By now, everyone knows the importance of having a social media presence. According to Pew Research Center, around two-thirds of American adults (aka: your customers) use social media. More money is shifting toward digital marketing, so using those dollars effectively is important.
That’s where Jen Forrest comes into the picture. With years of social media, communication, PR and marketing experience, she shared her knowledge at the recent KCDMA Boot Camp I attended. (Click here for the first KCDMA recap). What follows are the lessons I learned from her.
Let’s say you already have a social media presence (if you don’t, click here and let’s get you going!). You’ve seen success, but sometimes, you feel like you’ve hit a plateau. Engagement is stagnant, likes and followers haven’t increased much in a while, and you feel like there’s always a new platform or feature to learn. Have no fear; others feel this same way too! In fact, Instagram just introduced a new “stories” feature this week making this social media platform similar to Snapchat. You may be thinking, “Great, something new to learn… AGAIN!”
It’s true; the worlds of social media and digital marketing are constantly changing. That’s why regularly reevaluating your goals, objectives, past performance and channels you use is a must. Do this every three to six months. Don’t have goals or objectives? Now is the perfect time to put them into place. Let’s begin:
Here are all the ways social media fits into the marketing puzzle:
As you can see, it’s important! To (re)construct your social strategy, know what success looks like before starting your campaign. This success could be on social media channels or in real life. In other words, clearly define your goals by answering what your social media campaigns will accomplish. Is it:
- Brand or product awareness
- Customer engagement
- Acquisition or lead generation
- Ecommerce or revenue in stores
- Advocacy, loyalty and retention
Next, answer: who is going to help make success happen? Someone needs to manage your social media and take responsibility for its deployment. There can be multiple people who contribute to this.
Then: set your budget. Money should be allocated towards time for content creation and management, along with tools for creating quality content. Also, advertising dollars for social media is an inexpensive and effective investment since organic engagement is harder and harder to create. Think about how organic and paid social can work together. Marketing budgets can constantly shift thanks to the constant change in digital marketing, so embrace it!
Once you are ready to start creating content for social media, make sure it continuously follows your brand voice and visual identity. Your content should sound human and tell a story. You are in the consumers’ personal space, so your brand needs to fit into that space in an authentic way. Constant sale pitches are not authentic.
“The minute it looks and feels like advertising, it’s not social anymore” – @Jenforrestkc
Create an efficient and sustainable process for content development. It should be regular and consistent. Finally, finish with analytics – look at performance to see what worked and what didn’t. Then start the process over again continuing to use analytics throughout.
Although planning is an essential part of social media marketing, real-time, on-the-fly content also has a place. Jen recommends planning for 80% of content and being nimble and responsive for the remaining 20%.
Social media takes an investment of time, budget and resources, but it’s a channel that is worth investing in. Yes, it may constantly evolve, but it’s not going away. So stick to your strategy to ensure a quality social media presence, then in six months, adapt.
“Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change.” –Stephen Hawking