Social media is about people, isn't it? How do you make it about your business? How can you make your business relevant to people? The question is no different than marketing in other communication channels. It’s always about the people, the audience, or the target market you are trying to reach with your product or service.
Only, on social media, it becomes even more personal, and you get to consider how the values you represent can be made relevant to your audience. How can you make your business offering personal and relevant?
What to consider before crafting your first social media campaign
Each business may have a different starting point, with different limitations in the resources or what they may share publicly about their business or their teams. Let's look at some of the things to consider when building your social media strategy.
1. Is your audience on social media?
The most common response is a resounding yes, but going through the mental exercise of imagining what social networks they use, what they use them for, and when they use them can be a useful way to understand how you can address them effectively.
2. What resources do you have?
Do you already have a social media presence, and is it positioned optimally? Do you have staff or contractors who can assist you in launching campaigns, and do you have the tools and equipment? You don’t need a lot, but you need to know your starting point.
3. Are you subject to restrictions on social media?
If you are in a regulated industry, restrictions may apply to your social media accounts. Things such as health-related communication, gambling, and alcoholic beverages are subject to specific regulations in many countries. So are political parties. If restrictions apply to your industry, you first need to appreciate them and understand what you’re free to do and what you’re not.
How to promote your business on social media
Getting started with social media promotion is easier than you might imagine. You can manage many steps yourself without contracting any external social media promotion services.
The results will be better, too, because you’re the only one who can provide the most crucial parts of an effective social media strategy: your company values and their fit with your target audience. Let’s go through eight steps for promoting your business on social media.
1. Research your audience
As in every marketing project, you start by researching and understanding your target audience. You probably have a good idea of who and where they are. Now research their size and characteristics. The Facebook Audience Insights platform is a great tool, and it’s free.
2. Set objectives and posting frequencies
Now that you know who you want to target, define your goals. Are you aiming for product awareness, to build your brand, or to sell directly online? Draft initial objectives and look at what reaching those objectives will require: how often should users see your publications, how many clicks should you drive through to a destination page, and how many sales do you want to make?
Perhaps you need to learn more about the most important social media metrics to set those objectives and help you set your social media publishing frequency.
3. Build your business profiles
The first practical step you take when using social media to promote your business is to set up your business profile. It’s simple to set up a Facebook business page. The same goes for other social networks.
Business profiles differ from one social network to the other, but they all are free, carry your business identity, allow you to advertise, and provide you with better data and insights than a personal profile. Setting up a business profile is almost as if you can advertise on social media for free.
4. Create a content calendar
Next, make your plan tangible by building a social media content calendar. It’s a calendar indicating all your social media posts. It allows you to visualize your communication plan and use color codes for content types. You can see the balance of information, entertainment, and promotion posts in your social media plan.
5. Automate publication
Ambitious social media strategies have high publication frequencies and involve a large volume of publications across social networks. They activate social media management tools that automatically publish at the times you set, day and night, weekends and holidays included. Even for smaller engagements, these tools help remove the stress and pain of managing social media.
Consider automating many publications, and if your content calendar is detailed enough, you can plan sufficiently ahead to be able to concentrate on priorities and manage the strategy optimally.
6. Enhance with paid social
If you need to push further than simply posting to your existing audience, consider setting up social media advertising campaigns to reach and expand your target audience more effectively. Social networks have powerful audience targeting capabilities and can help you reach beyond your existing audiences.
Find social media campaign ideas by exploring social media as if you were an end user, and look at what competitors are doing. Be sure you add your own touch to campaign ideas so you differentiate yourself and stand out.
7. Monitor and optimize
Digital media is data-rich. With a business profile, you should be able to set up a performance dashboard to measure against your objectives. If you are not sure what KPIs to follow, read up on reach and impression KPIs. Track all the key events and operations from your plan so you can learn from the time and resources you invest in social media.
8. Circle back to strategy
Digital marketing strategy is dynamic and needs to be connected to the reality of the campaigns to make sense. Depending on the level of ambition you have in your activity, the loop back to your strategy will be more or less frequent.
But if you don't circle back and update your social strategy according to what you have learned, it will become a collection of hollow statements and you will soon lose track of where you are heading.
4 best practices for creating your social media marketing strategy
Social media is flooded with social media marketing tips. A good way to deal with all the tips is like when you are a young parent and everyone wants to tell you how to raise your child. Listen politely, then forge your own beliefs and make your own decisions. Let’s give you a couple of suggestions you might find useful.
1. Listen, learn, leverage
On social media, you have direct access to individual users’ feedback and opinions. You can use social listening to learn about the way your audience behaves and interacts on social media and then leverage that learning in your own communications.
2. Find your style
A social media strategy comes together through many small actions. To make your brand appear more coherent and stand out, you need to find and nourish your own style. It can be composed of image styles and filters, the colors of your brand palette, a tone of voice, and the use of symbols such as emojis and hashtags you use consistently.
3. Create engagement
Where TV is one-directional, social media has the potential for interactivity. When users hear you and appreciate your communication, they will engage via likes, comments, and shares. Try to engage meaningfully with your audience, which will both expand your visibility and create brand awareness among users.
4. Track and monitor your actions
Social platforms will provide you with insights, but if you don’t track important actions on or outside of your social media, you won’t gather the right data. Don’t track everything, but track essential actions like click-throughs, downloads, and conversions, which can help you learn and improve your performance metrics.
It’s time for your business to get personal
Social media is interactive. And now it’s time for your business to interact directly with your target audience. Where business communication used to be about spreading the word far and wide, the key to winning on social media is to create dialogue. Social media marketing is about growing your reach and engagement.
Always remember though, that beyond those metrics, your social media communication should also remain relevant and meaningful to your audience.