The Importance of a Social Media Strategy for the Success of Your Brand

Social media is a powerful tool that many of us are lucky enough to have at our fingertips. We are able to share a wide range of content to the world in a matter of seconds. So, it is obvious that social media marketing is one of the most effective marketing strategies to increase brand awareness. Larger companies have teams working together to create a marketing strategy and put it into play, but a lot of smaller businesses do not have that luxury and are struggling to implement a social media strategy that is effective and will drive sales. This is why it is important that a brand has a social media strategy before diving into a social media campaign; It is the roadmap for your brand’s success. To give you a better understanding before I dive in, let me explain what a Social Media Plan/Strategy is. “A social media plan or strategy or is an overview of the goals of your marketing efforts and the actions you intend to follow in order to successfully achieve those goals. Social media plans act as a guide to keep your business on track, and you’ll see more results as you develop a more detailed plan of action” (Brandi, 2019).

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I found the ABC Marketing Strategy to be very helpful (Audience, Brand, Campaign)…Here is Why:

Oftentimes we look at only three stages of the customer journey, when we should be evaluating six: consider, evaluate, buy, enjoy, advocate, and bond. The last three elements are overlooked when in reality they are essential to bringing in more business for the future. While social media is always changing and marketers need to evolve with these changes, “the core business principles stay the same” (Barysevich, 2020). First and foremost, set your goals and know your audience; Build a relationship, and do not ignore them. This is the principle that has been around for years and is baked into every stage of building your business strategy. If you do not know your audience, what are you going to accomplish? The audience that you are going to find on Facebook can be completely different from the audience on TikTok and without developing a marketing persona, your message will not resonate the way you would like. You have these powerful tools at your disposal, use them to your advantage as it provides you with an abundance of data that can help you understand who your target audience is and then develop an effective strategy.

Social media is an outlet for individuals to spread their news; It is important for B2B brands to create an emotional connection between themselves and their customers — recognizing this relationship and increasing the opportunities for engagement and support should be an important part of any B2B social media strategy (Atherton, 2019). Customers come together and build a community based on their similar likings, which brands can really benefit from. “Meaningful interactions are more important than passive interactions, and the level of customer engagement increases the more often and the more diversely a customer connects with a brand. Therefore, social media can be used effectively to maintain positive levels before, during and after purchase” (Atherton, 2019).

A brands’ goal typically is to spread awareness, receive customer engagement and engagement overall from their target customers, and eventually lure them in to follow their page, make a purchase, or sign up for emails. With that, companies need to establish their brand voice and tone. You have to create some personality for your company’s social media account — this can be through visuals, videos, captions and related copy (Chen, 2020). When you have developed this voice and tone for your brand via the right social media channel, you are able to pull in your customers by showing them you understand them, and can fulfill their wants and needs.

From there, you can “create a strong campaign to guarantee volumes and re-ignite conversations,” by building this strong brand presence through a well-thought-out campaign, you will generate a stable level of interactions through web visits, shares, leads, and other actions that will build up over time and ensure your brand awareness is maintained (Atherton, 2019). You also need to make sure you are on the right channels in order to build your brands’ presence and deliver specific campaign objectives.

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Now, it is almost rare to find a company or brand without a social presence. With a lack of strategy, your competitors are at an advantage. If you invest in these platforms and have a clear strategy, you will be able to see if your campaign is successful or not. It is important to perform a social media audit and look closely at the metrics of the channels you have used and “you can see where and how you have generated leads, driven traffic to your website, pushed social follows, and increased conversions”, as well as where you can improve in voice and tone (Fylan, 2020) (Chen, 2020). I feel that I can relate to this through my food account, @TheBostonFoodParty. While I have developed my online presence and grown my following organically, I was lacking with a social media strategy and lost sight of the page; It started to plateau. I did not develop a defined strategy and I have found it to be rather counterproductive. I find myself posting for the sake of it just to have content on the page, but as a result, I am not seeing any return from these efforts (Lozano, 2018). I cannot stress this enough: If there is no structure, you are wasting your resources on useless activity. Develop S.M.A.R.T. Goals, have a clear objective, and your brand can succeed.

Sources:

Atherton, J. (2020). Social media strategy: A practical guide to social media marketing and customer engagement. London: Kogan Page Limited.

Barysevich, A. (2020, February 02). 9 Social Media Goals to Help Boost Your Strategy in 2020. Retrieved September 11, 2020, from https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/9-social-media-goals-to-help-boost-your-strategy-in-2020/571514/

Brandi. (2020, July 07). Why is Social Media Marketing Strategy Important and How to Create One. Retrieved September 11, 2020, from https://www.lyfemarketing.com/blog/effective-social-media-marketing-strategy/

Chen, J. (2020, May 19). 5 actionable strategies for social media branding. Retrieved September 11, 2020, from https://sproutsocial.com/insights/social-media-branding/

Fylan, J. (2020, January 10). The 5-Step Social Media Marketing Plan for 2020. Retrieved September 11, 2020, from https://www.falcon.io/insights-hub/topics/social-media-strategy/5-steps-to-social-media-marketing-strategy-2019/

Lozano, D. (2018, January 27). 6 Reasons Why You Need a Social Media Strategy. Retrieved September 11, 2020, from https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/6-reasons-why-you-need-a-social-media-strategy/515622/