What you need to know about Social Media Marketing

It comes as no surprise that more and more organisations are increasing their social media marketing efforts and budget to promote their products and/or services. The improvement in Internet speed, ease of connectivity and proliferation of gadgets, has changed the marketing game. Customers now go online to conduct research and purchase.

This has made it important for brands to establish a presence online, specifically in social channels where customers come together to find, explore and interact.

For any marketing to be effective, there is a need to develop a strategy behind the efforts. Where does one begin? Below are some steps to follow for creating a Social Media Strategy.

• Identify your goals – Keep in mind that marketing is effective if results meet or exceed goals or objectives previously set. Thus, the first step in developing a strategy is to identify the business’ digital marketing goals and tie these to the organisation’s overarching goals. The marketing that will be developed will then aim to achieve the goals set.

• Define target audience – The second step is to determine who the customers are. This involves defining your customer segments, making profiles of each segment then mapping out their customer journey. This will allow you to determine, what messages and tactics will be most appropriate and effective.

 Conduct research to see what’s working – Chances are, your competitors are utilizing social to create awareness and increase conversions. The beauty in this is that you can conduct a competitor check to get a glimpse of how they are using social to see what is effective. You can then consider the findings when deciding on the tactics and social media channels to infiltrate.

• Select the most appropriate social channels and tactics – Once you have gained a full understanding of who your customers are and their purchasing behaviour, it is time to select the most appropriate social channels to be active in. Some research may be beneficial at this stage to match the demographics and interests of customers to the social channels.

 Confirm message – What is it that you are trying to relay to your customers and what action would you like them to take? Based on your customer understanding, develop and confirm a message that will appeal to your target audience to entice them to act on your prompts.

• Create a content plan – The content published through your social pages should always be relevant to your target market and should always offer valuable information.

• Measure results – Gather data on your efforts. One way is to enlist in tools that have analysing capabilities.

Social Media Marketing can become an effective marketing method. However, engaging with customers through social media should be calculated . There should be a plan behind it for it to be useful.