Andrew Rizvi, MSc Digital Marketing Management Student
When mapping out a plan for social media it is always best to start with the goals you want to achieve for business standpoint and how you plan to implement them.
Using SMART for goal setting can be a successful foundation for social media marketing if followed correctly:
- Goals must nail down exactly what is expected of the initiative. Also simply being just more active on social media is one of the quickest ways to burn valuable time unnecessary. That’s why it’s crucial to ask ‘why’ your business is on social media.
- Measurable – Being able to definitively answer “yes, we hit the goal” or “we missed the goal by 20%” is a good goal standard. Key Metrics, Goals or OKRs that you would like to accomplish broken down into days, weeks, months, and the year.
- Attainable – Out of reach goals are demoralizing and frustrating. Having to stretch to hit a goal is productive, but don’t go overboard with expectations.
- Relevant – A social media-marketing goal needs to tie in to marketing’s overall goal. Is it to build an audience? Increase website traffic? Strengthen branding?
- Timely – Dates and times keep companies accountable to their goals. Staying on track may at times be impossible, so be able to acclimatise to change is also important
Engaging with customers rather than just promoting
Social media is becoming more and more like a customer service platform. A tricky part of this is that the better you get the more difficult engagement becomes. The other side of this is that customers are more often than not the best source of inspiration, as they will often be asking the questions ‘why’ don’t you do this. Useful tools to find out what’s working on social media are Twitter List, Google Keyword Planner and Facebook Pages to Watch or even simply creating a community site. This allows a company to then evaluate and remarket itself in the future by using metrics from former campaigns.
Engaging with your target audience by using free or low-cost brands, such as Buffer Reply or TweetDeck. This allows for a more interactive service that can help with providing insight to customers as well as the business. For example, everyone person on Twitter has 100 friends that follow them, and those 100 friends have 100 friends that follow them. Even if only 5% of the total friends share the content, that’s still a massive number of shares and impressions. Crafting content unique to each platform is critical and is why planning is so important to keep a constant stream of customer engagement for marketing purposes.
Boost organic content to a targeted audience
Unless you would have a big team overseeing your social media with the ability to invest a lot of time, you can end up wasting a lot of money on paid advertising. Organic social media posting is the perfect testing ground for paid ads and boosted posts. In other words, you’re using organic reach to determine what posts you should put money behind and use this as an opportunity in disguise. And therefore, being able to use A/B testing can help use company resources wisely regardless of the size of it.
That opportunity is paid social media advertising. Even if you only have £5 to spend on boosting a Facebook post or promoting a Tweet, it will effectively get that content in front of hundreds of potential customers. That is why looking out for posts with high engagement but low reach as a good barometer for potential success and is something that should be checked regularly by using analytics, to ensure that the content will be maximising its possible target audience.
Using a combination of Facebook Audience Insights and Twitter Audience Insights to learn about your audience and create personas. Once you have an idea of who they are, use those insights to create highly targeted ads that will resonate with users.
Measuring Your Results
A clear and fundamental part of this is holding up the results against the goals you set at the beginning to compare. This gives a clear indication as to what is working and what is not. The main providers of gaining this information can be found using tools such as Sprout Social, Google Analytics, Iconosquare and Snaplytics to make sure that resources are being spent wisely and how they can be better placed elsewhere if not.
- Followers. Total up the number of new followers each social media platform received, and compare this number to the goal set. This can be achieved using analytics tools such as Sprout Social to measure the success.
- Likes/shares/comments. Measure the amount of engagement the audience has with the posts. Note which type of content gets the biggest responses for future strategies.
- Leads. Ultimately, successful social media marketing increases the number of qualified leads for the company. This is the metric that tells you the most about your efforts. Therefore can give the biggest indictor as to where it was a success and where it can be improved.
Create an Editorial Calendar
Last but least, an important way of keeping on track of everything and staying ahead of the game is to have a ‘content schedule’. If there’s a common thread between the biggest brands on social, it’s that they post on a consistent basis.
Chances are that when doing it, juggling multiple social channels and trying to tick as many boxes as possible is incredibly challenging. This is why having a content calendar can make the process much easier by:
- Allowing you to fine-tune each post for each platform without having to jump between sites.
- Timing posts to maximize engagement, keeping you from having to constantly post in real-time.
Taking the time to make a schedule does double duty of keeping your social media presence organised while also maximising your contents’ reach. This inevitably helps a company reach its potential, whilst being able to continuously funnel information to a specific target market.