It’s a challenge! It cannot be denied! First things first, you must be clear of your overall company goals and your values. As with any marketing effort, it is important that all are aligned with your overall company objectives and values. Social media is not a stand alone activity, it should be sitting alongside all of the other marketing activities you do.
This year, your top-level goals for the year might be:
Releasing a new product or service
Moving into a new market niche or segment
Creating an important affiliation.
Taking your first top-level goal of releasing a new product or service, you will want to inform your current and potential audience of both it's features and the benefits.
You would look at running social media campaigns to promote your product launch and raise awareness to the audience you have defined. You would want to drive engagement towards sales. For instance, if your new product appeals to sporty types, you will be looking for ways to extend the reach of your activity to the direct and indirect audiences who would be interested your product. These audiences will be the users and anyone who may purchase your product for users, as a gift perhaps.
You will want to engage with potential brand ambassadors and interact with interested media to promote your product. You will want to push potential customers deeper into your sales funnel with case studies, testimonials, videos, interviews, webinars and demonstrations right through to information related to trials, demo software, as well as other information that assists with decision-making processes. You will be using your social media activity to push people to your shop front, whether that is your website or a physical shop.
For the other two goals I've outlined above, you will want to look creating tactics which enhance your objective. All goals will include an element of research into your ideal audience. Once complete getting in front of that audience will be similar to the activities above, but with a different slant to reach a differing need.
Another important activity you are likely to want to do, and which is growing rapidly, is to link with new influencers within your space. You will want to discover them and build relationships with them. Your influencers will be individuals who have the power to affect the purchase decisions of others because of their authority, knowledge, position or relationship with their audience.
So, taking 'influencer marketing' - how can you build it into your social media tactics?
The majority of influencers fit into the following categories, with the last type rapidly becoming the most important:
Industry experts and thought leaders
Bloggers and content creators
If you are a small or medium business offering B2B services, you are likely to be looking at points 2, 3 and 4.
Industry experts such as journalists within your chosen sector and of course, bloggers are ideal contacts.
Micro influencers are normal everyday people who are known for their knowledge and sector specialisms. They may not have the largest social following when you compare them to a celebrity, but their audience will be devotees of their niche. Their benefit to you will be the high levels of engagement with their followers. So, your activity with this section of your social media campaign could be to:
Create a list of 50 influencers who are in your new target niche and who might be open to sponsored posts or review.
Send a direct message to them to see if they are interested in your partnering offer
Set up one new sponsored post with one new influencer every month.
In fact, breaking down each activity you want to do to these bite-sized bits, with a budget allocated and time lines clearly laid out will help you hit those goals.
Tips - measure and plan! Be clear how much value you want from each activity in your plan, including this element identifying influencers. Be prepared to be in for the long-haul. You obviously do get some instant successes using social media activities, but most businesses need to put in effort over time before they start to see rewards. Decide how you are going to measure activity and how. How will you decide if the effort for each activity is worth it? Your highest value tactics will be those that require the least effort/complexity to gain the response you want. Set your deadlines for completing each tactic. Decide when you do want activities to be completed and by whom and off you go. Remember to analyse and react as you need to. There is an element of ‘suck it and see’ with every plan you do, so you should be prepared to measure your successes and take on board comments you get back from initial customers, journalists or bloggers. You are also not going to have finite resources, so plan your attack and prioritise the importance of activity vs your spend. The Everyday stuff! Don't forget you will be looking at other social media goals and metrics continually, and these will need to be aligned with all your overall objectives. These will include:
Continually increasing brand awareness by increasing followers and reach of your posts
Steadily increasing engagement on your social media profiles. Frequently participate in all your social media feed and build a community around your business.
Driving traffic to your website through your social media activity. Don’t forget to measure the direct traffic and referral traffic as well.
Ensuring you capture new leads. Make sure that you have a sign-up form or offer a bespoke landing page which allows you to collect new leads in return for an offer or perhaps a download. Use the latest technology to help you, chat-bots and similar are easy to use and really helpful if used correctly.
Continually monitor sales and profit levels – what activity is bringing you the best return vs the effort and cost needed, why, how can you repeat it?
At Blue Lizard Marketing, we work with a simple visual plan which will capture all of your marketing activity in one place. It allows you to include off-line and online activity, build your content calendar, your social media calendar, list your influencers and key journalists all in one place. If you would like a download of this plan, let us know, and we will send it your way!