Cold sweats, night terrors, and sleepless nights. Is your company's social media marketing campaign, or lack there of, keeping you up at night? Whether your company has been in business for over 10 years or your business has just bloomed, in order to set up the most engaging social media marketing campaign, there are a few elements you need to consider.
Here are 7 questions to asking before and during your social media campaign:
1. Who's my audience and where are they?
You probably already know the 20-something hipsters are your ironic graphic t-shirt's main customers, but did you know their social media preference is Instagram? Pinpointing your brand's target demographic and being aware of how and where they use social media is an important first step to creating the best content and outreach.
2. What's my brand's spirit/personality/identity? What are we about?
This one's important and often overlooked - branding in a narrow sense. Burberry has the British chic plaid pattern down to a science. Miley Cyrus makes music with a serious shock factor. Lululemon wants women to live active lifestyles in their yoga pants (but apparently, only if their thighs don't touch.) Each brand has its specific niche - and yours should too. Yes, your vegan restaurant can cater to people from all walks of life, but you should focus on building up your animal and earth-friendly reputation to satisfy your primary customer - hardcore vegans. Decide what your brand's "it" factor is, and run with it.
3. What is trending?
A broad question indeed, but appealing to your consumers through culturally popular means will work for your company on many levels. It will make your brand relatable, engaging, and up-to-date. If you know that a certain meme is currently hilarious, your clothing line must be very "now." Knowing what hashtags are trending on Twitter, other platforms, and in pop culture is a start, but also take a look at what is trending in your company's industry. Are all of your competitors using a certain Instagram filter or running Facebook photo contests? The key is to not follow the crowd, but understand what's popular and keep that in mind when posting.
4. How will I humanize, connect, and engage?
After you research current trends, you can decide how exactly your brand will best engage with your customers. After all, there are real people behind your brand and real people buying your product - your customers want to feel that connection no matter how big or small your company is. Perhaps your art gallery will post first-look Instagram video teasers of new exhibits on Instagram or your bar's happy hour will feature an enticing collage of your rotating craft beers on Facebook. Experiment as much as possible to figure out the best light for your brand.
5. How will I integrate?
If you're engaging on multiple platforms, they should all operate on the same plane and mesh well, so that you have a concrete content strategy in order to strengthen your brand's identity. Doing this is easier than it sounds; simply re-purpose graphics and re-use statuses and hashtags. Along with integrating social media platforms, do the same with e-mail updates. Statuses can be copied and pasted to subject lines and vice versa. Tip: Write the copy for your e-mail update and summarize it to make the content for your social media posts.
6. What's my goal?
Another crucial step missing from many social media marketing strategies: why are you spending all of this time maintaining your brand's Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter? Don't just do it because you think it's expected in this digital age of ours - it should serve a purpose for you and your customers. Are you thinking in sheer numbers and want a boost in sales? Solidify current customer loyalty? Spread awareness for your cause? Often, all of these are goals, but honing in on them in the most specific way possible will help you create your content.
7. What's my timeline and deadline for results?
After you've set your goals, decide what steps you will take to achieve them. Maybe you will hold a monthly sweepstakes for the next 6 months in order to double your e-mail subscriptions. On that note, make sure to decide how you will determine social media value. Will you measure your success by the number of likes and engagement? ROI? Contest participation? Thinking along clear-cut lines will lead to motivation and results; then if you don't achieve the goal you hoped for, you can go back to the drawing board with experience and a drive for fresh ideas.
Write out all of your answers and constantly reference them throughout your social media campaign. Keep the framework of your campaign right on your nightstand at night; that will keep the social media nightmares away. Sweet dreams!