Making the most of social media as part of your inclusive digital marketing strategy is vital when it comes to promoting your products and services, spreading the word, and ultimately, turning fans and followers into customers.
However, there is a lot more to it than just setting up profiles and waiting for things to start hotting up on their own! In this blog post, we will look at the core components required of a strong and effective social media campaign, which includes setting goals, measuring your success, and using each of the relevant social media platforms in the most effective manner.
Read on to learn more about designing and starting a well-performing social media campaign!
Identify your target audience
First of all, you will need to spend some time researching and establishing the target demographic for your product or service, and how to best market what you offer to them. Find out what type of people are apt to be interested in what you do, find out about their likes and interests and what type of approach they will respond to, and tailor your endeavours to match.
Find out what social media platforms they use
Once you have established your target demographic, your next step is to find out which social media platforms they use, and how they use them. All businesses and individuals that want to promote themselves or their offerings would be well advised to make full use of the social media platforms that are universally popular, like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram, but depending on what you do, you may wish to look at other options as well, such as LinkedIn, MySpace and others.
Research your platforms
For each social media website or platform that you wish to target with your campaign, take the time to study the sites and how they work, including their standard usage formats, how they measure success, and what type of content and approach works-and does not work!
One thing that is universal to all social media sites and their users is that your prospective audience will not respond well to a pushy, in-your-face hard-sell approach, as the vast majority of social media users go there to network, socialise and be entertained, not to have blatant marketing pushed upon them.
Taking a hard sell approach on social media can very much work against you, so use the various platforms to build brand awareness, show the human side of what you do, and create interesting, innovative and entertaining content that will encourage people to want to find out more.
It is of course fine and often favourable to showcase special offers and promotions on your social media channels, and let people know about what you do/sell, but make sure that this segues naturally into the tone and style of the site and how it is used, rather than sticking out like a shiny-suited used car salesman-shaped thumb!
Success on social media ultimately comes down to one thing: your fans and followers. This is how your success is measured, both by the social media platforms themselves and also when it comes to how close you are to your goals, and so getting and vitally, keeping followers is the ultimate goal of every social media campaign.
There are virtually as many different ways to do this as there are social media users in the world, but monitoring your follower’s interests, likes and preferences is the key to being able to offer more of what they want, and so, retaining them and encouraging them to spread the word.
Monitor your competitors
Keeping a weather eye on the competition is vital as well, for a huge number of reasons! Finding out what your competitors are up to and what is and is not working for them can help you to shape and form your own campaign, learn from other’s mistakes, and pick up on a winning formula with less trial and error.
Keeping an eye on what other people are doing can ultimately help you to up your game, stay ahead, and over time, potentially predict what your competitors are likely to do next, allowing you to stay in front and adapt your own endeavours in response.
Develop a plan and schedule
Don’t just set up your profiles and then largely ignore them-make sure that you have a plan in place about how you intend to use each platform, and keep a steady stream of content flowing through it. Make your posts unique, interesting, informative and vitally-short. Avoid repetition, and drip-feed regular new content through your feeds.
There are many different tools available to allow you to pre-produce and schedule content to appear at a designated time in the future for websites such as Twitter and Facebook, so integrate these into your plans, and don’t forget to visit your pages often, and follow up on them.
Decide upon your goals
In order to produce a successful social media campaign, you must have a clear idea of your goals, which should be measurable, realistic and tangible. Do you want to encourage people to read your blog, funnel people to your website, put your fans to work spreading the word for you, or simply raise awareness of your brand?
Decide in advance, as having tangible, achievable goals is important for success on social media, and this means being able to measure and analyse how things are going on an ongoing basis.
As part of measuring your success and adapting your ongoing campaign, you should source the right kind of analytic tools to help you to do this, which can provide you with at-a-glance information on things like website hits and where they are coming from, what is working and what it not, where your new fans are arriving from, and why.
Measure your success
Raw analytic data and knowing your goals is only useful if you spend time turning this information into something real, by constantly using to measure and monitor your success. This can help you to determine what areas are weak and need more work, and which are performing strongly and starting to pick up momentum.
It will also help to show you what just isn’t proving effective, allowing you to concentrate your efforts in other areas.
Generate a buzz
Social media is just that-social, and as such, people use social media to start conversations, share interesting content, and spread news. Viral content spreads quickly across all of the various social media platforms, so if you can identify what makes for viral content or have something of value to add to content that is already the current hot potato, you can begin to create a buzz around your own content and pages, and encourage your fans and followers to spread it for you.
Social media is a very fluid, adaptive medium-what is hot today may well be old news by next week! This means that you need to stay on top of both your own content and promotional endeavours, and keep an eye on what is coming next, producing content and information that is timely, appropriate and adds value for your followers, time after time, to keep them interested.