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12 Steps To A Successful Social Media Marketing Strategy

12 Steps To A Successful Social Media Marketing Strategy

There are many different ways to approach social media marketing, and what works best for one business might not work as well for another. However, there are some basic strategies that all businesses can use to create a successful social media marketing campaign.

That said, knowing which strategies to use is only part of the battle; you also need to make sure that you're using the right social media platform for your business. Not all platforms are equally effective for every type of business.

In this article, I'll look at some of the most effective social media marketing strategies you can use in your business. I'll also explore which platforms are best for businesses of different sizes and industries.

Keep reading to find out more.

Steps To Creating A Social Media Marketing Strategy

Here are the steps required to create a social media marketing strategy.

Step 1: Define Your Goals

Before you start any social media marketing campaign, you need to define your goals. What do you hope to achieve with your social media marketing? Are you looking to increase brand awareness, drive more traffic to your website, or increase sales?

Your goals will dictate the type of campaign you need to run, and you'll need to tailor your strategy accordingly.

Steps To Creating A Social Media Marketing Strategy

Image Credit: http://sproutsocial.com

Similar to email marketing metrics when running an email campaign, you need to set up engagement metrics for your social media marketing. Knowing what constitutes success for your business will help you track your progress and determine whether or not your social media marketing efforts are paying off.

In addition, your goals will affect the rest of the social media marketing plan. For example, if you're looking to increase brand awareness, you'll need a different social media content strategy than if you're looking to drive more sales.

Step 2: Drill Down Into Who Makes Up Your Target Audience

You can't create a social media marketing campaign without knowing who you're trying to reach.

Answer questions such as:

  • Who are your ideal customers?
  • What are their interests?
  • What do they like to buy?

You'll need to tailor your content and messaging to appeal to this group, so it's essential to have a good understanding of who they are.

Really understanding your target audience will help you determine which social media platforms to focus on. Not all platforms are equal in this regard, and some will be more effective than others (and vice versa) for reaching your target market.

For example, if your target audience is young people, you'll want to focus on platforms like Snapchat and Tiktok. If your target market comprises more professional, career-driven people, LinkedIn might be a better platform for you.

Step 3: Use Demographic Data To Identify Trends

In addition to researching your target market and competition, you should also look at demographic data to identify trends. For example, if you're a clothing company, you might look at your data and discover that most social media users who buy clothes online are women between 18 and 34.

Use Demographic Data To Identify Trends

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This information can help you determine which platforms to focus your efforts on and which social media strategies to use. It can also help you create content that is more likely to resonate with your target audience.

In addition, you can use demographic data to identify new opportunities. For example, suppose you notice that many social media users are interested in a specific topic. In that case, you might decide to double down on creating content around that topic.

Step 4: Who's Your Competition?

It's also important to know who your competition is and what they're doing on social media. Do a daily/weekly/monthly search for your competitors on the most popular social media platforms to see what kind of content they're producing.

If you see that they're having success with a specific type of content (i.e., users are engaging on particular kinds of content), you might want to try creating something similar. However, you don't want to copy them verbatim; you'll still need to ensure that your content is original and relevant to your brand.

You can also use your competitor's social media presence as a way to determine which platforms are worth focusing on. If they're not active on a particular platform, it might mean there’s an opportunity for you to take over the platform, or it might mean that the platform is not worth investing time in. 

Only you can decide which one it is - based on your research.

Destroying your competition in business is something that some companies want to do. Being able to dominate a market means that customers' loyalty and repeat sales become a long-term thing. If this is one of your goals, the only way to do it is to legitimately and thoroughly understand your customer base - rather than just blindly copying what others do.

Step 5: Use Social Media Listening Tools

To further help with competitive research, you can use social media listening tools. These tools allow you to track conversations around specific keywords and brands.

This information can help you understand what your target market is talking about and help identify potential opportunities. For example, if you see many people talking about a specific topic, you might want to create content around that topic.

In addition, social media listening tools can help you stay up-to-date on your competition's latest news and announcements. This information can help you create more relevant content for your audience.

Step 6: Doing An Audit

There's nothing better than a social media audit if you want to understand where you are and where you need to go.

An audit will help you in two ways - you’ll be able to understand your current social media presence, and then you can identify areas of improvement. It can also help you track your progress over time.

Doing An Audit

Image Credit: http://lyfemarketing.com

To conduct a social media audit, you'll need to gather data from all of your social media platforms. This data can include metrics like:

  • Number of followers/likes
  • Number of posts
  • Average engagement (i.e., comments, likes, shares) per post
  • Traffic from social media to your website
  • Conversion rates from social media to your website

Once you have this data, you can start to analyze it to see where you're having the most success and where you need to make changes.

You should also look at your past posts to see which ones have been the most successful. Why were they successful? Can you recreate that success with other posts?

Step 7: Creating Buyer Personas

This is a step that most companies do not do, but it is so important. You need to create buyer personas to understand your target audience better.

A buyer persona is a fictional representation of your ideal customer. It includes demographic information like age, gender, income level, and psychographic information like interests and hobbies.

Based on your previous research and by creating a buyer persona, you can ensure that all your content is relevant to your target audience. You'll also be able to understand their needs and desires better.

You can use this information to create targeted ads and also use it to produce better content on every social channel you’re on.

In addition, focusing on one person when creating your content - rather than a broad audience - can help you create more unique and engaging content.

When creating your buyer personas, it's essential to be as accurate as possible. The more information you have, the better. You can gather this information from surveys, interviews, and research.

Once you have your buyer personas created, you need to make sure that you update this as needed. If your target audience shifts, so will the need to update your buyer persona to stay relevant.

Step 8: Find Your Inspiration

Now that you can better understand your target audience, it's time to start creating content. But where do you start?

Inspiration can come from anywhere. 

It might be a blog post that you read, a video that you saw, or even a conversation that you had.

The key is to be creative and to think outside the box. The best content is the content that is original and interesting.

You also need to make sure that your content is helpful and valuable. Your audience should learn something from each piece of content they consume.

Finally, make sure that your content is engaging. Your audience should want to read it, watch it, and share it.

Step 9: Create A Social Media Content Calendar

This is another often overlooked step, but it's essential for success. You need to create a social media content calendar to help you plan and publish your content.

This will ensure your content is consistent, and it will also help you stay on top of things.

When creating your content calendar, you'll need to consider your target audience, buyer persona, and the type of content you want to produce.

Create A Social Media Content Calendar

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You'll also need to decide on a posting frequency and make sure that you stick to it.

The key is to be organized and to be prepared. The more prepared you are, the better chance you have of success.

With that said, keep in mind that a content calendar won't prepare you for any breaking news in your industry. If this is relevant to your niche, then in those cases, you'll need to be flexible.

This means that you'll need to be prepared to change your plans at a moment's notice if you want to stay relevant on current topics as they happen.

Step 10: Create Actual Content

Now is where the fun starts.

Social media success is all about the content. You need to produce high-quality, engaging content to see results.

This content can take many forms, including blog posts, videos, infographics, and images.

It's important to mix things up not to bore your audience. In addition, it's important to target different platforms with different types of content.

For example, images and videos work well on Instagram for your social media posts, while blog posts are better for Twitter and LinkedIn.

Be sure to experiment with different types of content and see what works best for you.

Having a social media strategy template will help you, especially if you deal with more than one social media channel.

Step 11: Stay Relevant

Create timely content in addition to evergreen one

The key to staying relevant on social media is to produce timely content. This content is relevant to what is happening right now, and it often has a short shelf life.

You'll need to be prepared to act quickly to take advantage of this. In any given area, news travels fast, and you need to keep up with this.

When it comes to social media, timing is everything. Be sure to stay on top of the latest news and produce content relevant to your audience.

In addition, you'll also need to produce evergreen content. This type of content is timeless, and you can use it anytime.

This type of content is often more valuable because you can use it repeatedly.

Step 12: Analyze And Adjust

The best way to improve your social media marketing strategy is to analyze your results and adjust.

This means tracking the performance of your content, measuring your engagement rates, and tracking your conversions.

If something is working well, then you'll want to do more of it. If something isn't working, then you'll need to make changes.

An effective social media strategy today might not work tomorrow, and that is why you have to measure, analyze and adjust constantly.

Make sure that you are using the right tools to help you track your results. This will allow you to make the necessary adjustments to improve your performance.

The key is to be flexible and prepared to make changes when necessary.

Using The Right Platform For Your Business

Now that I've talked about the various steps needed to create a social media marketing strategy, I want to discuss the importance of using the right platform for your business.

Not all platforms are created equally, and not all platforms will work for every type of business.

You need to find the platform that is the best fit for you and your business.

Let's have a look at the various types of platforms and their uses.

Facebook

Facebook is an excellent platform for businesses of all sizes. It's perfect for building relationships with your customers, and it's a great way to stay top of mind.

In addition, Facebook offers a wide range of features that you can use to market your business. You can use videos, images, and text to share your message with your audience.

To target specific people, you can also use Facebook ads to reach a larger audience.

All this makes Facebook perfect for businesses of all sizes.

YouTube

YouTube is the second-largest search engine globally, and it's a great place to share your content.

In addition, YouTube is owned by Google, and it can rank your content high in search results.

With the ability to create visual content, YouTube is a great place to share everything from tutorials to product demonstrations.

To create a successful YouTube marketing strategy, you'll need to do the following:

  • Create engaging content
  • Optimize your videos for search engines
  • Promote your videos
  • Analyze your results

Creating engaging content is key to success on YouTube. You'll need to produce interesting and relevant videos for your target audience to consume.

Whatsapp

While not purely considered a social media network, Whatsapp is one of the most popular messaging apps globally. This means that you can still use the same principles to build an audience on this platform - which many businesses do.

Here are some tips for using Whatsapp for marketing:

  • Create a Whatsapp group for your customers or fans. This can be a great way to keep them updated on your latest products or promotions.
  • Use WhatsApp messages to share current news and promote special offers or discounts.
  • Include images or videos in your WhatsApp messages to grab attention and engage your audience. You can also send quick voice notes for those that prefer to listen.
  • Make sure you respond promptly to any questions or comments from your followers on WhatsApp. This will help build trust and loyalty among your customers.
  • Keep your messages brief and to the point to ensure that they are easy to read on mobile devices.
  • Use a branded WhatsApp profile picture and banner to help your business stand out.
  • Integrate WhatsApp with your other social media channels for better cross-promotion.

Instagram

Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms, with over 800 million active users. It's an excellent platform for businesses to connect with their customers and share photos and videos of their products or services.

With new features getting introduced regularly, it can be hard to keep up with what's best for your business. Here are some tips to help you get started:

Use Hashtags

Hashtags are a great way to reach a broader audience on Instagram. When someone searches for a hashtag, all of the posts that use that hashtag will appear in their feed.

Make sure to research which hashtags are relevant to your business and use them in your posts. You can also create your hashtag for customers to use when they post about your company.

Share Exciting Content

People love Instagram because it's a visual platform. Share exciting photos and videos that showcase your products or services.

You don't have to post every day, but make sure to post regularly so that your followers know that you're active on the platform.

Respond To Comments And Messages

When someone takes the time to comment on or message your account, make sure to respond. Not only is it good customer service, but it also helps build a connection with your followers.

Use Stories

Stories are a great way to share snippets of your day-to-day activities with your followers. They disappear after 24 hours, so it's a great way to share quick updates without cluttering up your feed.

TikTok

One social media platform gaining a lot of traction lately is TikTok. This app is designed for making and sharing short videos with others on the app. It's a great way to connect with customers and followers, and it can be a lot of fun too.

In addition, organic reach on TikTok is still amazing, which means that this is an opportunity you should take advantage of.

If you're looking to use TikTok for marketing purposes, there are a few things you should keep in mind. First, make sure your videos are high quality and enjoyable to watch. You also want to make sure your branding is consistent across all of your videos. Finally, be sure to engage with your followers and respond to their comments.

TikTok Ads are also in their early stages, which means they are still very affordable. So if you're looking to reach your demographic at a fraction of the costs found on other social media networks, TikTok could be an excellent option for you.

Snapchat

Another social media platform that can be great for marketing is Snapchat. This app is all about communicating with your followers more personally. You can share updates, photos, and videos with your followers, and they can reply directly to you.

Snapchat is also great for promoting events. You can create a geofilter for your event and promote it on Snapchat. This will allow your followers to see where the event is taking place and how to get there.

Reddit

Reddit is a social media site where users can post links to content on the web. They can also vote on submissions, and the ones with the most upvotes will rise to the top of the page. This makes it a great community platform to share your content on, especially if you want to quickly get a lot of exposure.

Create an account and then submit your content to the relevant subreddit to get started. Make sure that you read the rules first, though, as some subreddits have specific requirements. For example, some require that you include a picture or that your submission is in a particular format.

Once your content is posted, it's essential to engage with users who leave comments. This will help build relationships and encourage people to check out your content. You can also promote your content on other social media sites like Twitter and Facebook for more exposure.

Pinterest

Pinterest is a social media site where users can save and share images, videos, and other content. 

Here are some tips for using Pinterest for your social media marketing strategy:

  • Create boards that represent your business.
  • Images of your products and services.
  • Use keyword-rich descriptions for your pins.
  • Follow other users who might be interested in your products or services.
  • Use hashtags to reach a wider audience.
  • Repin other users' content to help spread the word about your business.
  • Monitor your analytics to see how well your pins are performing.

If you have visual content to share with your audience, Pinterest is a great social media platform to consider.

Twitter

Twitter is a great way to connect with your customers and followers. It's also a great platform for promoting your business.

With the ability to send short messages on this social network, you can connect with your customers in real-time. You can also share links to your website or blog and promote special offers and deals.

Twitter is an excellent platform for customer service as well. If you have a question about your order or if you're having trouble with a product, you can tweet at the company's Twitter account for help.

To get the most out of Twitter, be sure to use hashtags. Hashtags are keywords preceded by the pound sign (#), and they help people find your tweets when they search for them. You can also use Twitter analytics to see how well your tweets perform.

LinkedIn

Finally (and if applicable) don't forget about LinkedIn. This social network is geared towards professionals, and it can be a great way to connect with potential customers or partners. You can share articles from your blog or post updates about your business.

LinkedIn also offers paid advertising options, which can be a great way to reach more people. Be sure to target your ads to reach the right people and test different ad campaigns to see which ones are most successful.

Different Types Of Content To Produce

Your social media campaigns don't have to (i.e., shouldn’t) be all about selling your products or services. You can also produce content that is helpful or entertaining for your followers.

Be sure to vary the type of content you produce, and experiment with different formats to see what works best.

Depending on your target audience and the platform you're using, different types of content will work better than others. For example, images and videos tend to be more successful on sites like Instagram and Facebook, while blog posts are more effective on LinkedIn and Twitter.

When it comes to social media marketing, there's no one-size-fits-all approach. The key is to experiment with different tactics and see what works best for your business. Using other channels and strategies can reach a wider audience and generate more leads and sales.

The Advantages Of Repurposing Your Content

Further to the previous point, you should also consider repurposing your content. This means taking existing content and using it differently.

For example, you could make a blog post and then turn it into a video or create an infographic based on any stats mentioned. Not only does this help you reach a wider audience, but it also helps to keep your content fresh and exciting.

Repurposing your content is also a great way to save time. You can reuse old blog posts or create new content by summarizing older articles. It's a great way to keep your social media accounts updated with fresh content without having to spend hours writing, researching, and creating unique content every day.

Tools To Help With Social Media Marketing

Having a great strategy and reaching your social media marketing goals is easier if you have a good set of tools to help you. Here are a few tools that can make your life a little bit easier:

  • Hootsuite: This tool allows you to manage all of your social media accounts in one place. You can schedule posts, track analytics, and respond to comments.
  • Canva: Canva is a great way to create graphics for your social media accounts. You can design posters, infographics, and other types of visuals using this online tool.
  • Sprout Social: Sprout Social is a comprehensive social media management tool that helps track your progress and measure your success. It also offers a range of features for scheduling posts and managing conversations.

These are just a few of the many tools available to help you with your social media marketing. Using the right tools can make the process easier and more efficient.

Conclusion

There's no doubt that social media is an integral part of any marketing strategy. You can reach a wider audience and generate more leads and sales by using the right tactics.

It's also important to be flexible and be prepared to change things up if necessary. The world of social media is constantly changing, and you need to adapt as needed.

Be sure to experiment with different strategies and channels, and use a mix of content formats to keep things interesting. And don't forget about the importance of tools - by using the right tools, you can make the process a lot easier and more efficient.

With a bit of effort, you can see great results from social media marketing. The key is always to learn and constantly adjust - keep tweaking your strategy until you find what works best for you and your business.

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About the author 

Mike Vestil

Mike Vestil is an author, investor, and speaker known for building a business from zero to $1.5 million in 12 months while traveling the world.

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