Are you a fan of basketball? Football? Any sports that are played by a team, really. If you are, then you probably that most teams have at least one star player that they look up to for inspiration during a rough game. You also know that some teams have more than one star player. If you are not familiar with any sport at all, well, you are missing out. Assuming that the sports analogy resonates with you, you know that having a star-studded team on the same team on a field of play is no guarantee of victory. At the end of the day, one player can only do so much in a team, but there is no telling what a team can do even without any notable star player.
Similar reasoning can be applied in social media marketing. The different tactics that firm employ can be looked at as players in a team. Indeed, there are many firms that have superb social media marketing tactics that at the end of the day remain star players isolated on the field of play and hence show limited effectiveness. Tactics may encompass excellent decision-making in picking social media campaigns and they do produce the occasional result, but consistency requires coordination that culminates in the creation of a watertight strategy. It is the strategy that ensures each decision made and tactic applied is geared and optimally positioned for the betterment of the organizational position. Discussed herein are some of the elements that are instrumental in the creation of a winning strategy.
01. Map out your business goals clearly
Before you even contemplate having a strategy, you must first set out your business goals in a clear manner. Eventually, social media and all other marketing strategies are only routes to a certain destination and the destination is attaining your goals. Therefore, you first need to examine the goals that you have as an organization. It goes without saying that if they are inexistent, you must first set clear goals, as there are no slaves without a master. Once they are in place, consider all the ways that you can employ social media and settle at specific targets that you want it to contribute towards the attainment of the goal. Preferably, you should have a manageable number of primary and secondary goals that you are working towards.
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02. Follow the goals up with marketing objectives
Goals are only useful if you have the means in place to move towards them, and this comes in the form of marketing objectives. These are the specific parameters that detail how each goal will be attained. They are like a map that gets you from where you are to where you want to be. To be able to follow up on the effectiveness of the objectives, you should make them specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time bound or SMART. All of the component parameters that define a high quality objective are equally important and should be treated as such.
03. Research, identify, and learn your audience
Social media is all about interaction, in this case, between you and your audience. You must therefore take time to learn your clientele. Learn their characteristics. Learn what their composition is, their sex, what topics appeal most to them, what problems they face the most, their occupations among others. Use this information to create buyer personas of your clients, based on which you may make the decision on the best way to accurately target them. The closer your constructed buyer personas come close to the personalities of the actual clients, the more relevant you are with your targeting, and therefore the more buzz your social media channels will generate.
04. Know your competitions
Chances are that you are not the only player in the market that is targeting the market segment that you are. In this respect, it is helpful for you to familiarize with the competition that you will face for your clientele. Take a keen interest in your closest competitors and examine their marketing strategy in detail. Look at the level of engagement that they derive from their strategies. This is the closest you can get to the actual results before you actually launch into the market. Use the resultant information to fine-tune your strategy to position it for more success.
05. Pick your channels
Information is power, and more so in marketing than any other field and hence the inclination to obtain the highest amount of information possible from the initial stages of the marketing plan. Once you are through with it though, use the derived information to decide which channels are with the best prospects of success in your campaign. With the information, you are able to let go of the need to reach virtually everyone. You can concentrate on the channels that promise the most meaningful engagement.
06. Customize a content strategy to suit your needs
Social media is marketing success can only be achieved with ideal social media content. Once you have the channels in place to reach your audience, you must develop the content that will draw the highest number of readers and give you the best shot at turning them into buyers. However, attracting readers is about more than just posting client. Optimization of the process is dependent not only on the content quality, but also on the frequency of posting and the time of posting. There is no blanket “best” for these factors and hence every firm can only determine what words for them depending on their consumers’ traits.
07. Allocate resources and personnel
Implementation of the social media strategy is going to require resources of differing scales, dependent on your organization’s size. Some organizations go as far as to have an independent social media marketing budget, but in most cases, it is usually part of the larger marketing budget. Either way, the relevant resources have to be allocated to the department that is handling it for the campaign to roll out. This is guided by the projected cost and the laid strategy. Internally, between members of the team, there has to be a high level of organization where different people are assigned specific roles to handle. Division of labor optimizes performance, allowing people to focus on their areas of greatest strength, and duties to be performed smoothly without confusion.
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