Today, 90% of young adults utilize some form of social media on a daily basis—and that number is only expected to continue rising in the future. It makes sense, then, that businesses are beginning to shift their marketing and advertising budgets to include a greater focus on social media. Still, if you’re relatively unfamiliar with how to use today’s popular social media platforms, you may be wondering how you can successfully leverage social media to make the most of your budget. Here’s some advice that’s sure to help.
Understand Your Audience and Goals
You can’t expect any marketing campaign to be successful if it doesn’t have clear goals or if you haven’t done enough research on your audience demographics. Take the time to meet with your team and lay out some specific goals for your first social media marketing campaign. What would you like to see in order to consider your campaign a success? Get these goals down on paper so you can refer to them as needed and alter your strategy down the road.
Connect on a Human Level
Social media can be an intimate platform, allowing you to personally reach out to your audience in a public way. This will take some time commitment on your part (which is why many companies end up hiring dedicated social media specialists), but responding to social media comments and messages is a great way to connect with your audience, build your reputation, and establish relationships. Of course, you may not be able to respond to every single Tweet or comment, but you should certainly try. In other words, you should be listening to your audience as much as you’re speaking to them. After all, social media isn’t a one-way platform.
Commit to Content Creation
Another important thing to realize when it comes to developing a social media marketing strategy is that, with any social media platform, you’re going to need to come up with new and fresh content on a regular basis. Ideally, you should be posting new content daily. Therefore, you’ll need to begin brainstorming ideas for engaging, share-worthy content that’s relevant to your target audience. Depending on the social media platform(s) you choose, some ideas to consider include:
- blog posts
- basic text posts (“Tweets”)
Choose the Right Platform
Speaking of social media platforms, make sure you choose the right one(s) to use for your business. Again, this goes back to knowing your audience and knowing which platforms they’re using. For example, today’s millennials tend to be using platforms like Snapchat, Twitter, and Instagram. On the other hand, older audiences may be more likely to use Facebook and LinkedIn. Whichever platforms you decide to use, take the time to get to know how they work.
Measure and Track Results
Last but certainly not least, make sure you’re tracking your results as much as possible. Gathering data on social media advertising can be a challenge, but if you can do it successfully, it will be extremely helpful in figuring out what’s working versus what’s not working. Ideally, you should take time to reflect on your social media strategy each quarter and make changes as needed to keep moving in the right direction.
Overall, leveraging social media as part of your marketing strategy can be a huge success if you tailor your content to your audience and take the time to engage with them. Be sure to keep these tips in mind as you prepare your social media marketing strategy for 2017!
Posted by Sarah Prokopchak, Jr Account Executive at initiate-it, a digital first, full-service agency in Richmond, Virginia. Sarah has been working with initiate-it for over three years on a variety of client accounts including Sandler Training and VCU Health.