Research has proven that 80% of internet users all over the world rely on social media for news, 40% have used it to search for a job and 70% of them are on Facebook. Social media provides an opportunity for marketing, which is why most people utilize it as a platform to reach their potential customers. Marketing is all about communicating information to an audience and influencing them to patronize a product or service whether it be from some professional SEO agency or e-commerce development company. However, the challenge is how to effectively leverage the social media to yield the desired result.
Developing a Social Media Strategy
The first step to expedite a social media marketing campaign is to develop an effective social media strategy. If you fail to plan, you have planned to fail. The mistake is that some people dabble in social media marketing without having a strategy in place. The strategy is the plan that you have to follow from the beginning to the end. It guides the input and determines the outcome. It also provides you with the opportunity to know what will be done in a particular time, the person that is responsible and the resources needed.
Social media marketing is not as simple as posting an advert on Facebook, it requires more than that. There are rudiments of achieving a successful social media campaign. It includes the following four steps:
1. Social Listening
This is the most important aspect of developing an effective social media campaign; others depend on it to achieve success. Listening provides you the understanding you require to develop the strategy that will give you a robust system, provide you leads, sales and encourage repeat patronage. The crucial thing is to have the ability to put your message on the social media platform where your prospects and customers hang out online. Without proper planning, social media marketing will be time-consuming and costly. You have to keep your ears on the ground and respond to negative comments about your organization, product or service immediately. This is akin to customer support and it can help or hurt your public image. Your rapid response shows you are accessible and will help you know and resolve problems quickly. It will also help you build goodwill amongst your target publics.
Purposes of Social Listening
- Monitor public opinion of your brand
- Keep abreast of developments in the industry
- Conduct necessary research
- Classify important topics to discuss and champion
You have to also pay attention to these points of indication
- Your competitors. What are people saying about them and what are they saying about you.
- Your brand. Listen to what people are saying about it and be ready to act as quickly as required.
- Influencers. Listen to what opinion molders and influencers are saying, they can give you the indication of trends in the industry
- Public Relations and Customer Care Staff of your organization. What are people saying about them, are they saying they are arrogant or incompetent?
- Important topics. Listen and be a master on important topics in your industry, otherwise, you will become obsolete.
Listening only is getting half of the job done, you have to complete the job successfully by putting in place a feedback method that will help you address and manage issues you have heard of. You have to have an organized way of resolving issues quickly by spelling out responsibilities and setting deadlines. For example, when you get complains from your social media monitoring, you assuage the complainants by letting them know that their grievances have been heard and will be addressed as soon as possible. Then you forward the complaint to the department in charge, follow it up and ensure that it is resolved within a time frame.
2. Social Influencing
The aim of social influencing is to direct the beliefs and conduct of your target public in your favor. This is easy to achieve because you have been listening and responding. You have earned respect over time, all you need to do is to lend your convincing voice to a topic and people will follow. The following are signs that your influence is increasing.
- When you become an acknowledged authority and a known brand
- You get more assignation, for example, more people sharing your posts
- More people share their ideas and opinion with you and want to identify with you
- Your social media sites get more traffics, more people like your posts, view your video etc.
3. Social Networking
Networking is very important for every business irrespective of the stage you are in. It gives you the opportunity to connect with other experts and wield the necessary influence. The objectives of social networking are as follows:
- To convert the goodwill you have earned to profitable ventures
- Create goodwill with brands that support your own
- Share important contents that will give you the required leverage
4. Social Selling
This is where you begin to earn results from your social media strategies. At this juncture, you have listened, influenced and established a necessary network, now you can tell your audience about the benefits of your service or product and expect them to patronize you. The aims of your social selling are to increase your leads, obtain more customers and increasing number of repeat patronage.