At its most basic level, your brand is what sets you apart from your competitors. It’s the collection of people’s thoughts, emotions, and associations about your business. And when it comes to social media, your brand is essential because it’s one of the first things potential customers will see when they come across your page.
As a result, today, we no longer ask ourselves, “what is social media good for?” but rather, “how can my business make the best use of social media?” Social media and social networks are essential to implementing an effective marketing strategy: worldwide, there are over 4.7 billion active users on various social networks.
But despite this, many businesses are doing social wrong because they don’t have a well-founded strategy, which can make it challenging to stand out from the crowd. That’s why in this article, we’ll share all the key steps to build your social media communication strategy and get better results!
The 5 Goals of Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing (SMM) is a strategy based on distributing content optimized for social media and building a community through that content.
Nowadays, social networks have considerably influenced marketing and have become essential tools for business communication. Therefore, you must implement actions on these platforms to promote your business and contribute to its growth. We have identified the five main objectives:
- Develop the visibility and notoriety of your company.
- Promote your brand, your products, and your business online. Create engaging content to improve the image and perception of your brand to develop its customer base.
- Create a community of brand ambassadors and loyal followers by creating content and activities that promote engagement and interaction.
- Convert your social media contacts into leads and prospects. Influence and guide audience purchase decisions.
- Reinforce customer satisfaction and control your online reputation.
But be careful not to lose sight of your main objective, which is to generate more qualified traffic on your website. By managing multiple social media platforms, all at the same time, it’s easy to get lost. So always be strategic when selecting the social networks you work with. Favour those networks that focus on the demographic of your target audience.
The Benefits of Social Media Marketing
Target specific demographics
Social media marketing lets you identify specific user demographics and advertise your business to attract your target audiences. Social is also a great way to get critical information about your buyer personas (i.e., their mindset, likes, and dislikes)—an opportunity not to be missed.
Improve Customer Service
You will be able to improve your company’s customer service KPIs with the help of real-time customer feedback from social media. This will allow you to enhance customer service and achieve better customer satisfaction objectives.
Learn from Competitors
You can also gather information about your competitors. This will benefit you later on in adjusting your branding campaign and marketing strategy.
Building a Successful Branding Strategy on Social Media
Before getting started, it’s essential to define a real strategy based on consistency, coherence, and organization. Need help getting started with a social media marketing plan and with creating content? Here are the essential steps to build an effective social media marketing strategy:
Step 1: Set goals
Each of your goals should be SMART:
By following this method, you’ll be able to ensure that you obtain concrete results. These SMART goals can be the same for various social platforms or unique for each, depending on the business’s specific needs.
Step 2: Learn everything from your audience
First, define your ideal customer, otherwise known as your buyer persona.
Knowing everything about your ideal customer(s) is essential to helping you create your content. This step in the process is crucial to know what to say and where to say it. As a business owner and marketer, you are expected to develop content perfectly aligned with your audience’s expectations. Your objective should be to reach your audience at the right place and time, so be responsive.
To define your audience, ask yourself the right questions: What are their interests? What do they need? What challenges do they face? What social networks do they use the most?
Step 3: Conduct a competitive analysis
Before producing relevant content, you must first identify your competitors and learn from their own strategies. This social listening is a good way for you to identify potential opportunities to exploit. Research your competitor’s company name and keywords on various social platforms; then, find out what kind of content they share and what their community is saying about them.
You should focus on social networks where your audience is underserved rather than trying to stand out amongst large companies with large marketing budgets. When researching competitors, use what you find to inspire your advertising campaigns.
Step 4: Create your social media content calendar
Of course, while sharing content is essential, knowing how often you need to share content to generate maximum results is equally important. This is where a social media calendar can be a huge help. It helps you organize all your social media content, plus announce the objective assigned to each of your social networks so that everything you publish in this calendar contributes to supporting your goals.
Step 5: Test, verify, evaluate and adjust your strategy
After your social media efforts, performing an audit is crucial in optimizing your future strategy. You’ll need to ask yourself the following questions:
- What worked and what didn’t?
- Who is interacting with your company on social media?
- Which social network(s) achieved the best results?
- How does your business compare to the competition?
Gather your customer feedback. Don’t hesitate to ask your prospects and customers if you meet their needs and expectations to improve your overall strategy.
Social networks evolve rapidly, and new social platforms emerge as new audiences grow. As a result, it’s difficult to predict the evolution of social media when this sector is so dynamic.
Regardless, it’s essential to stay informed. Follow news and trends on all your key social platforms. Stay informed on all the latest by following industry blogs (like ours!) or working with a digital marketer whose job it is to stay on top of everything social media.
This article was inspired by my colleague Gilles Dandel, a long-standing member of the WSI. He leads a digital marketing agency servicing clients in France.