Have you already dipped your toes in the social media marketing pool? Or maybe you’re completely new to this corner of the marketing world. If you’re looking to improve your social media marketing strategy, or you’re starting one from scratch, there are 5 questions you should be asking—and finding answers to—before you begin posting all over the internet.
To find success, this is an arena where “let’s just wing it” isn’t going to fly. In fact, you’ll be destined to crash and burn if you take this route. However, with some thoughtful goal setting and planning, you can create a strategy that will lead to major gains, whether you’re looking to increase traffic to your website, or want to engage more directly with your target audience.
1. What are your goals?
Before you do anything, you need to establish what it is you want to get out of your social media presence. What do you want to achieve? To help answer this question, you also need to know what your brand’s overall purpose is. Consider the big picture first, and then come up with specific (and realistic) goals that will get you to the big picture. These goals should be measurable, and all the small actions you take should tie into your brand’s mission.
2. Who is your target audience?
Once you’ve established your social media goals, and what you want to achieve as a brand, it will be much easier to figure out who your target audience is. Do the research—who do you want to reach? What are their pain points, and how do you plan on addressing those? It can be helpful to create “buyer personas” to capture who your ideal customer is. While you may feel a little ridiculous creating a character that seems better suited to a book, this type of research will lead to success in the long run. It will allow you to learn more about your customers, so you can retain the ones you already have, as well as bring in new ones to keep the sales cycle going strong.
3. Which platform(s) will be the most effective?
If you’re on every social media platform, you’ll have way better results, right? Wrong. It may seem like you’re increasing your visibility, but if you’re not where the target audience is, you’re just wasting impressions. Instead, you should have a presence on the platforms where you’re most likely to find your target audience congregating. For example, if you’re a B2B business, LinkedIn should definitely be on your list. Targeting a younger audience? You may want to consider throwing Snapchat in the mix. This is one of the few times where we’ll say be a follower—not a leader. Follow your target audience, wherever they may roam.
4. How do you want to define your brand voice?
A well-established brand voice is a must. It sets the tone of your brand, and directly affects how you’re perceived by the public. Whatever that voice may be, you want it to be consistent. The less consistent it is, the harder it will be for people to figure out exactly what it is you’re all about—and more importantly, what you’re offering them. When it comes to the voice and tone of the content you’re posting, you should also be thinking about how you want to make your audience feel, whether it’s happy, motivated, empowered or all three. No matter what message your content conveys, it should always serve the purpose of strengthening your brand.
5. What type of content do you want to be posting?
Content can come in many forms. Text, video, and images can all be effective if they’re used correctly. When you’ve nailed down your brand voice and the tone you want your content to have, the next step is figuring out which types of content will have the biggest impact on your target audience. Often, it’s the social media platform itself that will determine the best types of content to use. For example, if you’re on Instagram and have crafted posts that are all text and no image…well, you’re going to run into a major problem since Instagram is all image-based. Moral of the story? Get to know a social media platform before planning out all your content. No matter what you’re posting though, the topics and the messaging should always support your brand.
Looking for more of the latest and greatest from the digital marketing world? Keep reading our blog, or feel free to contact us! It may come as a surprise, but digital marketing strategy is one of our favorite things to talk about.