Social media marketing has evolved to the point where it’s more science than marketing. And while content is still key, the real trick is understanding the scientific method of making it all come together to skyrocket your brand and, of course, your revenue! If that sounds good (and it should), you’re exactly where you need to be. We’re here to deliver the complete guide to social media marketing.
It is crucial to mention that marketers must take a holistic and customer-centric approach to social media marketing. It’s all about creating personas, producing tailor-made content for them, and serving it directly to them wherever they are.
Engagement is only the beginning, though. Next, you need to take them by the hand and lead them on a path that begins with a like or follow, and ends with the all-important purchase. After that, it’s about maintaining the relationship and continually testing, streamlining, and improving your methods.
After all, science never stops.
With that being said, class is in session, so get your lab coats and prepare for social media marketing science 101!
1 – Create Your Personas & Do Your Research
Before you do anything, you need to know the exact audience you’ll be targeting. Businesses are at different stages of development. You might’ve done extensive market research and already have an established customer base, or you might be starting from scratch. Either way, you need to establish customer personas.
Personas are human profiles with specific demographics, traits, and habits. When you create marketing personas, you create categories of your target market. For example, a persona could be professional millennials living in upper-middle-class neighborhoods that frequent wine tastings.
You begin with that information and then build on it with research.
- Which social media channels do they prefer?
- Which type of content do they consume?
- What time do they engage with content?
- What are their values and beliefs?
- What are their political opinions?
It would be best if you asked as many questions as possible to create a living, breathing, accurate avatar of your target persona.
2 – Choose Your Social Media Platforms
You’ve created your personas, and you’ve done your research. You know exactly who you’re marketing to. Now it’s time to go and find them. The thorough research you’ve done regarding your persona’s online habits will help you decide which channels are best suited.
How many platforms you should be active on is contentious, and there are a few schools of thought. However, it does depend on your research, your product or service, and, importantly, your capacity.
If you spread yourself too thin over too many platforms without a team on your side, you might be sacrificing content. On the other hand, no brand should only have one platform they’re active on. A good rule of thumb is to be active on at least three platforms and increase your presence to others if you have the capacity for it and if it makes sense.
The top social media platforms are:
Users: 1.9 billion daily active users globally
Audience: Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Millennials
Users: 1 billion active monthly global users
Audience: Gen Z primarily, and then Millennials
Users: 1 billion monthly active users
Audience: Mostly Millennials
Users: 211 million daily active users globally
Audience: Mostly Millennials
Users: 774 million active users globally
Audience: Baby boomers, Generation X, and Millennials
Users: Over 315 million daily active users globally
Audience: Mostly Millennials but with the most diverse mix of other generations and different demographics
Users: 306 million daily active users globally
Audience: Mostly Generation Z
Users: 444 million monthly active users worldwide
Audience: Mostly Millennials but includes Gen Z, Gen X and Baby Boomers
3 – Establish Key Metrics
What good is science without the scientific method? You’re not doing it right if you aren’t using metrics when it comes to social media marketing. Your metrics for measuring the success of your campaign must be established so that you know what you’re doing right and what you’re doing wrong.
You can use the analytics and metrics features included with the platform or use specialized companies who can do it for you.
The key metrics to consider are:
- Reach – the number of unique users who see a post.
- Clicks – The number of clicks on your content.
- Engagement – The likes, comments and sharing of your posts.
- Hashtag performance – How well your hashtags caught on and were shared or used.
- Organic vs. paid likes – First prize would always be organic likes, which is an excellent measure of your content and persona creation.
4 – Create Mind-Blowing and Consistently Great Content!
You’ve tinkered, you’ve tweaked, you’ve experimented. And now it’s time for science to come to life! As mentioned earlier, content is critical. Here are some rules to ensure you get the most out of your content:
- Consistency is vital: post regularly across all platforms
- Be relevant and engaging: focus your messaging on your personas
- Consider trends and follow them where appropriate to your brand and personas.
- Video, video, video. It’s so important, we have to say it three times. Video content and Social media video ads are the most effective by far, so use them.
- Join communities: connect with your personas in their tribes and online places.
- Interact with your audience: interaction helps to build relationships, but it’s also a learning experience for marketers to continue sharpening their skills.
The type of content you create and share is also significant. Choose wisely based on your personas and the research you’ve done. Here are the top categories:
- Written posts, blogs, and articles
- Electronic books (eBooks)
- Links to external content
- Images and graphics
- Video, video stories, and live video (OK, so that’s at least six times now. Hopefully, you get the message!)
- Testimonials and reviews
5 – Schedule Your Social Media Posts
It’s OK to start by creating, posting and analyzing your social media posts yourself – most companies do – but once you’ve become established and you’re gaining momentum, the best way to keep growing is to use a social media management solution. There are many to choose from, and you should do your homework and choose wisely.
These solutions know precisely how to gain the most engagement and interaction with audiences, and using them takes the guesswork out of the science. It also saves you time and ensures that you aren’t wasting all that energy creating posts that underperform and have no impact.
In closing, remember that social media marketing prowess doesn’t happen overnight – It can often take years to hone your craft and become successful. However, if you learn the science and apply the formulas, you’ll be headed in the right direction.