If you’re new to social media marketing, you may feel like you’re trying to fit in with a younger audience — much like Steve Buscemi’s famous “30 Rock” character saying, “How do you do, fellow kids?”
It may feel daunting or awkward at first. But social media marketing is critical for growth because it offers an opportunity for brand discovery that can’t be achieved anywhere else.
Salsify’s “2023 Consumer Research” report offers a consolidated view of its surveyed countries and lists social media as the top method for discovering new products.
While creating the right social media marketing strategy can be challenging, it’s crucial for successfully connecting with your audience.
Learn more about choosing the right platforms for your business, creating a killer strategy for social media marketing, and some basics of social media influencer marketing.
What Is Social Media Marketing?
Social media marketing is the use of social media platforms such as TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, and others to promote your products, services, or brand.
Here are some examples of social media marketing:
- Social media posts promoting your products or services;
- Running a contest for your followers on social media;
- User-generated content (UGC); or
- Partnering with social media influencers for a campaign.
With the right social media marketing strategy, you can improve brand awareness and reputation, drive conversions, and have a little fun.
What Is a Strategy for Social Media Marketing?
A social media marketing strategy is a set of actionable steps and measurable insights to help you achieve your business goals.
A social media marketing strategy typically includes multiple parts, such as:
- Identifying your target audience;
- Conducting a social media audit;
- Defining and aligning your business objectives and goals;
- Evaluating your competitors’ social media accounts;
- Choosing the platforms you want to build a presence on;
- Building a content strategy and publishing calendar; and
- Leveraging product experience management (PXM) tools to increase efficiencies.
These combined actions will help you create a social media presence that stands out to your followers and outperforms your competitors.
Why Is a Social Media Marketing Strategy Important?
Building a well-executed social media presence allows brands to connect with their consumers in a unique, rewarding way.
Brands can review metrics to learn what types of content perform well according to audiences. They can also receive immediate feedback from comments on new products as well as improve their reputation by directly responding to complaints or inquiries.
The crux is that each platform calls for a different persona and messaging. Achieving this persona while remaining consistent across platforms and staying true to your brand voice is difficult, especially if you don’t have the right tools and strategy in place.
This is where a social media marketing strategy comes into play.
7 Steps for Building an Effective Strategy for Social Media Marketing
Here are seven steps for building an effective strategy for social media marketing that will help you identify your target audience, analyze your competition, choose the right platforms, and more.
1. Identify Your Ideal Consumer
Identifying your target audience plays a significant role in a successful social media marketing campaign.
You can cast a wide net with social media marketing, but that doesn’t mean you’ll attract the most fish (or consumers) that way. If an ad, campaign, or post doesn’t appeal to the people you’re reaching, your numbers will suffer.
Ask yourself the following questions when identifying your target audience:
- What’s your ideal demographic?
- What are their favorite social media platforms?
- How will your product or service improve their life?
- Do they prefer short-form or long-form content (TikTok), images (Instagram), or videos (YouTube, TikTok)?
Discovering where your audience spends their time will help you decide where your energy will best be spent.
2. Conduct a Social Media Audit
If you already have a social media presence, take a critical look at the content you’ve produced so far by conducting an audit.
You’ll gain a better understanding of your foundational content, how you can build on it, and identify gaps you need to address. If something doesn’t match your current vision or messaging, you can archive it.
Creating content guidelines for each platform is a great way to ensure that consistency is enforced going forward.
3. Choose Goals That Align With Your Business Objectives
Be conscious of your business goals when creating your strategy. Ask the following questions to determine the right goals for your social media strategy.
Are you trying to:
- Increase brand awareness?
- Drive sales?
- Build a large following?
Map out how your social media presence will drive your business goals and objectives.
4. Evaluate Your Competitors’ Social Media Presence
How can you emulate and improve your competitors’ strategies? Evaluating your competitors’ social media approach will allow you to analyze their strengths and weaknesses and see which platforms they perform best on. This will also give you a sense of how your content will perform on these platforms.
5. Choose the Right Social Media Platforms
Here are some questions to ask when choosing the right social media platforms for your business:
- Which platforms (Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, etc.) are the best fit for your brand content, vision, and messaging?
- How many employees or resources can you dedicate to managing these social media accounts?
- Do you have time to build an audience gradually?
- Can you keep your brand messaging consistent across these platforms?
- What social commerce opportunities do these platforms offer?
Social Media Strategy Example: Le Creuset
Cookware brand Le Creuset is a perfect example of a brand that knows how to tailor its content to match the predominant persona of each social media platform.
For example, the brand recently released a new product colorway named “Shallot,” and they’re not only actively promoting it on their social media accounts, but also changing the content format to match the personalities found on the platforms.
The brand’s TikTok account has a variety of videos that promote how to use the new product as well as create hype for the new color (equipped with viral sounds and video trends relevant to frequent TikTokers).
Video Source: Le Creuset TikTok
The brand’s Instagram account showcases reels of recipes, tips on how to use the products, and beautiful, shoppable images. The tone of their captions is more sophisticated to match the lifestyle images by using words like elegant, soft, and neutral.
Image Source: Le Creuset Instagram
Le Creuset’s Pinterest account offers recipe ideas as well as product images for users to “pin” to their personal boards and use as inspiration.
Image Source: Le Creuset’s Pinterest
6. Create a Social Media Publishing Calendar
Establishing a social media publishing calendar allows you to create, schedule, and publish content across all of your desired platforms while improving team bandwidth, cross-functionality, and content quality.
For example, with a content calendar, you can plan your winter holiday content in the summer months, which will give you peace of mind when the cold weather rolls in.
7. Leverage Product Experience Management (PXM) Tools for Efficiency
According to Salsify’s “2023 Consumer Research,” 55% of surveyed consumers say that the online shopping experience is what keeps them loyal to brands, and 39% say it’s the in-store shopping experience.
Regardless of where they shop, consumers expect their favorite brands to offer them seamless omnichannel shopping experiences.
The product description is especially important.
Sixty-two percent of German shoppers, 65% of Australian shoppers, 67% of French shoppers, 68% of shoppers in Great Britain, and 72% of U.S. shoppers surveyed in Salsify’s “2023 Shopper Research,” an interactive country-by-country breakdown of its annual global consumer research, ranked product descriptions as the top product page feature that helps them determine what to buy.
Building and maintaining excellent product pages can be difficult, but a product experience management (PXM) solution enables you to efficiently manage product information and data and create best-in-class product experiences.
Boost Ecommerce Sales With a Strategy for Social Media Marketing
Brands that fail to use social media will miss out on more than 4.26 billion users worldwide, an impressive number that’s expected to increase to almost 6 billion by 2027 (Statista).
With the right strategy, tools, and collaborations, however, you can thrive in the digital marketing world and gain a competitive advantage.