Social media marketing has become a ‘buzz’ term in the last number of years. The reality is that it’s a very important part of the bigger picture that is ‘online marketing’. In order to compete these days we must take social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin very seriously indeed. From our own experience, we find Twitter best of all in terms of getting free traffic to our offers and web pages without paying for ads. Facebook, on the other hand, has become a kind of pay per view sort of platform. Without paying for ads or boosting posts, the amount of people who will actually see your posts or Facebook business page content will be very minimal. We came upon this article below on filtergrade.com which goes into great detail on the whole concept of social media marketing. We thought you as our readers would find it really useful to gain a greater understanding of this marketing strategy and it should help in the process of mapping out your own plan of how best to go about making your social media marketing strategy work. That said, here’s the article below. If you wish to go to the original article source, be sure to click the link at the foot of this post.

 

“Everyone in business needs to be in the business of social media marketing. No matter your opinion on social media as a whole, it’s impossible to ignore that that’s where customers spend their time.

But even now that social media is an integral part of our lives, many businesses still struggle to create social media marketing goals that are going to help them succeed. Today we’re going to be looking at some great tips for setting goals and attaining them!

Set SMART Goals

 

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To start with, we’re going to look at some basic tenants of any good marketing strategy. When setting goals it is important to set SMART goals. SMART stands for:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Timely

This is a straightforward guide to make sure the goals you set are reasonable. If it passes all of these requirements, then you know you have a solid goal!

Let’s take a look at a simple goal that meets all of these requirements: I want to gain 100 Facebook Likes in one week through Facebook advertising.

It’s specific, by stating that I want 100 followers. By that same token, it is measurable. I will be able to see what my current Likes are and what they are a week later. It’s attainable, as 100 Likes in one week is not too extreme if you craft an effective ad strategy around this goal. It is relevant, because gaining followers (at least legitimate ones!) is usually a good thing for your brand. Lastly, it is timely because we have set one week as the time-frame, and it is a reasonable one.

Regardless of what the goal actually is, you need to make sure that you know what you’re getting yourself into. Ensuring that your goal is SMART will keep you from getting in over your head, and keep you grounded. It will also make achieving your goal much more fulfilling. If you don’t set how many Likes you want to gain, then how will you really know when to celebrate?

Figure Out What is Valuable

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Going beyond just the five points of setting SMART goals, you need to make sure that the goal you choose is actually the right goal. This starts with deciding what is truly valuable. In our previous example, we aimed to get 100 Facebook Likes. But is that actually valuable? Sure, having 100 more people aware of and interacting with our brand is great, but if those people don’t actually engage in a transaction with your business, you may not actually find any value in attaining them. Instead, you can make your goal: I want to get 100 clickthroughs to my product page in one week through Facebook advertising. This goal is likely more relevant to your overall goal than just getting Likes, and will provide more value to you, if your ultimate goal is to increase sales. This is not to say that getting Likes isn’t a good goal, but maybe it’s a sub-goal. Your primary goal can be to increase sales, but you can drive those sales through social media and aim to get a certain number of Likes along the way.

Here are some common goals that you could try to achieve with social media:

  • Increase brand awareness
  • Increase online sales
  • Improve ROI of social channels
  • Get a better idea of what customers want
  • Drive traffic to your website
  • Increase brand engagement and loyalty
  • Generate new sales leads
  • Drive customer service with social media

These goals are only attainable if you plan for them and build a strategy around them. None of them are going to succeed overnight. But as long as you have a clear vision of what will make your business successful, your goals will be well-aligned.

 

All Kinds of Research

social-media-marketing-research

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A lot of research needs to go into creating a social media marketing goal.

One aspect of this research involves looking at what your competition is doing. Obviously you can’t know exactly what their social media goals are, but you may be able to identify through their social media content what sorts of things they value. For example, at a basic level it should be obvious if they are aiming to drive sales or engage the community as their primary goal. Observing what everyone else is doing gives you the option to compete on that same front, or try to gain advantage somewhere else. If your competitor is focusing on getting user-generated content, you can pivot and try to be the customer service expert on your social media.

Hopefully you have already done this next research, but if not it is the first thing you should do! That is researching the demographics that you want to target. Find out who would be interested in your product or service, then create a marketing persona. Make sure you also look into the general demographics of the social media platforms available to you. You don’t want to waste any time working on a social media platform if your target market doesn’t use it.

 

Create a Content Plan

create content plan social media marketing

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No marketing strategy is complete without content, and this is especially true on social media. Every post you make is content. This can be a single line of text, or a piece of multimedia. When designing your content strategy, there are a few questions you need to answer:

  • What type of content (text, image, video, etc.) does your target audience enjoy?
  • Are there multiple target audiences that require different kinds of content?
  • How frequently and when will you post, and will this vary depending on the type of content?
  • Who will create which content and who is responsible for posting it?
  • Will certain content only be posted on certain platforms?
  • Will you pay to promote the content, and what type of content should be promoted?

It is important to make sure all of the content you create has a purpose in your overall strategy, which is why it’s essential to answer these questions before you begin. This helps create a process flow, especially if you work on a team. Designate who creates, who posts, and who monitors the social media platforms. This kind of preparation is easy if you use a platform such a Hootsuite to schedule your posts. You can have all of the content created and scheduled months in advance for a social media marketing strategy. Creating a calendar and seeing the whole strategy at once really helps you nail down your goal. You can easily audit the strategy and make sure that every aspect of it somehow ties back to your overall goal.”

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