Whether you run a small local shop or a large national company, social media marketing should be an essential piece of your business. It is the key to connecting and engaging with your audiences, increasing brand awareness, humanizing and validating your brand, and boosting your leads and sales. While many may say that it is, social media marketing is no passing trend. It’s important to know the ins and out of social media marketing!
What is Social Media Marketing?
So, what exactly is Social Media Marketing? It is the process of creating content that you have tailored to the context of each social media platform in order to drive user engagement and sharing – it is a lot more than just posting! It is a cost-effective way to market your brand to your audience through channels that they are already on.
Social Media Marketing Strategy
The key to social media marketing is strategy. It cannot be an afterthought, but instead something that you carefully plan out and implement through intentional measures.
- Begin by coming up with SMART goals. Make sure your goals are: S- Specific: Set goals that are specific, not broad.
M- Measurable: You want goals that you can measure at the end to see if you accomplished them, or did not accomplish them.
A-Attainable: Are the goals you are setting attainable based on where you are starting from and in the time frame that you want to accomplish them in?
R- Realistic: Attainable and realistic go hand in hand. Sometimes it is smart to consider short term goals to meet your long-term goals. What are realistic strides you can make now to reach your larger long-term goals in the future?
T- Time Specific: Set a time limit on your goals! Whether that be a week, a month, or several years. After a specific amount of time stop and consider how well you met or didn’t meet those goals.Setting goals and objectives are VITAL to a successful social media marketing campaign. You must first know what it is you are aiming for, and then consider how to reach those goals.
- Next, create a strategy that aligns with your goals.
- Know your audience. Who are you trying to reach?
- What platforms should you use in order to reach your set audiences?
- What tactics should you implement on these platforms, based on the goals that you set?
- Look into your competitors. What are they doing that is working or not working? What can you learn from them? Read more about this below!
- After you implement your strategies and allow them to run their time-sensitive course that you set in place, measure your results. How did your tactics work? Did you meet, exceed, or miss your goals? Did you reach your target audience? What worked and what didn’t?
- Fine-tune your strategy, and maybe even shift your goals if you need to and then start again!
Creating your strategy:
Once you know your goals, it can be overwhelming to consider how to actually MEET those goals. Here are some tips on creating your strategy to make sure it aligns with the goals and objectives you have set:
- Knowing your audience: Who is it that your brand is trying to reach? Knowing your audience determines how you will interact on each of the social media platforms that you choose to use. Consider things like age, gender, geographical location, occupation, marital status, and even hobbies when trying to narrow down who it is that you want to reach. Then consider: where are they on social media, and how are they using it? Grandparents use social media very differently than a young teenager does. A mom might have different intentions while scrolling than a working, single young professional. Once you decide your target demographics begin building content and then building your audience!
- Choosing which platforms to use: Now is the time to decide which platforms your brand should use. If your goals can’t be met, or your audience isn’t already on them, then that might not be the best platform for you to use. Another digital media specialist at Dogwood recently wrote a blog covering all of the different popular platforms. Check out our post A Social Media Platforms Crash Course to help you decide which platforms would be best for your brand.
- Planning out tactics: Finally, it’s time to plan out the tactics that you should use on each of these platforms to meet your goals. Not only do you want to consider what type of content to post, but also how often you should post, and how you as a brand will interact on each platform. Here are a few things to consider:
- Will you post daily, weekly, or monthly?
- What kind of content will you be sharing?
- Brand awareness
- If using Instagram or Facebook will you only post, or also utilize stories? How?
- Will you utilize hashtags and how will you decide which ones to use?
- How will you interact with your audiences? There are so many different ways to accomplish your goals through social media marketing! It just takes a little hard work and effort to plan it out. The two things you should always use in social media marketing is strategy and consistency. If you are sticking to those two things, the possibilities are endless!
How we Use Social Media Marketing at Dogwood:
At Dogwood we work really hard to help make social media marketing easier, more efficient and successful for each of our clients. After we help you decide what your goals are, what your strategy should be and what tactics you should use we use several different programs to help you meet your goals! We implement a social media management tool to get the most out of your content.
After we have decided what your content should be, we use our management tool to help schedule it out on a calendar. We can schedule for months ahead to help your business stay consistent and on top of things! It also pulls all messages and interactions from your different platforms so that we can quickly respond to each message from your audience in a timely manner, which greatly increases brand loyalty. Because we are connected through this tool on all platforms, we can create brand unity and make sure you are best represented across the board.
Social Media Marketing is the key tool for brands to connect to their clients in both a personal and professional way. There are so many ways in the world of social media to present your brand in exactly the way you want to be seen.
- Know your goals.
- Know your audience.
- Plan accordingly.
- Review and redo!
Be creative, learn from your competitors, practice consistency, and get out there and make it happen! We would love to help your brand meet its social media marketing goals today. Reach out to us and let’s get the process started!