Marketing via social media is pretty much a given these days. Just about every company putting time and resources into online marketing is giving at least some effort to social media. Yet not every social media strategy is a good one. Those that work do so work very well, but those that don’t work can do more harm than good.
The people behind Salt Lake City’s Webtek say that social media marketing is a key component to business success in the online era. They point to five specific things smart social media marketers do with regularity.
1. Research the Audience
Knowing the audience has been a tried-and-true principle of marketing from the very beginning. Not only does it still hold true today, but the principle has taken on new life thanks to the dynamics of social media. The pace at which social media evolves influences how audiences evolve as well. Thus, it is necessary to continually research the audience an organization is trying to reach.
The smartest of the smart combine their research with the creation of audience personas. An audience persona is essentially a profile of the perfect target. It is made up of key data including location, age, gender, income, job, and interests.
2. Research the Competition
Effectively competing requires understanding the competition too. As such, smart social media marketers spend as much time researching the competition as they do researching the audience. They seek to know everything they can about how the competition is succeeding in social. They seek to know how the competition’s audience is responding to them.
3. Establish Goals and Objectives
Smart social media marketers do not approach social platforms randomly. They establish goals and objectives for every marketing campaign. The goals and objectives are discussed with everyone involved to ensure that the entire team is on the same page.
Some experts suggest developing goals and objectives through the SMART framework. The SMART acronym stands for: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time bound.
4. Analyze Campaign Results
Social media marketing done right should improve over time. To make that happen, marketers analyze the results of each and every campaign. They look for what is working as opposed to what is not. They conduct regular social media audits in hopes of discovering:
- campaign strengths and weaknesses
- who engages with each campaign
- which social channels work best with different campaigns
- how campaigns influence sharing and liking.
Ignoring campaign data is like a corporation ignoring its key performance indicators. Analytics exist in the marketing arena for a purpose. Smart marketers take advantage of them.
5. Strategically Plan Content
Finally, smart social media marketers make a point of strategically planning content creation and distribution. They develop a content calendar based on the hottest topics of the day. As content is created, it is scheduled for release on a certain day at a certain time.
Strategically planning content forces marketers to think things through. It forces them to align content with established goals and objectives. Releasing content according to a specific schedule also forces marketers to pay attention to when social media posts are most likely to be engaged with.
Successfully using social media as a marketing tool requires intentional thinking. Success does not happen by accident. The smartest social media marketers know this, which is why they do things the way they do. They research their audience and competition fiercely. They establish goals and objectives, then measure the results through analytics. They plan their content and execute it with precision, knowing that they have done all the background work to guarantee it succeeds.