Successful social media marketing strategies involve carrying out four key steps before a full marketing campaign is launched. These key steps can also be carried out for an existing social media marketing campaign or one that is not generating the desired performance in relation to the investment of time and resources.
Step 1 - Carry out preliminary online market research to answer the following questions:
•Who is the target audience?
This question can be in terms of gender, age, region and any other factor of interest. For example an insurance company may be more interested in dealing with companies than individuals. This requires an understanding of pushing a B2B (Business to Business) or B2C (Business to Customer) strategy.
•What content/trends are most appealing to the target audience?
You may not have the capacity to fully qualify what kind of content appeals to your target audience but once you learn the platforms and common topics of discussion in your industry, then you will be able to ascertain the kind of content that would befit your target audience.
•What percent of target audience is involved in social networking?
On average, currently most of the people that own smart gadgets (smart phone, Tablet, Laptop etc) belong to at least two social media platforms, however there is no guaranteed evidence that its bible truth. People join new platforms every moment as to when they learn that a given platform would improve their business results.
•Can any of the platforms the business currently utilizes or content the business currently distributes be integrated into social media marketing strategy?
Setting out a clear distinction of who you want to be your target consumer gives clear direction to who should be emphasized in all the organizational social media marketing campaigns. The type of content and its frequency through the most suitable social media platform are very key to note while designing a social media marketing strategy.
Step 2 - Ask current clients/customers about their social media habits
Design out a simple questionnaire to all customers that visit the stores/ offices to be able to ascertain client’s social media habits and following trends.
Get feedback by sending brief email with link to short survey questions (e.g. surveymonkey.com).
For businesses that have got a certain database of their customers email addresses, it’s advisable to adopt online feedback channels to enable a wide reach of the organizations customers.
Analyze feedback to determine social media usage, social media platforms, opinions about social media etc.
Step 3 - From Step 2 above determine which social media platform best reaches the target audience
•Is it Facebook or Twitter or blogging etc.?
•What applications can you use to survey and analyze trends, performance and usage of the social media platform?
Step 4 - Start simply, analyze the performance and add more complexity
Start with a simple, basic approach, and analyze trends, performance and usage of the social media platform.Adapt and refine social media marketing strategy by following trends, add more complex content such as videos, blogs and other features etc. if needed.
By Mwebya Fred