After the search engine giant Google, social networking sites are the most popular and extensively used by many internet users. 3.96 billion users use social networking sites out of 7.82 billion people in the world. It means that around 50% of the world’s population is a part of these social networking platforms.
Social media is an excellent platform for a business to increase its brand awareness, grow its followers, understand and learn more about the targeted audience, generate website traffic, and the list goes on. Social networking sites have millions of users.
It gives the marketers and entrepreneurs the perfect opportunity to introduce their business to the prospects and make them learn more about the brand and products.
If you have not integrated a social media marketing strategy with your overall eCommerce marketing, in that case, your business is missing out on huge benefits, targeting the prospects being the lowest of them.
With the global pandemic outbreak, people were forced to stay inside their houses and disconnect themselves physically from the rest of the world. During that time, people increased the usage of social networking sites to connect with their loved ones and entertain themselves.
A tsunami of prospects using these networking sites actively…what else could a marketer ask for?
If you plan to make your presence on social media and develop a sound strategy to market your brand online, you are in luck!
Because in today’s article, we have created a 10 step guide for creating a successful social media marketing strategy.
10 Key Steps to Create a Successful Social Media Marketing Strategy
1. Define Your Goals
The first step to create a successful social media marketing strategy is to set and define your goals. Ask yourself why you want to include social media marketing in your eCommerce marketing campaign?
Many inexperienced businesses believe that defining or setting the goals is not essential as the primary objective of every business is to earn profits and be successful. It is absolutely correct that the ultimate goal of each company is profit maximization and broadening the customer base, but that goal cannot be achieved overnight. Businesses must set short term, clear, and realistic goals to achieve their primary objective of profit maximization.
Having a proper set of goals allows the business to steer and measure the performance of its efforts.
Enlist all the goals you want to achieve through social media marketing, such as increasing your followers, increasing brand awareness, generating website traffic, promoting sales, etc. Make sure that the goals are very focused and specific. Setting unrealistic or vague objectives kills the purpose of marketing.
2. Understand Your Audience
As we have mentioned earlier, there are millions of people on social media sites. A business has to skim through a massive audience to search and target people who perfectly fit its buyer’s persona.
Regardless of its type and scale, every business designs or sells a product for a specific audience group. For instance, a business that sells gym clothes will have fitness enthusiasts or trainers as its buyers. Similarly, a brand that deals in toys will target toddlers’ and children’s parents. To put it simply, businesses cannot target all the people in the market to sell their goods.
The same rule applies to social media marketing; not every person present on a social site will be the company’s prospect. Before you log on to social networking sites to create your profiles, be crystal clear about which group of audience you want to target.
For example, a company that sells diamond pendants will primarily target females of the age group 20 to 50 years. It will focus on reaching and attracting young and middle-aged women to inform them about the brand and products.
Understanding your audience will help you formulate your content strategy and increase engagement on your social media posts.
3. Choose the Right Social Media Platform
Many social networking sites and apps are available on the internet to create your business’s profile and reach a wider audience. Many marketers believe that it is a fantastic idea to create a profile on every social site to target more prospects and boost sales. Do you also think that creating profiles on different platforms will give you quick results?
If yes, then we are afraid you are gravely mistaken.
Social media marketing strategy is not limited to profile creation on different platforms. A marketer has to plan out campaigns, design and publish graphical content, engage with the audience, and respond to their queries. Having numerous profiles will make it difficult for the marketer to manage, post, and engage with followers on every platform.
In the beginning, a marketer should start with two or three social media accounts where his targeted audience is available. For instance, a business that sells handbags and dresses for elderly ladies should create its profile on Facebook, as its ideal buyers are active users of this platform. If the same business creates a profile on TikTok, Snapchat, or Instagram, its marketing strategy will fail as the targeted audience is not found on these platforms.
Hence, before creating your profiles, research for the platforms where your targeted audience is present in abundance. If you choose the platforms where your prospects are not present, your social media marketing strategy will be a total failure.
4. Develop Your Content Strategy
Social media platforms are highly graphical. People do not like to read long, boring captions. If people come across a post that contains a never-ending caption, they simply scroll their screens to look for something exciting and entertaining.
Hence, amidst dozens of posts and images, you need to have fantastic content to grab your followers’ attention and get them to engage with your posts.
Try to come up with unique and interesting posts. Keep your captions short and direct your efforts for designing and publishing graphical content such as attractive pictures, short videos, and infographics.
Moreover, don’t just brag about your brand or products. People do not come to social media to hear you rave about your brand; instead, they want you to provide them with interesting and informative content.
For instance, if a skincare brand only talks about its products and how remarkable it is, it will lose many followers. On the contrary, if the brand shares tips and secrets to flawless skin, nails, and hair, people would love to follow its profile and engage with its posts.
5. Increase Your Followers
Suppose you are given a choice to follow one social account out of two; which one would you follow?
- Account A has 500 followers
- Account B has 100,000 followers
You would follow account B, as it has more followers. The number of followers made you believe that this social account is popular and delivers unique content. Online users check the number of followers or likes on the account before liking or following them. Hence, make sure to increase your followers to make your account appear authentic and not scam.
A simple way to increase your followers is to stay active, post consistently, and run paid ads. By running paid ads, your account and products will be advertised to the right audience. Upon clicking the ad, the interested prospects will land on your social profile.
Do not buy fake followers. While your number of followers may increase, the engagement rate will remain low, which could make your audience suspicious about your account.
6. Post Consistently
Social media marketing strategy is not limited to creating accounts and posting once in a blue moon.
You should post your content consistently to ensure that your audience remembers about your brand and products. If you post once or twice in a month, people will no longer remember you, and they might even unfollow you if they don’t see new posts on your profile.
Stick to a schedule for posting on social accounts. You can select any 2 or 3 days in a week to post your content and engage with your followers.
Remember to keep the content posting frequency optimal. Posting too much or too little can prove to be detrimental for your business. Publishing too many posts annoys the users, whereas; insufficient postings makes them forget the brand.
7. Promote Old Post
A business has thousands of other errands than creating content for its social media handles. Juggling between daily activities, content creation, receiving and processing orders, social media management can become quite overwhelming.
On the days when you are drowned in work and have no time for creating new content for your followers, put your previous posts to use. Check the older posts that received less engagement and repost them on your feed and invite the followers to share their feedback on it.
You can also share your previous posts on Facebook or Instagram stories and ask people to answer the question asked in the caption, or simply share what they think about those posts, etc.
8. Humanize Your Brand
The secret of social media marketing is to talk about your brand without sounding promotional. Now, if you are wondering what the purpose of social media marketing is if you cannot promote your brand or products, understand that social media marketing focuses more on connecting with your audience than advertising your products to them.
Use this platform to share with your audience what goes on behind the screen. Followers love it when brands talk about other things than their products or services. Share glimpses of how you manage your business activities, which raw materials are used to produce the products, how are your goods packaged and dispatched.
The audience would love to see such content and trust the brand as it goes beyond just posting pictures of its products.
Another tip to humanize your brand is to wish followers on special occasions and holidays, such as on Christmas, Republic day, New Year’s Eve, etc. Moreover, many famous brands created a guide and infographics to educate their followers about the global epidemic and how to prevent contracting the virus. The followers appreciate it when a brand goes the extra mile to create helpful content for them.
9. Host Giveaways
Remember we told you that increasing followers and engagement rate is vital to make the social account appear authentic and trusted?
Well, here you have it…a tried and tested way to increase your followers and boost engagement on your posts!
People love to participate in contests and giveaways. All they have to do is like, comment, and share the post on their profiles and invite other friends to do the same to win exciting prizes. Even if they do not win the giveaway, they aren’t going to lose anything.
Upload the picture of the gifts you will send to the giveaway winner and set some simple rules to participate. Refrain from setting complicated and never-ending rules such as liking all the social media handles, commenting under all the pictures posted on Instagram, inviting 35 friends to comment under the posts, etc. People do not have time to like innumerable pictures or tag multiple accounts. Thus, stick to basic rules to reach a wider audience and increase your followers.
10. Monitor Your Efforts
The last step for creating a successful social media marketing strategy is monitoring your efforts and analyzing the results. Keep an eye on the engagement rate, the response generated by your audience, and the reach of your content to ensure that your efforts and resources are headed to achieve your eCommerce marketing goals.
If people loved your particular post and it received lots of likes and comments, try to come up with more ideas to create and design posts that the audience loves. Similarly, if specific posts were not received well by the audience, understand its reasons and avoid them in the future.
Creating a social media marketing strategy is an ongoing process and not a one-time thing. Hence, once you have made your business’s profile on social sites, ensure to stay active, engage with your followers, respond to your followers’ queries, and create graphical content to make your social media marketing an absolute success.
Ricky Hayes is the Co-Founder and Head of Marketing at Debutify – a free Shopify theme, helping dropshippers build high-converting stores in minutes. He is a passionate entrepreneur running multiple businesses, marketing agencies, and mentoring programs.