So, you're looking to up your company's social media game. Likely a good decision, with 7 in 10 adults using Facebook, according to Pew Research. Outside of having Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Pinterest to make personal connections, social media is arguably one of the most important platforms for marketing and advertising for companies across all different types of industries.
But, it’s not just a matter of creating a Facebook or Instagram account. Anyone can do that. It’s a matter of being strategic with which social channels you choose and your strategy for how you'll use each of them. Because you best believe that what works for a competitor of yours won’t necessarily work for you. Greatness isn’t born out of a one-size-fits-all solution.
How do I choose the right social networks for my business?
Choosing which social networks to give your brand should a presence may seem difficult on the surface—but it’s really a decision that is driven by data. Let’s dive in.
Define your target audience
Defining your target audience(s) with in-depth personas or profiles is of great importance even beyond the scope of social media (more on that here). Defining your target audience will not only allow you to know who you’re trying to reach and how you should be talking to them—but on which platforms you can reach them best, at what times of day, with what types of content and so on.
Google is your friend here. ThriveHive recommends checking out where your competitors are successfully engaging their audiences, as well as searching terms like “motorcycle + Pinterest” to see how active your audience is on that particular platform. Collect your data, record it and use that data as justification for the platforms on which you decide to establish your presence.
Outline a social media strategy
It’s tough to see success out of any marketing or advertising tactic without first establishing a gameplan. There’s a lot you can set out to accomplish on social media, but it’s important to narrow down those objectives before choosing which networks to stay active on and create a formal strategy around.
There are plenty of potential objectives you can accomplish with social media, like…
- Growing brand awareness
- Communicating promotions, happenings and events
- Create an open communication line between you and your customers
- Push product sales
- Increase traffic to your website or blog
When creating your strategy, ensure you have the resources to carry out said strategy: the professionals with the bandwidth and skillset to meet your objectives, tools like scheduling platforms and dashboards to keep your processes flowing as seamlessly as possible, and frequent check-ins to see how your efforts are measuring up to your key performance indicators (KPIs).
Ok… I’ve figured out which channels to use. Now how do I use them strategically?
Ever hear of the five stages of the sales funnel? If not, we recommend reading up on it. The folks at mkonnekt provided a simple, easy-to-follow guide on how social media can support you during each stage.
Stage 1: Awareness
Make an impression on your target audience by posting about your brand at the right times of day, at the most optimal frequency, with the types of content that resonate with your TA best (video, images, polls, articles, etc.)
Stage 2: Engagement
Now that you’ve gotten their attention, it’s time to engage your audience. Engage with your TA by responding to their comments and DMs, sharing their content if it’s solid, replying to reviews and creating custom audiences with your top fans so you can continuously engage with them.
Stage 3: Acquisition Stage
Take note: this is the most crucial stage of the marketing funnel! Get your audience to take some sort of action like downloading a white paper, making a purchase or calling to schedule an appointment with tactics like social ads and remarketing ads, direct messages, Facebook Messenger ads, cross-selling and more.
Stage 4: Loyalty
Now that you’ve gotten them to bite, it’s time to secure their loyalty for good. You can do so by collecting feedback on their experience/product reviews, encourage your loyal customers to follow you on social (if they aren’t already), launch a loyalty/rewards program and share positive reviews.
Stage 5: Advocacy
The last stage of the sales marketing funnel is advocacy. This is when you grow your loyal customers to be your advocates or brand ambassadors (more on that in an upcoming blog!) This stage is when your repeat customers will recommend your brand to their friends, talk about you on social media and so forth. Action-steps to strive for in this stage include launching a social referral program, make it easy for your customers to share posts from your brand on social, offer incentives for your audience to sign up for your loyalty program or promote your products on social, amongst others.
Team TIS can devise and manage a social strategy for your brand!
Lacking the time, resources or knowledge to make all of this happen? The Image Shoppe specializes in social media strategy, management, planning, content creation, data collection and more. Contact us today to talk shop.