How to Create a Social Media Marketing Strategy for 2019. Well come to another fresh article today we are talk about How to Create your Social Media Marketing Strategy in 2019. Social media is one of the most powerful ways to reach and engage with your buyers today. Because it’s almost universally used—by consumers and brands—social media is one of the most effective (and perhaps cost-effective) channels to connect with your audience. Today, social media activity is higher than ever, with the number of users rising by 176M in the last year, based on data from Social Media Today— and that’s only expected to increase.
According to eMarketer, 67.4% of internet users worldwide will use a social network this year, and research from Social Media Today shows that 12 new active mobile social users join every second. That means in the time it has taken you to download and start reading this guide, almost 30 new people started participating on social media. And while new social platforms are popular, users typically adopt these platforms in addition to their current platforms, rather than as a replacement.
While popular social media platforms started as a way to stay connected with your personal and professional network, social media has evolved into a powerful way for brands to connect with buyers and engage in instantaneous, two-way conversations. Because of this transformation, social media is now status quo in a business’ digital presence. Social media marketing offers marketers a vast opportunity to engage with their buyers, across the entire customer lifecycle, on the platforms they actively tune in to for information. So, it’s critical that, as a marketer, you know how to leverage social media marketing to build your brand, drive demand, and engage your buyer.
What is Social Media Marketing and its Importants
Social media marketing uses social media platforms, as a brand, to communicate and engage with people—regardless of the goal of that engagement. Because of its rapid rise and prevalence in our modern culture, social media marketing has become a global phenomenon and a ubiquitous part of a marketer’s tool kit. There are 2.31 billion people in the world who are active social media users and 1.97 billion who are active mobile social media users, according to We Are Social. Social media is no longer something that needs an introduction—most marketers and their audiences know about it.
But, it is important to understand that social media marketing is more than the traditional platforms that many marketers are familiar with—Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. There are so many more activities and platforms that marketers can and should explore to reach their target audiences, engage them with relevant messages, and build lasting relationships.
It can be done organically—posts are displayed to your audiences based on algorithms or augmented by paid advertising— posts are boosted by a platform’s ad capabilities, making it more likely to be seen by your target audience. While our definition of social media marketing encapsulates the activities that modern marketers do on social media platforms to reach and engage their audiences, you may encounter different definitions and terms. As a term, social marketing is often defined as marketing that builds awareness around social issues and causes with the goal of bringing about social change. While social marketing may use social media marketing, it is not the same. Social media marketing today is considered a marketing channel and activity (or set of activities) that marketers use to connect with fans, customers, prospects, and partners.
WHY IS SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING IMPORTANT?
As marketers, a familiarity with social media marketing and its value is now par for the course. More than ever, your buyers are sharing their opinions about you online, whether or not you’re a part of the conversation, so it’s critical to participate and engage in a meaningful way. Social media marketing is an effective way to engage your audience across the entire customer lifecycle—from creating and maintaining relationships, to driving revenue growth, to increasing customer loyalty and retention, and building advocacy.
The impact of social media transcends almost every aspect of our daily lives—work, politics, breaking news, and more. The rise in social media usage by marketers, and our audience, means that participation is no longer an option; it’s a necessity. In fact, the growth in global social media users, both mobile (17% growth in 2015) and not (10% growth in 2015), continues to climb and even outpaces the growth of global internet adoption (10% in 2015), according to We Are Social Singapore. Social media platforms are just as critical for a modern marketing organization as any other channel. With a majority of our audience actively using social media (over 76% of U.S. adults using the internet engage on one or more social media platforms according to data from Pew Research), we need to be where our audience is, and that’s on social! To understand the value social media marketing offers your organization, let’s look at how it helps marketers drive value across every stage of the customer lifecycle.
DRIVE BRAND AWARENESS AND PREFERENCE
Social media has become ubiquitous across the globe. As a marketer, social media is an important channel to reach large audiences and develop their awareness, recognition, and sentiment for your brand. In fact, according to data from Global Web Index, more than a third of users seek out brands on social media—using it to engage with brands that they already like, research products and services for purchase, and obtain customer service. Traditionally, one way that buyers find you is through influencers—trusted individuals that engage with your brand or product. In the past, influencer marketing was typically owned by your PR team, who tracked and cultivated relationships with key players in your industry and market, but social media has changed the name of the game.
Now, it’s critical that you not only identify “social celebrities” (commonly known as influencers) who love and use your brand, but everyday people with a large network and influence. A great way to identify and engage with these influential people is through social media marketing—and building campaigns that are conducive to social listening and sharing, which we will cover more later in this guide.
INCREASE YOUR DEMAND
Social media offers marketers more than a way to reinforce your brand. It’s also a good way to drive people to a conversion or sale by bringing in new marketable contacts into your database and nurturing them across all channels. Develop offers, promotions, contests, and content that engages your audience more deeply and drives conversion— from a form fill to a purchase. This can be done through social media activity from your brand page or on a 1 to 1 basis through individual team members.
Outreach known as social selling gives you a new way to connect with your buyers. Your social media marketing and sales team (if you have one) can reach out to people on a 1 to 1 level and offer them personal, relevant content, messages, and offers to accelerate them toward a purchase.
Many marketers use their website as the ‘home base’ for their marketing activities—driving visitors to their site to continue to engage and eventually convert them. An important part of getting people to your website includes your ranking in organic search results, which is where search engine optimization (SEO) comes in. SEO is a strategic activity that marketers do to bolster their organic search rankings on search engines like Google. While social media and SEO may not work in conjunction as far as directly building your website’s page ranking, social media is one of the easiest and most effective ways to push out your content. The incoming links from your social media shares can impact your bounce rate and time-on-site engagement, and if your content is good and people stick around to read it, those engagement metrics communicate value to search engines.
NETWORKING AND PEER-TO-PEER INFLUENCE
One of the best ways to engage your audience is by providing them with a compelling reason to share your message with their networks in a way that is natural and seamless. Word-of-mouth marketing and peer recommendations are an extremely powerful way to increase brand visibility through social proof, as people believe their network of peers more often than a branded campaign. In fact, a recent Nielsen Survey on trust in advertising found that only 33% of buyers believe what a brand says about itself.
Because people view any brand-to-buyer communication as an advertisement, your customers are less likely to take your word for it. In contrast, the same study showed that 92% believe what their peers have to say about a brand. For example, if your target audience’s friends and colleagues are talking positively about your product or service, you are more likely to gain their trust than by running an ad campaign.
SOCIAL MEDIA DRIVES VALUE ACROSS THE CUSTOMER LIFECYCLE
From brand awareness to influencer engagement and peer-to-peer sharing, social media marketing is not a soft metrics-only channel. Today, it drives real and trackable revenue attributed to your social media marketing activities. The level of innovation on social media platforms also allows marketers to try new approaches to reach and engage their target audience. With the help of the right tools, like marketing automation and a social media management platform, you’re not only able to listen and respond to your audience across channels, but track the revenue associated with your social media marketing activities—making its impact crystal clear.
Social Media Strategy
UNDERSTAND YOUR AUDIENCE
Create a Winning Social Media Strategy you need to jump into the tactical and practical details of your social media plan, it’s critical that you take the time to understand your audience. Who are they? What do they care about? This section will walk you through how to answer these questions and define your audience.
To understand your audience—from prospects to current customers—you’ll want to create personas that represent the different types of people in your audience. Often, this information is available to you from work you have already done to segment and target audiences in your other marketing channels. If that’s the case, you may still want to go back and examine if those personas truly represent the audience that you’ll encounter on social media. Listening to your audience on social media can be a helpful way to confirm whether your personas fit your social media audience. Listening helps you understand in real-time what your audience truly cares about and shares.
Most companies develop personas based on customer demographics and behaviors along with their own understanding of their motivations and challenges. To distill this into a persona, you can conduct qualitative interviews and surveys of your customers, salespeople (if you have a sales team), as well as analyze the customer demographic, firmographic, behavioral, and purchase data that is available to you in your marketing automation platform or other systems. The better you understand and humanize your buyers, the more relevant your marketing will be.
If your business serves several types of customers, you’ll want to develop multiple buyer personas. For example, if you’re a B2B organization, your personas may include an executive sponsor, decision-maker, and the user. If you’re a consumer company, you likely will create your personas around demographic information like age, gender, income level, and region. For most organizations, somewhere between four and six personas is ideal, although you might create fewer for a less complex audience.
CREATING CONTENT FOR SOCIAL MEDIA
Now that you’ve identified your social media goals across the entire customer lifecycle, it’s time to put them into action. Because of the immediate, 1 to 1 nature of social media marketing, your buyers expect your brand to behave like any other person on the platform. So, in order to be successful, your content needs to not only offer value but meet their expectations. If you want to grow your social media presence and hit your different objectives, you need to create content that maps to each stage of the customer lifecycle and aligns with your buyers’ expectations on each social channel.
With the proliferation of marketing messages, one of the only ways to break through to your audience is with content that offers relevant, useful, and valuable information. In fact, according to a Marketo online survey, 50% of respondents named content marketing as a top skill critical to their success.
SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS
There are many different social media platforms you can utilize to reach and engage with your audience. In this section, we will cover some of the core social platforms for your business. Many of these platforms have capabilities that overlap and likely will continue to develop more as each platform evolves to improve the user experience. (In fact, in just the time it’s taken to develop this Definitive Guide, new features have been launched for some of the platforms mentioned.) Some have ad targeting options to enable you to serve content to distinct audience segments, which we’ll cover in more detail in the next chapter.
The best platforms to be on are where your buyers are. Keep your audience and objectives in mind as you choose which social media platforms to focus on. Some are better suited for meeting your objectives for earlier stages of the customer lifecycle, while others, with more advanced targeting options, allow you to reach buyers at every stage of the customer lifecycle. As you navigate the social media landscape, it’s important to have a solid understanding of each channel’s features and capabilities in order to help map a strategy that determines which platforms to participate on.
Facebook is one of the most widely adopted social media platforms. In fact, according to Pew Research Center, 71% of American adult internet users are Facebook users as well. And globally, there are more than 1.59 billion active users and 1.44 billion active mobile users on Facebook every month. Its continued success is largely attributable to its focus on customer experience and its ability to navigate the shift to a mobile-first world. Facebook offers more than just a way to stay connected to friends, family, and colleagues; it’s an essential tool to connect with your buyers. Since it officially created a space for brands in 2007, it has continued to evolve the ways that marketers can engage with their audience.
Facebook allows your business to be available to people on a trusted, popular platform, where potential customers can not only engage with your brand, but also see “real” people (their network) interacting with you. This sets the stage for you to build stronger, more authentic relationships with them.
Twitter has become an optimal network for thought leadership growth and development, and has become a space where both corporate and personal brands can develop ongoing relationships with followers. Companies that lack a strategic, conversion-based plan of attack for their Twitter accounts are losing out on access to a huge potential customer base and an opportunity to showcase themselves in a socially savvy, relevant way. Being followed by users on Twitter is a strong signal of their affinity for your business.
These self-selected audience members are indicating an active interest in your brand, what you have to say, what you do, and are asking to hear more from you. And having a Twitter page can drive positive interactions with these individuals. According to DB5 and Twitter’s Customer Insight Study, 50% of users visited or shopped the websites of the businesses they follow, 60% purchased from a business because of something they saw on Twitter, and 43% plan to purchase regularly from the businesses they follow.
As the world’s largest professional network on the internet with more than 400 million members in over 200 countries and territories, LinkedIn has expanded its solution beyond a hiring and networking platform to include robust company pages, a highly targeted advertising solution, and a publishing platform. With these additions, LinkedIn is now the way to reach an audience with a business mindset. Companies can build a profile on LinkedIn that showcases products, employee networks, blog posts, upcoming events, and status updates. Much like Twitter or Facebook, users on LinkedIn can follow your profile to learn more about your company. You can also post job openings on LinkedIn and search candidates, making it a great venue for recruiting talent.
Pinterest is a virtual scrapbook or pinboard that allows users to share and organize visual imagery and link to external sites. You can even think of it as a visual search engine. In fact, an Ahalogy study revealed that 42% of active pinners prefer to use Pinterest instead of search engines. A user can pin anything from around the web and other users can re-pin their images. And users can organize their Pinterest pages by categorizing content on boards. Pinterest can serve different purposes depending on the type of business you’re promoting. For B2B organizations, it’s a great way to curate visual content like infographics, videos, company culture, and even blog posts.
National Geographic uses keyword-packed descriptions that help boost their search rankings YouTube has over a billion users— almost one-third of all people on the internet. And according to Alexa, it’s the second-largest search engine in the world after Google, which makes sense when you think about how people use YouTube—as a video search engine for a new movie trailer, a how-to video, or even a product demo. As such, your video titles should be customer-centric and descriptive so that users can easily find your content, and your video description should be two or three sentences that include targeted keywords.
Be sure to take advantage of the tagging feature, which is the way that YouTube determines the relevance of your asset and groups similar videos together. 5–7 tags are optimal and will ensure your video is associated with other videos that use the same tags so they can appear as a “related video” when users are viewing other videos. Aside from just posting content on YouTube, you can take advantage of its ad platform, which allows you to display ads before a video to your target audience.
While Snapchat is more of a messaging app, brands use this platform to tell interactive stories. Snapchat has grown as much in one year as Twitter has in four years combined, and it is now the country’s second-favorite social network, behind Facebook, according to Convince and Convert. Snapchat’s functionality is similar to Periscope where your content disappears after a period of time, but can be downloaded and saved elsewhere.
SOCIAL MEDIA ADVERTISING
Social media advertising, like organic social media marketing, has become ubiquitous for marketers because of the size and quality of audiences on the leading social networks. This section will examine how to think about your paid advertising campaigns across the various social media platforms you use. Through social advertising, you can target specific audiences and buyers and deliver your message on the platforms that your buyers spend time on—like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Instagram to name a few. Advertising on social media platforms has changed tremendously. Recent updates to many social networks’ algorithms give users a better experience—one with less promotional content and more relevant content that they want to see. This means that, as a marketer, you need to supplement your organic posts with paid promotion to get your posts seen by your audience.
Today, it’s not enough just to be on social media. You need to be actively engaging with your audience—building your network, sharing content, asking your audience to share content, participating in conversations, and responding to comments. As social media adoption continues to rise, an omnichannel social media marketing strategy is essential to your brand’s success. You can’t afford to be absent from conversations going on about your brand, especially when your competitors are part of them. Now that you understand how to develop a social media strategy, you’ll be able to use social media marketing to engage your customers at each stage of the journey and create content that’s relevant and drives toward your objectives.
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