Businesses are beginning to realize that social media has the potential to help them achieve their business goals, however, many of them do not know where to start or how to leverage social media to grow their business. Throughout the month of September, we created informative videos to help businesses understand how best to use social media to grow their business.
Watch the video series here where our CEO Jason Gervais interviews our Social media Specialist Caleb Sawh.
Aligning Your Social Media Strategy with Business Goals
As with every marketing tactic, the first step to achieving social media success is to clearly define your business goals. Only then can you create a successful strategy to help you achieve them.
Once your business goals are clearly defined then you can proceed to answer the following questions:
- Define and understand your target audience – Who are you trying to attract to your business? Who is the ideal customer? (Read our blog on building a target buyer persona if you’d like to learn more.)
- Determine the type of content to post based on insights from (1) above
- When and how often to post the content to attract your target audience.
While it may not always be possible to determine the optimal posting schedule at the beginning of your social media journey, it is always better to have a structure in place that you can build on as you progress. The best way to achieve this is by creating a content calendar.
A content calendar is the best way to organize your content and posting schedule on social media. Having predetermined content for extended periods allows for more flexibility in posting. Though topics can be brainstormed up to 3 months in advance, when creating the social posts only 1 month should be created at a time. Things in the digital world, and for your business are always changing, so you need to be flexible with content creation. One month of social posts is usually about 8 – 12 posts, but you should also be ready to add more if necessary.
One very important thing to remember when creating content for social media is to ensure that it is informed by your previously defined target audience insights and is consistent. Watch our video on aligning your social media strategy to your business goals for more information.
Building Customer Relationships with Social Listening & Engagement
Another powerful advantage of social media is the ability to build customer relationships. Social listening and engagement are key to achieving this.
Social listening is the process of discovering what is being said about your business, brand and your industry online and across social media. This is important because it helps you to stay on top of what is happening in your industry and how consumer sentiment changes overtime.
Engagement on social media means engaging with your audience. At the basic level, engagement means putting out content your audience will be interested and responding to messages and comments. To be an expert at engaging your audience however, you must go a step further by engaging with them outside your own content, commenting on their posts, setting up polls, asking them questions and sending them direct messages. This allows you to stay top of mind with your target audience.
Here are some important things that social listening can help your business achieve:
- Create better content: Using social listening and experimenting is the best way to truly determine what content resonates with your audience. Listening tells you what needs to address and experimenting content types i.e. images, GIFs, videos etc. help you determine how to address them. It can also help identify relevant hashtags which are also a great way to reach your audience.
- Track your brand: Tracking all mentions of your brand name and associated parties on social media is essential because a prompt response is key on social media as things tend to amplify very quickly. You need to acknowledge positive mentions and comments, respond promptly to any negative mentions and more importantly, address customer service questions or comments.
- Learn about your audience: Many businesses are still getting to know and understand their target consumers and how to reach them. Social listening can help you discover and understand important information such as:
- Where they are most active online and which social networks
- What topics interest them and what relevant keywords they use
- What needs, interests, and questions they have based on the content they’re reading and sharing
- Build Better Social Media Marketing Campaigns: Learning all of this information about your audience – the topics they are interested in, the hashtags they use, the content they read, and so on – helps you build better digital marketing campaigns.
Measuring Social Media ROI
One of the biggest obstacles to the adoption of social media by many businesses is return on investment; not because there is none but because many don’t understand how to measure it. As with any other form of marketing, it is important to measure your return on investment (ROI), to help you understand what is working and what needs to be improved or even discarded. Let’s look at some of the things that your business can implement to get a better understanding of how well your social media campaigns are performing.
- Set Goal Metrics: Setting goal metrics such as online purchases, link clicks,time spent on landing pages, site traffic, newsletter signups, phone calls, social media interactions, reach, brand recall etc. The key is to identify metrics that are relevant to your business.
- Assign a monetary value to each goal metric based on your business model and customer lifetime value. E.g. a newsletter signup may be more valuable to you than a link click on your website.
- Ensure that all relevant metrics are tracked using a robust analytics software like Google Analytics that can attribute goals completed outside social media to the relevant social efforts.
- Determine your cost per channel by adding labour and other costs.
- Use information from steps 2 and 4 to calculate the ROI per social media channel.
Grow Your Business with Social Media Ads
Social media ads are a powerful way to reach and engage your target audience especially if you already have a following and understand the likes and interests of your consumers. Social Media advertising put simply is, creating and deploying ads to your target audience through social media platforms (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, TikTok, Snap Chat etc.). If you would like to learn more about paid ads read our blog: Pay Per Click Advertising – All you Need to Know.
Navigating social media ads and understanding their benefits can be challenging especially if you have no prior experience. As with all marketing efforts, the keys to success are identifying your goal/objective, understanding your target audience, getting your messaging correct and measuring your results.
The beauty of social media advertising is that you can set up your ads based on the business goal you would like to focus on or for example, if your goal is to achieve brand awareness, a reach campaign on Facebook will help you reach as many people as possible within you target audience. If you would like more website visits, then a traffic campaign; if your goal is leads, then a lead generation campaign.
Many social platforms now allow you to collect leads within the platform itself, using their lead generation ads. The consumer journey is short and with less disruption to the consumer’s experience increasing the likelihood of a form fill. As social tools evolve, they have become increasingly important for product search and ecommerce with specialized ad formats.
When using social media ads, you can easily target specific audiences with certain characteristics such as; age, gender and location. Other options include interests, liked or followed accounts, education, job title, job seniority, years of experience, hashtags used etc. This allows you to easily find your ideal customer and present them with your highly targeted content and the opportunity to take a desired action.
Finally, measuring is much easier with social media ads as each platform has its own robust reporting and attribution. For consolidation, they can also be linked to analytics platforms for a more complete picture.
Our last video in the series explains more about social media ads and how they can help you grow your business.
Whether you are new to social media or simply do not have the time to use social media we can help you. To learn more about social media management and how we can help your business grow contact us at [email protected]