Social media is everywhere. Almost three in four Americans use at least one social network, according to 2021 research from Pew. And while most savvy businesses are already aware of the importance of a strong social media presence, too many others don’t have a cohesive approach.
It’s easy to find examples of these companies: half-completed social media profiles, sporadic posts that happen consistently for a few days and then tail off, broken or outdated links on company pages, etc. Maybe your current organization even fits this profile.
This type of “spray and pray” approach can sometimes generate results intermittently, but will almost never result in consistent success. The good news is it’s relatively easy to put your company on track for a consistent approach to social media that generates results for your business.
The key to making such a transition is taking a strategic approach to social media. While every business will require a slightly different strategy to find success, there are a few tenets of social media strategy everyone should follow in some form or another.
Creating Your Blueprint
If you’re starting a social media strategy from a blank slate, the first thing to consider is your persona (sometimes called an avatar). In-depth knowledge of your ideal buyer is the foundation of any successful social media strategy. Without it, any kind of effort you make to connect with others will fall short.Knowledge of your ideal buyer is the foundation of any successful social media strategy Click To Tweet
As you work on developing an understanding of your persona, questions about your strategy will naturally be answered. At the very least, you’ll narrow your options a bit to make your social media strategy more effective.
A few of the most common questions to ask during this phase include:
- Where does my target audience spend the most time? Popular social networks include Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok. While you might have some preconceived ideas about which networks work best for your audience, you should still conduct research in this area as the results may surprise you. For example, there are plenty of doctors and healthcare professionals highly active on TikTok, a network that many traditional marketers might not consider pursuing a B2B strategy.
- What are the most important goals for my ideal client? In a B2B setting, this typically involves saving money through improving operational efficiency or increasing revenue by accelerating a sales pipeline. These goals may manifest differently depending on the industry, but generally, they are somehow related to these two concepts.
- What type of content are my ideal clients most likely to consume? Even within a single social network, multiple formats are usually available for content. Is your audience more likely to respond to an infographic with hard data layered over visuals? Maybe they’d rather consume long-form content or bite-sized videos of two minutes or less? According to HubSpot, in 2022 short-form video has a higher ROI than any other social media strategy.
Setting strategic goals
Now that you have a stronger understanding of the specific slice of online audience you’ll be targeting with your social media efforts, your next step is to determine how you want them to interact with your marketing. What is the ultimate goal that you want your marketing to achieve? Revenue is of course the primary marker of successful marketing. But there should be plenty of identifiable steps along the way, metrics that your marketing team can use to determine whether or not a given lead is likely to convert into a paying client.
A few examples of common goals related to social media marketing:
- Building a subscriber list. Having a list of engaged subscribers is valuable in its own right. It can be a source of feedback, a selling point for potential employees and contractors, and of course, a valuable place from which to gain new marketing leads. Even as dozens of new channels launch and shut down year after year, having a healthy email list is considered a huge competitive advantage for any type of business.
- Promoting a new launch or pivot. The launch of a new product or service is a great time to leverage social media. It’s typically one of the more cost-effective ways to raise awareness about a new offering, which is why we see social media employed by many lean startups looking to carve out a share of their market.
- Generating new partnerships within the community, whether geographic or in a particular industry. Social media makes it possible to collaborate with other companies, influencers, and followers no matter where in the world they might be located. Partnerships can instantly expose your brand and its offerings to an exponentially bigger audience.
Each of these broader strategic goals can be divided further into calendar-based campaigns. In turn, a campaign should have its own list of strategic goals as well as corresponding metrics that your team can track to provide a clear sense of progress.
Finally, we would be remiss to discuss strategic approaches to marketing on social media without mentioning one of the most important strategic concepts in the entire discipline: experimentation. Simply put, running experiments to test different approaches and techniques in your campaign is critical to success with modern marketing.
Since good experimentation guidelines dictate that only one element of your marketing should be changed at a time, this idea is sometimes referred to as “A/B testing.” The “A” version is your original, while the “B” reflects a single change. The most important thing to understand about experimentation is you should be applying it everywhere, even to the smallest elements of your social media marketing that may not seem to matter.
Everything from the length of your posts to the button text in your ads to the image you use on your profile should be tested to see if a different option could be more effective.
Netflix is one of the most prominent examples of a startup that found success with A/B testing. According to research, making a change as simple as adjusting the image associated with a particular title can increase viewership by up to 30% in some cases.
A few examples of things to A/B test in your social media marketing, in no particular order:
- Post length
- Headline (for social media ads)
- Posting time
- Integration with email marketing
Final thoughts on being strategic with social media
Simply making an effort to connect with prospects on social media is commendable. It shows that your company understands modern marketing and its most important channels. Unfortunately, not enough businesses present on social media take the time to carefully consider their approach to the network.
This situation isn’t a complicated one to rectify. However, depending on how much time and effort you’ve spent on marketing to date, it can take some time to fully flesh out a strategy that works for your company. Every startup and SaaS business will have slightly different needs, even if they target the same audience. If you haven’t previously created a social media strategy, it’s something that’s best done with the guidance of an expert.
To learn more about how the team at grwth.co can help you develop a comprehensive strategy around social media that drives organic growth and other critical business metrics, click here to schedule an introductory call with our team and learn more about how we can help.