- 87% marketers use social media for distributing content compared to 74% last year|
- 21% Pinterest users made a purchase after seeing an image of it on the site
- 83% marketers are on LinkedIn, making it the most popular social media network for content sharing
- 41% B2B and 39% B2C marketers distribute content via Google+
The statistics given above prove a point we all know – social media is vital. But I want to reiterate the importance of a social media marketing plan in digital marketing campaigns. By now, more than 80% marketers use one or more social networks. If you are one of them, are you seeing results? If your social efforts are paying off, kudos to you! But I want to talk to those who aren’t sure of social media or have a social media budget but don’t know which direction to take.
5 tips for your social media strategy
First and foremost, focus on how to be social and worry less about how to do social media. Social media is a marketing platform to help your business, not the other way round. Concentrate on using social platforms to better what you do; not be better at social media. If your social media marketing company is letting you do that, you’re in good hands.
Second, start gathering data. From customer traits and characteristics to current social and business metrics, there’s a lot of data out there that can be captured and analyzed. Build an ark, a repository of all the information about your user which will eventually benefit you in your quest for becoming social.
No matter how many social media packages you finalize, remember to listen and compare first. Here are some tips to get you started:
The answers will clear a lot of clutter and help you understand the problem area(s) so that you can take preventive/corrective action.
- What is being said about you/your business?
- What is being discussed about other competitors or other topics of interest?
- What is the general sentiment?
- Who is saying it?
- Where are they saying it?
Third, pick one objective you like to attain. Why are you on social media in the first place? There could be more than one reason but start with a clear cut goal in mind and once you reach it, move onto the next one. Do you want loyalty? Or, maybe, you badly need to increase awareness. No, wait, isn’t sales the end goal of all marketers? Questions are aplenty; only you know the answer.
Fourth, accept that you cannot measure anything and everything. Social media measurement was dodgy in the past, but not now. Metrics are available for things like advocacy, awareness and sales but your social media marketing plan should guide you towards what you measure and how. It saves time, costs and the unnecessary psychological burden of having to know everything that's out there.
Lastly, remember to measure behavior and not merely the numbers. If you’re targeting Facebook, a weak metric would be counting the number of fans. Rather, the engagement rate is a much stronger and meaningful metric. Similarly, how many clicks your page managed to garner doesn’t say much. But the number of offers redeemed is a much better and desirable metric.
Author Bio: An avid reader, blogger and writer, Henry Smith is a successful social media professional, managing online communities for Fortune 1000 companies as well as startups. He strongly advises marketers to have a rock solid social media marketing plan first and then take things forward.
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