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The rise of social media has opened up a modern channel for marketing, and there’s no doubt that it has a massive potential to multiply a business. However, social media marketing isn’t just a matter of being online. It’s an easy trap for a business to set up a social media account but have no clue about what to do next. The only thing more harmful to your marketing strategy than not being online, is having a “dead account” that isn’t being updated or posted on. Social media marketing requires constant updating, as well as strategy and purpose. The digital world changes so quickly, and in order for a business to appear modernised and favourable, its social media marketing strategy must be well thought out and up to speed.
It’s essential to plan your strategy before you even begin creating a social media account. Here are some questions to consider when planning your businesses social media marketing strategy.
1. What are you trying to achieve with your social media marketing strategy?
I always emphasise that the most important question an entrepreneur or business owner must ask themselves is “Why?” So, first, consider why you’re in business and what your business goals are. It’s important to consider your business as a whole before you consider your social media marketing strategy. That’s because your business goals will always translate into your marketing goals. It also helps with your reasons for choosing social media as a marketing channel to reach your clients. Don’t just do it for the sake of marketing – you’ll lose time and energy. You should ensure that your social media strategy works to fulfil specific purposes.
Some examples are:
- To increase your followers and reach more of your target market
- To broaden your target market to additional demographics
- To increase brand awareness
- To create a brand identity
- To educate your clients through your posts
- To position yourself differently in the market (through unique and creative campaigns)
- To improve communication with your audience/market
- To sell your goods or services and increase profits
2. Who is your target market?
As a business owner, you’re likely to already have a very clear and specific understanding of who your demographics are. This includes their age, gender (if applicable), profession, location, relationship status (if applicable), and any other information that may specify or give reason to why they need your goods or services. All you have to do is simply find this demographic of yours online.
It’s also helpful to consider if your social media will attract a new target market and if you actually want it to. If so, consider your demographics for a potential additional target market, as well (as listed above).
3. Where is your target market?
Like any business strategy, you should go where your clients are. You don’t have to be on every social media platform. In fact, it’s more beneficial for you to choose one or two platforms and put all of your energy into creating quality leads through them (rather than quantity).
Having a basic understanding of what demographics are using what platforms will help you choose an appropriate platform to reach your clients. An Australian report (Feb 2018) shows that 60% of the Australian population is on Facebook and 50% of those log in daily. The most popular age range of Australian Facebook users is 25-39 years old, at approximately 6.1 million. However, ages 18-25 and 40-55 are not far behind, at 3.5 and 4.1 million respectively. This shows that Facebook has quite a diverse demographic, which is why most businesses don’t even think twice about creating a Facebook page.
Other social media platforms, such as Instagram, are targeted towards a younger demographic. The most popular age range for Instagram users is 18-24. However, another way to find your audience is to see where your competitors found theirs.
4. What message do you want to send to your target market?
This is where you consider your content. Keeping an active social media presence and an engaged audience is all about content. So, once you’ve found where your audience are, tailor your content to suit that platform.
For example, Instagram is great for posting for creative, aesthetically pleasing photos. Twitter is great for words, opinions, interaction and conversation, but must be short and sweet, as it only gives you 280 characters to work with. LinkedIn is useful for blogs, articles and video marketing, giving you an opportunity to discuss a concept in depth. Facebook should be both informative and fun, and also works well with video marketing and making posts go viral.
Whatever your content may be, it’s most significant if it’s consistent, of high quality and adds value to your customers.
5. Implement and measure success
Determine whether you’ve achieved your goals through the social media marketing campaign. Have you gained more followers? Have you generated more leads? Have you trended? Have you seen an increase in profits?
Measuring success is important in determining the future of your business and social media marketing strategy.
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