Everyone’s talking about social media marketing these days, how you need to be active on Facebook and Snapchat, how you need to do it now or be left behind.
While it’s true that more and more consumers are using social media channels in their everyday communication, before you do go jumping onto every new social app, there’s a few things you need to consider.
Overall, you need to be strategic – there’s no point taking the plunge if you don’t know what you’ll get.
Here are three questions you need to consider in your digital marketing strategy.
1. Who are your target customers?
The first element you need to establish is who your target customers are.
Are they retirees? Basketball fans? Are they dog enthusiasts?
Sometimes, these questions will be broad-ranging, and obvious, but the more refined and focused you can get, the better your strategy will be. If you know who it is, exactly, that you’re trying to reach, you then better position yourself to engage them.
For some businesses, the focus might be less specific, but it’s worth considering who your target customer is and what they’re looking for from your brand. Then you can move onto the next step.
2. Where are they active?
As noted, people often jump onto new, shiny platforms like Snapchat or Instagram with little regard – ‘everyone’s on Instagram these days, that’s what the stats say, we need to be too’.
But that’s not true. In fact, very few businesses need to be active on every platform, and small businesses in particular will struggle to keep up if they need to continuously upload tweets, posts, and pictures to an assortment of apps.
Before you go diving in, take a moment to consider which platforms are of most relevance to your business. You can use customer feedback, competitor analysis, or industry reports, like the Sensis Social Media Report, to give you a better idea of where you should be paying attention.
There definitely are benefits to having a presence on various platforms, but an ignored, barren profile can also do more harm than good. Better to start off with the platforms you know are relevant, then evolve from there. Make your decision based on results, not hype.
3. What do they want?
This is key – before you go pumping out promotional material and letting all your new social followers know about your great prices, take a moment to consider what they want.
What are the most common Google searches in your sector, the most common questions being asked?
If you can provide utility, you become useful - and people will learn that you’re a resource they can trust for relevant insights, in order to help them make relevant choices. Then they’ll tell their friends, and your business presence will grow by building your brand, as opposed to churning out ads.
P.S. Here’s an interesting tool that can help you find industry relevant questions online, based on Google searches.
Once you’ve answered these three key questions, you’ll be better placed to not only establish a better digital presence, but also to allocate funds accordingly to maximise your return on investment.
For example, once you’ve got a gauge on who you’re trying to reach and what they want, you can then start testing the performance of your content and posts to see which ones are generating the response you’re after – whether that’s website visits, increased awareness or sales. Social media platforms give you a free test platform of sorts for this type of material, then when you know what’s generating response, you can put ad spend behind it and expand the reach of your messaging.
Remember to always keep your end goals in mind, and not be lured by vanity metrics - likes and shares are good, but actual page visits and bookings are better. Once you’ve locked in which posts drive the actions you need, you can better align your spend to maximise your results.