Social media marketing needs to be a major facet of your business’ overall marketing strategy. In the digital age it’s a given, but what does social media success look like? As you’ll know, creating and developing a social media strategy that drives true growth and measurable success is complex and challenging.
The amount of competition is colossal. You’re a drop of water in an entire ocean. It’s the reality of the situation, and there are millions of businesses fiercely competing for market share. So, let’s take a look at some of the aspects that define social media success.
Competition is fierce
As of last year, there are over 1.9 billion Facebook users, 1 billion Instagram users, 500 million LinkedIn members and around 261 million Twitter users. How many of those people are prospective clients and how many of them are competitors?
Establishing a presence across social platforms is a highly effective way to get yourself in front of potential sales but only if you have the right strategy. You’ve got to understand what you’re up against. Further to this, you will also need to track results such as the following:
- Track follower growth
- Determine reach
- Review replies and comments
- Track referral traffic from social media
- Examine click rates
- Identify optimal times for engagement
- Track likes and reactions for your posts
- Monitor mentions
- Audience Demographics
Tracking results accurately
Because social media is so fast paced, it can be tough to try and reflect back on your posts, tracking their results accurately.
Analytics, which is available across most platforms allow the account administrator to properly measure the effectiveness of campaigns. For someone with no real experience in this regard, again it can be challenging. Especially when you want to then use these results to better your current campaign and targeting.
If you want to measure social media success, you need to have clearly defined goals from the very beginning.
Social media goals
There are three fundamental purposes for social media:
- Customer service and relationship management
- Sales and conversions
The success of each one of these is measured differently. Properly executing this all depends on the resources you have. Many small to medium sized businesses utilise the services of a digital marketing agency because coordinating this process is very specialised.
There are many things to consider and a team of digital marketing specialists will be able to match these metrics to your priorities.
Time & Effort
Another aspect is time.
Before you can even consider creating a social media strategy, you must first conduct research into your industry. As in what other brands are doing, and where your prospective customers live online. You basically need to determine your niche and how your audience operates and engages online.
When creating a social media plan, you will need to do the following, which could take up to a month to complete:
- Research competitor’s social media to see what works & how the top brands use social
- Research your industry on social media for advice articles, discussions, guides etc.
- Based on the strategy, decide what role social media plays in your digital marketing strategy (brand awareness/social proofing/client acquisition/thought leadership)
- Decide what metrics will be important in showing you whether your social media plan is successful (traffic sent to website/audience growth/engagement etc.)
- Decide which channels will be most effective for your objectives and plan
- Create a content mix for posts (educational, promotional, entertaining etc.)
- An engagement plan across channels (responding to mentions and replies)
- Spend an hour a day on community management (growing your channels, joining online conversations, following relevant accounts)
- Create a social media calendar
It takes a lot of effort to compile, assess and process the analytical side of social media. So, if you’re running a business, you should focus on just that and let someone else deal with your online presence. Further to this, it could take up to 12 months before you start seeing tangible results.
Outsource for true social media success
As a business, it is important to use social media for the following:
- For increasing the visibility of your business
- To build and cultivate your professional networks
- Establishing and developing relationships with customers and relative industry influencers
- Regularly engaging in real-time conversations with your customers
- Publishing and distributing authentic content that illustrates your expertise
- For sharing curated content that adds value to the lives of your audience
- Generating new leads and boost sales for your business
Social media success is incredibly beneficial for business, like an endless well really. Unless you go out and employ a handful of new staff to handle it, you will just be treading water, without ever achieving any real goals. The problem with this is that it’s a major outlay to expand your team in house.