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Despite the field of social media marketing still being very much in its infancy, many campaigns have already shown how it’s done. While the formula for success is far from being clearly defined – and the fact that the goalposts are constantly being moved will mean that this is the case for the foreseeable future – organizations are beginning to cotton on to the potential that this marketing avenue brings.
And despite the lack of a sure-fire blueprint for success, there are certain components of social media marketing campaigns that seem to be constants. If you dissect any good social campaign, you’ll find that these successful strategies share four common elements. By including these elements in your own campaigns, you’ll be putting yourself in the best possible position for success.
Like leaving your driveway before you know your destination, before you start your social media marketing journey you really need to be clear on where you’re trying to head. Defining your goals is the first, and in a lot of ways the most important, step.
You don’t need to wear blinkers, focusing on one sole goal. Your campaign can be focused on achieving multiple goals. Some common goals include:
- Increase brand awareness: If you’re just starting out in business, or are looking to expand your operations, you may want to get your brand in front of more eyes.
- Drive more website traffic: For those in e-commerce, more traffic to your website equals more business. Social media is a great way to direct traffic to your site.
- Increase engagement and loyalty: Social media provides a way to show your organization’s heart and personality, which can result in a deeper connection between your business and your clientele.
- Improve your conversion rates: If you feel as though you’ve got a sizable and loyal audience, you may want to focus your social activity on improving your sales conversion rates instead.
A Detailed Plan
A plan to achieve these goals is vital. Before reaching for the graph paper, however, you should first conduct some research on your direct competition, to see what will work for your organization and what won’t. You should also compare your current social media activity with these competitors, to identify things that you can improve on.
Your plan should detail your company’s voice, and the sort of material that you’re going to deliver through your social channels.
Different social platforms will be effective in targeting different demographics. For B2B organizations, LinkedIn is a great option. Instagram and Snapchat are home to millennials and young people. Facebook is the obvious choice for those without a clearly defined target market.
It’s important to remember that social media marketing takes time. Your followership isn’t likely to explode overnight, and your plan should reflect that. Focus on producing quality content and sharing quality material over a long period, while capitalizing on paid advertisements to power your growth.
The best social media campaigns aren’t limited to social media. They are promoted through other marketing channels too. The fact is that many people aren’t particularly active on social media, or aren’t following your account at the moment. The success of your campaign hinges on getting in front of these new eyes.
Combining your social media efforts with email, search or online banner advertising can be a very cost-effective way to spread the word. You can plan these out so that your target audience gets regular, but unique, reminders of your brand. Be careful not to assault people and overwhelm them by being everywhere at once.
Knowledge is power. And in this age of digital marketing, you’re treated to more knowledge than you’ll know what to do with! There is an incredible amount of data on offer, and your social media campaign will benefit from you using as much of it as possible.
How has your campaign performed? Are you working towards those goals that you set at the outset, or do you need to recalibrate your strategy? Thankfully, seeing as though you had clear goals from the start, you should be able to compare any appropriate metrics easily.
You should also be keeping an eye on how the social media specific metrics are affecting the “downstream” metrics – things like website visitors, new clients and sales figures. After all, a solid, well thought out social media campaign should grow more than just your follower count!