A six-step roadmap for social media marketing

Your content team whips up engaging topics and your graphic designer is   creative and skilled. So why is your brand not gaining traction on social media? In all probability, you don’t have a social media marketing strategy.

For brands, social media is like a vast land of opportunity with a mind-boggling 4.62 billion users around the world, according to one study.  Unfortunately, it’s also easy to get lost in that vastness.  With a social media marketing strategy, you have a roadmap that enables you to successfully negotiate your way. There are many ways in which a strategy for social media marketing works to your advantage. For example, you can:

Create a content bank to help you to publish social media posts consistently — the most important rule of social media marketing. Creating a content bank also frees up your time for other business functions.

  • Identify the methods and social media channels that work best for your brand.
  • Track your performance across various parameters and tweak broader marketing strategies as needed.
  • Generate data that can help you measure the success of your efforts.
  • Stay ahead of competition by fine-tuning your marketing to stand out from other products/services and build up your unique brand story.

These steps will get you started on developing a hyper-productive* social media marketing strategy:

  1. Know your goals
  2. This is the thinking phase of your strategy. Take time over it. What do you want to get out of social media — generate new leads, increase your audience number or improve brand awareness? Each goal involves adopting varying tactics.

  3. Define KPIs
  4. Once you understand your goals, set your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Typical examples of social media KPIs are:

    1. Developing brand awareness
    2. Generating leads to push sales growth
    3. Driving website traffic
    4. Increasing audience engagement

    KPIs help you understand which social media metrics you need to track. Your type of business and the content you generate determine the metrics that are relevant for you. Some commonly tracked metrics include:

    Reach: to measure the number of users who have viewed your posts

    Engagement: to analyse how effectively posts nudge viewers to action

    Clicks: to know the percentage of viewers who click on a link leading to a landing page or website.

    Amplification or virality rate: to know the rate at which users share your posts

    Impressions: to track users’ sentiments about your brand across social media

  5. Study your audience
  6. Who are the people you aim to reach? Knowing your target audience inside out is key to your social media marketing strategy. Google Analytics, for example, is a widely used tool to understand audience demographics by age, gender, location, language and areas of interest. Other social media tools reveal a mine of information on users such as:

    1. Where people locate your content
    2. Which content formats generate high engagement
    3. Which part of the day your followers are most active

    You can also use older methods like surveys and reviews to analyse your audience.

  7. Choose your social media channels
  8. Should your brand be on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram or Twitter? What about Tik Tok, today’s trendiest platform? The smart thing to do — pick only those platforms that are aligned with the nature of your business.

    Instagram, for example, is a good choice to address a Gen Z audience. If you are in the B2B space, LinkedIn will connect you with business professionals and influencers. YouTube is a hugely popular and versatile platform combining information and entertainment, a great choice if you are creating a lot of video content. Facebook, one of the oldest platforms, helps to engage with audiences in a focused way. Pick just 2-3 platforms to start, depending on which platforms your target buyers are most present and active.

  9. Create your content
  10. Content creation is arguably the most fun part of a social media marketing strategy. Keep these basic aspects in mind while you develop content:

    Tone The tone you project — casual or formal, sober or humorous — decides how your audience will perceive your brand and respond to it.

    Theme. A theme or “bucket” captures a broad range of content, either directly related or linked to your business. If you have an organic foods business, for example, you could create one content bucket featuring traditional recipes and another highlighting the health benefits from various plants and herbs.

    Content timetable. A calendar or timetable is essential to publishing content consistently, more so if you use several platforms. There are time periods specific to each social media platform when you can expect maximum viewership. Find these out and pencil them into your daily calendar.

  11. Build a community and manage it
  12. The “magic” of social media lies in how it engenders connections among people, leading to the growth of online communities. Active communities can contribute positively to a company when their members turn into brand advocates and in turn, attract new buyers.

    Growing a social media community takes time and dedication. One important aspect of successfully nurturing a social media community is a company’s responsiveness to community members. Your support teams should be on the ball when it comes to answering customer queries and responding to comments and complaints. Periodic surveys and opinion polls are other ways to engage with the community. Engagement also helps you to better understand your customers.

*For organizations on the digital transformation journey, agility is key in responding to a rapidly changing technology and business landscape. Now more than ever, it is crucial to deliver and exceed on organizational expectations with a robust digital mindset backed by innovation. Enabling businesses to sense, learn, respond, and evolve like a living organism, will be imperative for business excellence going forward. A comprehensive, yet modular suite of services is doing exactly that. Equipping organizations with intuitive decision-making automatically at scale, actionable insights based on real-time solutions, anytime/anywhere experience, and in-depth data visibility across functions leading to hyper-productivity, Live Enterprise is building connected organizations that are innovating collaboratively for the future.

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