Tools & Techniques required for a successful social media marketing campaign
You have discovered an opportunity, a pain point in the market that you know only you can best address. You’ve worked hard to build your product and a business around it. Now, you’re considering going digital! You’re curious about the do’s, the don’ts and the secret sauce behind a successful social media marketing campaign. Well, look no further. Read on to find out the essentials of successfully implementing a social media marketing strategy for your business.
1. Rediscover your product through the eyes of your customer
Before you begin your journey on social media it’s a good idea to take a look at how your customers perceive your products. Depending on your product, you can begin this process by making a list of your value propositions. Essentially, your value proposition is the solution or value your product offers in response to a pain point, problem, or gap in the market. In this process, you are trying to emphasize what makes your product unique, and why customers should choose you over your competitors.
How can you do this?
- Start by striking a conversation with some of your customers and team members, ask them what it is that keeps bringing them back to your product, and why they think you’re ahead of the pack when it comes to your competitors.
- Understanding the market’s perception of your product is the key to determining what aspects of your product you will leverage as part of your social media marketing campaign. Great, now keep this list handy, it’ll come in to play again when we work on your content bucket.
2. Learn more about your market and competitors
Put yourself in the shoes of your potential customers. These are people that, very much like yourself, have identified a pain point, problem, or gap in their lives and are seeking a solution to bridge that gap.
Often, these potential customers will begin their journey by searching for solutions on the web. Here, they will be presented with a sea of options, each packaged slightly differently, all vying for their business. This field of competitors and potential customers is your home base, each potential customer is now a member of your target audience.
- Your mission is to comb through this data, understand the digital presence of your competitors by observing their content.
- Next, identify how your target audience is responding to the content your competitors are publishing.
- Start looking for patterns and trends in special offers, communication style, value propositions, and creative approaches that are resonating with your shared target audience.
These trends can serve as a reference for your social media marketing strategy. Analysing this data will help you understand what consumers are looking for, what your competitors are offering, and will help you define the category you’re competing in.
3. Understand the role of social media in your business
After analysing your competitors you’ve probably noticed that each competitor may have a slightly different approach. Some emphasize on special offers, others focus on starting conversations with customers and fans, and yet others may have curated features of their products that their followers covet. In essence, social media marketing is multifaceted and can play different roles for your business depending on your needs. Broadly speaking, your social media marketing campaign can have one or a combination of the following objectives:
- Brand Awareness: Improve your brand awareness if you are trying to reach out to different types of groups and target audiences. It is ideal for campaigns like product launches, announcements, and to garner visibility.
- Community Engagement: Engaging with your community entails having conversations with your followers, churning out highly relevant content and receiving validation through engagement (views, likes, comments, follows) regularly. This a strategic objective for everyone, regardless of market and tentative needs. Engaging with your community is the fastest way to grow your digital presence and work your way to becoming a household name. It often requires businesses to have a clear understanding of who their community consists of and what their aspirations are for the successful execution of a social media marketing strategy.
- Content Distribution: You’ve probably encountered a click-worthy “top 10 ways to ____” list whilst browsing the internet. Content such as these lists, entertainment articles, thought pieces, and how-tos are some of the elements that make up a good content-distribution campaign. This objective is especially useful for businesses that are devoted to providing utility to their followers on social media. It’s a great way to learn who your audience is while at the same time making it easier for them to get to know you better too.
- Sales/Lead Generation: 77% of consumers research a brand on social media before making a purchase decision. And that’s why most businesses on social media have a component that caters to solidifying their sales funnel either through social proof, special offers, or even product demos on their social media to nudge consumers to pick them over their competitors. Depending on how much you’d like to leverage your social media marketing strategy to drive sales, this objective can be an important component of your social media mix.
4. Exploring your target group
Now that you have a clearer picture of who your competitors are, what approaches have worked for them, & what category you are in, it’s time to define your target audience. Your target audience is the group of people that fall into the intersection of consumers that could benefit from your product and those who are in the ideal demographic to purchase your product.
This intersection can be visualized by creating a set of consumer profiles that contain valuable behavioural and demographic information of your target group. For instance, here’s an example of one consumer profile for a cake shop:
Description: A young professional, looking for a wedding cake guests will remember
Motivated by: Unique flavours and designs, attentive customer service to make her wedding planning woes simpler
Can be reached on Email, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest
The idea behind making such a profile is to better understand how to target, reach, & communicate with your target group. These insights of the consumer can be sourced by examining the behaviours and demographics of your existing customers or those of your competitors. Ideally, your target group should include a handful of consumer profiles, with as little overlap between them as possible.
By defining these consumer profiles, you'll be able to craft your social media marketing campaign with a face (albeit a hypothetical one) in mind, making it easier for you to gauge the tone, language, and values to reflect in your content bucket. Now that you have set-up your consumer profiles, let’s move on to setting up your branding guidelines.
5. Setting up your branding guidelines
This step is all about making a blueprint for your visual style on social media. The objective is to provide a seamless, cohesive and exciting visual experience. This entails achieving consistency in the visual style, colours, typefaces, and brand marks. In this creative process, carefully select a handful of colours, fonts, icons, and creative assets to develop your brand’s visual identity.
Select styles that consumers will instantly associate your brand with. The final step is to ensure that you constantly stick to your brand guidelines in all your creative assets. This allows your brand to “own” colours, typography, visual styles, and eventually broaden the perception of your brand in the eyes of your consumers.
Consistency is key when it comes to implementing your brand guidelines.
6. Making your content bucket
To put it simply, a content bucket is an assortment of topics with an overarching theme. By selecting various topics that are relevant to your consumer profiles, you can ensure that you have a well-rounded communication and social media marketing strategy, which will give your target audience a full picture of what your business offers.
Creating a content bucket will help you ensure that your marketing content is varied in type and form, garnering more engagement from people in different walks of life. The consumer profiles we made earlier are the perfect vantage points for you to look through when selecting topics to include in your content bucket. Include topics that you think will resonate with these consumer profiles.
Furthermore, the topics you select must be in line with the objective you have in mind, whether its engagement, brand awareness or any combination of the objectives we discussed earlier your objective(s) should be the overarching theme that connects the topics you've included.
Now that you have a handful of topics in your content bucket, go ahead and mould them into well-constructed posts that leverage an assortment of creative formats such as GIFs, carousels, and videos along with the perfect captions to tag along. When you write these captions make sure that your communication encourages readers to take actions by your objectives.
7. Creating a calendar and going live
If you’re familiar with planning an itinerary for a holiday, you already have the skills to get started on your social media marketing calendar. Your social media calendar is an essential tool to plan out what, when, and where you will be posting your content. It is what it sounds like, a calendar (digital or otherwise) that details the times and days you will be taking your content to live.
To create your calendar, you can rely on a plethora of online templates (available through a quick search) or create one bespoke to you on a simple spreadsheet, feel free to get creative here, you will be looking at this frequently. Within your calendar, alongside the days and times, it is a good idea to include parameters such as post captions, creative briefs, and platforms you’d like to go live on, this will help you add some structure to your campaign and help you easily track your progress throughout your campaign.
After you’ve populated your calendar, with posts on your content bucket and objectives, it’s time to go live. Going live with your content in a scheduled fashion is a fairly doable task provided your calendar is complete, and your creative collateral is standing by.
Make sure all the relevant assets, such as creatives, captions, and your social media login credentials are ready well in advance of them going live.
There are also some tools available online that will help you automate this process to some extent, platforms such as Hubspot, Hootsuite and Sprout Social are just a few of the tried and tested platforms you can subscribe to automate the process of taking your content to live at precisely the days and times you intended.
8. Understanding what metrics to track and what they mean for your business
Now that you have successfully begun posting content on your social media, you’re probably wondering, what’s next? To succeed, and continue to succeed on social media it’s as important to observe as it is to publish. Consumers today are constantly being bombarded with content in all forms and platforms, so it is safe to assume that their attention spans are short-lived. Therefore it is important to nurture and be sensitive towards how your audience is engaging with your content. The following parameters are a good start to determine what's working and what isn't -
- Impressions: These are the number of times a platform like Facebook showed your posts to a user. Ideally: a high number that's growing
- Reach: these are the number of people that viewed your post for 3 or more seconds . Ideally: a high number that's growing
- Impression to reach ratio: this ratio shows you what percentage of your audience is paying attention in comparison to those that have chosen to ignore your posts. Ideally: a percentage that's approaching 100%
- Likes, comments, and shares: these are the number of people that have interacted with your post. Ideally: a number that's growing
- Follows: the number of people following you. Ideally: a number that's growing
Now that you know what these metrics mean and which direction they should be moving, monitor and compare them on each post/piece of content with your competitors around the same time to decipher what resonates with your audience and what does not. Make sure you do this regularly as your audience is likely to change its preference over time. Learn from these analyses to draw inspiration for what to add to your content bucket next, to stay on top of your social media efforts. Publish, analyse, improve, repeat.
A successful social media campaign is a fairly attainable goal for anyone. By maintaining a disciplined approach, being detail-oriented, and constantly aspiring to iterate and improve, unlock the power of social media for your business!