I think it’s safe to say that social media is not as straightforward as it once was, not even by a long shot. These days, having a successful social media marketing strategy is vital for growing your brand and now, it’s much more than just a Facebook status or Tweet. We appreciate that whilst exciting, the endless opportunities that social media marketing can present for your brand can sometimes be a little overwhelming. If you’re unsure where to begin, here’s an outline of what a successful social media marketing strategy should look like in 2020.
It’s all well and good chasing generic goals that every Tom, Dick and Harry are also going after, but if you’re going to invest in a social media marketing strategy, then you need to ensure your goals are suited to the needs of your business. What exactly do you want to get out of your social strategy? Do you want to encourage sales from your existing following? Or do you want to grow your brand to a new audience? Or both? One thing is for certain; for social media goals to be useful, they need to be realistic and trackable, as well as tied to clear objectives that are going to make your business progress. Although totally dependent on the nature of your business, the top types of goals that your social media strategy should be aiming for could include building brand awareness, managing brand reputation, building and managing an engaged community and increasing conversions and sales.
Image: graph by Hootsuite shows the priority of brand goals on social media.
As the graph above shows, 90% of businesses surveyed want to use the power of social media to build awareness for their brand. Social media can not only be used to allow people to engage with your brand once, but, when used properly, it can create authentic and lasting brand awareness with a relevant audience. In order to do the latter, it’s worth avoiding publishing solely promotional messages on your social channels and think more towards an approach that emphasises your personality or values as a brand – something that your target audience can hold onto and resonate with. People notice when you treat your customers as human beings rather than sales – especially on social media. Put a real personality behind your brand; it will be so worth it.
This should really be a goal of any brand’s social media marketing strategy because bringing new followers into the fold is a great way of introducing your brand to new people who may not have heard of you previously. Growing your audience can also mean discovering conversations around your business and industry that matter most, meaning you can monitor and listen to specific keywords, phrases and hashtags and use them to ensure that your social media strategy is as targeted as it possibly can be. Whilst growing a significant social media following is easier said than done, there are things that your brand can do to ensure that their following is growing organically, and this includes regular and consistent posting of engaging content, using hashtags, interacting with your followers via their own posts and encouraging engagement by hosting competitions, giveaways and tagging other accounts and pages. You can also increase your following with a paid media strategy – but your strategy should still involve engagement driving activity to help you keep any new followers for the long term! Even things as simple as using the question sticker or poll feature on Instagram stories can increase your engagement rates.
As well as focussing on new followers, engaging with the community that you may already have is equally as important. So, finding new ways to grab their attention and experimenting with messaging and different content types is a fantastic way of constantly keeping your brand in the back of their minds. One way of showing appreciation for your customers and being as relatable as possible is by utilising user-generated content. Not only does using user-generated content mean that your customer has done the majority of the work for you, it can also work wonders for your conversion rate. According to adsmurai, UGC converts at a higher rate than brand produced content, with truly authentic content converting higher still. To produce ‘truly authentic’ content, you need to feature real people using the product, wearing the clothes as opposed to photoshopped images of models. Trust us. It sells.
Whether you are using a social media marketing agency or have an in-house team, this should be a social media goal of any strategy because it can directly relate to the business’ bottom line and, when you can translate your social media efforts to goal completions, it is easier to show the value of your work; whether that’s newsletter sign ups, enquiry form submissions or sales. Whilst increasing brand awareness is an important long term marketing goal, having more direct objectives in your social media marketing plan too gives the overall strategy that little bit more leverage when it comes to proving its worth. If you’re using social ads, you can also focus on results in relation to cost-per-click and CPM, too.
Insights such as Facebook audience insights and Facebook custom audiences are a great way to get a solid idea of who you should be targeting and whether your current targeting efforts could do with a bit of a re-fresh. It may even help you in developing or re-developing internal milestones that impact on your wider marketing strategy, such as persona mapping.
The content you create is likely going to be the backbone of your social strategy so you need to ensure that your content plan is focussed directly around the goals of your company – whether you‘re going for a multi-channel approach or just focussing on one aspect. You should also ensure that you have defined your brand identity prior to planning your strategy and everyone who works on social content fully understands this, so that your content adheres to this consistently. This can also help you to determine which social networks to cover.
One of the toughest challenges of a social media marketing strategy is to create content that is actually engaging. Yes, anyone can put content over Instagram or Twitter, but is this content going to interest your followers? According to Venngage, 1/3 of marketers struggle when it comes to creating compelling visuals, so it really is a common problem. What this actually looks like can vary from brand to brand, as it will always be led by what your target audience like and want. But one great way to make sure your content remains fresh and interesting is to establish a content theme which includes shooting in the same light, using a specific colour palette and editing each picture in a similar fashion. By creating your own theme, you’re making it easier for your content to be recognised by potential customers and is particularly important if you’re a company that’s aiming to become well-known on Instagram. The below stats, collated by Iconosquare, demonstrate the importance of getting your Instagram content right for your 2020 social media marketing strategy:
So, in order to use Instagram to your advantage, it isn’t enough to simply post everyday with a set colour scheme. You must make sure that each post is aligned with your business goals, is of a high quality (the highest possible resolution) and has an angle that you know will resonate with your audience - something that attempts to stop people simply scrolling past and encourages them to stop and engage.
Social media can be a fantastic way to cut through to noise and get to the right people when it comes to recruitment and so if you’re looking to grow your team, it is well worth considering this when putting together your strategy. Although a multi-channel approach will definitely present the most opportunities, LinkedIn is where most of the magic will happen. From being active in LinkedIn groups and using the relevant hashtags, you can make sure you’re getting your job vacancies in front of the right candidates. As mentioned earlier, a social media marketing strategy can be a great way of giving your company some personality, which should be utilised when targeting job candidates! Instead of just posting informative snippets about the job role (although this is obviously necessary), why not take the opportunity to demonstrate how great your company is to work for? A company with a unique and exciting culture can be a huge selling point when it comes to job hunting – so make sure you shout about yours!
Having an up to date social media marketing strategy in 2020 is somewhat essential, from connecting directly with your customers, increasing awareness about your brand to boosting leads and sales, there’s a whole world of opportunities when it comes to using these powerful channels to your advantage and with 3 billion people around the world logging into social media every month, there’s no time to waste. If you would like to perfect your social media marketing strategy for 2020, please get in touch with the expert team at Hitsearch, today.