In the last few years, social media as a prime marketing source has really taken off. Recent studies tell us that at least one quarter of the world’s population (approximately 1,730,000,000 people) is using social media regularly! Sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube have only grown in users the past several years. This market is a very important one to tap and can really make a difference in your bottom line for 2015.
Social media is huge and in order to take advantage of the opportunities it offers, a great marketing strategy is essential. The New Year is a perfect opportunity to evaluate your social media marketing strategy and revamp it to meet the needs of your target audience. Take a look at these suggestions for revamping your 2015 social media marketing strategy.
One of the first components of any successful marketing campaign is early identification of goals. It’s really difficult to make and measure progress if you’re not exactly sure what you’re working towards.
Are you hoping that social media will further promote your brand or are you looking to boost your sales? Are you seeking a certain number of followers? Whatever your goals may be, they need to be consistent with your business goals and they need to be specific.
Your social media goals should be clearly defined and measurable. It is helpful to identify both short-term and long-term goals as well as objectives to meeting each. Your objectives are the steps to achieving your goals. Objectives should also be clearly defined. You must know what you’re working towards and what steps you plan to take to get there.
Once you have established the goals for your social media campaign you can begin to build the strategies that will help you achieve the goals. Your strategies are dependent upon the goal of your campaign and will need to align with what you’re trying to achieve. For example, if you’re looking to gain more followers, a give-away for your number 1,000 follower is a good strategy to engage new followers.
It’s important to recognize that your strategy may differ depending on the social media channel. You may even identify different goals for each social media channel.
Promote, Promote, Promote
A big part of social media marketing is promoting your campaigns. You want to build anticipation in the audience. Early engagement is the key to a successful campaign. Sharing content related to the campaign will help this.
You may also consider soliciting your email subscribers to join your campaign. Also use other social media sites to promote the campaign. If the campaign is targeted for Facebook users, promote the campaign on other sites like Instagram or Twitter and direct followers to the Facebook page.
Always Focus on Engagement
The ultimate purpose of social media marketing is to engage with your audience. This should be happening throughout the course of every social media campaign you work on. You need your followers to communicate back with you. Be creative in identifying ideas to foster engagement with followers.
Review the Results
Always take the time to analyze the data surrounding the campaign. Look at how many different actions were the result of a specific post as well as how many times it was viewed, shared, or liked. Compare your results with your original goals to identify how successful you were.
Looking at Social Media Channel Trends
All of the recommendations above are standard elements of every social media marketing campaign. To create a successful campaign in 2015, implementing some of the above recommendations is essential. In addition to paying attention to your goals and implementing specific strategies to achieving them, you also need to take note of changes in social media channel trends.
The New Year, 2015 is likely to bring some changes in social media marketing with Facebook. As many are aware, Facebook began limiting the number of posts that page followers are able to see, limiting a page’s organic reach.
This change has caused a higher demand for promoted posts and ads. A higher demand means a higher price. Paid ads on Facebook were up over 10% for 2014 when compared to 2013 and this upwards trend is likely to continue into 2015. It is important for businesses to take these changes into account when planning for their 2015 social media marketing strategy.
Contrary to the situation with Facebook, Twitter has made advertising for businesses much easier. Twitter is going to be offering a new fee structure that will feature more options and flexibility in terms of what businesses pay to advertise. This arrangement will allow for more performance based payments.
While this option is still currently in beta testing it is expected to be released in the near future. It is expected that these performance based payment options will increase the number of small and medium sized businesses advertising with Twitter.
If Instagram is not currently part of your social media marketing campaign, it should be for 2015. Instagram has a whopping 200 million monthly users which is expected to grow even further in the coming year. It is really the only image-based social media site and has gained tons of users for that same reason.
Videos on Instagram is a growing trend on the site. While Vine and Instagram compete for the market on videos it is expected the Instagram will take the cake with their larger pool of users.
Use of Instagram in social media marketing increased greatly in the past two years and will keep up trending. It is a great resource to show your audience a different side of the business and a different spin to your message. Instagram is great resource to help grow your social media marketing in 2015.
Don’t Forget About Linked In
Many businesses forget about Linked In as a valuable social media marketing tool. Linked In is the go to business to business social media site. It is valuable in connecting with key players in your industry as well as other professionals locally that could support your cause.
Linked In offers the opportunity to establish groups of professionals with which you can connect and share information. As far as reaching a consumer base, this site won’t match up with Facebook or Twitter. However, connecting with and networking with other professionals is equally as important.
Using Content Marketing in Social Media
The importance of content marketing distribution has really become apparent in 2015. Last year, there was great buzz in using content marketing. This upcoming year will focus on more creative methods of distributing the content.
Content marketing has been established as a really great way to educate the audience, promote the brand and leverage search engine optimization. That being said, the emphasis on distributing the content through social media is a new method of expanding reach.
Social media can and should be used as a resource to distribute content and gain attention. Content marketing is a really great strategy, it’s important, however, to get the content out to the audience. Social media is a great way to do this.
Revamping your social media marketing in 2015 will require some evaluation and planning. Taking a look at the business goals as well as what you’re looking to achieve in social media is essential to developing a plan and strategy to move forward in 2015.
Establish your goals; make them concise and measurable. Ensure your objectives are also specific and easy to understand. Develop your strategy, employ it and evaluate it. All of these steps are necessary components to a successful marketing campaign.
Take into consideration the changing social media channel trends. Facebook will be a bit more expensive as the demand for their ads increases. Twitter is expected to become more reasonably priced and ideal for small to medium businesses as their new pricing structure will be performance based.
If you’re not using Instagram, get on board. Instagram has a huge pool of users and is the primary image social media site. It’s a great resource to connect with your audience on a different level. This is a great addition to your social media marketing strategy for 2015.
Don’t forget about Linked In. Professional connections and networking are always valuable tools to have.
Use social media as a source to distribute your content marketing. Content marketing will remain a valuable marketing strategy. Distributing it is the key to its success. Social media is a great means of getting your content out there.
Social media is here. It’s growing and changing. Keep evaluating your analytics and don’t be discouraged if one of your campaigns doesn’t work out as you’d hoped. Change some things and try again. Grow your strategy with social media, you can’t go wrong!