It’s no secret that social media platforms are popular. According to the Pew Research Center, over 3 billion people use social media each month (42% of the total global population!), and all age demographics within America have a healthy presence on social networks.
The most popular networks used in America are Facebook (60.6%), Instagram (37.4%), and Snapchat (30.9%). According to the research firm Comscore, young people spend the most time on Facebook in comparison to other platforms.
Because many people spend a lot of time on social media platforms, it makes sense for businesses to “follow the eyeballs” and have a presence there to drive awareness and conversions. However, many businesses are not effective at connecting with consumers according to social analytics firms:
Only 27% of social media user respondents will be prompted to purchase products after seeing content shared on brand social pages.
51% said they would unfollow a business on social media if they published irritating posts.
27% said they would mark/report the brand and page as spam and block them for irritating posts.
To avoid these issues from occurring with your business, it’s crucial to have a strong social media marketing plan. Fortunately, that can be accomplished by following six simple steps.
1. Determine Your Goal
The first thing you should do is ask yourself, “What do I want my efforts to produce?”. This may sound like a no-brainer, but many marketers skip this step and focus on the how they will act ("My social media goal is to be on Facebook"). Answering this question will allow you to focus on what you want to accomplish and give you direction on how to act ("My social media goal is to generate $100 in revenue per day from these networks").
2. Define Your Metrics
Next, prioritize the social media metrics that will allow you to determine how you are performing against your goal. Here are some figures to consider:
Reach - Post reach is the amount of times your post was served in areas like Facebook’s newsfeed. Monitoring this will allow you to determine how and where your content is spreading across a social network.
Clicks - This is the amount of times somebody clicked or tapped on your content. Link clicks are crucial towards understanding how users move through your marketing funnel. Tracking clicks per campaign is essential to understand what drives curiosity or encourages those to buy.
Likes - More than just standard Likes, these likes are defined from paid or organic content. What copy or image drove the most engagement? Did an actions cause my Page Like count to decrease?
Hashtag Performance - What were your most used hashtags on your own side? Which hashtags were most associated with your business? What hashtags created the most engagement?
Sentiment - This is the measurement of how users reacted to your content. Did customers find your recent campaign engaging? What type of positive or negative sentiment are people associating with you? It’s always better to dig in and figure out what the public is saying about you.
Engagement - This is the total number of social interactions divided by the number of impressions. For engagement, it’s about seeing who interacted and if it was a good ratio out of your total reach. This provides insight to how well your audience perceives you and willingness to interact.
3. Identify Your Audience
Social media platforms know a lot of information about their users (they literally know what a user “likes”). While this can be creepy, it works well for businesses because there are opportunities to do hyper-targeted posts and other ads. Define the core demographics for your target audience (age, gender, location, income, education, interests, and so on) so you can place your message in front of the right people.
4. Select Your Channel Coverage
Does your audience live on Facebook? Instagram? Twitter? LinkedIn? Snapchat? Identify where they are so your business can form appropriate connections.
Additionally, strongly consider using paid advertising options to increase your reach with your target audience. Organic reach on its own likely will not be enough. This is particularly true on Facebook as many posts from businesses had their reach reduced in order to make the experience more appealing for the platforms users. As a result this made appearing in a consumer’s newsfeed “pay to play”.
5. Produce Engaging Content
Here are some angles to consider based on the goal determined in the first step:
Increase Brand Awareness: To create authentic and lasting brand aware, avoid a slew of promotional messages. Instead, focus on meaningful content and a strong brand personality that reflects your values and the benefits they bring to consumers.
Drive In-Person Sales: Some businesses rely on social media marketing efforts to drive in-store sales. Is your business promoting enough on social to reward those who come to you? What about alerting consumers to what’s going on in your stores?
Improve Return-On-Ad-Spend (ROAS): Does your brand promote user-generated content? Do your followers react positively without any initiation? Getting to this point takes time and effort with creating a positive brand persona on social
Also, consider what type of content format performs best. Do people respond well to a videos? What about your posts with prominent photos?
6. Track Your Efforts
Finally, make sure you have a platform that is accurately collecting your data. This can be a publisher owned & operated tool, or it could be from a third-party (however, those can come at an additional cost and can be expensive). As you collect that data, assess what is (or isn’t) performing well, and figure out why something is performing the way that it is so you can make optimizations to further improve your performance against goal.
Social media will no doubt continue to play a significant role in our lives. Regardless how big or small your business is, know there are opportunities to engage with consumers within those platforms. Contact us today for a free consultation on how you can grow your performance through social media.