Act 2 of Social Media September Spectacular takes us to strategy building and tools that can help activate your strategy. In Act 1 we discussed establishing SMART goals for your business and KPIs that would allow you to attribute the value derived from your efforts.
Having a social media strategy for your business is the ultimate way to do inbound marketing. Social media has changed the marketing game by allowing you deliver messages directly to your audience on the same playing field as companies with multi-million dollar budgets. Not only are you able to deliver those messages directly, but you’re doing so in a highly-human way. You are able to build relationships with your audience and customers and delivering service long past the sale.
The first step in building your social media strategy is outlining your buyer persona. A buyer persona is the definition of your perfect customer. Your buyer persona is defined by knowing your ideal customer demographics, interests, industry, job title and more. Here’s a link to an exercise on developing your own buyer personas. The reason we start with buyer persona is that this allows you to hone your strategy in even further to address and reach your audience from messaging to content mix to which platform you’ll use. You’ll want to gather as much information as you can about your customer to really understand how your customer makes purchasing decisions. We’d also recommend taking a look at your website analytics and see if you can identify any user behavior trends that may be beneficial to developing the buyer persona.
Social Media Platforms
Next, it’s important to understand what social media platforms are available to reach your audience to decide where your strategy will activate. We’ll take a look at the top 3 social media platforms according to the social media data experts at Hootsuite:
- Facebook + Facebook Messenger
There’s an abundance of platforms to choose from when it comes to social media that we just can’t fit them all in! That’s why we’re sharing this link to 65+ Social Networking Sites You Need to Know About which gives great snapshots of each platform.
Video has become the most popular form of content across many platforms. video content is Youtube has been the star of the video platform for the last decade and isn’t stopping any time soon. Here’s some fast statistics about Youtube:
- 81% of businesses use video as a marketing tool – Hubspot
- 72% of customers would rather learn about a product or service by way of video - Hubspot
- 79% of Americans aged 16 to 64 report using Youtube in the past month - Hootsuite
- Youtube is reported to have over 5 BILLION views every day - VideoNitch
- 65% of people use Youtube to help them solve a problem. - Google
And this is just a quick snapshot into video statistics. If you love numbers like we do, here’s a link to even more video content statistics to blow your mind.
Video content as we can see through these statistics is the preferred content on social, however video quality is a whole other topic which we will dive into at another series.
Facebook + Messenger
Facebook dominates the social media market with over 2.45 billion users worldwide. Ranking just under Youtube at usage in the United States, this popular platform has set the bar for many other social media platforms. Most recently in the news, Facebook has been facing an immense amount of scrutiny for their role in political elections and the prioritization of content in their algorithms. Facebook has changed their algorithm to show users content from their family and friends and deprioritizing branded content, memes, and news outlets. While this information doesn’t appear great for businesses, Facebook shouldn’t be entirely ruled off the table when deciding to use this in your social media strategy.
Over the past few years, Facebook has developed a hyper-targeted advertising platform which allows you to be very particular about who views your ads to ensure you’re driving the best value for your audience and building value for your business ROI. Facebook owns Instagram, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp; all platforms you can integrate into your strategy.
Facebook Messenger in added in this section because it has climbed the ranks as being the number three platform users from the United States are using frequently. According to a study by Facebook, 69% of users say that being able to directly message a business helps them feel more confident about the brand. Messenger is a easy to use tool that simplifies customer acquisition by allowing businesses to provide a direct, conversational way to engage with customers. Messenger aligns with customer service and should be thoughtfully considered with your social media strategy.
Instagram is the premier platform for image and video content. User adoption of this platform was slow in the beginning, however now Hootsuite reports that 52% of users aged 16 to 64 in the US report using this platform in the last month.
Instagram can be a great platform for your business to promote your product and services. High-quality, interesting photos and videos will be critical to include in your social media strategy. Not all features of Instagram are available to business accounts right out of the gate. Instagram will ‘reward’ accounts that reach 10,000 followers with new features such including direct links in Stories. As we’re sure you can tell, this could be a game changer if you have a goal of driving more referral traffic from your social media sources for your business.
Pro tip: Don’t buy Instagram followers just to access that feature. Instagram tends to figure out where growth is coming from and could possibly shut down your account.
With so many social media platforms available, the biggest takeaway from this is to understand your buyer persona and where they frequent. Taking some time to do research about your customers will only benefit your business.
Let’s Talk Tools
Alright, we’ve discussed creating your SMART Goals and KPIs, understanding your buyer persona, and social media platforms. Now, it’s time to talk social media tools. This is an important step in building your strategy because using social media tools will make it easier to track your efforts and listen to what your audience is saying about your campaign.
Social Listening and Monitoring
Often times businesses can get so caught up in strategy development that when it’s time to press ‘Start’, the campaign can get set aside and the next project begins. Throughout your campaign, you’ll want to make sure you’re not ignoring your efforts and use a social listening tool to monitor what is being said about your brand. You can also use these tools to monitor what is being said about your competition.
Here’s a list of some free tools to get started:
- Google Alerts
- Social Mention
Scheduling and Publishing
Sometimes we don’t always have time to natively post to each social media platform we are using in a campaign. Save time in your busy schedule by creating batches of posts to automatically post when you decide.
Here are some tools that offer free plans:
That wraps up Act 2 of Social Media September Spectacular! We’ve talked Buyer Personas, Social Media Platforms, Social Media Tools and looked at some intriguing statistics about social media usage. In Act 3, we’ll be discussing Social Media Content and finishing up Act 4 with Social Media Metrics That Matter to Your Business!