There is no doubt that social media has revolutionized the way we do marketing, and it is a vital ingredient for the success of any business.
Many companies are active on social media, but the question is: are they effective at the same time?
Social media marketing is a dynamic landscape and it can be hard work but when planned and executed in the right way, always results with quality leads, sales and happy customers.
Opposite of that, it can be a big waste of time and a painful process without having these essentials tips for social media marketing in mind.
So, how can you do that in an effective way?
No worries. We got you covered.
In this blog post, we have listed the best tips for effective social media marketing. Feel free to read them below.
Top tips for effective social media marketing
- Define your marketing goals
- Identify your target audience
- Choose your social media networks carefully
- Create a content plan (content calendar)
- Use cool images, videos and art
- Quality content over quantity content
- Use online tools (free and paid)
- Follow successful brands and campaigns
- Observe, learn, implement
- Plan an advertising budget (do paid advertising)
1. Define your marketing goals
The first step in every marketing and sales strategy is to define goals. Based on that, you need to start creating a marketing strategy.
Your marketing goals will drive the force of your social media marketing strategy in order to execute it in the right way.
Before jumping ahead, here are a few things you must keep in mind while defining your goals:
- Be specific
- Set attainable goals
- Make sure that your goals are measurable
- Stay relevant
- Your goals need to relate the big picture
2. Identify your target audience
First, you have to do market research and define your target audience or your niche.
After choosing the social media platforms on which you should be present, you need to start defining your audience within those platforms.
One of the first questions you should ask is: “Who is your ideal buyer persona?”
Then start with the demographics and ask yourself other questions:
- What are their interests?
- What is the age range?
- Where are they located?
- What is their income class?
Answering these questions more thoroughly will outline the following key demographics: gender, age, location, occupation, interests, education level and more.
“Focus on finding the right people, not the most people.”
Based on many research types and insights, you probably know which social platforms to target, but still, there are segments of some audience that you are probably missing. You can try to reach those segments with effective social media advertising.
3. Choose your social media networks carefully
Experts say that you should be present on every social network – and that is partially true. Still, every social media platform has its own “language and way of functioning.
Today, the most used social media networks are:
“Don’t be all things to all people.”
Fulfilling those particular social media tones can become complicated and come up as a waste of time. Copy-pasting the same content from Facebook to Twitter to Instagram is not a recommended method. These days that looks like a “post and pray” strategy.
So, what should you be doing is to create curated content that is appropriate with your brand’s guidelines and goals? That curated content should be customized and adjusted for a specific social platform.
You can always start small and be proactive on the social media platforms that you feel comfortable to execute a strategy and then expand to other platforms.
4. Create a content plan (content calendar)
Social media is a time-consuming content strategy that takes lots of thinking and planning. This has proven to be a very challenging mode of marketing, and it requires breaking through the crowded digital landscape to become successful over time.
First, you should set a clear list of goals and objectives, and in order to achieve them, you need to be well organized.
In other words, your social media marketing plan needs is part of your marketing plan and both should be aligned with your marketing strategy.
Make a content calendar and start progressively. That means you should start with one or two posts per week and slowly increase the frequency.
In the beginning, the best strategy is to go with general posts about international days, world movements, seasonal events and similar ones.
Between these, include posts about your company, your employees, your milestones and your products.
This will give you the chance to plan forehand, create posts on time and schedule them so you can monitor and prepare for the next months and some current paid campaigns.
5. Use cool images, videos and art
There is a difference between good-looking content and cool-looking content. The visual part of the posts on social media is essential.
Your content marketing should encompass visual content that is on a level.
Don’t be just another brand that posts free stock images with a personal branding framework or paid Shutterstock images with text overlay.
This means creating photos and video content beyond using free ones without involving an effort. Graphic design and branding are vital for brand awareness and later for advertising.
You can always learn a few cool Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator techniques and apply them to your images.
However, if that looks hard and advanced, you can always use tools like Canva, Stencil or Piktochart.
Before that, you should always follow social media design trends and graphic design trends overall.
Creative thinking and ideas are always better than having the best DSLR camera for making photographs and videos. Most of your target audience will not recognize the high-quality improvements, but they will notice a great design for sure.
6. Quality content over quantity content
It is not enough to only create and post content just to be active. The “post and pray” approach is an example of quantity content.
Consumers are bombarded with content from lots of brands. Creating high-quality and relevant content develops trust and reliability with your followers.
Do not just post for the sake of posting, but also try to understand the audience on the different social media platforms and adjust your content marketing for that purpose.
Nobody wants to see just “another” boring brand that is populating the news feed.
Therefore, you should level-up the game and focus on some different content types like:
- Leverage influencer marketing
The more effort you put into your content process, the more the audience will notice and reward that.
7. Use online tools (free and paid)
Depending on the volume, it can be challenging to manage all of your social media accounts and marketing campaigns manually.
Therefore, using online tools for social media marketing has become a necessity.
Here are some of the most used social media tools:
- Hootsuite – Social media management tool that supports social network integrations for Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube. It enables to curate cool content and schedule posts all the way up to managing team members and measuring ROI.
- Buffer – Web and mobile tool for scheduling social media posts and community management for Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Instagram Stories, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. It enables social media analytics and measuring social engagement.
- Sprout Social – Tool for hashtags monitoring, social media monitoring and analytics, and social customer service.
- Later – Instagram Partner and using the Instagram Graph API for scheduling and publishing content on Instagram.
These tools can make your work easier, enhance your productivity and help you accomplish your social media marketing goals. Most of them serve content curation, research, scheduling, publishing, insights and analytics.
The content creation process can be on a large scale. For this purpose, you should also use tools for project management and team collaboration.
Making the right choice of the tools you decide to use, can result in better team collaboration, improved insights, increased brand engagement and satisfied customers.
8. Follow successful brands and campaigns
Following successful brands or even your competitors must be a daily routine. The right amount of time and resources should be assigned to this process.
Many brands are already doing a great job with their social media accounts. For example, some of them may be very good at social engagement and others in LinkedIn marketing.
You can quickly get an inspiration for a social media strategy from their campaigns and how and what content they post on social media platforms.
Also, go deeper into getting to know what colors and styles they use in their recent content creation process, type of images and videos, fonts, hashtags and frequency of posting.
Most importantly is to notice how they set up their voice and tone and try to replicate some of those things.
To get your research even broader, you can follow websites like Ad Age, Mad Over Marketing and Ad Week, where they point out the best marketing campaigns created by brands from the past couple of years.
9. Observe, learn, implement
The consumption of content on social media is instant and it doesn’t last long. Timing is crucial.
Researching, observing and analyzing competitors and successful brands is a 24/7 work. On the other hand, the data you collect and analyze from analytics tools also takes time and focus.
Follow social media analytics to see what works and whatnot and based on that plan your next social media marketing campaign.
After all, the implementation only does not guarantee success. You need to measure continuously and make important decisions in order to achieve your goals.
10. Plan an advertising budget
Social media marketing is a competitive landscape. Despite your marketing efforts to engage users and do almost everything organically (which is the best approach), your strategy should be backed by paid advertising.
Still, if you know how much you have in the budget to spend, you will have a better idea of which marketing strategies to pursue to amplify your marketing ROI.
This does not always work out as planned, but starting with small amounts and realistic goals, you can begin measuring and then make decisions whether you should increase your budget or reallocate it in other channels.
Before planning your budget, you should ask these are the essential questions:
- What are your social media goals
- Are they in correlation with your main marketing goals
- Which social channels you should include in your advertising plan
- Is the company ready to allocate more budget in the future
- How will you measure the success of your social campaigns with social analytics solutions
Wrapping it up
There are hundreds of tips and tactics on how to do a compelling social media strategy, but it is very important to start with the essentials. These essential tips are included in every strategy planning, execution and analysis.
Social media marketing is evolving fast and is becoming more diverse as the types of different people that are using it.
Having these tips in mind when planning a social media strategy or a campaign will always benefit any small business and even big companies. But in the end, the execution is critical.
Aligning all of these factors will always result in a win-win situation, both for the business and its potential customers.