Are you curious to learn about some of the top Social Media strategies of 2020 that could skyrocket your business? The next 12 minutes of this article will turn your business, head over heels.
Most businesses make very similar mistakes while launching and working to scale their impact.
Have you also made any of the following mistakes?
- Not making a content calendar
- Not leveraging audience insights
- Not conducting a thorough competitor analysis
- Not engaging in social listening
- Not experimenting with strategies
In the next 3 minutes we are going to make sure you don’t repeat the same mistakes and lose 45% of your business.
Part 1: Ensuring a 45% increase in profitability through social media strategies
The more to the point your plan is, the more effective it will be. Keep it specific. Don’t make it so broad that it’s unachievable or impossible to measure.
Tips and tricks for a highly profitable Social Media strategy:
Step 1. Choose social media marketing goals that are in-line with your business objectives
Memorizing this abbreviation and applying it will give you a headstart: S.M.A.R.T.
The first step to creating a winning strategy is to list out your objectives and goals. Without defining your goals, you have no way to measure success and return on investment (ROI).
S.M.A.R.T. stands for:
The secret of scaling using just metrics
Scaling a business is not easy, but if done according to a proper strategy, it can be.
Basic metrics like number of followers and likes are easy to track, but it’s hard to prove their real value. Instead, you need to focus on things like engagement, click-through rate, and conversion rates.
For example, if you use LinkedIn to drive traffic to your website, you would measure click-throughs. If your goal is to create awareness through Instagram, you might track the number of Instagram Story views. And if you advertise an ecommerce store on Facebook, cost-per-purchase is a very important metric.
Step 2. Learn everything you can about your audience
Creating audience profiles will go a long way in helping you out
Understanding your audience and what they want to see on social media is the key to your success.
When it comes to your target customer, you should know things like:
- Average Income
Get to know your followers as real people with real wants and needs, and you will know how to target them on social media.
How you can beat your competitors at their own game by using data
Data is the currency of the digital world. It can make or break you.
Analytics is the king of social media. Use it well and you will win the game. By using information like number of followers, age groups, you can ground your competitors to dust. Use these valuable insights to optimize your strategy and better target your audience
Step 3. Know your competition
Chances are your competitors are already using social media, and that means you can learn from what they’re doing.
Set yourself apart by conducting a solid competitive analysis
The significance of competitive analysis cannot be overstated.
According to a survey published by Statista, businesses which engaged in rigorous competitive analysis were more likely to succeed as compared to those which didn’t.
A competitive analysis allows you to understand who the competition is and how they are winning. You will get a good sense of how your industry functions, which will help you set social media targets of your own.
Maybe one of your competitors is dominant on Instagram, for example, but has put little effort into Twitter or YouTube. You might want to focus on these networks where your audience is not very active, rather than trying to win fans away from a dominant player.
Engage in social listening can give you the edge you are looking for
If you want to survive the cut-throat business environment of today, you absolutely need to learn about Social Listening.
Social listening is another way to keep an eye on your consumers and competitors.
Research your competition’s company name, account handles, and other relevant keywords on social media. Find out what kind of content they’re creating.
Similarly, you can also research social media hashtags to understand what your customers are saying about your brand.
Step 4. Start accounts and improve profiles
Decide which networks to use
As you decide which social networks to use, you will also need to define your strategy for each.
Set up your profiles
Once you’ve decided which social media platforms to focus on, it’s time to create your profiles. Or improve existing ones so they align with your strategy.
- Make sure you fill out all available profile fields
- Include keywords people would use to search for your business
- Use consistent branding (logos, images, etc.) across social media channels so your profiles are easily recognizable
Step 5. Find inspiration
While it’s important to retain your own brand’s unique voice, you can still draw inspiration from other businesses that are great on social media.
Social media success stories can help you win the market
Did you know that Tropicana was able to generate 58% more sales on the basis of a well-planned out Social Media strategy.
The internet is flooded with stories of various brands which effectively leveraged social media to achieve their goals. You can use these success stories to inform your business strategy.
Your favorite brands on social media: Gucci for example
Who do you enjoy following on social media platforms? What specifically do they do or do not do that compels people to engage with their content and share it.
Do not make the mistake of ignoring your followers
Did you know that in 2015 Tim Horton’s introduced a new coffee drink just because their customers asked for it on Social Media?
You can also go straight to your consumers for social media inspiration.
What are your target customers talking about online? What can you learn about their wants and needs?
If you have existing social media profiles, you could also ask your followers what exactly they expect from you. Just make sure that you follow through and deliver what they ask for.
Step 6. Create a social media content calendar
Create amazing content but failing to post it at the right time and in the right frequency is commonplace. Here’s how you can avoid this pitfall:
Sharing great and relatable content is absolutely essential, of course, but it’s equally important to have a plan in place for the cadence of sharing content to get the maximum impact.
Your social media content calendar should ideally, also account for the time you spend engaging with your target audience. But, you still need to allow for some spontaneous engagement as well.
Knowing when to post has set many brands up for success
Your social media content calendar lists the exact dates and times at which you will publish your content on each social media channel. It’s the perfect place to plan all of your social media activities, from images and link sharing to posts and video content. It includes both your everyday posting and content for social media campaigns.
Beat competitors by having a dedicated calendar which ensures your posts are spaced out appropriately and are published at the optimal times.
Determining the right content mix is the difference between winning and losing
Relevance is key here.
Make sure your calendar reflects the mission statement you’ve assigned to each social profile, so that everything you post is working to support your business goals.
You might decide that:
- 25% of content will drive traffic back to your website
- 50% of content will be curated from other sources
- 15% of content will support lead-generation goals (newsletter sign ups, ebook downloads, etc.)
- 10% of content will be about your company’s core values
Placing these different post types in your content calendar will ensure you maintain the right mix.
If you’re a beginner and you’re unsure about the type of content you should create, try the 80-20 rule:
- 80% of your posts should inform, educate, or entertain your audience
- 20% can directly promote your brand.
You can also give a shot to the social media rule of thirds:
- One-third of your content promotes your business, converts leads, and generates revenue.
- One-third of your content shares ideas and stories from industry influencers or like-minded companies.
- One-third of your content should be around personal interactions with your target audience
Once you have your calendar set, choose any scheduling tool to prepare messages in advance rather than updating constantly throughout the day.
Step 7. Evaluate and adjust your strategy
Finalizing your social media strategy is a huge step for your business, and you can’t assume you’ll get it exactly right on the first try. As you start to execute your plan and monitor your results, you may find that some initiatives don’t work as well as you’d anticipated, while others are working even better than expected.
How you can use performance metrics to leave your competition in the dust
Performance metrics are so important that Instagram actually pivoted its original business model to the one it has now, based solely on Performance Metrics.
In addition to the analytics dashboard available within each social media platform, you can use UTM parameters to track social visitors as they move through your website, so you can see exactly which social posts drive the most traffic to your website.
Success comes to those who re-evaluate, test, and do it all again
Here’s another secret to success.
Once user data starts coming in, use it to re-evaluate your strategy on a regular basis. You can also use this information to experiment with different posts, campaigns, and strategies against one another. Constant experimentation allows you to understand what works and what doesn’t, so you can refine your strategy in real time.
Surveys are another great way to find out how well your strategy is performing. Ask your followers, leads list, and website visitors whether you’re providing value to them and meeting their expectations, and what they’d like to see more of or less of. These insights are key to understanding user behavior. Once you have them, make sure to deliver on what consumers expect of your brand.
Social media landscape is extremely dynamic. New networks emerge, others go through demographic shifts.
Your business will go through periods of change as well.
All of this means that your social media strategy should be a living document that you review and adjust from time to time. Re-evaluate it often to stay on track, but don’t be afraid to make changes so that it better reflects new goals, learnings, or plans.
When you update your social media strategy, make sure to let everyone on your team know. That way they can all work together to help your business make the most of your resources. Based on the high level strategic directions shared above, let’s take a look at why its critical for businesses of all sizes: small, medium and large to have a well-thought out Social Media strategy.
Part 2: Why you cannot survive without Social Media Marketing
If you’re one of those ambitious people who would like to see their business prosper, this section is specifically for you.
According to Social Media Examiner, 63% of consumers who search for brands online are more likely to become paying customers of brands with an established social media presence.
This demonstrates a huge untapped potential for social media marketing to increase revenue and sales.
Social media marketing creates credibility for your brand and in this Digital Age, it’s no longer optional. It’s an essential way for companies to connect with and reach consumers, and when done correctly, it showcases to those consumers that a particular brand is active and engaged in communication with the target audience.
The longer you wait to create and execute a Social Media strategy, the more you have to lose. When done properly, social media marketing can lead to more customers, more traffic, and more engagement. Having an adhoc social media presence without an active social media marketing strategy can be just as catastrophic for your business as having no plan at all. Here’s a look at a few of the ways social media marketing can skyrocket your business by as much as 60%:
1. Branding will differentiate your brand from your competitors
Showcasing your business’ personality through social media is one of the best ways to connect with your target audience. Your social media channels are just more opportunities for your brand’s voice, values, content, and interactions. A new customer may stumble upon your Instagram, YouTube or Facebook feed if they’re an avid Social Media user or a customer might be more likely to become a repeat customer if your online brand presence becomes more consistent and recognizable.
2. Customer Loyalty programs can help you build a solid customer base
Brands are placing a bigger bet on customer experience because of the impact it has on their own reputation. Brands who engage on social media channels receive higher loyalty from their customers since they’re perceived as more relatable. Considering the USA for example, more than 50% of the people who follow their favorite brands on social media are more loyal customers than those who don’t. This is a very telling statistic.
3. Conversion is your end goal
Every post, video ad, follower, blog post, and email is an opportunity for you to convert your customers. Whether you’re operating as a B2C or B2B company, social media can be a revolutionary tool for the purpose of gaining new leads, nurturing them and moving them through your sales funnel to the bottom where they eventually convert.
4. A human touch can unlock success for your company
Faceless corporations are a thing of the past, and now to see more and improved results you will need to humanize your social media efforts. In today’s world, consumers are much more well informed, which is why they care not only about what they buy, but also the type of company they buy it from. Social Media has a 100% higher lead to close rate than conventional marketing. With this advantage, you can endeavor to create and execute various initiatives to build a long lasting connection with your customer, rather than putting them through the automatic recording steps via a phone call.
5. Customer Insights will help you connect with your customers
Have you ever experimented with social listening? Social media allows you to gain very accurate insights about your customers’ thought processes, interests and behaviors. Be sure to go through the reviews or comments posted online by consumers to gauge what people think of your business. Look at engagement rates (likes, comments and shares) on each social media post to measure what types of content elicits the highest response from the consumers. Track conversions through your lead ads to find out what type of audience benefits the best from your product or service.
6. Offer amazing Customer Service to build your brand’s image
The ideal place for customer care is social media. Before the involvement of brands and companies, social media was solely used for communication, and that is still its core feature. Customer interactions allow for a public opportunity to listen to complaints and make them right. It’s also a place to enhance your relationship with them further by following them back, recommending additional products, and creating an open line of communication with them.
7. Inbound Traffic is also a key metric you should track
Last but not least, the opportunity that is most likely to lead to ROI: increased inbound traffic. Without social media, your leads are limited to people who already know your brand and people who find you by searching for ranked keywords. By increasing your social media content frequency and expanding your social media channel following, you are adding another path back to your site. As such, you’ll receive higher traffic, and depending on your funnel, more conversions as well.
Social media is a long term strategy, meaning, you have to be patient since you won’t be able to reap these benefits overnight.
Part 3: How you can expect Social Media Marketing to transform in the future
You have to make a choice: keep up with new technologies or lose your market share.
43% marketers crashed their businesses even after successful starts because they ignored the following:
1. Influencer Marketing will be the key to expanding your business
Influencer marketing has gained traction very quickly. It has even overtaken print marketing in terms of popularity on Google Trends. People with thousands of followers can leverage their audiences and collaborate with brands. Influencers get paid by the brands to promote their products to their large number of followers. Brands, on the other hand, are looking for reliable influencers to collaborate with to reach their target customers.
However, it’s not just the influencers with huge fan-followings who can reap the benefits of influencer marketing. As it’s popularity soars, big influencers are becoming expensive for small companies.
This has led to the rise of micro-influencers.
The micro-influencers have fewer followers than big influencers but they also provide the advantage of a higher engagement among their audience. Furthermore, they charge significantly less than popular influencers for their sponsored content. This makes it much more affordable for smaller companies to collaborate with them and promote their brand to the audience.
2. Chatbots and AI are the future of customer interaction
Chatbots are one of the newest trends on social media. They have made it increasingly simple for people to reach out to brands through social media.
This makes it very important for brands to resolve their queries as quickly and as accurately as possible. While it can be a difficult task to get a human to respond instantly, chatbots can surely help out in such situations. They can be easily programmed to operate 24/7 to listen to customers and resolve their queries as quickly as possible.
AI is the future of social media marketing and with it, you can have conversations with your customers. Chatbots powered by AI are being used on Facebook Messenger by many brands to promote their products and even resolve customers’ issues.
3. Driving Sales Through Social Media
Although social media has long been used to generate engagement and sales, the latter is becoming a stable trend. Brands are utilizing various tools to promote their products on social media to get sales.
For example, with advanced tracking tools including the Facebook Pixel, it is possible to chart out the entire buyer journey. The Social Media landscape is extremely dynamic and unpredictable. In the coming years, social media will take over other conventional styles of marketing and businesses.
Hence, it is vitally important for us to better understand social media since it has become highly relevant and a dominant form of communication between companies and consumers. We hope that the ideas discussed in this article stimulate many new ideas and strategies, which can ultimately be utilized for building and growing brands.