Social media marketing is an invaluable tool to businesses of all shapes and sizes. So today we present a practical guide to help you deploy and manage effective social media marketing campaigns with as little hassle as possible.
Social media marketing allows businesses to reach an enormous number of people at a reasonably low cost and without having to sacrifice too much time or effort. To get the most value from your campaigns, there are a good few tips and tricks you should keep in mind, otherwise it can be a waste of time. By the end of this article, you should be in a better position to build truly effective social media campaigns that solidify your branding, generate quality leads and drive sales.
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1. Establish your goals
It’s a wise move to use the SMART goal-setting strategy to create a solid foundation for your social media marketing campaign. SMART is an abbreviation for setting goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely.
If you don’t know what you want, how are you supposed to achieve it? And, if you don’t start off with some strong goals, you won’t be able to measure and evolve your strategies over time.
2. Identify your audience
Advertising depends on correctly identifying and then targeting the right audience. If you’re not reaching your target audience, you’re wasting an enormous amount of resources on your social media campaigns. Before you begin posting on social media, make sure you’ve developed a comprehensive understanding of who buys or uses your products or services. Establish how they communicate, what social media platforms they use and what kind of interactions they typically have with other businesses.
Once you’re able to identify your target audience, make sure you maintain a tight focus and predominantly target these individuals. Use an appropriate tone of voice, produce content that’s relevant and try to reach them through as many channels as possible.
3. Take inspiration from other businesses
Being inspired by other businesses influences your output in two distinct ways. First, it allows you to take what you like about other campaigns and adapt it to your own business. Second, it provides you with the necessary data to plot and plan your unique campaign.
By looking at what others are doing, you'll identify ways to differentiate yourself and ensure that you stand out from the crowd. The most popular franchises aren’t concerned with how they come up with their ideas or where they find inspiration, but they do care about putting out content that distinguishes their business from others’.
Whether you’re struggling for ideas or feel that your creative output has never been more productive, it’s always a good idea to keep an eye on what the competition is doing with their marketing. Not only can this help you identify social media trends and alert you to shifts in digital behaviour, but it will also ensure that you're putting out unique and individual content.
4. Choose the right platforms
When choosing which platforms to use, you should ask yourself: Who needs your product or service? Where are your competitors? We have an entire article dedicated to choosing the right social media channels to promote your franchise.
5. Perfect your messaging
We can’t stress enough how important it is to be consistent. Uploading a video here and a blog post there won’t provide as much value as delivering carefully thought-out content consistently. It’s often a good idea to address your audience directly and you might want to use techniques like witty hooks. Alternate your content types to keep your social media campaigns fresh.
If you need help with crafting captivating copy, you could choose to seek help form a specialist agency.
6. Use social media influencers
With 49 percent of consumers relying on influencer recommendations and 86 percent of women using social media for purchasing advice, you should consider using influencers in your own campaigns. Lots of us trust the recommendations of influencers, who have already established their credibility in the industry. So, find out who the experts are when it comes to your product or service and choose ones with large followings.
7. Engage customers with video content and images
Create images and videos that will grab the attention of your audience and reflect your brand. Video content especially is becoming incredibly important in building truly effective social media marketing campaigns. There are tons of different ways you can use videos; live videos (e.g. on Facebook and Instagram) are very fashionable at the moment and for good reason. You can connect with your audience in real time, at the click of a button and provide them with useful content like live ‘Q&As’.
8. Drive action with compelling calls-to-action (CTAs)
A call-to-action is a way for you to entice your audience to focus on the next action you want them to take. You need to answer: ‘What’s in it for me?’ and give your audience a reason to act. You can then provide a sense of urgency or give people an offer they can’t refuse. To optimise your calls-to-action, follow these three tips:
- Make sure it’s contextually relevant
- Limit selection choices
- Make it stand out visually, i.e. with colour or typography
9. Respond to customer engagement effectively
How you interact with customers is just as important as capturing their interest in the first place. For your campaigns that go beyond offering promotions or discounts, there’s going to be some level of customer engagement involved. Part of promoting your franchise will entail responding to customer comments, feedback and questions via the social media channels you use. Here are some ways you can achieve that…
- Responding personally to followers, answering questions, commenting and liking other posts
- Tagging certain followers in posts if they will be interested in the information
- Using hashtags to make your messages more discoverable
- Including links in your posts to blogs, website or other CTAs
To implement a successful social media policy, you'll need to focus on both outgoing and incoming communications. Social media is at its most effective when two-way communication is established, and businesses can interact with their customers in a natural, conversational manner. Don’t ignore your customers when they post on your social media accounts, take the time to respond and develop a rapport.
>> Read more:
- What is the Marketing Fee and Why is it Necessary?
- Developing an effective franchise marketing plan
- How to market your franchise
- How to make the most of social media marketing
- Franchising 101: 8 Essential Marketing Strategies for Promoting Your Business
- Franchising 101: 6 Tips for Building Customer Loyalty Through Marketing
10. Track your results
So, has the hard work paid off? Anecdotal evidence that your social media marketing is working is one thing, but the analytical evidence is much more compelling. Using analytical tools to measure the success of your marketing efforts is a crucial aspect of modern online advertising. It helps you to refine your approach and establish what works and what doesn't. Focus on followers, likes/shares/comments, clicks, downloads and leads.
Use your social media marketing campaigns to transform your business
Follow these tips and you should increase your followers, boost your website traffic and have new leads. Your next step should be checking out ‘How to Choose the Right Digital and Social Media Channels to Promote Your Franchise Business’. You might also be interested in how to stay connected with customers during the COVID-19 crisis.
Becky Martin, Point Franchise ©