In 2021, social media marketing has become a crucial part of most businesses marketing strategies, given the massive engagement that can be gained on these platforms.
It’s quite simple, whether you’re looking to create awareness, engage, or boost your sales, then social media channels must be considered. Through social platforms that are discussed within this article, you can entice and convert your potential customers. However, it isn’t as easy as it may initially seem.
Social Media Marketing at a Glance
The key to conducting a successful social media marketing campaign is finding the strategy that meets your long-term goal. Without following a proper procedure, the content you post on your social platforms will not reap any benefits.
The first step to take, and that goes for every business, is identifying your target audience. Understanding who your audience is means you’ll be able to understand the type of content that best suits them. Learning through your mistakes and developing your strategy comes next. From the get-go, you have to know that social media marketing is not a one strategy that fits all types of marketing.
To succeed, you must stay up to date with the current trends of social media to ensure that you can utilize each platform, with its unique features, to the fullest. Social media marketing is highly mutative – what is ‘In’ today can be the ultimate ‘Out’ tomorrow, so you have to keep all your senses at play if you want to stay at the top of your game.
Starting from getting insights into your customers’ behaviours to learning how to engage them every step of the way, social media marketing will optimize your market performance in ways that can help you realize your goals.
We’re not here to just make it sound difficult, don’t worry, we are here to help you in understanding how to do social media marketing in 2021 and unravelling some tips and tricks for you.
Let us discuss a concise strategy that you can follow to make a social media marketing plan from scratch.
Step 1: Come Up with the Goals Which Fit Your Business
The most important thing you should be asking yourself before getting started using social media for marketing is- ‘What do I need from social media?’
This will help you think through your company’s goals. What is it that you want to use social media platforms for? Are you thinking about building a community? Or, are you thinking of working on a more devoted following and attracting brand ambassadors? Alternatively, you may also really want social media to be the means of driving increased sales.
When you think these questions through, you’ll be able to develop concise goals for your business. Based on these goals, you can decide what strategy to undertake and how much time to invest in your social media campaigns. Sounds like a lot of work? Well, you mustn’t skip any of the steps mentioned above. Social media marketing will require quite an investment in time and energy. Hence why this is necessary to understand how much is needed and who is needed.
When starting, it is recommended that you set realistic and small goals that can help you scale your social efforts through both sensible and inexpensive methods. Let us take a look at some of the possible plans that you can consider depending on your business’s size or priorities.
Gaining Brand Awareness
In simple words, this refers to putting your name out in public and working towards creating a long-lasting awareness for your brand. In this case, authenticity is crucial. You must refrain from using too many promotional messages.
On the contrary, you should work extensively on the content of your business that can hold up the values of your brand to the public. Remember, your brand won’t exist until people draw meaning from it.
This one is pretty straightforward. Regardless of whether you have an e-commerce store or have a brick and mortar business, it is, in this case, vital that you inform the customers or potential clients about the availability of the new services or products that your company is offering.
It’s worth noting that your online potential customers won’t just purchase through your social channels. You need to work on identifying your audience and attracting them to your social pages.
Building A Follower Base
Social media has always been about building a follower base and ultimately a community, but few brands do this right. You can get new followers for your business through social media. This will help you reach people who have never seen or heard about you before.
You can also grow your community by doing extensive homework about what conversations are happening online revolving around your business or products/services.
This is best done by adequately reviewing and monitoring keywords, hashtags, and phrases.
If you know what your potential clients are searching for, talking about, or thinking about, you are likely to reach them faster. Then you can work on creating your social media content accordingly.
Just having followers will never be enough. If they follow you today, they can easily unfollow you tomorrow. Hence, it is imperative to work towards grabbing and retaining their attention. Of course, this requires some sort of experimentation with different types of content.
This is most relevant if your business has a rich e-commerce site or makes a good amount of sales through a website. Social media can drive a good amount of potential clients to your site.
If that’s the case, then using a web analytics tool will help you monitor your performance online and calculate your ROI.
When you have these goals (either individual or a suitable combination of them) set in stone, you can spend your time deciding which social media platform can help you with your goals and which can tackle them better. Choosing too many at a time can distract you from the primary goal. It is suggested that you choose one or two and work efficiently towards realizing them.
Step 2: Get to Know Your Target Audience
At this stage, you must not rely on assumptions but facts derived from proper research. So, who exactly is your target audience and what do they want?
There is an excellent social media tool available that can help you do this effectively. All you need to do is know where to search for your target audience. Here are our suggestions:
Important: Each Platform Attracts a Different Set of Audience
When you looking at the demographics of each social platform you’ll quickly realize which network attracts which kind of audience.
This will tell you which platform to concentrate on and what kind of posts or content to come up with. Some essential findings for 2021 can be summarized as follows:
- Pinterest: You must be aware that the number of women using this channel is way higher than that of men. This means if your target audience is women, social shoppers, this will be a good pick.
- Instagram and TikTok: If you want to target leads from Generation Z or millennials, these two platforms are excellent picks. However, your content should be bold and catchy enough to vibe with their personalities.
- Facebook and YouTube: In all honesty, ads work the best on these two platforms. This is mainly because the users of these two platforms include the high-earning section of the audience. So, if that syncs with your target, you have no struggle to hit the right platform.
- LinkedIn: This platform consists of a well-educated or intellectual group of people. Hence, it will require you to develop deep, industry-specific content, which can be a little more complex than the posts you publish on the aforementioned social channels.
If you ask for our suggestions, we will recommend you to not spread your promotions throughout all the channels. Instead, concentrating your efforts on the platform where most of your target audience is active will prove to be more beneficial for your business.
Monitor Your Current Social Media Audience
Understanding your audiences’ demographics will help you find future customers. However, you cannot forget the customers which you already have. You should further analyze your existing customer base to realize what your customers look like in reality.
You can use dashboards across social media platforms to check a summary of who is following you and how they are engaging with you across your different channels. You can also analyze which platforms these customers are primarily active on to better focus your marketing efforts on these specific platforms.
Step 3: Learn from the Most Critical Metrics and KPIs
Your social media strategy must be constructed based on data. This is where your metrics come to play. You should focus mainly on the metrics that fit the best with your goals. Let us take a look at the different constituents of these metrics.
The reach of the content or posts tells you how many different users have seen your published content. It will give you a rough idea about how far your content is spreading.
This tells you how many clicks have taken place on your currently available posts, or even your social media account in general. You can try to monitor the clicks per campaign. This is one of the metrics that will help you better comprehend what drives your audience to interact with you and purchase your products.
It goes without saying that the higher the engagement the better. But it depends on the type of engagement. Nowadays, likes are almost worthless and not a proper indication of an account’s level of engagement.
Engagement includes everything such as likes, comments, and shares. It generally will give you an idea about how much your audience values your business and how enthusiastic they are to engage with you.
You need to keep an eye on your active hashtags, and those used the most. Try to give it a good thought- which hashtags fit with your brand most? It will also shape the kind of content that can take you further in the picture.
Speaking of hashtags, if done correctly, they can greatly increase your engagement. Many other things can increase your engagement on social media and specifically on Instagram, learn more about them here: 5 Instagram hacks to increase your engagement.
How was your most recent content received by the audience? Did you check out how the audience responded to the post, hashtag, or account? Did anyone get offended by anything your brand brought forward? What kind of emotion is associated with your most recent social media campaign? When you try to find answers to these types of questions, you will understand and know (in-depth) how your audience feels and what they are saying about you.
All these measurements will display numbers, and this data will drive your social media marketing plan. You’d be surprised to know that very few companies care about conducting a sentiment analysis about their newly launched product/service or campaign.
Setting Your KPIs
When it comes to setting your KPIs, always start small, but be realistic. You don’t want to set impossible KPIs when you’ve just started, you’re still testing the waters, and you don’t want to set small KPIs that they’re achieved on the first day.
Step 4: The Content Calendar
This is probably one of the most critical and direct influencing factors determining how your audience will receive your brand. It is important to curate your posts and content as per the needs of your target audience.
Now that you are well-aware of the goals of your business, and the platform on which you will focus your activities, you can use this knowledge to create your content accordingly.
When you’re creating content you need to ensure that they follow a particular theme. No, we don’t mean by that they should turn your feed into an art gallery, but they should follow your brand guidelines. Looking at your content, your audience should be able to deduce that it belongs to YOUR BRAND.
This means it is essential you follow a recognizable pattern. It can be either through the filters, frames, captions, or even the colour scheme your content uses.
Maintaining the same theme can also ensure the demonstration of consistency at all times. For instance, you can use a rotating colour scheme that syncs with the colours of your brand logo.
Trends of 2021
This is an imperative thing to consider when it comes to social media marketing in today’s world. We have compiled an overview of the trends of 2021, which will assist you in coming up with a more narrowed plan of what to post and when to post it.
Facebook/Instagram Stories or Posts: Time Sensitive
This type of content is expected to stay in the picture for quite some time and is expected to work in your favour.
As per human psychology, your target audience will fear missing out on special deals or new reveals. Hence, they will tap on stories that usually appear on their feeds without a shadow of a doubt.
Ensuring that your stories are interactive through the use of polls or questions will increase your engagement. It will also help you add a personal touch to your brand. Are you hosting an event? Take the followers on an e-trip and give your followers a sneak peek of what’s happening.
Reels or Other Short Videos
Videos work great. Human attention can stick to something only for a specific time (usually a maximum of 30 seconds on social media). Hence, a short video, such as Instagram Reels or TikTok videos, will help you dominate the social space.
You can also attempt to publish longer videos which can be linked at the end of the short ones (after you have grabbed the attention of your viewers). This will help engage more people.
Demonstrate Your Human Side
When you bring out the human side of your brand, viewers are likely to connect with you more.
Your content should depict the fact that you are just one of them (your audience), and it should be able to remind your followers that there are humans behind everything that your business offers.
Competitive Analysis of Contents
With an immense number of content being published on social media daily, how do you ensure that you stand out in the crowd? To do so, you must conduct a thorough analysis of what your competitors are doing and what strategy they follow to attract customers.
You can do so using different kinds of third-party competitor analysis tools. A mere review of how they have been working on their social platforms can give you extensive insights into your brand and what you should be doing.
Another essential idea is to keep an eye out for the most used keywords and industry terms used by your competitors.
Though keep in mind that you can’t function precisely the same way as your competitor, as we initially stated, social media strategies are not a one fit all type of strategies. If they’re succeeding with what they’re doing, then it doesn’t necessarily mean that you will as well. The whole point of the analysis is to simply check what they have been doing, what is working for them, and coming up with conclusions you can use in your social media campaigns.
Step 5: Go with the Clock
When it comes to social media marketing then you need to stay up to date. Your content needs to be trendy and fresh to keep your audience hooked.
Here are things to keep in mind:
Posting at the Right Time
It is important to know when your brand reaches maximum engagement and what time is the best to interact with your customers.
The truth is there is no time set in stone that works best for ALL brands. It all depends on your target audience.
Responding to Your Customer Queries and Reposting Shout-outs
When you respond to your customers’ questions promptly, then they are likely to feel attended to and appreciated. Furthermore, engaging in constructive conversations with your audience regularly can be handy.
Networking is imperative for your brand. If someone appreciates you on social media, address it, recognize it and repost it if possible. This is the only way you can ‘talk’ to your crowd. And remember, do all this on time.
It can be helpful to divide the tasks of posting and answering queries between your team members. According to research, a brand has a response time of about 10 hours. However, we can tell you from experience that customers will expect you to respond within the first 2 hours.
The last thing you will want to do is lose the people who already follow you. Hence, ignoring them is not an option.
Steps 6: Assessment of Your Performance
Just because a strategy is working today doesn’t guarantee it’ll be working tomorrow. Remember, social media trends change continuously. So does customer preferences, responses, and behaviours. Hence, your social media strategy must be adaptable and flexible enough to accommodate these differences and monitor progress every step of the way.
This can be done by involving yourself, or your team is constantly analyzing which strategies are making a difference, which is backfiring, which efforts are working and what campaigns are successful.
It is also essential that the data you derive from your metrics and KPIs are well reported. It is necessary to share your knowledge, insights, goals, and valuable data with colleagues and partners to ensure you all are on the same page.
The data will tell you if your KPIs are realistic or whether you need to come up with some adjustments.
You are now aware of the best practices to follow to create traction towards your brand and achieve your goals. These will help you develop a sound social media marketing strategy that can take your business a long way.
However, it is wise to keep in mind that this is no rulebook bound to work in precisely the same way for any two businesses. You will always need to add your touch to make sure it works the best for your brand.