Social media is HUGE and there’s no stopping it.
1.8 billion Online users, 170 million of which comes from the United States, accessed at least one of the many social networks available in the Internet. With this huge a user base, it would just be natural for business across various industries to take advantage and use this platform for digital marketing.
This market continue to evolve and grow as new trends and technologies take shape, offering new opportunities for digital marketers to reach out and gain a higher level of engagement with targeted audiences. It is estimated that 93% of marketers use this platform for promoting their brand or business. From businesses who do so, 92% claim social media helps their business and are actively putting more of their marketing budgets into this digital platform.
If you’re a business owner or a marketer who haven’t explored the myriad marketing possibilities social media has to offer, you are depriving yourself a chance of reaching out to wider markets and more customers. So prepare yourself for this wondrous ride as we jumpstart your epic social media marketing campaign – and boost your business to unimaginable new heights.
Formulate a Social Media Marketing Campaign Game Plan
Social media marketing is not just setting your business or your brand up for its own profile pages or equivalent. Your brand or business should have a social media marketing campaign game plan if you really want to maximize the power of this marketing channel and reach your intended audiences on these networks.
By not doing so, you’ll end up with your valuable content wasted to virtual oblivion, never reaching your targeted audiences nor generating any favorable engagement from online users who matter. The following are some tips you should consider when formulating your game plan:
1. Each person in your organization should be part of your social media marketing strategy but it would be best if you have a designated social media manager and a marketing team that will oversee all your activities in these platforms.
2. Identify and set your social media marketing goals – whether to increase brand awareness, generate leads or make sales. Your goals and objectives will define the extent of the activities you need to include in your plan as well as identify the best strategies that will help you achieve these goals.
3. Start by compiling all your available content and choose the best ones that will attract attention and generate engagement from targeted audiences. If you have none available, you can start learning and create your own epic content and linkable assets from what we shared before.
4. Identify and analyze your targeted audiences through their demographic segments, psychographic characteristics, social profiles and buyer personas to help you identify what types of content, themes and topics would appeal to them as well as identify the best and most appropriate social media platforms that will reach out to them.
5. Formulate a content strategy using archival and new content. There are various forms of content that you can use – text, images, photos, videos, links, etc. The chart below tells you what digital marketers are focusing on for their social media content, with original content identified as the most valuable form among 59% of these marketers. Aside from content, you should also establish the tone and context of your engagement with social media users – funny, technical, educational, critical or whatever will appeal best to your targeted audiences.
6. Identify the metrics you need to track so you can monitor your social media marketing success. This will also depend on the goals you have set.
7. Identify the best post frequency for your social media content. Once a month postings will make you lose connection while posting several times a day may be too much. It would depend on the social media platform and preference of your targeted audiences.
Treat Each Social Media Platform Separately
There are many social media networks and platforms available for your business or brand. When you choose several channels for your campaign, make sure you treat each of these platforms separately and as individual campaigns. A form of content or marketing strategy that will work for one platform may not have the same favorable effect if applied to another platform.
Just take Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn for example. Twitter appeals to fast paced, mobile and trend-influenced targets, while Pinterest appeals to online users who prefer visual elements on top of what they can read. These elements may not work on other social networks like LinkedIn for example, which is geared towards a more B2B market. In this market, LinkedIn usage jumped to 57% from a previous 24%, with 77% planning on increasing their presence and investments in this network, which cannot be said true for B2B usage on other networks like Twitter and Pinterest.
Engagement is Top Priority
Social media is all about engagement and from a business perspective, it’s about engagement and interaction between a brand and its targeted audiences. Just like any business, customer service is still top priority and this should be translated to how your social media managers or team engage with your audiences.
One of the key areas to focus on with social media engagement are the comments, inquiries and complaints generated by your content. Your responses should be timely, appropriate, addresses whatever issue brought forth by the post, and is geared towards letting your targeted audiences know that their interactions with your brand is valuable. Follow through with private messages so you can have deeper interaction with these users.
Invest in Image Drive Campaigns
Just like in content marketing, visual content is also taking center stage in social media marketing. Up to 70% of marketers are planning to increase the creation and use of visual content, particularly infographics and memes. Visual content is important for social networks like Facebook where a good photo can generate up to 53% more likes, 84% more click-throughs (for posts with links), and engage with up to 104% more comments.
Aside from Facebook, Twitter is also generating the same effect from visual content, with photos and videos generating up to 35% and 28% increase in Retweets. This effect from visual content is the primary reason why image-centric social networks like Instagram and Pinterest are gaining an increasing foothold on social media network usage.
Include Mobile Internet Users in Your Campaign
It would be foolish not to include mobile internet users among the targets of your social media marketing campaign. The proliferation of tablets and smartphones account for the high 60% total digital media time usage by platform from a recent ComScore study. Facebook is accessed by up to 1.28 billion monthly active users, 1.01 billion of which are mobile users.
These figures will tell you that you can’t just base your content strategy from a laptop user’s perspective but from a mobile user’s as well. It is important that your landing pages and websites where you will eventually direct all your social media marketing traffic are responsive and nature, allowing for optimized viewing from any device.
Prepare for the Emergence of the Micro Video Format
The micro-video format is gaining popularity and it would be best to include this in your social media marketing mix. Platforms like Instagram and Vine are frontrunners of these formats but other channels are following suit as well. Just how effective this new format is? Saatchi experienced this first-hand with their anti-smoking campaign ad that generated up to 50 thousand likes and 26 thousand re-vines during the first five days after posting.
The short video was direct to the point, simple but shocking and these appeals to online users that have short attention spans, or have no time to view a full or longer video. Short video, good message understood – works for them.
Track Your Social Media Marketing Performance
Finally, an important part of your campaign is to effectively track and monitor your social media marketing performance. Through analytics and data monitoring, you can gain valuable insights that can help you formulate changes in your campaigns to make them better and more effective towards achieving your goals.
You can get insights like identifying which type of content attracts more of your targeted customers, which content generates higher engagement rates, and which content generates higher click-throughs. You can understand which timing and posting frequency would be best for getting results. There are various tools and applications that can help you track your performance, on top of the native analytics tools most social networks offer users.
Internet users are people so it is but logical why social media – which is centered on the interaction between real people (from an online channel of course) – has gained tremendous popularity and will continue on this trend until a new technology comes along. If you’re a business owner, don’t get left behind by your competition and start to learn all these neat tips and tricks that will help you launch your epic social media marketing campaign.