Social media marketing is a complex undertaking. It involves a range of activities and requires extensive knowledge of your target audience, the requirements of each platform, and your own brand. Additionally, there are new social media apps emerging every year and changing algorithms to consider.
Brands that do best on social media may make it seem as though all of this engagement simply comes naturally to them. In reality, they succeed by implementing a great strategy that adheres to these 10 laws of social media marketing:
1. Choose the Metrics that Will Indicate Your Success
Social media marketing campaigns often fail to reach their potential because it can be difficult to measure the true efficacy of each individual aspect of a campaign. To ensure you’re getting the most out of the analytics available to you, choose metrics such as click-through rate (CTR) that you’ll use to determine whether you’re reaching your objectives or not.
2. Look for Opportunities to Expand Your Reach
Social media is a great tool for engaging with your current audience. You should be using it to reach out to new followers and increase brand recognition. Start with some competitive analysis to see how other brands are attracting a wider audience and earning brand mentions.
Next, work to encourage users to share and engage more. Try emphasizing campaigns that include:
- Branded hashtags
- Offering incentives to share your content
- Soliciting user-generated content
If your marketing on social media doesn’t involve attracting a new audience, it should.
3. Develop a Precise Understanding of Your Audience
The content you create — or curate — on social media should be very carefully selected. It should be relevant to your target audience, so they are most likely to share and engage.
To reach this goal, you have to have a very precise understanding of your audience’s values, interests, demographics, and concerns. Don’t engage in social media marketing without well-defined audience personas.
4. Set Quantifiable Goals
Marketing campaigns without measurable goals tend to get meaningless results. For example, “increase follower count” is a frustratingly vague goal. However, “increase follower count by at least 20 percent in the next three months” is specific and measurable.
5. Incorporate Social Media Tools
There are social marketing tools available that make it easier for you to execute campaigns. Take advantage of these so that you can focus more on quality content and strategy. Look for tools that allow you to schedule posts, track campaigns, and even choose the best keywords.
6. Evaluate Channels Objectively
Brands have more social media platforms to choose from than ever before. While it’s a good idea to always be everywhere your audiences are, that doesn’t exactly mean you should be running expensive campaigns on every platform. Learn the target audience of each and what style of content it takes to be successful there. Then, select the platforms where you can reach your target customers and get the best ROI.
7. Be Consistent with Brand Voice and Messaging
This one can be a bit challenging. You do want to tailor your tone and content for each channel. However, you want to avoid being so inconsistent that you lose your brand voice. If you aren’t careful about this, your content may come off as being pandering and inauthentic.
8. Vary and Test Content Types
Budget some time and resources to expand your content offerings and test the results. If you don’t, you may be losing out on opportunities to earn more engagement and reach new audience members.
At the same time, these efforts need to be well planned and carefully executed. For example, if you want to jump on one of the current video marketing trends, that’s wonderful. Start small by doing some extensive research and determining how you will test the results. Create the video according to industry best practices and social media video specs based on your platform of choice. Then, if you are successful, do something on a larger scale.
9. Change Your Strategy
Your social media strategy is important, but it should also be fluid. Create social media marketing campaigns according to your strategy, then analyze them objectively.
If things aren’t working as you expected, don’t hesitate to reconsider your original strategy. Otherwise, you will continue to build and execute campaigns that are based on a weak foundation.
10. Be Opportunistic
Timing is important. Your goal is to reach audiences with content that is valuable to them just when they are in the best position to do something with it. Here are some helpful steps to take:
- If you’re a global brand, use a tool to publish posts across multiple time zones
- Pay attention to news and events, so your content is timely and relevant
- Understand your audience’s evolving needs and concerns
- Learn the latest social media trends and use them when they make sense
At the same time, use good judgment and be sensitive. Many brands have dealt with PR nightmares because they attempted to leverage some disaster or other tragedy as a marketing opportunity. Be opportunistic, but also ensure you are generating goodwill.