationships and experiences. It also allows you to write short messages, allows real-time communication at the same time, improves networking with anyone, and allows the exchange of various content Examples: Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, LinkedIn, beBee, among others.
It should be noted that, according to statistical results, the social networks most used by businesses on Twitter, especially in the electronic and software sector; the chronology of the messages in real time is still the fundamental factor that continues to be among the most famous social networks. Also LinkedIn to offer professional services and marketing, since this network prioritizes the creation of relationships with business professionals in any industry; as well as Facebook and Pinterest that have a large number of users.
Before starting a social media plan, we must be clear that, as with any business action, social media management requires prior planning. There are many companies that underestimate their importance, create accounts in different social networks trusting their management to anyone without knowledge in the field, and begin to share content randomly and aimlessly, believing that it will be enough.
Best tips for a great social media plan.
You will never completely succeed if you don’t have a great social media plan and that is something that is always worth taking into consideration when talking about digital marketing: that you need to understand all these different resources that you have in store and know how to use them to maximize your dividends.
What are the best tips for a great social media plan? Here we tell you all you need to know in that regard:
- Set the objectives. The first thing to define is what is the goal you want to achieve. To do this, you must perform an analysis of the current situation of the company, both in its online presence and reputation, and this is possible through a SWOT analysis (Weaknesses, Threats, Strengths, Opportunities). Depending on what you want, either increase your online community, increase web traffic, among others, start establishing the strategy.
- Every social media platform works differently. This is something that you need to understand from the get-go: that every social media platform has its own way of working and offers its very unique characteristics that are going to work for you in one way or another. Facebook lends itself to be more varied, Twitter is all about instantaneous information, Instagram is a lot more visual and YouTube is all about daily content in their videos–you can use every platform in a very unique manner and obtain a lot more.
- Understand who your target audience is. A great social media marketing strategy is based on focusing on a very specific target audience and that means selecting all those different characteristics that constitute your ideal client. All these characteristics can be many, including gender, location, language, age group and so on, which is something that is instrumental for every single brand to progress.
- Develop a content strategy. Plan a strategy with the intention of attracting social network users to your website. There are many ways to be creative and effective in social networks, such as conducting visual campaigns, contests and blogging fun and relevant content.
- Create attractive content. The content is paramount; it is essential to produce a content strategy that involves a clear, useful, consistent and quality message, with regular and differentiated publications for each network, thus generating trust in your target audience. In addition, this strategy must have an adequate design, easy to use and attractive for the channels to be used. An example of compelling content is writing lifestyle, humor tips, as well as sharing any promotion, discount or offer on social media.
Herschel Supply Co. has become a master of social media interaction, by sharing quality content that captivates large audiences, while effectively presenting its products. Its Instagram community has grown to an impressive 700.000 followers, and its content, often generated by its network of loyal buyers, never fails to impress. For this reason, it is extremely important that you do not focus only on selling, first add value through the means to build trust and increase your sales.
- Always interact with your public. Interaction is paramount in any type of social media marketing plan, so it’s important that you implement this from the very moment that you start with your different accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, among others. If they have questions, answer them. If they have doubts, answer them. If they are reporting something, please communicate with them. This creates a much stronger relationship with them and it makes them feel valued by your brand.
- Make sure that the tone is the same in every platform. One of the keys of every social media marketing plan is to be consistent on all the platforms that you use. For example, if you want to use humor in your publications, make sure to replicate that on all the platforms because it delivers a sense of consistency and personality to your brand as a whole. It doesn’t work to have a different approach on all these platforms because the end result is going to be disjointed.
- Redefine the plan after a certain period of time. The plan you may have at the beginning of your social media exploits is not going to be the same when you are six months in or even three years in. This is something very important to take into consideration and that a lot of brands tend to forget over time: that you need to stay updated to what is hot right now on social media and organize yourself according to your status. Imagine being a Rock band: the Beatles didn’t carry themselves the same way when they were starting out in bars and later on when they were filling arenas.
- Surround yourself with experts on the field. A social media marketing strategy is a tremendous task and it’s always useful to count with the help on experts on the field because they can provide the type of assistance, knowledge and points of view that you need in order to progress, thus becoming a much more capable business as a whole in the digital landscape.
- Follow and measure success. Finally, it is important to analyze the results to measure whether social media actions have been effective. You must have defined your objectives well through the KPI (Key Performance Indicator). KPIs are the type of measurement that determines whether our social media plan has been effective, so it is important to analyze them to know what aspects can be improved.
It’s important to mention that, achieving success in social media depends on the creativity with which the community is involved, for example, if your store is a business of technological products, the ideal is that through your social networks you create articles, tutorials and even videos with reviews and evaluations of new products that are on the market.
The participation of the community of people and society in general in the different social platforms, either by exchanging emails, using chat or publishing photographs and exchanging music, has driven the growth of Social Media Marketing. Sellers have a double advantage in the fact that they are able to get in touch with those who have already become their customers and experienced their products, as well as potential customers who may be inclined or may be influenced to buy the product.
Thus, Social media marketing has went on to become one of the most important and influential aspects of every single marketing tactic out there for all kinds of brands, quickly becoming the type of element that just can’t be ignored by anyone that is truly serious about their ambitions as a business.
In that regard, we prompt you to create a sound social media plan with the information provided here and strive to be the best you can possibly be.