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Define Your Social Media Marketing Strategy

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Let us directly go to the intimidating numbers.

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Some of us are from a generation who witnessed the swift paradigm shift that internet and social media networks brought along; we struggled so hard to fit in, to be able to “be present online” all the time, that we forgot how to be social “physically”! Social media not only changed our concept of socializing, it has redefined the concept of consumerism altogether. It changed the way business and marketing used to be; brands can reach numbers of customers they never could reach before, ever. However, if you do not have a specific target oriented social media marketing strategy, there is no way you can make an impression on this over-crowded-always-changing world of virtual reality.

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It is the other way around in reality (compared to the cartoon above!); you need to define your social media marketing strategy first. On which social media you will try to create a footprint should be based on the strategy that you have zeroed on. Let us start with revisiting unique social media strategies adopted by famous brands.

#A. Snack Hacks by Oreo

Oreo is a brand known for its fun-filled creative social media strategies. #OreoSnackHack campaign showcased 10 seconds videos to demonstrate different ways of having Oreo rather than dunking it in milk. During 2014 they took this venture to a new level by turning it to a web series where top chefs like Choi, Michael Voltaggio and Nguyen Tran will create different food dishes with Oreo. This is how one can make use of Apps like Vine or Video in their social media marketing strategy.

#B. TopShop’s Pinterest Palettes

One of the fashion brands that have always used social media to their advantage is Topshop. They wanted their customers to take part in choosing their net clothes purchase based on the color themes and palettes. Based on the Pinterest users’ pins selection (which TopShop will have access whenever somebody signs in to Pinterest via TopShop’s website) TopShop will present them with their color palette.

Moving on to the steps one can follow to build an effective social media marketing strategy, we must understand one basic concept; that is, each social media has its own characteristic. A successful strategy for Google+ may not be as effective on Pinterest or Instagram. Let us take a look at some of the basics.

Google+

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Visual:

It is incredibly visual in nature as a social media. You have the cover page or the scrap-book edit option to showcase your brand. Posting high-resolution photos and videos help you to reach more people as Google+ itself gives priority placement in users’ feed to some of the posts which they think have more potential.

Formatting for Better Readability:

Compared to any other social media Google+ offers more options to improve readability of your content by including options like bold, strikethrough or Italicize.

Lower Thirds in Hangouts:

Hangout offers branding possibilities in its Lower Third. Put your name/ brand’s name, title or any other information you want others to know in your Hangout Lower Third and your branding will be done at once.

LinkedIn

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Visual:

LinkedIn is a social media highly misunderstood as a place which could be used only for recruitment. On the other hand, LinkedIn also is a platform where a brand could make its presence felt with proper visual strategy. A LinkedIn company page is a canvas for a brand if it can use it.

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Frequent Sharing:

Sharing and posting at a regular interval helps reaching customers a lot on LinkedIn. Here is a short analysis of the kind of content and their potential.

Facebook

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Written Content:

Facebook is a network where brands generally post longer content whereas research has shown that shorter posts get more engagement. Posts formed in questions earn even more interaction from the target audience. Moreover, Facebook offers a lot of formatting possibilities to improve your already posted content.

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Resizing images:

Facebook automatically resize images to fit in to their own aspect ratios. They have different aspect ratios for desktop and mobile news feed. Utilizing them in correct way could be a key factor part of your social media marketing strategy for Facebook.

Pinterest and Instagram

Both Pinterest and Instagram are photo-heavy second generation social media networks, catching up way too fast with the Big Fours, namely, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn. They are all about visual branding; the more interesting your visuals are, the more reach and engagement you will gain.

Pinterest prefer longer images if you want to earn more repins. On the other hand, to get more engagement one can use filters on Instagram. It is shown that people have reacted to certain kinds of filters and liked images which used those filters (filters like Normal, X Pro II are some of the most influential filters on Instagram).

Twitter

The most challenging one among all the social media networks in order to stand out just with 140 characters and a short shelf-life is probably Twitter.

Emoticons and Symbols:

Emoticons and Symbols are something which can make your tweets shorter as well as emotive; a great way to attract attention from your customers.

Add photos:

Undoubtedly photos or images add more value to your Twitter posts.

After looking at some of the basics of how each social media are different in nature let us try and jot down few essential rules of creating a fundamental social media marketing strategy which would have an overall effect to a brand’s social presence.

#1: Why Social Media

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The first and foremost thing a brand should understand is the reason why it wants to create or refurbish its social media footprint. Maintaining a social media profile is a full-time job and one has to be at par with the ever-changing technologies. If you know your brand perfectly well and you know the purpose behind the social media venture only then you should attempt to do such a monumental task in order to enhance your business. This would help you to focus and choose as in which social media platform would be best for your brand and its purpose of being social.

#2: Setting up Goals and Marketing Objectives

There are two parts in this step: to think about the big-picture; what you want to achieve in totality; and to think about the time-bound specific goals that you need to achieve in order to reach your ‘big-picture’. These goals can be anything from reducing marketing costs (for which social media is a very good choice) to increasing brand awareness. You also need to have marketing objectives, the specific parameters that will define if anything was achieved. There is a wonderful acronym for this: S-M-A-R-T: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound.

#3: Know Your Audience

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Knowing your audience is one of the important aspects to define your social media marketing strategy. This includes anything from the age-group of your target audience to the kind of social media is popular among that particular age group. Creating a ‘Buyer’s Persona’ will help in focusing on the specific need of your buyer.

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There are several market research tools like Typeform or Followerwonk available to help you with this job.

#4: Know Yourself (Know Your Brand)

Now, this might sound basic but it happens that many times we forget to put effort on understanding the basic. Identifying and understanding your brand’s voice and tone is the most vital part of this whole journey of defining your social media marketing strategy. A brand’s voice (mission statement) and its tone (application of that mission) are factors which determine the content that it is going to publish in various chosen social media platforms.

#5: Plan and Create Content

Content creation is something without which there will be no social media strategies. I mean, all the brainstorming behind your strategy is taking place because you want to create your content based on the findings of your strategy; content is the means through which you would reach out to your customers. Three essential elements of planning your content are: type of the content, time of posting and frequency of posting. Now, content can be basically two types: written or visual.

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Your content strategy has to be different based on the social media platform you are on. One golden rule by the way is to be more visual as we have seen that every social media network has its own ways to provide visual branding.

# 6: Analyze and Measure; Social Media Audit

If setting up a goal makes the starting point of your social media marketing strategy, analyzing your achievement in terms of the set goals has to be the end of the journey. A proper audit of your social media marketing strategy can give you insights which will come handy later to improve or enhance your planning.

Conclusion

Having a strategy ready at hand is winning half the battle and this is true even for this surreal world of social media! So, define your social media marketing strategy and plan it accordingly. Fear not, you have tools like Post Planner or PhotoSync, KingSumo or Tagboard to help you out with your plans. Adapt and move forward with social media networks.

Image Credit:

www.legaltechnology.com
www.conseilsmarketing.com
www.silvertreecommunications.com
pamorama.net
www.adlandconnection.com
wearesocial.net/blog
blog.bufferapp.com
www.jonloomer.com
colleendilen.com
scoop.it

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