According to HubSpot, there are over 2.38 billion monthly active users on Facebook and 1 billion active monthly users on Instagram. Pinterest, Snapchat, Twitter, and LinkedIn have equally impressive numbers. And these numbers are growing. More and more individuals are using social media to interact with friends, share news and information, and get recommendations.
Social Media isn't dead at all; your business needs to meet these billions of people where they already are: on social media.
That's not to say you will reach a billion people through social media. That should never be your intention...even if you believe your product or service would serve everyone worldwide. Instead, your social media use should be targeted.
And the beauty of these social media platforms when it comes to marketing is the ability to reach your niche. You can use your resources wisely to reach your target demographic without breaking your budget.
But how do you begin developing social media marketing content and campaigns?
It Starts With a Plan
If you've been reading our blog or perusing our website for any length, you know that, in most cases, we will tell you you need a plan. Social media marketing is no different.
Before putting time and resources into social media marketing, could you identify your goals and overall social media strategy? To do so, you'll need to know whom you're trying to reach, your target demographic, and how you hope to reach them.
If you start by detailing everything you know about your ideal customer, you’ll soon have a clear picture of who you are trying to reach. In other words, you’ll have created a thorough buyer persona. We’ve written an entire article about the benefits of having clearly defined buyer personas. Summarizing the main points, we know that identifying your buyer personas:
Helps you learn how to talk to your prospective clients and customers. If you know who they are, you know where they are spending their time online (you’d hate to be throwing resources at Facebook when your target market is actually spending most of its time on Twitter, wouldn’t you?), and how they like to communicate.
Focuses your marketing efforts, making them more successful. If you know what your people and want and how they want to receive information, you can cater your marketing efforts accordingly. You won’t waste time on projects that drain your resources with little to no return on your investment.
Avoids confusion within your organization. Creating a clear buyer persona and ensuring that every member of your organization understands it and is working with it in mind allows you to avoid confusion within your business. If everyone is on the same page, then your external communication efforts align with your marketing strategy as a whole which aligns with your product development etc. etc. etc.
Once you clearly identify who you’re targeting and develop detailed buyer personas, you’re ready to set goals and create a plan for reaching this audience.
The bottom line for goal setting is this: SMART goals are always more likely to be met. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Every goal, whether for the entire organization, a single department, or even a single team within that department, should always follow this rubric for social media marketing best practices, social media campaign ideas and more.