Do you have a a social media strategy? How well are you integrating your social media strategy into your overall marketing and how do you know what is working?
In a survey by Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business many CMOs didn’t know how well their social media strategy effectively linked to their overall marketing strategy:
Asked how effectively they believe social media is linked to their firm’s marketing strategy, 59.5 percent of CMOs were neutral or negative, while just 40.5 percent believed it is linked very or somewhat effectively. Forty-five percent said they haven’t been able to show social media’s impact on their companies’ performance at all. A mere 13.2 percent believe they have proved the impact quantitatively.
In this article, you’ll learn why you should be on social media, what a social media strategy involves, types of social media strategies, and what is working now.
Why participate on social media?
First of all, you need to make sure you know the value of participating on social media. There are lots of amazing surveys showing how social media affects buying decisions:
- A third of millennials say social media is one of their preferred channels for communicating with businesses. (MarketingSherpa)
- 71% of consumers who have had a good social media service experience with a brand are likely to recommend it to others. (Ambassador)
- 57% of businesses surveyed have generated customers through LinkedIn, 48% have generated
customer through Twitter, and 42% have generated customers through Facebook (Inman)
Social media is digital word of mouth. People are asking for recommendations of businesses to work with on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and wherever people are gathering on line. People may already be
talking about you there. But if you aren’t there, you may not know what they are saying (and it may not all be favorable).
Social media isn’t always easy. It’s not a “build it and they will come” strategy. It takes some effort. But all marketing takes effort.
Don’t sign up for every social media site all at once. Do one or two things well and then add more. Make sure you know why you are doing it so you keep the big picture in mind.
There are huge benefits to participating in social media including:
Expanding your Internet presence
Growing your e-mail list
Connecting with current clients
Finding new customers
Forming joint ventures
Helping your Search Engine Optimization for your website or blog
Masterminding new ideas by watching others in your industry
Make sure you know why you are on social media and put key measurements in place so that you know when you are successful.
What is a social media strategy?
A good social media strategy outlines the following things:
- The goals you have for your social media marketing efforts
- How you are going to measure those goals and what are your success metrics
- The overall plan for how you are going to achieve those goals
Your social media marketing strategy needs to be heavily integrated into your overall marketing plan and business goals. Once you have your overall strategy in place, then you add the tactics to support that strategy.
Watch our video on setting up your social media strategy here:
4 Types of Social Media Strategy
With social media marketing, there are different ways you can achieve your goals. In our latest training: 4 Strategies and 3 Tactics to Grow Your Business on Each Social Site, Phyllis Khare and I outline 4 different types of social media strategies that you can use. In general, people are using a combination of these strategies but they can look different depending on the platform.
- Content – Developing content that you can share on social media that educates, entertains, or inspires. The content can be on your blog, videos, or images
- Hashtags/SEO – Using hashtags can grow your business on different social sites as well as using keywords to get found through social search.
- Partnership/Community – Partnerships can be through affiliates, groups, brand ambassadors or other amplification techniques to get your product or service found by leveraging existing networks.
- Social Advertising – Focusing your efforts on social ads to grow your email list and get your product or service found
But what is really working out there to grow your business? Here are some examples of businesses using social media strategies that are working.
#1 Video Content
One of my clients, Sophie Uliano with Gorgeously Green does a great job of using live video content and uploaded videos to engage with her fans, grow her email list, and sell retreats. She focuses on educating women about natural products and teaching healthy eating. Her videos regularly get thousands of views within a day and tons of comments and shares.
She mixes Facebook Live videos with uploaded videos.
#2 Growth through hashtags
Researching and using the right hashtags can be a great strategy to get better reach and more visibility. Phyllis Khare has a great 9-Step process for researching hashtags
But you can also use branded hashtags to track mentions or enter a contest. Shortstack documented a recent successful hashtag contest run by the Cruise Lines International Association that had over 106,000 entries in a month. They used the hashtag #CruiseSmile and people could enter either with the hashtag or on a microsite. They also used brand ambassadors to help get the word out. Their goal was brand awareness but they also saw a lift in bookings so their efforts were successful.
#3 Brand Ambassadors
Brand Ambassadors can have different roles with social media promotion. Sometimes it’s about asking a circle of your close friends to give something an extra share on social, other times it’s about giving monetary compensation or affiliate commission to people with targeted audiences.
Social Media Examiner does a great job of empowering their Affiliates to share on social media to promote Social Media Marketing World (affiliate link by the way).
Another possibility is working with influencers and bloggers to appear in content and posts. Convince and Convert documented how Bhakti Chai used volunteer Brand Ambassadors to help spread the word about their product. Periodically, they simply ask their network to share but are also careful not to over-email. When you have raving fans you can mobilize your fan-base.
Image via Bhakti Chai
#4 Social Advertising
Facebook advertising is my passion and I love this strategy because you can reach your ideal customer on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and YouTube in the most direct way.
I recently blogged about a case study where we used Facebook ads to get leads and then ultimately sell a course. Facebook Ads Case Study We were able to get 221% return on the Facebook ads.
I use Facebook Ads for my products and courses as well and test different types of lead magnets, different targeting, and different images to find the best cost per optin.
I hope that gives you some good examples for building your social media strategy. There is much more to developing your personal strategy and choosing the tactics to match that strategy. Take a look at our new free training to help you learn more: https://socialmediastrategyschool.com/growyourbusiness