Brands big and small use social media marketing every single day to connect with their community and drive traffic to their website. No matter how great your business or how on-point your branding is, growing your social media channels is hard work. Contrary to what self-proclaimed internet experts might want you to think, there’s no silver bullet when it comes to social media marketing that drives real business growth.
However, there is a proven path to systemizing your success, and it begins with understanding the ins-and-outs of your target market. These seven elements listed below are things you absolutely need in order to gain the trust of your audience and ultimately GROW your brand with social media.
1. Social-first persona strategy
Go beyond our normal list of questions about our target market to ask:
- How do they use social media?
- What are they looking for when they arrive at each platform?
- How do they communicate (positive/negative/snarky/optimistic)?
- Do they use acronyms?
- Do they use emojis?
- If so, which ones?
Of course, we should also be observing whether or not (and how) these answers shift in 2020. Here are 15 more questions you can ask.
2. Social-first brand persona that makes sense for your target market
Based on #1, what type of relationship are you to your customer? Mentor friend, party friend, funny friend? There are infinite ways to show up, but if you want to create a magnetic attraction that leads to an accelerated, mass accumulation of enthusiastic prospects and customers, we need to harness the power of brand personification on social. Asking these questions, plus fleshing out tone of voice and point of view, are a few ways to win.
3. A content strategy for social media that accounts for the full customer journey
- We should have social content specifically engineered for growing / attracting new customers.
- We should have social content specifically engineered or converting sales.
- We should have social content specifically engineered for nurturing loyalty, advocacy, and word of mouth.
When I say “engineered,” I mean in message, creative, audience targeting, and budget.
4. High Performance Traffic Drivers
Some people like to say silly things like “blogs are dead” but this couldn’t be further from the truth. There are obvious benefits for SEO, but very few social media teams tap into the power of:
- social media + blog post = very efficient high quality traffic
Pinterest is a well-known traffic-driver among social platforms, but when we use Facebook and Instagram to drive cold traffic to a short-and-sweet, value-based, entertaining and consumer-centric blog post, we see average click through rates skyrocket between 5-15%, up from the industry’s 1% average with cold audiences.
This is an incredibly efficient way to get our brand in front of new buyers. The secret is to introduce ourselves to cold prospects based on a shared interest (an interest in this blog post precedes an interest in what your business has to offer) and then follow up with them (retargeting) on the basis of your product differentiators.
5. Instagram Story savvy
All stories, all day, every day. Maybe 24/7 isn’t totally necessary, but it wouldn’t hurt. Prepare for varied content and big volume. Use polls and questions to engage and respond to participants to nurture, nurture, nurture. Don’t know what content your audience would like to see? Create a list of 10 ideas and publish 5 poll segments to hone in. Don’t know whether or not that next promo should be a discount or gift with purchase? Ask them which they would prefer. Run out of story content? Reshare things that flex the mutual interests between your brand persona and target persona.
6. Proactive and responsive community management
Community managers are often regarded as a customer service representative on social media, though they can play a critical role in facilitating relationships—where the end goal is actually earned coverage and brand growth. This person can go out into the digital atmosphere, proactively and organically bringing high quality prospects back to your social real estate. Additionally, they have a finger on the pulse of your community and are interacting with your customers and prospects every single day, so they should be given more responsibility that enables them to connect the dots for you between what your customers want and where you’re taking your business strategy. They can help big time with #5.
7. TikTok for organic growth
If you don’t make it over there until next year, it’s okay. But if you have a savvy content creator on your team and you think your target market is over there, create a plan and go play around for great organic reach. Just make sure your profile is set up to connect the dots (er, facilitate the journey) back to your more traditional channels for accelerated brand adoption.
In your corner,
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