(In this article will talk about the social media marketing strategy for the small businesses and This will be a good read for social media freelancers or small business owners for an overall idea about it. This will be a 20min read max, do let me know in the comment if you find this interesting and helpful and also click on share buttons below if you find this interesting and helpful)
What is Social Media Marketing?
Social Media Marketing is reaching your right audience with the right message at the right time and through the right platform where they are hanging most. And for a perfect social media marketing strategy analysis is must like the right set of audience, current objective of the campaign, what competitors are doing etc. And every strategy should be backed up with a robust survey like what customers are looking for, what they like, why they will prefer you, etc. If the survey is conducted properly then you can form your content strategy as per your consumer mindset and it will always give you a better result.
The goal should be clear and SMART here.
S – Specific
M – Measurable
A – Attainable
R – Relevant
T – Time-Bound
The base of all is content and content is always formed as per the objective and till the objective is not clear then the content is irrelevant. Objective comes first, then the platform and then content as per the platform.
Steps to follow to build up a robust social media strategy
- Platforms selection as per the nature of business and current objectives (Right Platform)
- Social Media Marketing Objective
- Competitor Analysis
- Content Planning, Timeline and calendar (Right Message)
- Audience Research (Right Audience)
- Paid Ads budgeting
- Lead generation
- Social Media Analytics
Is it good to go to the Omni platform while you are just starting? Or, you should in start focus on a specific one by analysing where your audience is hanging most as per the nature of your business. Well, this decision depends as per the nature of the business and objectives of the campaign nothing is wrong here. But should be planned strategically and as per the amount of investment, we have to invest. For F&B, eCommerce Facebook and Instagram are the good platforms to start with and by the time you grow you can develop your youtube channel for video content and if you feel you have to hire staff to grow your business more than you can start with LinkedIn then.
Social Media Marketing Objective
To start with “Social Media Marketing”, objectives should always be clear in mind. And it should be formed as per the brand ageing and current identity in the market. Objectives can be of many forms.
- Brand Awareness
- Developing and increasing social media community
- Increasing engagement
- Driving Social media followers to the website
- Converting the Audience into customer
- Revenue Generation
- Brand Awareness: This should always be the first objective of any brand when they are just starting. Good Content and patience is the key to success but is it enough? No, if your content is not reachable to the right audience then it is a waste for you. To improve reach you should promote it to the right volume of the audience with proper targeting to those who are interested in the food you serve and the motive should be awareness only and such ads should get maximum reach.
- Social Media Community Development: Once your awareness campaign starts reaching good volume with the like interest and with the right attention message no doubt they would love to know a little more about you. Hack here is right attention line, your ad should be backed up with a perfect attention line while your audience scrolling through any social media channel they are not there for you, they are hanging there to connect with friends or building new connections, your social media ads and content should be formed in such a way while they are scrolling through and your ad passes by there eyes they should at least stop once and notice it again and this time ad should be targeted to an audience who are most likely to take some action this time backed up with such content.
- Increasing Engagement: Strong and engaging content starts making your community your advocate. Keep your audience updated with relevant and engaging content. Your content should persuade them to take some action. And to boost engagement you also can run campaigns with engagement objectives and target audience who are most likely to comment, like and share your piece of content.
Generally, we become friends on such platforms with like-minded people and with the same interest and once your content starts getting comments and shares it starts reaching more audience with like interest organically and when they notice one of there friend has taken action they will definitely show interest or seldom will take some more action.
- Driving the community to your property, converting them to customers and generating revenue: You reached a good volume and developed a good engaging community is this enough for your business of course not. Now is the time to develop some business too after all revenue generation is one of the mottoes of your business and even if it is less, then how long will you survive with your engaging community? Once basics are over now focus should be conversions and to convert your audience and community to customers you should generate leads by driving your traffic on your property with a good lead magnet.
This is must while developing your content strategy for social media marketing, This analysis can be done by 1H4W Question like,
H – How they are marketing themselves
W – What strategy they are following from so long and what type of content they are posting most
W – Which channel they are using most
W – When they post content
W – Why? You should analyse their objectives by analysing their profile and should answer why they are doing so.
Once you are done with competitor analysis 40% of your mind will be clear what actions you should take now and how to form your content strategy as per the objectives.
Content Planning, Timeline and Calendar
After the competitor analysis and making your mind clear with the objectives not time is to plan the content and schedule it with the proper timeline. Time to define the right content mix and work accordingly on it for a better result.
40% of your content should inform, educate, entertain your audience about your niche
25% of your content should speak about you with some customer review and social proof
05% space you should keep for recent and viral events
15% of your content should be backed from some other source
15% of your content should be focused on traffic driving and lead generation
The right mix helps you to keep building brand awareness, the right audience keeps them engaging and generates proper ROI with the help of lead generation. Content planning is a big topic in itself. Soon I will write a separate article on the same.
Once Content is planned then it should be scheduled as per the proper timeline as to when most of the traffic is active and what content to post on which day.
One of the most important activities on social media is Audience Research and funnel building so that your right message on the right platform should reach the right audience to optimise your time, content and ad spends. If you develop excellent content after a proper analysis and work on a perfect platform but your content is not reaching the right audience then every effort will waste and you will always find your profiles short of audience, engagement and leads. And even in Social Media Marketing, the best part is you can reach the right audience if you target them properly. Many factors are involved in audience targeting, mentioning a few of them below and another blog will be posting soon on audience research.
- Financial Status
- Life Event
Paid Ads Budgeting:
As a consultant many times I face this question from almost all the clients, how much budget should I invest in paid ads?
- Well if we go as a thumb rule minimum budget should be 5% of your gross sale, but would it be sufficient?
- This should be answered as per your brand awareness if the brand is new and don’t know how much will be the sale? Then the objective here will be awareness 1st and to gain the attention of your targeted audience on social media this time you have to set your audience 1st on social media and then you can check the size of the audience and how much people you’re planning to reach.
But the goal should be reaching the maximum number of people here. If your audience size is 1.5lakh and you are doing your social media ads locally in your city then in the budget section you can add random amounts and check estimated potential reach. Suppose you are adding 10$ per day and the social platform is showing potential daily reach as 10K-25K people per day than to reach at least 1 lakh size you need to continue and for a minimum 6 to 7 days, 60$ will be the minimum budget for awareness.
- Once you start doing ads as per the objectives with the experience and audience responses only you will start getting conclusions on budgets. Hack here is you should start investing in paid ads, make a good funnel and hit the masses 1st and then do an audit and start segregating audiences.
- Success is sure if you reach the right audience at the right time with the help of the right platform and the right message. Remember you have less time to grab the attention then your ad creative and description should grab attention in max 3 seconds. Else you will start losing money only for impression.
The most important objective of social media marketing strategy, without this, how long you will keep running your paid ads and how long you will keep investing your hard-earned money on social platforms. Without revenue how long will your business be able to survive?
For a good volume of sale, you need a good quality of lead but in the start, you should focus on quantity too many times it happens while you are nurturing low-quality leads or say cold leads start becoming warm and then hot and then start converting as a sale. But before starting with lead generation ads you should ask these questions to yourself
- How many times have you given your contact details on random ads?
- And sometimes you might have submitted them.
- What was the reason and why you shared it with those ads?
- Which ads grabbed your attention and what exactly grabbed your attention?
- When finally you thought, you should move forward and share your details as a lead?
Answers will be simple and the same in many cases. I know you haven’t shared your lead on 1st impression and even you might have ignored the ad if it is not relevant and not even solve your problem or if it is not of your interest.
- In the above answer, there are some hacks.
- Targeting Right Audience those who have interest in your product, subject or niche
- Re-Targeting those who haven’t take action at once and then targeting them again
- Your ad should solve some of the problems of your audience and move them to the desired state.
- Would it be enough? Have you ever shared your details without getting something in return? Yes, this was the main reason you might have shared your details with the advertiser after considering all the above factors, it is known as a “LEAD MAGNET” which attracted you the most and you were not able to stop yourself to get it in exchange for your email id and phone number.
- In short to generate leads your ad should be backed up with some lead magnet, targeting should be specific, the journey should be clear “Current state to Desired State” with the right message and retargeting is also important with attention-grabbing ad copies.
But always remember lead generation is not the final call you also need to nurture them for sales and for nurturing you have to build a funnel and also take help of email automation to keep on grabbing attention and building trust then only in future they will be ready to do transactions with you.
Social Media Analytics:
Social media analytics is the process of gathering complete data in one place, analyzing it and understanding the problems from the previous plan and taking appropriate action. The most important step you should never ignore, though it comes in last it helps you to plan for a better future. Social Media Analytics is the most important task to analyze what was the reach of organic content or how your ads performed, what were the reach of your ad, from that reach how many people interacted and at the end how many people converted from your plan. If performance was low what was the reason? mistakes are bound to happen in initial days but it can be resolved and a marketer and a business owner should learn from the past mistakes and should focus on improvements with the help of analytics. Many such tools are available in the market which can help you to get the complete data in the forms of pie charts and graphs of all the social media channels at one place.
Thanks for reading this as every concept is vast in itself, I tried to conclude all in one place. Soon I will publish one article about each topic in detail with hyperlinks. Do let me know your views in a comment about this article and if you liked it you can share it on your social channels with friends those who are in business or digital marketing.
Don’t forget to read the below relevant marketing articles by my mentor and friends which I found helpful.
Blog by DigitalDeepak my Mentor 11 Reasons why you need to take Social Media Marketing Seriously
Blog by colleague Keerthana on Digital Marketing Job in 2021
Blog by Shrishti Gupta 9 Ways to Become a World Champion of Marketing