Acquiring new customers and keeping current customers is crucial to the success of any business and this takes knowing how to market to your audience without getting annoying. Fortunately with online sources of advertising, it is possible to reach a much larger audiences and advertising on social media is a popular way to gain the attention of your target market; and the other side of that is defining the message you want to deliver.

Providing quality content is a very important factor in social media. In recent studies, a survey conducted among young adults, ages 18 to 30, at least thirty percent of them stated that they made purchase decisions based on the business’ social media presence. People are seeking transparency as a means of earning trust and this is becoming expected of businesses as well as individuals.

Below are five steps that will help you create a successful marketing strategy for social media.

#1 Set Goals That Are Attainable. In order to create a successful marketing strategy, you will need to define your desired goal and work backwards. Be sure to set a goal that is attainable. For example don’t expect 1 million new followers within the first six months because it is simply not realistic. Instead choose a goal that is reachable but also presents somewhat of a challenge as well, so you’re motivated to stick with it. Some common goals that businesses aim for when first building a presence on social media include:

Increasing Brand Awareness. Social media is a goldmine for getting your brand seen; especially when statistics indicate that on average people spend at least two hours each day on social media. A specific goal like this also provides the ability for tracking results. For instance, potential metrics that you may want to track could include:

  • Collecting numbers on how often your posts are shared
  • Tracking how often your brand is mentioned in comments on social media
  • Calculating the number of followers you have acquired within a certain time frame.

 These types of statistics are typically available on the social media platforms. If not, there are tools designed by third parties that can be incorporated.

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#2 Research Your Target Audience. Knowing your customer equips you with valuable information so you’ll be better able to target viewers who are already interested in what you are selling. All social media platforms gather demographic information from users and this can be a prized tool in your strategy. Being familiar with your customer base will also help you decide which social media platform will work best in helping you achieve your goal.

Below are some of the basics on the various social networks:

  • Instagram: 59% are between the ages of 18 to 29 and 38% are women.
  • LinkedIn: 34% are between the ages of 18 to 29 and 31% are men.
  • Twitter: 28% of users earn between $50,000 to $74,999 annually; 36% are between the ages of 18 to 29.

To reiterate, each platform collects data that you can gain access to through advertising. If you’re new to social media marketing then make assessments on your most popular customers by researching your historical data.

Demographics are an important part in knowing your target audience but by determining characteristics of your clientele, you can streamline your marketing even more. Along with demographics consider the lifestyles and hobbies of your niche customers. Learn about their occupations, family statuses, income and attitudes.

Also, by analyzing what other brands your audience base follows, you’ll gain better insight on their interests as well as your competition.

 

#3 Research Your Competition. There’s a good chance that your competition is already using social media and if so, take advantage of it and learn what they are doing by conducting a competitive analysis.  Make note of comments and feedback those companies receive, both good and bad.

One way to conduct this analysis is through the use of Google and searching for keywords that would be associated with your business and define what competitors show up. Once you have that information, you can tweak ad campaigns to improve your rank.

Assess how often your competitors post as well as familiarizing yourself with the different platforms they advertise on and take note of how many followers or “likes” they have.

Brick and mortar businesses may find that it is somewhat tricky to calculate social media marketing by sales on their cash register, but you can still engage customers. Be sure that your signage reflects the social media platforms that you advertise on. Consider all methods as a way to inter-relate and strengthen the overall presence of your business. Starbucks is a prime example of making the most of social media by encouraging customers to post pictures of their latest purchase. You can also motivate customers by offering a special discount or freebie for following you or tagging you. Also, by gathering email addresses from your customer base when they are finalizing their purchase, you’ll have a way to reach out to them at a later time to notify them of offers or new exciting services, etc.

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#4 Create and Deliver Regularly. Having quality content is important and just as crucial is delivering it regularly. The next step is to determine how often you will deliver content – days of the week, time of day, etc. Consistency will keep your audience engaged while also building awareness for your company. When creating this content for social media you will want to format it in a way that you are communicating with the audience, not talking to them. Again, social media is very relational and people do not want to be “sold to.” This is where the fun of being creative comes into play.

Some ways to do this would be:

  • Blog posts
  • Free informational eBooks with great content
  • Interviews
  • News of your businesses community of environmental involvement and even a new line of products, describing how it is a solution to a common problem, etc.
  • Videos

Your entire goal is encourage response, engagement, etc.

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#5 Invest In Tools: There are a wide variety of tools available that can boost productivity so marketing is still successful but not so time consuming. Social media management tools will also provide you with the option of scheduling posts in advance.

As with any advertising platform, you’ll want to be able to track your progress, have the ability to analyze what is working and what is not so you can make necessary adjustments to ensure you’re getting the most out of your marketing budget.

These steps will help you develop a successful marketing strategy on social media and also equip you with data that will enable you to optimize tactics and acquire paying customers while also building relationships and trust with your audience.  

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Get Familiar with Social Media Marketing for your Business

If you’re looking to Build a successful Social media marketing strategy for your business we have a few tips to help you get started. To see how you can use Social media marketing for your business, check out our pillar page on Why so many Businesses are Failing with Social Media Marketing