Over the last decade, social media has observed a significant increase in the number of daily active users. Social media usage has risen by 9% globally since January 2018. This has made social media an essential part of every brand's marketing strategy. Social media has opened windows of opportunities for marketers to:
- increase their brand awareness
- engage with their buyers promote their product cost-effectively
- build and improve brand loyalty
- foster healthy customer support
- increase website traffic and much more
Therefore, every marketer should know how to utilize social media to the fullest.
Steps to Create an Effective Social Media Campaign
I. Where To Begin - Strategize
Trying to build a social media presence without a compelling strategy can be counterproductive. You might find yourself pushing out posts on various channels just for the sake of it. This will neither help you achieve any business goals nor help you reach the right audience.
On the other hand, a defined strategy can be very helpful for your business. Besides stopping you from going crazy, or leaving your social media accounts dormant for days on end, developing a social media strategy can benefit your business in the following ways -
1. Build a Strong Organic Reach
A social media strategy ensures that your social media marketing posts are valuable to the targeted audience. It helps in brand visibility, increasing engagement (like, share, comment, etc.) and enhancing credibility.
Your prospects become advocates and drive more people to your brand and thus help you reach a wider audience.
2. Be Consistent
A well-defined strategy helps you stick to the number one rule of social media - consistency!
Planning posts in advance ensure that your network remains active with minimum efforts. I understand creating posts in bulk might be a big task, but it significantly helps in engaging your target group.
3. Save Time
Creating and publishing social media posts every day is very time-consuming. But creating and implementing a social media strategy helps you save time and resources that can be utilized in other marketing channels.
It allows you more time for analyzing social media marketing posts & their performance to alter your strategy along the way.
4. Achieve Business Goals
Since your strategy is based on your long-term business objectives, it makes your marketing efforts more fruitful.
With every social media post, you are a step closer to achieving your business goals. And who wouldn’t like that!
5. Target The Right Audience
A well-drafted strategy requires a lot of research. And research helps you analyze where your target audience spends most of their time.
When you know where your target audience precisely is, it's easier to attract them to your business.
6. Facilitate Innovation
A strategy helps in creating posts that resonate with the target audience. When you know exactly what the audience wants, it provides you with the opportunity to refine the content quality.
7. Stay Ahead of Competition
Lastly, a social media strategy gives you an edge over your competitors. When you have your everyday posting schedule in place, you can invest time into the minor details that encourage growth.
It enables you to analyze what's working, start developing the voice of your brand, establish a distinctive look, plan further - while providing value to the audience.
II. Plan Ahead - Create A Social Media Calendar
A social media calendar helps you visualize your social media strategy and efforts. It ensures that you only share relevant and valuable content with your audience. When you have all your posts in one place, it is easier to evaluate how relevant they will be to the audience.
With a calendar, you can plan your marketing efforts around the audience’s preference. Further, it can act as a catalyst to attract more prospects and also help in retaining the older ones. Click To Tweet
III. Finding The Right Content Mix
Have you ever gotten sick of that guy who shares the same cat video over and over again on their Facebook wall?
That’s exactly what you should avoid!
Finding the optimal content balance is essential for engaging the audience.
You can't keep sharing the same blog or graphic over and over again. Developing a content calendar ensures that different forms of content are evenly distributed throughout the month.
Through regular testing, everyone figures out their ideal content mix with time. But if you haven't yet, the rule of third is a good place to begin. It says -
- ⅓ of your content should promote your brand and generate leads
- ⅓ of your content comes from other external sources that align with your business
- ⅓ of your content engages with followers directly, either through polls, comments or re-posting user-generated content
Another way of finding the right content mix is the 80/20 rule - 80 per cent informative and interesting content for every 20 per cent of content that’s promoting your brand.
Planning your posts ensures you are publishing balanced content from each category.
As soon as you identify your ideal content mix, you can easily create an effective social media calendar.
IV. Stay Relevant - Build a Highly Engaged Network
Social media has allowed brands to build personal relationships with their customers from all over the world. There is no reason why you shouldn't take advantage of it.
1. Address Audience Problems
It is right to think that your audience is interested in hearing about your brand, product launches, sales and more. But if you think your audience only wants to hear about your brand - you are delusional!
Most of your audience is looking for a realistic solution to their problems. Addressing their problems when creating content for social media is a great way to catch their attention.
2. Don’t Miss Out The Interaction Opportunity
Did someone leave a comment on your post or did a new message pop up in your business account inbox?
Respond right away!
Having a high response rate builds credibility and a positive relationship between your brand and the audience. Sending personalized responses further helps in engaging users on social media.
You could also interact with your audience by reacting to the content shared by them. Search for relevant hashtags to identify for these posts and start engaging!
3. Share Other People’s Content
Your audience must believe that you are willing to provide them with a solution regardless of where it is coming from. It is also a great way to stay a step ahead of your competitors. If you become the audience’s one-stop destination for all of their queries, you will also become their go-to seller.
4. Join Q/A Sessions
Joining Q/A sessions or communities is a great way to provide users with helpful information and establishing yourself as an industry expert.
Customers are now becoming more impatient and want answers right away. Providing them with relevant solutions through Q/A session is an effective way of building brand awareness and getting an edge over your competitors.
5. Post Visual Content
Visual content makes more appealing social media posts. Since the human brain consumes visual content more efficiently as compared to plain text, including visual in your content strategy is another great way to engage your network.
Including an infographic, GIF or short video into your posts can make it attractive to all types of users and also increase the visibility of the posts.
Promoting your brand through social media is vital to businesses, but getting your content on these channels isn’t what sells your product.The key to a successful social media marketer is audience engagement. The higher the engagement, the better it is for your business. Which is why you need to shift your focus from the number of likes on your page to building higher engagement on social media marketing platforms.
Why Some Businesses Fail at Organic Engagement
Organic engagement - easier said than done!
There was a time when brands heavily relied on organic reach and engagement but not anymore. Social media has become a highly competitive platform and brands need to think outside the box to drive organic engagement on their page.
Most marketers today get negligible organic results which pushes them to discover more ways to engage with the audience.And one of them is through paid advertisement.
Should You Put Your Money On The Table?
In today’s market, brands that restrict themselves from investing in paid advertising are risking falling behind their competitors.
Big data and machine learning have enabled brands to reach a highly targeted audience that improves conversion. Since each platform is uniquely designed to meet your goals and expectations (such as brand awareness or lead generation), there is no reason why you shouldn't leverage this in your strategy.
As organic reach on social channels continues to fall, paid advertising should be a marketer's top priority., Hence, businesses are changing their social media strategies and learning about running successful paid ads on social media platforms.
Is Your Current Social Media Strategy Effective?
You might have had a great strategy, an organized calendar and a highly engaged network. But that does not ensure maximum returns from your strategy. You need to define specific and realistic metrics to evaluate performance and estimate the efficiency of your strategy.
So let’s start by addressing the obvious problem. Is Return on Investment (ROI) the right metric to measure the success of a social media strategy?
Many would say that monetary returns aren’t the right metric to measure the true value that brands derive from social media marketing. And I would agree to some extent - ROI only shows one side of the moon.
Nevertheless, we cannot ignore the fact that businesses eat, sleep and breathe ROI. Due to this and all the reasons listed below, which is why you need to start taking ROI seriously.
ROI is a Necessary Evil
ROI is a universal measure of a company's success. And it has been for years. Although we have seen new metrics like Return on Engagement develop over time, ROI still happens to be among the most important one.
You Can’t Grow Without ROI
Business growth isn't defined by a large number of likes or followers, it’s defined in dollars and cents. If you wish to expand your business, you need higher returns from your social media investments.
That doesn't mean you should ignore all other metrics because you need both of them.
A compelling social media campaign is one which includes all of the above aspects in its plan. If you aren’t taking advantage of social media's power for your business growth, you are missing out on a lot.
With the right strategy—one that guides buyers further along the customer lifecycle and identifies social marketing tactics and platforms that are right for your organization—you’ll ultimately bring more revenue to the table.