In today’s day & age, social media has become a powerful tool to reach out to millions of people in no time. You might think, there are so many brands on social media, but only a few of them get recognition. This is because of a good social media strategy in place. And how a social media marketing strategy can take your brand & its products from zero to hero.
But you might have a few questions – What is social media marketing? What are its benefits? & most importantly how to create a social media marketing strategy? Don’t worry, we are here to help you out!
What defines Social Media Marketing?
If you want your brand to reach the heights of success, social media presence is crucial. Social media marketing uses digital platforms to promote your brand. It includes platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Email, etc. Social media acts as a catalyst and markets your product/brand to generate huge traffic. All you need to do is share relevant content to interact with your audience and increase your user engagement.
How does Social Media Marketing benefit your business?
- Greater visibility of the brand on social media
- Large audience
- Brand awareness
- Promotes sales
- Brand equity
- Tackle competition
- Brand recall value increases
What is Social Media Strategy?
Social media strategy is your brand’s communication plan to meet set business goals. Here are the top Social Media Marketing goals you must take into consideration in order to help your brand reach new heights. For an effective social media strategy, you need to target the right social media platform to get to your target audience. It also helps you understand what type of content your audience likes, and what are their needs. This strategy can help build a good reputation for the brand, as it aims to tackle customer’s problems & fulfill business goals.
Why is Social Media Marketing Strategy so important?
With quick responses on social media, the brands need to be on their toes. One bad tweet or comment on social media can ruin the reputation of the brand. This gives a big advantage to your competitors.
To avoid such a situation, social media strategy keeps the brand equipped to tackle customer’s problems beforehand and gives them no reason to complain. Very few of the many social media agency and in-house social media teams are capable of executing a well-planned strategy that understand the customers and act immediately.
So, if a shoe brand is marketing in India, they wouldn’t use cow or god in their marketing projects, as it could hurt the sentiments of Indians. If the brand used god or cow’s image on the shoe, it would blow up the internet with negative comments.
Sometimes, social media strategy can help save a brand too. In 2015, when Nestle Maggi was banned, the brand turned to social media. The brand addressed all the negative comments & queries of the customers, and kept a strong front by saying Maggi has no added MSG. By addressing & interacting with people on social media, Nestle Maggi again won the hearts of Indians.
Steps to Create a Social Media Strategy:
1. Know Your Purpose:
Before designing your campaign or preparing a social media strategy, ask yourself, what do you want your brand to achieve from it?
- Is it brand awareness?
- Is it to push sales?
- Is it to generate new leads?
- Is it to gain more followers?
- Generate traffic to your website?
Let’s say, you want to increase your website footprints through social media. What will you do? The solution is your social media platforms should redirect viewers or customers to the website. You can achieve this by organizing a contest on social media that takes the participants to the website or inform the audience about discounts & offers which can only be redeemed on the website.
This strategy indirectly increased the brand’s interaction with the audience on social media and pushed sales on the website. A good social media strategy with a clear campaign objective can do wonders for a brand.
2. Know Your Target Audience:
If your brand sells luxurious high-end cars and markets it to lower middle-class people on Facebook, your strategy is a complete failure. The right target audience for the car would be rich businessmen. They have the money & desire to purchase the car.
If you want to understand, what kind of audience suits your product category, use the Value, Attitudes & Lifestyle model. It helps you understand the primary motivation of consumers behind purchasing products. Along with consumer behavior, it also helps in understanding the demographics of consumers like age, income, gender, social status, etc.
If you crack your target audience’s behavior, you can easily bypass the competition. Research on target audience can tell you:
- Which customers are you missing on?
- Which social media platforms do they use?
- Can they become your target audience?
- Build a social media strategy to divert competitor’s audience to your brand.
3. Know Your Social Media Platforms:
Let’s say, you are a brand that sells agarbattis. Your primary target audience are housewives in their 30’s and above, and the main platform to promote is Facebook. If you promote agarbattis on Twitter, you will see no spike in sales, as your target audience is not there only. When you are understanding your target audience, you also need to understand which social media platform they use and why?
Also, every piece of content may not be suitable for all platforms. For eg: You market a product which requires a lot of instructions. With twitter’s 250 characters limit, you can’t promote the brand there. For such content, Email marketing or Facebook can be used to hold the viewer’s attention.
With Instagram’s 24hr story feature, short & temporary content can be put up, which is not required in the long run. Also on Instagram, people’s attention span is quite less, so the content needs to be short & quirky for it to be memorable.
Other than this, you will also have to see:
- Which platform gives the most amount of conversion rates or clicks?
- Check your competition and which platform are they using?
- Use the right social media platform for making your content memorable.
4. Relevant Content:
If you share outdated content with your audience, they will be completely ignorant or disinterested in the brand. You must keep up with recent trends and incorporate them in your content.
For eg: we all are surrounded by chit chats of Coronavirus, and Mumbai Police used this subject as content for their creative social media strategy. The audiences instantly connected with it, because it’s relatable.
You will be required to research what content connects the most with your audience.
- Is it memes?
- Is it videos?
- Is it stories?
- Is it concept-driven posts?
For eg- Zomato used ‘Harmonium Chacha Meme’ to promote its brand. For a brand like McDonald’s concept-driven posts are appreciated by the audience. If it’s a young brand like Tinder, memes work brilliantly.
Evaluate the personality of your brand and the audience to see what kind of content suits the best!
5. Execution & Evaluation:
While executing the social media strategy, keep an eye at every stage.
- Check out for loopholes.
- See if rectifications can be made in the middle of the ongoing campaign?
- Which platform gets the most attention?
- What content does the audience like?
- Is there any negative feedback?
- What can be done to tackle the audience’s queries & comments?
- Prepare the next social media strategy, by considering the above points.
- Create & curate engaging content.
We hope this guide helped you understand the basics of social media marketing & inspired you to make your own creative social media strategy. Put your brand on the world map on social media!