Social Media has transformed the whole marketing concept since the time of its inception. Today no business organization, regardless of their size, operating-sector and preferences, can afford to stay out of social media.
The reason is very simple – the target audience of businesses are all active on one or multiple social media platforms round the clock.
Big companies have their team of social media managers working day and night for maintaining their social media image and marketing on their behalf.
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But small businesses do not have such privilege of relying on an expert because they do not have much spare-funds to invest in a social media manager.
But, this does not mean that businesses with small capital cannot build their brand or market it on these platforms. They certainly can!
This article is aimed to help those small businesses build their social media marketing strategy from scratch. Let us break the whole process into 8 chunks to understand it better.
Collect information about your target audience
The first and foremost step in creating a social media strategy is to know your target audience as much as you can. The more you know about your audience the better you can plan your strategy.
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You should collect all information about your target audience including – age, gender, location, occupation, income, likes, dislikes, problems, obstacles and any other information you can get access to.
The more specific details you have about your buyers’ persona, the more accurate your plans will be. The more accurate plans you make, the higher your conversion rate. And higher the conversion rate higher would be your profits!
Once you identify your target audience you know what social media platform they are more active on. Go ahead and target those social media platforms which are the hot choices among the people comprising your target audience.
Each social media platform is designed differently so you cannot master them all with just one technique. You need to target each of them individually rather than taking them like one bulk. Learn the working style and intricacies of each platform.
While learning different strategies for different sites keep in mind you need to create a logo that represents you similarly on all of the sites.
Make a posting strategy for each platform individually
When you are treating individual social media platforms as different units, certainly you need to create adifferent posting strategy for each of them.
Keep in mind the gist of posts on different platforms should be same because your ultimate goal for each of them is same. Only the style of expression should change according to the platform.
Posting strategy does not only include the style of expression but also the timing of the post. In starting you can post according to the general peak hours of these platforms.
After few weeks you can analyze and get your own data about the peak and down hours for your page.
Create a content calendar accordingly
After knowing your audience and getting connected to them through their favorite social media platforms the next important step is to create a content calendar.
Creating a social media profile is useless unless you get connected to your audience with consistent content.
You should have a detailed plan-sheet about the contents you are going to post with the exact timing of posting and following-up. Don’t only make a plan-sheet as almost every one of us did during school days… stick to it.
Set your goals and keep raising the bar
When you start your social media marketing, you should have a well-defined goal. Putting efforts without knowing where you are heading is a complete waste of time and effort.
The goal you set for yourself is the parameter against which you can measure the efficiency of your performance. The goal you set should be in alignment with your company’s goal.
If you have launched a new product your goal can be creating a buzz about the product. If you have a very small customer base your goal can be increasing your sales volume.
Whatever it is, the goal should be defined clearly in the measurable term. Once you achieve your goal, or come near it, raise the bar and work harder to achieve it.
Identify the key success metrics
After setting specific goals, you need to define the key success metrics to measure your performance accurately. Whatever the success metrics you choose, keep it simple and straightforward.
Suppose your goal is to inflate your customer base and increase your sales volume, then you can choose referral traffic or conversion rates as your key success metrics.
If your goal is to build your brand image, then the number of likes and shares can be used as your key success metrics.
Similarly, the number of comments and messages per post can be the success metric if customer engagement is your defined goal.
In the era of technology you do not always need a person; you can use technology to take some loads off your shoulder.
With such a large number of tools and their claim to be the most efficient, choosing the one best for you can be a daunting task.
But, the pain of searching the best tools with hit and trial method is worth taking as these tools can take a lot of your responsibilities.
There are different tools for different social media platforms and some of them are absolutely free while the others come at a price but with the option of free trial version. So, play well with the tools before investing in the one you like most.
Analyze and re-plan
It would be an over-expectation with yourself, if you think you’ll make the perfect plan in one go.
Even the masters of social media marketing come to the final plan after some rounds of trial and error. And even the best plan needs to be reviewed and adjusted for any change occurring in social media trends.
The latest trend for example is the increasing use of mobile devices for social media, making image-optimization an essential element.
Today one needs social media designs that are compatible with large, as well as small screens. So keep on analyzing your plan and its effects as well as keep making bettering your earlier plans.
Create your own strategy and learn the art of social media marketing. Happy learning!
Let me know your thoughts in the comments.
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