Let’s Plan Your Social Media Marketing Strategy For 2020
If you don’t have a social media marketing strategy in place yet, you are still driving in the dark. Today, social media marketing requires a novel set of skills whereby brands need to grasp the needs of their audience entirely.
Did you know that the largest virtual “city” that presently exists on planet Earth, is that of the worldwide web? At any point, an estimated 1.2 billion people are expected to be online, making us all serial netizens rather than simply citizens. Industries across the globe have recognized this and are turning increasingly digital in terms of their services, information broadcasting, public relations, and more.
Here, social media is fast becoming the preferred platform for marketing, as it has quickly surpassed the reach of mainstream media. Keeping this in mind, here are 7 social media strategies you need to implement this year, whether you are a young entrepreneur or a well-established brand.
1 – Establish your marketing goal
As with any successful philosophy, it all begins with a clear vision. What singular purpose do you wish to accomplish, through your social media strategy for 2020?
- If you are new in the field or wish to develop your brand, your marketing strategy will focus on enhancing your web presence and building awareness of your brand. In this case, key social media indicators include the number of followers for your brand and the number of shares you have for important posts.
- If your focus is on sales, then you will want your social media posts to generate potential leads. This is best tracked on your own website – like the Contact-Us or Help page – to understand how many of your social media posts were able to successfully redirect the user to your website.
- If your focus is on brand sustenance, you will want to increase customer loyalty by turning them into advocates for your business. You may also want to work on the retention of old customers. In either case, key social metrics will target customer engagement, including the number of likes, shares, comments, testimonials, etc. you regularly receive for your posts.
As you can see, defining your goal will also help you recognize your key social media metrics and indicators to measure your success.
2 – Discover your target audience
Every brand has a special “target audience” which keeps the brand alive and thriving. In social media terminology, your target audience has a “persona”, based on the kind of social media content they prefer. Hence, discovering your audience persona (also called buyer persona) will also help the platform find and target this audience for your posts.
So, who are these elite customers for your marketing strategy? Are they mostly women, or across millennials? Is there one demography that is more partial to your product? It’s time to find out.
Here, one step that invariably leads to marketing failure is when your “guestimate” your audience. This information is critical to your success, so use actual real-world data to discover this. It is well worth the time and investment.
3 – Research your audience and competitors
By this point, you have:
- Set a clear goal and defined top social media metrics to measure your success.
- Discovered the favorite audience for your brand.
The next step is to understand how the two work together. For this, you will need to better understand your audience:
- What kind of social media platform is your target audience most likely to use?
- What kind of “posts” do they like? Text, audio/visuals, or a mix of everything?
- Are there critical periods when you see higher audience engagement? Your top ads should target these slots.
A prudent way to understand your target audience is to research the social media pages of your strongest competitor. In fact, this is a guaranteed technique to discover what invariably works in your industry!
4 – Create unique, compelling content
This is a culmination of step 3, as you gain a better idea of the kind of content your audience likes, and your competitor provides. The next step is to surpass your competitors by providing even better content.
What is good content for social media? Here are some useful content tips for your 2020 social media marketing strategy.
- Can’t emphasize enough. Use VIDEOS. Did you know that in 2020, digital videos will drive 82% of the entire web traffic?
- Live videos – Do live videos showcasing the ‘human experience’
- Get your employees to engage with your brand on social media
- Share the latest company news.
- Share the industrial insights and market data your audience would like to learn about.
- Post educational articles and blogs. They generate web traffic as well.
- Share behind-the-scenes of how your operations work. Show the fun side of it.
- Do contests and giveaways to engage your potential customers.
5 – Create a social media calendar
This is like mainstream marketing, where you consciously plan and schedule your media releases for the entire year. This way, you can stay on top of your planned strategy, tweaking as required.
In the world of social media, the content you release is called a social media “post”. So, schedule the “what”, “when”, and “how” of your posts, so they are strategically scheduled to attract the maximum interest and engagement of your target audience.
Once this is done, it is best to put this on autopilot using popular tools like HubSpot and Hootsuite. This way, you never miss a scheduled post, and your audience knows to look forward to interesting social media updates from your brand.
6 – Analyze. Refine. Repeat
Here, the first step is to gather the results of your key social media metrics on a periodic basis (like every fortnight or once a month) and review them against your original goal.
One tip is to have “business” accounts on social media platforms (rather than “personal” accounts), as they come with 2 added advantages:
- Ability to verify your brand identity for your target audience. In fact, the blue tick you see on celebrity pages is a result of a business account!
- Ability to provide key social media metrics on your account, so you can measure its success.
The next step is to study the metrics data based on what you defined in step 1. For instance, consider that your goal was to increase customer loyalty, leading to growth and sustenance of your business. Accordingly, you planned your strategy around content carefully crafted to enhance audience engagement. However, engagement metrics continue to remain low.
In fact, you also realize that your social media “followers” are in low numbers. This may be an indication that you need to take a step back and rework your marketing strategy to first develop and popularize your brand.
As with mainstream marketing, this is a cyclic process, until you hit a sweet spot with the numbers, and they align perfectly with your marketing goal.
7 – Keep your eye on the numbers
This final step is an ongoing process. Today, there are more than a dozen social media platforms, and not all of them are useful to deliver the results you desire. Instead, keep an eye on the numbers to target the “Big 4” – presently Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter – to get maximum bang for your social media marketing buck.
A few facts before building a Social Media Marketing Strategy!
- The Internet is THE place, for massive numbers!
- 5 billion internet users, accounting for 60% of the world population.
- 8 billion already on social media platforms, including more than 50% of the world population.
- Also, 321 million users are added every year!
- And, social media clearly rules the web!
- Facebook leads the pack, with a whopping 2.5 billion users. It is also the most versatile platform, offering tremendous advertising opportunities for business.
- Instagram is a popular second with 1 billion+ users. Also, a significant number of them are under 40 years of age.
- A YouTube channel gives you access to 2 billion monthly users. But if you thought YouTube was just a video broadcasting platform, think again! In the past few years, it has quickly risen to become a preferred search engine, second only to Google. Also, this is a youth-heavy platform, with most users between 15 to 35 years of age.
- Twitter, with 300 million users, may seem like chump change compared to the other 3. And yet, it is the most used platform, as its users tend to log in several times a day.
Keep these happy numbers in mind each time you are tempted to give up on digital advertising. In the world of social media marketing, persistence is key!
You also don’t want to miss reading about these 18 Social Media Marketing Tools in 2020.