Social Media Marketing 101

Social media marketing has become increasingly important for brands over the years. A presence on social allows brands to connect with their customers and increase brand awareness, which will ultimately generate new leads and increase sales. But where do you even begin?

Unfortunately, there is no singular, tried-and-true strategy that brands can follow to yield results as social marketing strategies are different for everyone. Marketers need to take a step back and come up with a plan of their own and more importantly, stick to it. A few steps that I have found helpful over the years include:

Determining your goals and objectives

Most clients are focused on increasing their number of social followers. While this seems to make sense, what good does a large social following do for your brand if it’s not leading to an increase in sales? It’s important to really focus on what you want to get out of your social media marketing efforts and how you will measure these results.

Understanding who your audience is

Learn as much about them as you can, so you can tailor your social marketing strategy to them. Who are they? What are their interests? What social platforms do they use regularly? When are they most active on these channels? The more you understand about your audience, the easier it will be to reach them.

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Developing strong content

Always focus on quality content over quantity. The worst thing you can do is over-post on social media or “post just to post.” Be thoughtful about the type of content you are posting to ensure that it will resonate with your audience. This goes back to step  1 and 2above. You want to be able to confidently post content that they will find interesting and want to engage with.

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Assessing the performance of your social content

As mentioned, there is no set formula for social media marketing, so you need to be prepared to adapt and make changes to your strategy in real-time. We live in an ever-evolving digital world, which leads to frequent changes in our customers daily behaviors and habits. I’ve found it helpful to pull monthly social reports in order to compare results across the different channels. This helps us understand what time of day we receive the most engagement, what type of content our audience prefers and if we’ve seen a spike in sales due to a specific social promotion or campaign that we’ve run.

Think of your social media marketing strategy as a “test and learn” approach. Even though you should have a plan, don’t be afraid to try something new because of the fear of failure. After all, it could be a huge success and may lead you to learnings about your audience that you otherwise wouldn’t be aware of. Know that you will not see results overnight – be patient with the overall process and have fun with it!