Sound Social Media Strategies: What does it really boil down to.
The ultimate outcome of most social media marketing strategies is none other than “customer engagement”. More aggressive strategies do spare room for actual conversions (i.e. sales), but the overarching game here, at the bottom of the pyramid, is purely increasing our brand equity and building trust. Sure, the kind of business we’re in, definitely decides where we need to turn, in other words where our target customers hang out the most. Focus your energy on determining your ideal customer base, and identify the platforms to engage them in. It all starts with a buyer’s persona. An example would be:
“My target customer is Sarah, 34 years old, with two kids, living in X area” – including Sarah’s professional orientation and all the relevant details you can possibly think of — The more detailed the better. From this initial “screening”, we can then go ahead and easily identify the social media platforms Sarah hangs out the most.
It would be a true blessing if we could simply turn a switch on and have a social media machine churn for our business in a matter of seconds, cutting through all complexity. The fact of the matter though is that our effectiveness rests purely on our budgetary and time investments. Pretty mainstream, right?
Entry Level Strategy: This one is for businesses with very limited resources. On this level we are only trying to keep a business page active on social media. In case we don’t engage in such a low-level SMM management, then potential buyers might even think that we are out of business. Depending on business size and industry a standard price for this ranges from 150$ to 400$ per month. < Link: Check CI Web Group’s plans and pricing here. >
Basic Level Strategy: This better addresses the needs of businesses with small budgets. Going beyond the entry level strategy, it shows to potential customers that a business does care about its public image and adopts a more thoughtful approach on Social Media Marketing. It includes more creative and custom content. Examples include but are not limited to: Branded images, Calls- To- Action, Limited Display of Industry Authority . A usual price for such campaigns is anywhere from 400$ to 800$. < Link: Check CI Web Group’s plans and pricing here. >
Advanced Level Strategy: Social media is the New Age television. It’s where people spend most of their time and it’s also a place of comfort, making them more susceptible to influences. An advanced strategy is what most business should opt in for their Social Media Marketing needs. It includes everything mentioned on the two initial stages but it differs in some very important aspects. It incorporates authoritative and storytelling elements but above all it includes boosting (ie. paid advertising which takes impeccable storytelling and shares it with the world and the wider community which you operate in). Yes, SALES GALORE. This is priced from 800$ to 1,5k $ (+ Adspend). < Link: Check CI Web Group’s plans and pricing here. >
Aggressive Level Strategy: This is mostly recommended to businesses that have experienced unrivaled results with an Advanced package. The type of content created and circulated here makes a business an absolute authority in the eyes of their prospective customers. Text, blogs, visuals and video are all orchestrated beautifully to create an amazing result. This type of aggressive marketing includes ad boosting with higher budgets (ie. paid ads), custom content, integration into every touch point within their business (email, invoices, messaging, campaign, contest, network/fan building). In addition the campaign manager here is responsible to connect with customers. What’s more interesting is influencer outreach. Similar to placing an ad in a magazine, our aim here is to link a business’ social channels to established bloggers or other types of influences and/or publications. Such high level SMM can be normally enjoyed with 1,000$ to 3,000$. < Link: Check CI Web Group’s plans and pricing here. >
Facebook: The ultimate hangout
Look for businesses in your niche or domain that are relevant to your audience. When you like their page, what they’re posting will show up on your feed. You’ll have access to readymade content that you can share. A good strategy is to have 20% of your content come from outside of your news feed.
- Starting out on Facebook, keep these key points in mind:
- Picture posts are the most popular ones. Facebook tags a picture automatically for links, in case it doesn’t make sure to include one.
- Mix up your posts with occasional quotes. These get the highest number of eyeballs, after “picture” posts.
- Posting about recent happenings in your business vertical will get people talking.
- Use the CTA(call-to-action) button to direct users to your website/sell your e-book/ signup for your newsletter.
- Want your FB page to be more engaging? Try these:
- Invest time on FB insights to determine time of day for highest traffic, demographics and type of most liked posts.
- Posts questions about what your audiences would like to see more of.
- Put in effort to create custom backgrounds and quotes in attractive fonts using recite, behappy or quotescover.
- Leverage your cover photo to announce new campaigns, launch products and ask for likes.
- Spending on Facebook? Do it wisely:
- Set up Facebook ads, it’s pretty intuitive.
- Target a specific niche, not a broad keyword.
- Pay for clicks not impression. It takes a couple of days to find out what’s working and what’s not. Test ads and tweak where necessary.
- Take a cue from popular pages in your niche, and model your target audiences based on those pages.
Twitter: It’s not all about hashtags!
- For Starters:
- Similar to your Facebook strategy, follow influencers. It’s like having a conversation with the best in the industry.
- Get involved in a conversation. Retweet information that’s relevant to your audience.
- Thank people for retweeting your tweets.
- Don’t always try to sell your products or service. But be sure to promote them, in once in a while.
- Don’t use more than 2 hashtags in a tweet.
FACT: When searching for a keyword on twitter, results include tweets or profiles the word is present in.Irrespective of the word having a hashtag.
- Moving up the ladder:
- Engage customer with questions and asking for comments.
- Join Tweetchats or start your own. These are mini chat-rooms for a specific industry/region.
- Tweet visual content, like the ones with pictures or videos. These instantly stand out.
- Shorten URLs with bitly or google. Advantage: your tweets are intact when retweeted.
- When you can spend $$:
- Invest in twitter ads. It’s cheaper than any other PPC.
- Promoted tweets: wider outreach, for similar audience beyond your followers. Promoted trends: shows up under ”what’s trending”. Promoted accounts: pop up under “who to follow”.
- Good to keep in mind: ideal prospects, location and device they would view content on.
- Easy to track with built in twitter analytics.
YouTube: The second biggest search engine
- Getting Started:
- Setup the “About” section and add links to your other social media pages, don’t forget your website url.
- Create videos on your cellphone or on the pc with Camtasia. Free alternatives have limited functionality but perfect when you’re getting started.
- Content on you YouTube channel should be authentic and not salesy.
- Guide visitors to your channel to take action, be it visiting your site or a newsletter signup.
- 2. Great content ideas for greater engagement:
The following kinds of videos are the best to drive in traffic to your YouTube channel:
- Video’s that answer queries, people are asking in forums like Quora.
- A step-by-step way to accomplish a task.
- Breaking down a complicated task or concept, into a video playlist.
- YouTube Ads:
- Available in two flavors: Standard banner ads and Video ads.
- Short videos are less intrusive. You only pay when viewers watch your video with “True View” ads.
- With inbuilt analytics you’ll have access to metrics like number of videos watched, user engagement and also where viewers stop watching.
Notable Social Media Channels to add to your Marketing Mix:
- Create multiple boards based on your business, related keywords and the kind of impact you want to create.
- Very visual and hence best for driving traffic to ecommerce site.
- For maximum engagement keep pictures colorful, so they pop and texts informative.
- Listing products on Pinterest will automatically have it show up on the gifts section.
- Completed profile, enhanced with keywords people use when searching for a business like yours.
- Ask clients for endorsements to social proof your business.
- Share valuable and pertinent information on your homepage.
- Display documents, slides and videos (your YouTube channel) relevant to your business.
- Use Linkedin Marketing for targeted advertising through Sponsored content, text ads or Sponsored InMail as part of a paid solution.
- Similar to twitter, use fun images and pictures from your business.
- Post short videos on “video on instagram”.
- Use it to inspire customers and prospects.
- Keep tabs on questions related to your business or niche.
- Join the discussion and post an answer with a link to your website/blog post.Make a video solution, link it on your answer and YouTube channel.
On your website make sure the social icons are easily accessible and the links are working.
While sending out emails for one of your marketing campaigns or regular newsletters, embed clickable links of posts from your social platforms.
Make sure your email signature and e-invoices always contain links to your social media sites, and your website.
Your social media strategy might not translate into money immediately, but will set you up for the long term depending on the quality of effort that you put in right now.