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Social media marketing is an integral part of your digital marketing strategy and I don’t think I need to give you an explanation on the term.
Social media has become a part of our daily lives. In 2018, the average time spent on social networking was projected as 144 per minutes per day and in 2019, it is projected as 154 minutes per day.
Still, if we want to define the social media marketing, I would say in simple words "It is a process of reaching out to your targeted audience on social media platforms with the valuable content to drive user engagement, brand building and eventually more sales."
Now, the question comes to our mind that how do we start social media marketing? How do we know which platform is the right platform for our business? There are certain steps that you can follow to start Social media marketing.
The first step to any marketing strategy is setting the right goals. Before you start building your strategy, write down your goals. Your goals should be achievable and measurable so that you can see the results of your efforts.
Type of goals:
Once you decide your goals, you can build your strategy around the same.
If you don’t know who you are going to contact then you’ll struggle to achieve your goals. To know your audience better, create a buyer persona.
"A buyer persona is a semi-fictional character which you will create to understand who could be your potential buyers."
Create 3 to 4 personas and name them, treat them like a real person and make a strategy on how you would be engaging them with your content.
If you are unsure about how to create a persona, there is a super cool tool created by Hubspot which you can use - https://www.hubspot.com/make-my-persona
At the start of the month, you should be ready with the content ideas and what you are going to share with your audience. Creating a content calendar helps you and your team to be on the same page. Creating content is not the job of a single person or a single team so each team member who is involved should be aware of what content they have to create for your audience.
A content calendar can be created for a month and then we can dig down to the week section and then to the day section and we can decide the timing of the post as well. A typical content calendar looks something like this.
Knowing your audience and understanding their behaviour can help you to decide on which social media platform they spend most of their time and which social media platform you should be targetting.
This step is more of a personalised step for every business as each business has different personas so for some business Facebook will be the best platform for some it will be LinkedIn. I would suggest spending some time to research about your buyer personas and then decide which platform suits best for your marketing strategy.
Following are a few of the major social media platforms which are used by most of the brands for marketing:
With 2.41 billion monthly active users as of the second quarter of 2019, Facebook is the biggest social network worldwide.
When it comes to posting on Facebook there are a lot of options to make your content engaging. Facebook lets you post photos, videos, events and other activities to make your content more engaging.
You can try creating the following content and post it on facebook:
Being consistent is one of the most important things when it comes to social media marketing. If you have great content but you are not posting it regularly then it won't help you achieve your goals.
Based on the goals you set, you can always decide how frequently you should post on Facebook.
If your goal is to increase brand awareness, it is must for you to increase the visibility and if most of your audience is on facebook, you should post daily or at least 3x per week.
Again, it depends on what is your business and who is your targeted audience. Some brands post 2 times per day and some posts 2 times per week so it is about your goals and the audience.
Facebook ads are one of the best ways to reach your audience. Facebook lets you create your lookalike audience or let you upload the email id of your subscribers who already interacted with your business so that your ads reach to a more specific audience.
With 2 billion monthly active users, Youtube is the second biggest social network worldwide.
This depends on what type of business you are. Let me give you an example:
If a company is selling a SaaS-based solution to its customers and it has a web application and a mobile application as well.
So they can start a series of videos on how to sign up for the service, how to set up the account and how you can start using the services. So this will be an educational series of videos for your clients who can easily follow the steps and understand how to use your product.
Secondly, they can create a series of videos showing how their existing clients have been using their solution and how they have achieved certain goals of their business with the provided solution. These type of videos are effective when targeted at the right audience. Suppose if one of your buyer personas is in decision stage and he is confused about how your solution will be effective for him and the same moment you post a relatable video which helps the persona to take the decision and make the purchase.
Moreover, youtube also provides Live video feature so you can use that to stay in touch with your audience with the right content.
This again depends on the type of business you are running. Some businesses may produce videos every week or in some cases, it is okay to post 2x per month.
You should measure how your audience is responding to your content and based on that you can decide how frequently you should post on YouTube.
Youtube ads are best for retargeting. Once users search for a keyword related to your business or visit your website then you can retarget them and add a strong CTA in the video so chances are high that they will make the buying decision.
With 1billion monthly active users as of the first quarter of 2019, Instagram is one of the most popular social networks in the world.
Instagram was initially launched as photosharing app and it is evolved with time so much that it lets you share photos, short videos, stories and with the IGTV you can now post long videos as well.
It has been noticed that Instagram changes its algorithm frequently so it is always better to test your content fast and make changes accordingly.
Studies have shown that the businesses which could successfully post visually engaging content have achieved immense growth on Instagram. While posting on Instagram it is always recommended that you should use right hashtags so that you can leverage the hashtags reach as well. Again it depends on the type of business you have and the type of audience you have on Instagram, the post frequency varies.
It is suggested that at least 3 times a week you should post on Instagram to keep your page active and to increase your visibility.
The best thing about Instagram ads is, it is connected to facebook so whenever you use Facebook ads, with a single click you can post the same ad on Instagram as well.
The ad portal helps you to create an ad with particular goals and budget so you can create interactive ads to drive more engagement.
Twitter boasts 330 million active users a month and 100 million active users daily who publish around 140 million tweets daily.
Twitter at a glance
You can use the cross-posting approach when it comes to Facebook and Instagram as they allow to post photos, videos and other stuff, even twitter lets you do the same but each network has its unique features and we should leverage that so we can find a creative way to market our brand in 280 characters on twitter. Also, twitter polls are quite useful when it comes to user interaction so you should try posting interesting polls which drives user attention.
Many brands have been using twitter for customer service and it is quite an effective approach to solve customer issues online and gain their trust.
Creative hashtags and creative tweets can earn you lots of followers overnight.
Posting 4-5 tweets per day with your hashtag and making an engaging content on Twitter can help you to boost your brand online.
Try to make content which people actually wants to share with their friends so that you get more retweets and more visibility on twitter.
Create polls every week and try to engage with your audience.
Linkedin has 303 million active monthly users out of which 40% are active on the platform daily. Also, it is considered a B2B gold mine because of its professional image.
Linkedin has been adding new features from time to time. Initially, it was used to post the articles and photos and then it started allowing its users to post videos and recently they have launched LinkedIn live feature which helps you to go live and engage with your audience.
As discussed earlier, Linkedin is considered as a professional networking platform so while curating content for LinkedIn, you should always keep a few things in mind.
Linkedin algorithm is totally different than the other social networking platforms. It takes time for Linkedin to show your content to a larger audience so it is suggested that you should try re-sharing your top-performing content to get the better reach.
Studies have proven that the companies which post at least once per month gain 6x more followers than those who don't.
You should aim to post once per week to gain more followers and drive more engagement to your posts.
These are a few top social networking platforms which can be really helpful in your social media marketing. You can explore Medium, Pinterest and Quora which has a good user base and are used to target a very specific group of people.
When you set a measurable goal, you should always set the KPI's as well. Your KPIs may include the following things:
Every post you make should have a certain goal in mind and a CTA for better engagement. Each platform has its own metrics for performance measurement. It is suggested that you should compare the reports on a daily basis to see what is performing and what is not. So that you can do the changes in the strategy for better results.
Let me know if you have any questions in the comments or you can always reach me on email@example.com