Social media helps to substantiate your brand – and it’s no longer optional. In 2020, social media provides a two-way street that enables brands to reach their customers, and in return empowers customers to engage directly with brands. We know that social media facilitates a conversation that takes place around-the-clock, 365 days a year. If your brand is not part of this conversation, then you’re missing out on a powerful opportunity to influence the dialogue.
Your customers almost certainly spend a significant amount of time on social media – and you should too. However, social media marketing goes beyond simply posting content for content’s sake. Developing an effective social media marketing strategy will determine how your brand uses its channels to actively engage your audience, and to ultimately grow your business. Here are six compelling reasons why you need a formalised social media marketing strategy today:
Time is money
When approached correctly, social media marketing can generate more traffic, more engagement, more customers, and ultimately more sales for your brand. Whether your strategy focuses on organic or paid content, social media offers an effective tool for gaining new leads and moving customers through your sales funnel. The longer you wait to formalise your social media marketing strategy, the more you have to lose.
Reputations can be enhanced or destroyed on social media – and the reality is that your brand will be discussed online, whether you’re involved or not. A social media marketing strategy protects your brand, because it enables you to actively monitor (and respond) to both positive and negative mentions online. This process is called ‘social listening,’ and it’s an important part to minimse ongoing risks to your brand reputation.
When executed correctly, a social media marketing strategy can provide valuable insights about your customers. Through the use of social media analytics, your brand can capture key demographic information about your customers, and can segment this data into distinct consumers profiles. You can also use social media to track certain consumer behaviours online, including the types of competitors and brands your customer already follows.
These insights are important, as they allow your brand to optimise products and services, adapt promotional offers, or even integrate new audience targeting strategies into your marketing plan. In addition, a social media strategy equips your brand to stay updated with real-time consumer trends that may impact your market.
Today, many brands also use social media as a means to provide high-speed customer service, in a phenomenon termed ‘social customer care.’ Depending on the strategy that your brand adopts, social customer care can be useful for rapidly responding to complaints; answering product queries; providing real-time stockist information; and other forms of personalised service. In addition, your brand can use social media to keep customers updated with any issues or outages that may affect their experience with your brand.
It’s fair to assume that if your customers are using social media – your competitors are too. An analysis of your competitors’ approach to social media can reveal the size of their current audience, their potential for growth, and their share of voice in the market. You can use this information to your advantage, by identifying opportunities for your brand to set itself apart.
Finally, successful social media marketing will establish more authentic connections with your audience. You can use social media to introduce your brand story; highlight your brand purpose; celebrate your team; and share other forms of content that foster an online community. When people feel part of a community and resonate with a brand on a personal level, they’re more likely to become loyal customers.
Community building also allows your brand to have ongoing and instantaneous conversations with your audience. Want to get customer feedback on your latest offering? Want to know what products and services to launch next? With a well thought-out social media strategy, all you have to do is ask.
Sounds incredible! So, what’s next?
As you’ve learned, social media marketing is a powerful way to consolidate, grow, and connect with your customer base. At Powered PR, formerly Plant Powered Press, we take a strategic approach to social media marketing, which involves:
- Setting goals for your social media marketing strategy, to ensure these align with your broader commercial objectives.
- Conducting research to understand your audience, and uncover how they behave on social media.
- Staying inspired by evaluating key competitors, influencers and trends in your market.
- Developing a content calendar to creatively achieve your social media marketing goals with targeted posts, stories, and other ways of engaging your audience.
- Setting a budget – Did you know that Australia has the most expensive Facebook ads in the world? And that’s just one platform! Setting a budget that’s optimised for performance is a critical part of a successful social media marketing strategy.
- Optimising your current channels, to ensure all social media content feels consistent and cohesive.
- Remaining agile and capable of responding to changing algorithms, trends, and insights.
Is it time to revisit your social media strategy? Get in touch with Powered PR today!
AUTHOR: Jessica Cotton
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