“This time is hard for everyone. So now more than ever, it’s time to be empathetic.”Tricia Gellman, CMO, Drift
The world is still struggling with the global pandemic as it has forced a massive chunk of the population to stay at home!
What does this mean for billions of businesses that were operating smoothly before the health crisis? Is there any way entrepreneurs can save their brands from disappearing into the claws of COVID-19 and the post-pandemic recession?
Fortunately, like every other problem, this one also has a solution:
Social Media Marketing!!
But Why is Social Media Marketing The Answer?
The biggest reason social media marketing can be the key to unlock more organic traffic than ever is that in the light of the pandemic, usage of social media platforms has increased like never before.
It is the marketers’ responsibility to find out free ways to market their business to customers at home, and what better than social media channels to connect with the existing and potential buyers!
What’s Social Media Marketing In Simple Terms?
“Social media is not just an activity; it is an investment of valuable time and resources. Surround yourself with people who not just support you and stay with you, but inform your thinking about ways to WOW your online presence.”
- Sean Gardner (Digital Marketer & Social Media Influencer)
Social media marketing or SMM is the art of leveraging different social media platforms to help brands reach their target audience and drive more traffic to their websites.
Use the customer lifecycle marketing approach to develop tailored and personalized social media marketing campaigns in 2021.
What’s A Social Media Marketing Strategy?
“If you don’t start in the right spot, you are going to lose the game before you even get started.”
- Mike O’Neil (CEO At Integrated Alliances)
Source: Digital School of Marketing
A social media marketing strategy gives you a detailed overview of your social marketing efforts’ specific goals and the techniques you need to leverage for achieving these objectives.
What Are The Crucial Steps To Building ASocial Media Marketing Strategy To Generate More Traffic Than Ever?
“Social media algorithms will always favor people. It’s time to wake up to this fact and be the first in your industry to craft a radically different people-first social media strategy that is driven by the voice of your employees, customers, and influencers.”
- Neal Schaffer, President, PDCA Social
1. Analyze Where You Stand
“Don’t settle: Don’t finish crappy books. If you don’t like the menu, leave the restaurant. If you’re not on the right path, get off it.”
- Chris Brogan (Best Selling Author, Business & Marketing Advisor)
Source: Sprout Social
Always answer two of the most crucial questions before documenting your insights:
- Are there any social media platforms that you are active in that are driving organic traffic to your website?
- If the answer to the first question is yes, identify which are those specific social media platforms?
2. Study Your Competition
“In the world of Internet Customer Service, it’s important to remember your competitor is only one mouse click away.”
- Douglas Warner III, Former CEO, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co
Make use of third-party competitor analysis tools to get insight into what social media strategies worked for them. It would help you adapt to a more successful campaign.
Example 1: Casper’s content is loaded with personality and emphasizing comfort and coziness along with a fun element!
Example 2: Purple
The learning here is that you can have many alternatives about being creative and setting yourself apart from the competitors.
But Is It Easy To Spot Your Social Competitors?
Searching relevant keywords, phrases, and niche industry terms on Google is the best way to spot your key competitors whose social profiles you can analyze in detail. For instance, if you sell pizza, “handmade pan pizza” would be the right keyword to look for potential competitors:
After analyzing your competitors’ social profiles, you can figure out which one of them is super active on social channels and study how they’re tagging their posts on Instagram and what Instagram story dimensions they’re leveraging.
3. Establish Social Media Marketing Goals That Makes Sense To Your Business
“Be as specific and focused when you set your social marketing goal for the year. It not only makes it easier to align your content calendar to use in line with your campaign but also more achievable.”
- Ben Dronkers, Founder of Sensi Seeds
If you aren’t aware of your purpose of being on social media, then every effort or strategy of yours is doomed to crash! So, establishing meaningful social media objectives and key results (OKRs) is crucial for monitoring your social marketing campaigns’ progress or failure!
4. Find Out On Which Social Media Channels Your Target Audience Is Hanging Out!
“Each social media channel is unique. Although they have similar features, each caters to a specific segment of your target audience who prefers a particular content format. Study the way how users of one channel consume content, and create your plan based on that.”
- Benedict Larcey (Founder of StoreKit)
Before moving any further it is vital that you create your buyer persona.
A buyer persona is a fictitious character that comprises all the attributes of your target audience. It helps you identify your ideal buyers and get an idea about their preferences, habits, pain points, etc.
An example of a buyer persona is:
Defining your customers is a crucial digital marketing strategy to ramp up your sales, as it will allow you to develop tailored social marketing campaigns to grab quality leads and turn them into paying customers to boost your ROI. You can also try out email automation to generate quality leads.
5. Identify Key Social Channels & Make Room For Some Diversification!
“As noise increases on social media, many are looking to customize their experiences by joining private groups and forums based on causes and personal interests. There has been a rise in the number of Facebook Groups and membership, and Instagram is now seeing the use of its Threads or sharing Stories with specific friends. Many people are also going to or returning to private and semi-private online forums for education, entertainment, networking, and mutual interest.”
- Christin Kardos, Social Media & Community Manager At Convince & Convert
Source: Egg Marketing
Let’s explore the rule-of-thumb breakdown for all the major social media networks:
A. Facebook – Entertainment and news-driven platform.
B. LinkedIn – Pure professional social network.
C. Twitter – News platform.
D. Pinterest – Geared towards imagery.
E. Instagram – Social channel for visual-driven brands who target to get more followers on Instagram.
F. YouTube – Online video sharing channel.
If you are in the B2B niche LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube would be the best social channels to promote your brand. However, for the B2C landscape, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter work better!
TikTok is one of those pioneering short video sharing social platforms that started the revolution and became one of the most downloaded apps in 2020:
Source: Hootsuite Blog
Picking the social networks worth your time and money will let you reach the right audience and optimize the sales process by acquiring leads that can be nurtured and turned into paying customers!
6. Focus on Content Creation and Curation for Social Channels In 2021!
“Focus on creating content that’s not only relevant to your audience but also actionable and highly informative. That way, you’re not just giving answers. You’re setting yourself as an authority in your niche. When your audience gets results because of something you wrote about, they’ll start coming back to you, and slowly you get to earn their trust.”
- Eden Mogese (Content Marketing Consultant)
Here are some of the tips for content creation and curation:
I. Never lose your personality! Create content that resonates with your brand
II. Choose only the platform that is suitable for your business.
III. Content should also resonate with the audience.
IV. Justify your social media objective.
After having all the background on content types, let’s look at a few of them you must try sharing on social media in 2021:
A. Informative Blogs –
Example: Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts blog on Facebook:
B. Free Downloadable Resources (eBooks, Infographics)
Example: AdEspresso ebooks on social media:
You can use animation software to build engaging infographics to share on social media channels.
C. Time-sensitive Content & FOMO Stories
Observe how you can leverage a story to cover an event:
While sharing stories on Instagram, stick to the Instagram fonts’ best practices as using inappropriate fonts in style can spoil the entire feel of your posts!
D. Interesting & Attention-Grabbing Videos
Example: Oreo’s fun and creative video on Instagram
E. User-generated Content
Example: User-generated content by Colorstreet
F. Curated Content
Example: Brandwatch sharing a Buzzsumo report
G. Interactive Content (Polls, Quizzes)
Example of finished survey:
H. Company Announcements/Updates/Product Launches/Events
Example: OnePlus buzz about one of their upcoming products on social media
I. Engaging Memes, GIFs & Visuals
Example: Drift shares images of their company culture, working behind the scenes, team events, etc.
J. Instructional/Educational Content
Example: Campus Eye Center’s educational post on Facebook
K. Socially Conscious Content/Content With A Cause
Source: Kansas City
I. Live Videos
Live videos are one of the top video trends brands should watch out for in 2021. Example: Vogue created a Q&A live video on the making of the Met Gala.
Source: Neil Patel
L. Collaborate With Influencers For Creating Powerful Social Media Posts
26% of businesses leverage influencer marketing by collaborating with micro-influencers or existing customers on social platforms.
On Instagram, collaborating with influencers is one of the most effective ways to take your Instagram user growth to the next level.
Example: Ralph Lauren’s TikTok Hashtag Challenge
7. Post At The Best Times
“I expect we’ll see brands being more thoughtful when they post. This may even mean posting less — regardless of algorithms — because it’s the right thing to do. There will also be more thoughtful ad buys and partnerships.”
- Kelly Hendrickson (HubSpot’s Social Media Manager)
Source: Retailors Group
Source: Sprout Social
8. Strategize Your Content Posting For 2021
“Without strategy, content is just stuff, and the world has enough stuff.”
- Arjun Basu (Senior VP, Content Strategy At Bookmark Content)
Source: Mountain Harvest Media Ltd.
You have multiple social media platforms to focus on, and a calendar helps you plan your content posting schedule for months to come. Tools like Trello come in handy too!
There are two thumb rules that you can follow while planning your 2021 social media content posting:
A. The Rule Of Thirds
According to the rule of thirds, ⅓ of your social media content should promote your brand, ⅓ should narrate stories about your company, and the remaining ⅓ should feature niche influencers and experts.
B. The 80/20 Rule
The 80/20 rule suggests that 80% of your social media posts should inform, educate, and entertain your target prospects, and 20% can promote your brand.
Source: The Social Ms
9. Invest In The Right Social Media Marketing Tool
Managing multiple social media accounts manually is a daunting task. However, with one of the best social media marketing tools, you can make this task easy.
10. Dive Deep Into Social Media Analytics By Gauging The Relevant Metrics
“Set the right benchmarks and key performance indicators so that you know whether or not your campaign was successful. Make sure they align with your goals. For example, if you want to produce more leads, monitor click through rates and site traffic.”
- Eric Ritter, Founder & CEO of Digital Neighbor
Keep a tab over your performance to analyze what’s working and what’s not! It calls for identifying and monitoring the key metrics or key performance indicators (KPIs) that resonated with your specific social media marketing goals.
Source: Influencer Marketing Hub
Monitoring your metrics with the help of marketing dashboards will give you a bigger picture of your social media performance in 2021.
11. Communicate Your Objectives, Challenges, & Victories With Your Team
“If you love what you do and have a sincere interest in those individuals that you meet along the journey, then not only will you benefit by your own efforts, but those you surround yourself with will be blessed with your knowledge and friendship”
- Dede Watson (Forbes Top 50 Social Media Power Influencer)
The collaboration will be more crucial than ever in 2021 for social marketers. You can leverage a team collaboration tool or a team chat app to help you convey all the essential pointers in shareable, easy-to-reach reports to keep all your team members on the same page!
As an agile social media marketer, you can continue to observe the changing buyer behavior and keep an eye on social media trends to understand how to deal with unprecedented online scenarios.
We hope that this guide will help you develop a holistic social media marketing strategy to generate leads, drive traffic, and boost brand awareness in 2021!