Social media has reached the maturity stage when it comes to online marketing. However, despite the necessity of a strong social media presence, there is a fair bit of planning required to formulate a strong social media marketing strategy.
Step 1 – Goal Setting
The first step is to identify one’s business goals. Every single piece of strategy will serve the goals set at the beginning of the social media marketing campaign. Goal setting requires one to look carefully at the overall goals of the company and think about how to leverage social media as the platform to achieve these goals. One will no doubt come up with a few personalized goals depending on the industry and the direction they want their company to take. However, it is wise to have goals follow the SMART principle. They should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-bound.
Step 2 – Marketing Objectives
The next step requires the setting of marketing objectives. Marketing objectives are simply the definition of what one wants to achieve with their business through the social media marketing campaign. Goals will not be helpful without the specifics that determine when they are reached. For instance, if one of the goals set at the beginning is to generate leads, this stage will be the determination of the number of leads that would have to be generated so that the social media marketing campaign is considered successful in reaching that goal. Marketing objectives should be realistic and attainable. Do not set a number too ambitious and optimistic that will only be a recipe for failure.
Step 3 – Identify Your Customers
The third step is the identification of the customer. Most of the time, the biggest problem that plagues businesses which do not have adequate social media engagement is the fact that they have not nailed down the idea of customer profiles. Define and target the right customer, at the right places and at the right time with the right marketing messages. Ideally, the company should be able to define the target market’s age, interests, income, obstacles, habits, motivations and what they would object to. With such information nailed down, it gets easier to construct the ideal customer profile on social media. A useful method of constructing the ideal customer profile is through the use of competitor profiles.
Step 4 – Competition
Look at what the competition is posting, who responds to it and their top three social media sites. Even though one cannot see the exact numbers, it is easy to get an idea of the strengths of a company through a review of their social media pages. Do not simply set up pages on every social media network without aligning it with what the ideal customer would prefer. Choose the most appropriate channel and tactics to reach a wider audience. It is also equally important to create a strong content strategy since content quality and social media attractiveness have a sort of symbiotic relationship.
Step 5 – Allocation and Budget
The final step would be the logistics of the campaign, assign a budget and resources, as well as rules for every aspect of the campaign. Budget assignment and role definition means the social media campaign will have a life of its own, and greater power to reach maximum effect.