Strategy is Everything | Elements of a Social Media Marketing Strategy
A social media marketing strategy is the foundation on which your efforts are built. Excellent planning produces magnificent results. On the other hand, poor planning can leave you sinking. When the architects responsible for the tower of Pisa started planning the structure, they didn’t account for the soft ground it would be built on. While details can be exciting, spending time on the big picture ensures long-term success.
Luckily, due to multiple interruptions during construction, the ground became compact enough to hold the weight of the tower. Now it’s a tourist trap for selfies. But what you may not know, is that millions of dollars are now being poured into stabilizing the tilt. Overlooking soft ground in your marketing can cause a similar collapse, and there may not be enough time for the “soil to compact” or enough money to stabilize the tilt. So what goes into a social media marketing strategy? There are several elements to focus on.
Competitive Analysis and Audit
Every strategy begins with research. Educate yourself on what others are doing, learn from their mistakes, and figure out what works and what doesn’t. Taking time to research how often others in your industry post, what they post about, and on which platforms can save you years of talking into a void. Performing a competitive analysis and an audit of your current social efforts (if any) will shape the direction you will go in with the rest of your strategy.
Trickle Down Marketing
One of the most tried and true strategy elements is a trickle-down strategy. In essence trickle down marketing starts with a core theme which becomes a large piece of content such as a blog, video, or podcast. That content is then broken into smaller pieces of the appropriate format and size for the platform they’ll be used on. (more on platforms later). The best marketers are able to take different portions of the core content and use them on different platforms at optimal times. This cuts the content creation time significantly. It also ensures consistency in branding across all your social pages.
If you want to follow the trickle down content method (which you really should) then you’ll need a solid content strategy.
- Use your research to create a list of topics that engage your target audience
- Aim for 12-15 broad topics.
- Break each of these into 2-8 subtopics.
Now you have your content plan for a year.
Then you look back at your research and arrange the topics into a logic flow based on what’s happening in your industry and when it’s happening.
It’s smart to follow the fashion industry model, -always be a season ahead-. For example, if your busy season for real estate starts up in May, start posting about preparing for a move in April. When your target market is looking for moving tips, you’ve already got fresh content that has already generated buzz that will carry through the busy season.
Make sure to pay attention to the flow between topics. Think back to high school English class when your teacher required you to create an outline for your papers. Make an outline that follows a string of thought and has transitionary points so your content can stand on its own feet and flow like a good novel.
Now that you know what you’re going to be talking about in the big picture, you need to figure out where to promote it in order to reach your target market. Choosing which platforms to be on can be as personal as choosing which shoes to wear. You need to know your target market, how old are they, what experience do they have, what gender predominates, what political leaning do they have (if any), and - most importantly- what do they do in their spare time? It may sound like an odd focus, but if you’ve got a young stay at home mom who likes DIY projects in her spare time and you’re NOT planning to include Pinterest in your social media marketing strategy, you’re missing an enormous opportunity.
Which brings me to the other half of choosing which platforms to be on. Knowing the user base of each social media platform, and, if you’re planning on running ads, knowing what kind of targeting options are available to you. Once you have these elements in hand, it’s a matter of matching the puzzle pieces together.
Sales funnels are an electric buzz word in the marketing community right now. Using a funnel strategy has been a go-to method for quite some time, but it seems businesses are only just starting to apply that to their social media marketing strategy. The concept of a sales funnel is taking your customer through the journey of not interested, just looking, looking to buy, making a purchase decision, coming back for more, and finally becoming a brand champion. Organically you’ll want to create content in your content strategy that brings value to customers at each stage of the funnel. So taking yourself on the journey in the first place will help you understand what kind of information they’re looking for at each stage and then give it to them.
Funnel marketing on social media is a little more difficult because potential customers can find any of your social posts during any part of the funnel, so there has to be enough for people at each step of the funnel. But you don’t want to overwhelm and get lost in your own noise. This is where a solid ad strategy and retargeting come into play. Retargeting is a method that allows you to build your funnel by sharing a different piece of content with a person based on how far along the funnel they are. Did they click your link last time? If so send them a link for the next step with a new call to action and the right ask.
Social Media Marketing Strategy
Each of these elements can be applied to conventional marketing strategies, but when applied to a social media marketing strategy they take on a different form. While all of this can seem overwhelming it’s worth taking the time to set yourself up for success. Random acts of marketing may or may not produce results. An initial investment in time and research will provide cohesion to your brand voice.
If this kind of in-depth strategy sounds like a headache, let me be your aspirin. This blog explains only one phase of what we at Romer Social do to get your strategy up and running. And we offer multiple levels to fit your needs, budget, and preferences.
For DIYers, we offer strategy consultation in which we line out a plan for you to execute. We also offer the whole package. Our team will strategize, execute, and revise. Whatever level of involvement you are looking for, we’ve got it.
Our ultimate goal at Romer Social is to help your brand be heard by the right people at the right time in the right way. Give us a call and learn more about our services and how they can fit with your social media marketing strategy needs!