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A Complete Guide To Marketing Strategy For Social Media

The key ingredient for doing social media marketing well is having a strategy.

Without a strategy, you might be posting on social media platforms for the sake of posting. Without understanding what your goals are, who your target audience is, and what they want, it’ll be hard to achieve results on social media.

Whether you are a new restaurant or bar owner, or you’ve been in business for a while and are looking to develop your online presence, here are a few things to consider when structuring your plan:

  • Your target audience
  • Core values
  • Brand promise
  • Value
  • Communication strategy

When creating or assessing your social media strategy it’s important to remember your brand and purpose, so keep the following in mind:

  • Your Brand
  • Why do you exist?
  • What is your purpose?

In the right hands, digital marketing can have a powerful impact on your bottom line, from converting browsers to customers to potentially expanding your business’s geographic footprint. It can also bring a higher level of direction to your marketing and connect you to the community at large. Social media is a part of digital marketing, understood by many in the marketing industry but still not fully utilized by businesses of all sizes.

Social media marketing offers compelling benefits for businesses across all industries.

Nineteen percent of small businesses reported generating leads through social media. (Social Media Examiner)

Social media promotions generate significantly more revenue per dollar spent than other marketing channels. (Social Media Examiner)

Let’s be honest. Chances are, only a fraction of your customers or potential customers are looking at your website right now, and less than 20% will actually take the time to share your website with a friend.

What can occur, however, when you direct some of your marketing efforts to social platforms, is a greater connection to the community, and increased visibility of your brand. By asking a friend to like or share an item, or by receiving a recommendation, a connection is created with your consumer.

As Bridget Brennan, director of digital for influencer marketing agency Soul Purpose, says, “Any kind of concerted home-based effort of using Pinterest or Instagram, or Twitter or Facebook will make your business move up in this invisible ranking index of terms”.

Similar to SEO (search engine optimization) for websites, SMO (social media optimization) can have a positive, measureable impact on your industry. This strategy is a systematic, forward-thinking approach for developing your business’s online presence.

Think of it as your social business card.

This can help your business jump from the middle to the front of the pack, as well as provide an easy platform of communication, for you and your customer. Taking the time to develop these platforms is critical to the survival of your business. The goal of your social media strategy is to create an online presence that is personal, enjoyable, relevant, and helpful.

As John Jantsch of Duct Tape Marketing says, “having an online presence is as important to your business as having a phone number”.

You may be able to generate new business, advertise, and connect with consumers with your social strategy, but don’t lose sight of your business purpose. You want a strategy that works for those goals, and not only uses social media as a shortcut of some sort.

Failure to keep your social media strategy in alignment with your core values can have a negative effect on your brand reputation and overall business integrity.

Every successful business has a clear purpose and direction. Your brand promise should reflect who your business is, what you do, and why you do it. It should also be something that resonates with your customers. Find a logo that helps reiterate that meaning too.

The holiday season is often discouraging for small businesses.

These periods of high demand make inventory management critical to operating a business. Retailers often struggle to forecast demand relating to the number of customers that will visit your location on a given day or in a given week — particularly in the food and beverage business.

If you have a menu, when you know what you’re going to sell, it’s easy to match the items available to your menu. That same exact planning applies to your calendar and ensuring your social media presence is covered with the right food and beverage photography.

Your business’s online reputation is a key factor to a successful social media marketing strategy. Similar to the quality of your food and service, it is important to have a strong value proposition for your clients. Ultimately, the value proposition should be based on your core values to push the vision for your business in a positive way.

Customers will perceive your brand differently if they learn about your core values and how they are established. By keeping them consistent in the public eye, on social media, and your website, you will attract customers interested in shopping with businesses that share their values.

Through social media, provide an insight into the world you are building and maintain a consistent experience for your customer. When leveraging your brand’s purpose, values, and promise can help bring an added level of awareness and credibility to your business. This is a valuable tool when promoting your business through social media.

Internal communication affects your business from the management of your agenda in social media, to brand consistency across social platforms, and in engaging with your audience. Communication is the single most important asset in a business. Your brand image is directly impacted by how you communicate with your consumers, and in turn, how you communicate with your employees.

When it comes to business digital issues, there’s an ongoing debate as to which way your dollar is best spent. Posting on Facebook might have similar results to running an ad on Facebook. The same could be said for an ad on Twitter or Instagram. For a small business, is it better to spend money on an ad for paid social reach, or would you get better direct results from less expensive organic strategies like blogging and monitoring? One can buy Instagram auto likes or more followers on Twitter as well for promoting any business.

The answer is based in your business goals and the level of budget you can allocate to social media promotion. Using an analytics platform such as Hootsuite Analytics or social media monitoring can help you measure the success of your posts and get a clearer picture of how your money is best spent.

When determining how to budget your time and money, identify who your target audiences are, what they value about your brand, and what you want to say to them.

Then you can properly implement SMO to see if your initial assumptions are correct by measuring your results. If that’s not possible (because you didn’t set proper goals), then you’re just throwing money at a social platform.

Understanding how and why your audience is using social media is an important step in deciding where your business is best suited to promote.

If they are spending time on Instagram and Snapchat, communicating there is a wise use of your time and resources. If they are more old-school and communicate on Facebook, you might be better off running a sponsored ad on the platform.

Of course, your social strategy should consist of placing multiple social platforms as a part of your marketing plan.

Communicating with your audience should be done regularly and consistently. Your social media strategy should be made up of a mix of static social media content, which includes:

  • Hashtags
  • Location
  • Links
  • and dynamic social media content, which includes:
    • Emotional Content
    • Photography
    • Video

Since it is easy to consume, it makes sense to have a lot of visual content. This means investing in a high-quality photography set-up, high-quality quality photography, and potentially making investments in drones and other special equipment.

My favorite social media recipe for success is similar to an old-fashioned one. It involves some time and some technique. You need to do more than just post a picture on your Facebook page and hope for the best. If that were enough, everyone would have a million followers.

The recipe for success online needs many ingredients, but a few of them stand out. Put the necessary work in to make your content work in the form of high-quality images with caption. Write titles and captions that are exciting, informative, and creative. Link to other websites that bring positive attention and growth for you and your customers.

Social media allows small business owners to interact with their customers, potential customers and with each other. It’s a great way to engage in a two-way conversation that provides value to your brand and entices folks to keep reading.

In the beginning, some think social media is a fad or that it isn’t serious. Those that see the opportunities it holds start to see a changed landscape over time.

As business owners begin to embrace social media, they also form a different perspective. A recent trend among business owners is the error of feeling like they must have a social presence when they can’t afford it.

This is a mistake many new entrepreneurs make in the social realm. Just because you don’t have money to have a significant presence doesn’t let you completely off the hook.

Put as much time into creating a social media presence as you would a marketing brochure.

The next section covers how to define what your social media presence should be.

Social media can be a fun and fascinating platform for all business owners. It can provide you with a great opportunity to find out what your customers like and learn what they expect in your industry.

You can get more satisfaction and appreciation relating to your service or product by giving positive updates and engaging in a two-way conversation.

You do not have to have a lot of money to get started with social media. It gives people with small tendencies the chance to reach big customers. You can get started with a small budget, just like you start your business.

The benefits of social media are numerous. You can bring in brand-new customers, increase your sales, and build a loyal fan base.

Social media content can cover a wide variety of topics. The trick is how to create interesting content that viewers will want to see. With a little effort, you can reach a large number of people. Some of them will follow your business and approach your website.

Guided Action: Create a Content Calendar

Complete the following chart to determine a flow of content for your blog and social media channels. Strategically plan your content to give your audience compelling reasons to come back to your site. For additional information on how to maintain a successful content calendar, take a look at the article: “How to Strategically Plan Your Content.”

Objective: Decrease the time spent on social media on a daily basis.

Action Steps:

Objective: Increase social media conversations.

Action Steps:

Objective: Achieve awareness of social media.

Action Steps:

Objective: Increase social media usage.

Action Steps:

Objective: Increase social media followers.

Action Steps:

Objective: Increase average social media follow rate.

Action Steps:

Objective: Send more traffic from social media.

Action Steps:

Social Media Content and Placements

Part of a successful social media strategy means creating an overall plan for your content calendar. This section will outline the places where you might get the most bang for your buck, the places that make the most sense based on your audience and your goals.

With most social media platforms, you have multiple ways to spread your voice and your content.

Putting your content up in one place doesn’t guarantee the same amount of engagement on all channels.

You may have more overall engagement if your photos are on Pinterest than on Instagram.

The next few sections will discuss the benefits of different types of social media content.

Guided Action: Create a Social Media Content Calendar

Schedule out what will be posted on your blog and social media channels on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis.

Objective: Provide information related to your company on social media.

Daily, weekly, and monthly actions:

Objective: Increase social media following.

Daily, weekly, and monthly actions:

Objective: Increase engagement related to social media.

Daily, weekly, and monthly actions:

Objective: Remove fears about marketing on social media.

Daily, weekly, and monthly actions:

Objective: Generate leads.

Daily, weekly, and monthly actions:

Value of Visual Social Media Content

As I mentioned at the beginning of this guide, visual social media content will make up the bulk of your collected content. The upcoming sections will tackle some of the most effective forms of visual content.

We all associate photographs with beauty, but perhaps we’ve forgotten the other ways that they can be very useful. Photographs have become so commoditized that people don’t give them the credit they deserve.

Photographs can be used by small business owners who are new to social media. They’re useful for anyone who is trying to create a social business that won’t make a dent in their wallet.

Some people say that photographs don’t help you grow as a business, but it doesn’t mean they can’t help you elevate your social media strategy. Even if you have the best products, your images might not be able to bring your brand to life. If you have great pictures, you can showcase them on various forms of social media.

Further Reading

Pitfalls for Small Bicycle Shops: Marketing Strategy For A Bicycle Company

A Complete Guide To Marketing Strategy For University