Social media began creeping into our lives very slowly, until it began to become a focal point. Statistics show that today nearly seven out of ten Americans use social media, compared with a small percentage of 5% in 2005. Top companies and businesses now recognize the importance of social media and its impact and are revolutionizing the way they do marketing. Facebook has nearly 2.2 billion active users while Pinterest has 150 million people using the popular platform presently.
The benefits of a well-managed social media strategy are immense. A few benefits of an effective social media marketing strategy are the following:
- Increased brand awareness
- Growth of a larger audience
- Connecting with a better audience
- Increased website traffic
- Generating more leads
- Making more money and sales
Failure to participate and construct an efficient social media strategy can be detrimental to the success of your business. Following are some tips and techniques that can help in building a strong social media marketing strategy.
Laying Out Goals and Objectives
In order to jumpstart social media strategy, having a solid plan with clear cut objectives and goals is imperative. This is the first step towards knowing what is required and what is to be achieved. According to a study, the chances are 30% greater to being successful if the goals are carefully listed down. Some attainable goals for a killer social media strategy include using numbers, setting a deadline, being specific and making SMART goals. It comes as a shocking revelation that even today many businesses are diving into the social media marketing realm without a properly documented plan. Without a proper plan, no company can really grow through social media marketing.
Researching and Learning about the Target Audience
The basic focus of a good social media marketing strategy is a clear understanding of the target audience. What are their needs and desires? This can be achieved by surveying the audience and looking carefully at the demographics. Responding to their comments and replying to their queries on social media channels can also prove to be helpful in this regard. Once a better understanding of the target audience is achieved, it can lead to building of a good social media marketing strategy.
Crafting Social Media Content Carefully
Every post and every content that is placed on social media should be carefully thought out. If something is being posted just for the sake of it, it is a wrong thing to do. It is imperative that the content being posted is at par with the social network that it is being posted on. For instance, LinkedIn is a professional network built for B2B audiences. Therefore, the content being posted here needs to be professional. However, if any content is being posted on Instagram, the content needs to be highly visual with short videos and static images. Similarly, Facebook works best for entertainment and news related content and Facebook Groups are a great way for connecting with the target audience.
How to be a good Social Media Marketing Manager
Being a great social media manager is a complicated and a multifaceted task. There are several duties that a social media manager must up take including being a data analyst and a community moderator, an innovator and sometimes even an entrepreneur. Whether one is a freelance social media marketing manager or a proper professional one, there are tactics which can be employed for rising up and excelling in social media management.
Knowing the channels
If one is not experienced in programming content it would become difficult to land gigs or an interview. A good social media manager must be well-versed in handling Twitter and Facebook and other social networking websites of the likes. It is also important to go through other uncommon websites like Pinterest and StumbleUpon, including gaining momentum with video hub Vine, shopping site Wanelo and slide hosting services like SlideShare.
Beefing up Graphic Design Skills
A good social media manager doesn’t need to be a Photoshop god, however it serves one good to have a keen eye for different designs as this can keep the business way above the competition. Social media has been saturated with content and the posts that have fine-tuned images are those that stand out. Graphic design skills improve social media marketing to a large degree.
Demonstration of Ability to Handle Complicated Situations
Responding tactfully and quickly to online disasters proves the aptitude of a good social media manager and also proves the ability for staying calm among chaos – a skill which is imperative for any media job.
Acquire a Degree in Marketing or Communications
In order to be a great social media manager, one needs to learn the fundamentals of writing and marketing first of all. It is necessary that learning as much as possible is carried out. After this, it should be put into practice. Employers always like to hire social media candidates who are well-rounded. Therefore, it is always important to keep design and writing skills up-to-date. Simultaneously, pursuing a degree related to communications and writing is the key.
Passionate about the job
Like any other day job, it is important that a social media manager is immensely passionate regarding his or her job. If one does not like the smaller and boring tasks included such as scheduling of posts, monitoring of replies and reporting on engagement, nothing good will be achieved. If the manager is going to spend eight hours a day working on the social media presence, then he or she needs to be at least vaguely interested in the products that are being sold or the services which are being provided.
Social media managing is not just everybody’s piece of cake. Even though it might look like a simple task to achieve, it is not so easy and requires a lot of time and patience. The basic key to effective social media marketing is focus and commitment as well as understanding of the general goals and objectives of the company. This, combined with a thorough understanding of the social media market, much can be achieved and accomplished.
Ehsan Memari is a blogger for SkyPrep, a provider of leading online training software for organizations to train employees partners and customers. Ehsan is a regular contributor to blog posts related to knowledge sharing, L&D and eLearning. Follow him on Twitter @ehsanmemari.