You may have thought creating your business plan was hard, but your social media marketing campaign needs to be treated with just as much detailed planning and investment as your business plan if you want a return on investment that beats expectations. Social media has exploded over the last decade and nearly three quarters of the world’s population is online. Especially the millennial generation that is steadily becoming the largest consumer base there has ever been. Having the internet at our fingertips has made online shopping more popular than ever with 89% of consumers preferring to shop online.
America has one of the largest social network bases in the world with 67% of citizens having at least one social media account that they regularly log into. It’s no surprise that many online businesses, 87% in fact, are choosing to start social media marketing campaigns to attract more visitors to their site. Even those sticking to only organic marketing, nearly half of them plan to dabble in paid social media marketing within the next four years.
Seasoned marketing specialists know how important having a detailed plan is to achieving a great return on investment with paid marketing. They also know how to navigate the several social media channels that are out there and make your website, product and content achieve mass visibility through specific platform advertising methods. If you are just beginning a social media marketing campaign, the task of planning this very important strategy can be daunting. There are a few questions you need to ask before designing your social media marketing campaign.
Do I have the right team in place?
If you have a small company, you may be able to designate a social media marketing specialist who can learn about the analytics and research that goes into planning marketing, create content, do organic marketing, and any other marketing tasks that are necessary. If you don’t have anyone that you can put into this role, there are social media marketing consultant agencies that you can hire to navigate this process for you. Remember, marketing is the face of your company, they represent you personally, so the team you put in charge of this should be people that believe in your vision as much as you do and can work with you and are trustworthy.
What am I aiming to achieve with this marketing campaign?
Before you start strategizing the ins and out of your first Facebook paid advertisement, you need to know what the end goal is. Are you trying to gain brand loyalty and followers to your blog? Do you need to increase traffic to your website where your products are on sale? Do you want your customers to know about a new promotion or sale?
What social media network am I going to use?
If your business already has a social media presence, you should start your marketing campaign on one of the existing accounts. You probably already have a customer base and some followers, so blending paid advertisement and organic advertisement is an easy target here. If part of your task of creating a marketing campaign on social media is to also develop the business pages, it is best to start with Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
On Facebook, you can create a business fan page, respond to reviews, and interact with your followers. Facebook paid advertising also gives you the ability to narrowly target your audience and control the entire creative process. Twitter is popular because of the 140-character limit.
Twitter users are people who appreciate the short and sweet, so engaging people through this platform is easy and quick.
Youtube is the number one site for video creation and the second largest internet search engine. Every month there are over 1 billion people that visit YouTube and is the best place to meet the target age demographic of 18-35. People in this age group watch more YouTube than cable television.
What am I Going to Post?
When launching a social media campaign, you are going to need anywhere from 3-5 posts on each of your social media platforms every day. Because many of your followers may be connected to you through more than one of your social media channels, the content or ads that you are planning on posting should be unique and original. If you post the same updates on each platform, throughout the day, your customer may feel annoyed and oversaturated by your marketing and decide to unfollow you.
You also need to keep in mind that different social media platforms are optimal for different kinds of content. Instagram Pinterest, and Facebook all following the scrolling method of browsing and are therefore best designed for visual and striking images that are graphically appealing. Twitter and LinkedIn are a better platform for text information and retweeting your business affiliates tweets and content.
You also don’t want to post only advertisements. If you are starting a paid advertising campaign on social media, advertisements will be generated for you to your preferred settings. The content you post your self should be diverse and a mix of company news and events, questions to engage your followers in conversation, helpful tips and tricks and other content that you believe represents the personality of your business. This is the type of content that will have more people liking, retweeting, sharing, and mentioning your brand in their own status updates.
How am I going to measure my success?
Once you launch your social media marketing campaign, you are going to want to measure the success and effectiveness of your campaign. If you are using paid advertising services such as Facebook Ads, Etsy Promoted Listing, and Pinterest Ads will allow you to see your number of impressions, number of clicks, what time the clicks happened, how many of those clicks resulted in revenue and many more analytics that you must know, all for free. LinkedIn also offers these types of comparisons through their business pages.
Another option is using Google Analytics to track your social media campaigns. This is especially helpful when you have multiple marketing campaigns and advertisements happening on different sites. Google can tell you which of your social media sites your website traffic came from if you are using social media to direct people to your business.
After you notice patterns, success, and even failure in different parts of your marketing campaign, you can begin to tweak and build on it, modifying your advertisements for targeted audiences and expanding your customer base.
Who is my Target Audience?
You’ve been reading about your target audience and market, but who the heck is it? When you created your business plan you probably had to think about the type of person that would be interested in your product or service. This is the person that you must now market to. You need to know the age of your most likely customer, where they may live, what their income level may be, education level, gender, marital status, and much more.
Facebook is one of the most popular social media paid advertisements because of how thorough businesses and marketing specialist can be when targeting their audience. You can target people in New York City, even if your business is based in London, or set up advertisements to show only for people who are college educated and work a 9-5 job with internet access at work. The possibilities are nearly endless.
Knowing your target audience is also going to help you develop your organic marketing strategy. The way you interact with a follower who is 16 vs a follower who is 56 may be quite different. For some social media platforms, you may want to include hashtags if your audience is part of the 18-35 millennial age group, or insert humor and pop culture topics into your posts and advertisements, whereas for adults in the 65-95 age group, you may want to be much more straight forward and to the point.
Once you can answer these 6 questions, you should be able to successfully launch a social media marketing campaign and have a very successful return on investment. One thing to always keep in mind is that the social media world is every changing and evolving. Keeping up with social media marketing, especially across multiple channels, is a full time job. You will need to have creative and unique content every day to keep your followers loyal and advertising for you. Being available to your customers and followers by engaging in organic marketing is also very important to do. Not every business buys into paid traffic advertising, but organic methods of customer interaction are part of every marketing specialists plan.