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The presence of social media has affected virtually every aspect of daily lives. From our communication and lifestyle to consumption habits, social media has shaped the way we live. Businesses and transaction methods haven’t been immune to social media and likewise marketing. Marketing is an essential aspect of running a business that has evolved with time and technological changes. It has been adapted to suit recent technological development such as social media which has resulted in social media marketing. Social media marketing (SMM), a form of online marketing, involves the use of social media to reach a marketing objective. Before you get started on your social media marketing you need to consider ten key questions which will affect your strategy.
Your purpose encompasses your goals, your operational scope and objectives which determines the social media marketing strategy you need to employ. It doesn’t stop there, it will continue to guide your decision-making process. In the absence of a clearly defined goal, the effectiveness of your SMM will be difficult to ascertain. It should be of note that your goals mark the beginning of your data collection process and tracking of metrics. It is essential as it will keep your SMM strategy in line your overall marketing objective. So, ensure your goals are clearly defined, precise, quantifiable and attainable within a set time period.
This involves being able to determine the effectiveness of your SMM. To do this, you must have a great understanding of the important metrics and know how to track them. You can employ the use of analytical tools to track your progress such as Twitter Analytics, Facebook Insights and any other preferred tool which can be used for progress checking.
Identifying and understanding your audience is an essential aspect to handle before delving into the practical and technical aspect of your SMM plan. You must consider your audience from different perspectives such as consumption habits, demographics, challenges, ambitions and psychological behaviours. This is very important because the hallmark of every successful brand is its ability to understand its customers and engage them accordingly.
You can carry out short surveys by using forms on your webpage to capture some important information. Google Analytics, Twitter Analytics and Facebook Insights are a few examples of effective tools that can tell you much about your audience.
This should basically be determined by who makes up your audience and what platforms they subscribe to. When you streamline your investments (money and time) into the right platform, you will avoid investment loss and maximize your available tools. Your research must be efficient to avoid wrong investment. Use polls, surveys and available reports to links your target audience with the social media platforms they subscribe to.
Time is an investment. How much of your time can you invest in SMM to post content? Your amount of available time will play a huge role in determining how often you post. You also need to bear in mind that the time you put in will have a direct bearing on the results of your marketing and its credibility. Since consistent posting is required to obtain success, you must be willing to set time aside or hire someone to handle your social media posts.
The platform in which you are investing has a role in determining your content type. If your audience is mainly based on YouTube, then videos will be more effective in communicating with them; LinkedIn requires industry information while Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest are well suited for high-quality visuals. The time set aside to post also have much bearing on the type of content to the produced. You may have ample time to write a blog post or very limited time which can be used in creating very short videos to engage with your audience. You should also identify the type of content your audience is looking out for.
This question depends much on how often you intend posting. Regardless of the regularity of your postings, it is essential to create a schedule for proper planning. A content calendar can be used to manage your schedule but its arrangement depends on the time you can afford to invest.
A social media policy is put in place to address individual privacy protection, risk management, intellectual property and audience respect. You must consider these factors in view of your SMM scope and objectives. Then, you can decide to implement such a policy.
You have to consider the importance of ROI as it measures the effectiveness of your marketing strategy. You should also bear in mind that your goals will determine what to really expect from the ROI if it is short term or long.
The marketing cost and its outcome are two simple metrics used in defining ROI. You will have to consider your marketing leads and their conversions too. Google analytics is a great tool to use in tracking ROI.
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