“You need to be on social networks.”
“He who doesn’t have a Facebook profile, doesn’t exist.”
You’re sure to have heard similar sentences on more than one occasion. However, even though you’re convinced about the importance of social networks, you still don’t know what exactly the objective is or which strategy to follow.
If this is your case, get closer to the screen and use the next 10 minutes to read this post about marketing on social networks.
In this post, we explain how to plan your strategy in 4 steps, we give you some tips about how to get the best results, and we show you the best tools.
You have everything you need to conquer the networks!
What is marketing on social networks?
Let’s start with a definition:
Marketing on social networks consists of managing different profiles so that we can increase our brand’s reach and develop a community around it.
What does that mean?
Although our final goal will always be selling, it is not the main objective that you should try to aim for with social networks.
Your profiles should help you:
- Be in touch with your audience and get to their likes better.
- Increase your visibility.
- Reinforce your branding.
- Foster loyalty to your brand.
- Provide a better customer service.
And as a result of all of the above, indeed, you will get more sales.
How to establish your strategy on social networks in 4 steps
The normal thing would be that you have already published or posted some content on your social networks. That’s fine.
Whether you have already posted or if you are just starting, what we are going to explain today will help you clarify your ideas and define your strategy better.
Remember, there are no two identical businesses, and therefore, there are no two identical social media strategies.
1. Define your objectives
“When a man does not know what harbor he is making for, no wind is the right wind.”
This famous quote by Seneca is really appropriate for marketing.
The first mistake of a social media strategy (and the most common one) is to start publishing with no rhyme nor reason, without a goal in mind or a thought path to follow. The first thing you need to do is to define the goals that you want to achieve.
And, how are you going to do that? It is easier than you think.
The first thing is to decide what field you are playing on:
- Maybe your target audience is the younger generation on Snapchat?
- Or the professionals on LinkedIn?
Don’t try to be on every social network—not only is it a mistake, but also nonsense. It is better to do it well on 1 than poorly on 4.
You have to be on the social networks where your ideal client is and get to know the type of content they consume.
>> You don’t know who your ideal client is?
That is the first thing you need to do before taking any other steps. Check out this post and define your e-commerce buyer persona now!
Once you have clarified your ideas, define a sentence that sums up the strategy and goal you want to achieve for each social network that you are going to use.
On Instagram, we will publish informal pictures from the company 4 times a week in order to get closer to the audience. We expect to have about 40-50 likes and 3-4 real comments.
You can also define the number of visits from social traffic that you expect to receive or any other metric that fits within the general goals of your business.
- Percentage of social traffic: increase of the number of visited pages thanks to social networks.
- Conversion: sales, leads, or any other type of conversion that you have defined from social networks.
- Engagement rate: the percentage of users that interacts with your posts.
Always avoid vanity metrics. We are talking about likes or retweets—the ones that won’t help to improve your results.
TIP: have a look at your competitors
If you don’t know where to start, have a look at the engagement rate of your competitors.
Divide the number of likes and comments from several posts into the number of followers in order to figure out the number of followers that interact with each post.
Engagement rate = (likes + comments) / followers
Actually, we should divide it into the number of impressions, but since we don’t know that data, we use the number of users instead.
Do it with the most relevant brands in your sector and with other brands that are also starting out like you. This will help you define realistic goals.
This is an essential post: Web analytics for e-commerce: which metrics do you need to monitor to know if your business is doing well?
2. What tone and style are you going to use for your posts?
Another key thing to make sure your posts don’t fall into depths of users’ timelines is to choose the right tone and style.
A. You are aiming for interaction
Facebook’s algorithm, and that of most social networks, rewards interaction. Each like, comment, or share helps increase the reach and the number of people who see your posts.
In order to encourage interaction, it’s essential for the tone to be just right. Only you know whether it’s more or less formal language that fits your ideal client.
B. Pictures, videos, memes, GIFs?
You also need to define the type of content that you are going to use:
- Are you going to edit and publish your own pictures?
- And videos?
- Are you going to curate content from influencers?
Have a look at your competitors—what kind of posts get more interaction?
In general, posts with videos or images work better, but you need to verify that with your specific audience.
When scrolling through Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, people tend to scan the content and only stop if something really grabs their attention.
That means that you can forget about long text posts… Although, as we mentioned before, check what works best with your audience.
3. Create a publication calendar
Any plan for marketing on social media, no matter how rudimentary it is, must have a calendar of when to post.
The most common thing to do is to use a spreadsheet where each sheet represents one month.
This Excel document must include:
- Date: did you know that interaction increases on Thursdays and Fridays?
- Type of content: an image, a video, a sentence, a promotion, etc.
- Source: is it original content or is it from a third party?
- Objective: the specific goal should be in line with those found in your social media strategy.
There is an unwritten rule in the world of community managers:
80% of the content must focus on adding value to your audience and only 20% should be promotional content.
Don’t forget that clients use social media for entertainment. If you only send commercial content, they will skip right over it.
TIP: create contests
If you do it well, you can generate loads of interaction and increase your sales.
Read our post about how to run a Facebook contest in an e-commerce.
4. Measure and learn from the results with a follow-up sheet
If you are going to concentrate your marketing efforts on social networks, you need to know the performance of each and every action.
Every social network provides you with complete statistics for each post.
Facebook Post Metrics Page
Instagram Business Account Post Statistics
At the end of each month, note down the engagement created from each post.
You can use the Excel document that you have for the calendar, but we recommend that you use a new document that includes:
- Date and time of the post
- Number of likes
- Number of comments
- Number of shares
- Engagement rate
- Tone and style
- Social traffic that day
Throughout the months, you will get to know what type of content gets more engagement, which days and times are better to publish and, more importantly, what return you are getting from the posts.
EXTRA: tips to optimize your social marketing strategy
Although we didn’t include them as main steps, you can also consider the following tips:
- Fill in your profiles: invest some time in writing good descriptions for your business.
- Use images with the recommended sizes: there is nothing worse than out of proportion or pixelated images.
- Trust the professionals: if you don’t have time, delegate this task to a professional community manager. Remember, your brand image is at risk.
- Be consistent: for social media marketing, consistency is the key to success. Be strict and follow the publication calendar each month regardless of the results.
- Be patient: this is a long-term strategy—don’t expect immediate results.
- Keep track of interesting content: use extensions such as Pocket or Evernote to save content that you find while surfing the Internet. This way you’ll know where to go when you run out of ideas.
- Use monitoring tools: such as Hootsuite or Social Mention.
You don’t know these tools? Then keep reading. ;)
Social media marketing tools
Having the support of external software in order to monitor your activity and to stay up to date with new information and news can be really useful. These tools will help you do just that.
- Hootsuite: Manage all your social networks from a powerful single platform.
- Metricool: Web analytics, blog content, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin publication planner, real-time and more.
- Social Mention: Track what is said about your brand or competitors.
- Buffer: Automate your posts.
- Fan Page Karma: The free version offers a detailed analysis of Facebook fan pages. It is perfect to spy on your competitors’ work on social networks.
Don’t say that you don’t know where to start. ;)
Social media marketing is obligatory these days…
So, take it seriously.
Social networks management is not something you can delegate to your friend or something you can just do in your free time.
Your social networks are a direct communication channel with your clients. If you manage them poorly, you will ruin your brand’s reputation.
But, luckily, this post gives you everything you need to increase your visibility and have your engagement go through the roof. Use it wisely!