Initially, when Facebook entered the market as a social media platform, very few knew that it would use all of its data to run its business. Allowing people to engage with their social group was the only agenda social media seemingly had. But, no matter how convincing they tried to be, there was always a business aspect to it. But should we be worried? No. Because this exact data can prove helpful to us businesses. Social media allows us to broaden our reach, find the right audience and ultimately grow our buyer list. Which is why designing the perfect social media marketing plan is imperative to every business.
To enable you to achieve this, I am going to help you with 10 steps to create the perfect social media strategy.
1. Define your journey
To start with, you should define why you want to use social media for your business. The reasons can be to increase brand awareness, generate new leads, or to get more traffic to your website.
If you have already defined your goals, then your next step should be your budget. But remember, it is important to be realistic! You should have ‘SMART’ – specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-sensitive goals. Make a list of the steps that you need to achieve said goals. This will help you stay focused and consistent.
An example of a realistic goal would be to increase your traffic by 15%. So, you can estimate that to reach this goal, you need to optimize your post in such a way that it reaches at least 2000 people. Reverse calculating your goals and determining your budget accordingly just makes it easier to measure the outcome.
2. Define your target audience
Every niche is going to have a different set of target audience based on what product or service they are selling. You must create a buyer persona in order to define your target audience.
It can be defined using the following questions:
- What is the cost of your product or service?
- Which income class would find your products affordable?
- Is your service for small or big businesses?
- What would be their revenue? Where are they located physically?
3. Know your competition
If you want your business to thrive, then you have to outsmart your competitors to win more deals than them. You can learn a lot from your competitors’ mistakes. You can find (ahem, another term for stalk ;) ) all your competitors by using hashtags relevant to your business.
Additionally, you need to find out which social media platforms are your audience using to search for and discuss the products that you have to offer. Once you find them, get active on these platforms. The best way to do this is to create appropriate content for these platforms.
If you are using YouTube, you will have to produce videos. But for Instagram, you can use images only. If you want to share links to your website articles, you will have to use Twitter or Facebook. You can always try new content formats while using social media for lead generation.
4. Delegate work
One good way of making your social media strategy work is realizing that sometimes work should be shared. Instead of burdening one person with the humungous task of handling social media, you can instead share the work. For instance, one person can create the content and another can handle posting, optimizing and measuring the performance of these posts on your social media.
5. Consistent Branding
If you have made the choice to use multiple social media platforms for your brand, then remember to keep it consistent. Use the same logo, colors or fonts in every platform that you use. This ensures that your customers do not get confused and that their brand recall is high.
6. Constantly engage your audience
Once your audience starts responding to your posts, make them feel special and heard. This could be done by liking their comments and writing posts on their requests, but all of this should be done professionally so that your brand vision is not altered or compromised on. Some other ways of keeping them engaged are using polls, questions, images with questions, surveys, quizzes, etc.
7. Nurturing/promotional content ratio
The best proportion is 70/30. 70% content should be designed to engage followers and 30% for promotional purposes.
Everything that your audience is interested in should form engaging content. You should aim to strike a conversation so that the audience doesn’t shut away because of promotional content. Once you keep your audience engaged in liking your posts, interacting with you, it is likely that in time they receive your product sales info very well.
8. Track your growth
Google analytics can provide you with information such as the content which worked best for you and the one that didn’t. You can utilize this information to decide and guide your social media strategy for lead generation. Evaluating your previous performances can help you do better next time.
9. Stay alert and updated
As a growing business, you should be aware of all the recent market trends and utilities. This helps you give your audience an elevated experience. No matter how swamped you are with your workload, never ignore educating yourself on the happenings of your industry. Because this is the way you are going to increase the organic growth of your business. You can join groups related to your niche on Facebook and LinkedIn, Twitter Lists, G+ Communities. Be agile and flexible in your plans.
10. Review, revise, and improve your work
Though it helps to go in traditional ways and methods, it is always a good idea to keep experimenting with new things and new social media platforms. Just because you are getting good results on Facebook and Twitter does not mean you should ignore LinkedIn and Pinterest. Keep experimenting, learning and upgrading your strategy.
These are just some of the hacks that you should follow to make social media work for you. Hope you found them useful! Do you have any more hacks from your own experience? I’d love to hear them. Just leave a comment below.
(Editor’s plug: Looking for a CRM to help manage your social media leads? Check LeadSquared)