Digital marketing is ever-changing, with different algorithms coming into play on Google and social media alike. By planning well, businesses can save time and create more effective content, here we’ll take a look at some simple processes to get your social media marketing ready for 2018.
The focus on social media is continuing to grow, the first quarter of this year saw a 61.5% increase in paid social media spend and a recent forecast from American market research company Forrester found that social media ad spend is set to increase to $23.5 billion by 2021.
Why is social media important for business?
The majority of companies are now active across at least some social media channels, but it still isn’t used by every business.
When you think that LinkedIn has 500 million members, Facebook gets six new profiles every second and Twitter has 1.3 billion accounts, the reach is impressive and always growing. Here are four reasons why social media is important for businesses:
- Brand awareness. Half of all people follow up to four brands on social media and on average 5 to 7 brand impressions are needed before someone remembers and trusts you. Using the correct channels is the easiest way to get in front of perspective customers.
- Drive traffic and sales. Once people are aware of your brand and engage with you, you can light the path to your website. This personal relationship increases the chance of conversions when combined with a good website.
- Customer satisfaction. People may be talking about your business right now – panic! Being active gives you the chance to celebrate positive feedback, resolve issues and talk directly to people who want to speak to you.
- Advertising. While organic posting is important, paid ads are becoming increasingly prominent across all channels. They are both cost-effective and non-interruptive (when done right).
Building your social media strategy
Once you’ve decided to tackle social media, the best place to begin foundations is through defining your social media goals.
Common goals: increasing web traffic, improving sales, engaging with existing customers, answering queries, better brand awareness. Ensure these all use a SMART criteria so that you have both measurable and attainable goals.
An example of this might be: Using Facebook to get more organic traffic to the website. This might be a gain of just an extra 10 people a month before the next quarter.
Common challenges to this include no proper integration with offline and online activities, a lack of understanding of social media channels and a small audience to start with.
Creating a social media plan
In order to work towards the strategy, there needs to be a course of action written into a plan. This will be the deliverables of the project and include things like:
- Social Media Audit. Is branding consistent? Are there duplicate accounts on any channels? Should you be using Youtube, LinkedIn, Pinterest etc? Next steps and milestones for each account.
- Content Calendar. An Excel spreadsheet with themes to work with, integration to all marketing plans and an idea of content for between one month and one quarter. This makes producing and using the content much easier.
- Measurement. Insights are provided by all social media channels and you can dive into further stats by getting into Google Analytics. This makes measuring much easier and evaluation reports are simpler to create.
- Use Social Media as an extension of your overall marketing activities. Question how you can use certain channels to promote email sign-ups, for example, and in what ways you can integrate offline activity online.
- Stick to a plan. It sounds simple but a content calendar with overarching messages that relate to your business goals make it easier to both generate the content your audience wants and report coherently for growth.
Need a little help with your social media marketing? Our Lincolnshire-based team specialise in commercially-focused social media. Get in touch to find out how we can work together to save time, improve efficiency and generate more leads for your business.
Social Media Manager