Companies are spending an increasing amount of their budget on social media marketing, but to be fully effective it needs to be used as part of a goal-oriented strategy

Here are some important steps that will help focus on the optimization of customer engagement and your social media presence.

Most important social networks:

Understanding which social networks give the best exposure to your products or services is an absolute must.

It should come as no surprise that Facebook scores highest on activity in terms of social media websites. This is followed by LinkedIn and Twitter. Other sites that are gaining popularity include Pinterest, Instagram and Snapchat.

Devising a SMART goal:

SMART = Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time-bound.

It is vital that a company’s SMART goal aligns with their business objectives. The social media marketing element of a company’s marketing strategy needs to be part of its overall marketing strategy.

In order to create a forceful impact, it is necessary to define required goals and establish key performance indicators.

Examples of goals can include the number of:

  • Website visits
  • Likes
  • Followers
  • Leads received from each individual social network

Once objectives of a social marketing campaign are set they can then be monitored regularly. This can be achieved with analytical tools that help identify tactics that are working and those which are most ineffective.

Auditing social media presence:

This is an essential part of any company’s social media strategy. A review of your presence will show what your target audience is looking for. Once this is understood it will allow you to engage them more satisfactorily

Things to consider and act upon during this analysis will include:

  • Preferred social media channels used by your target audience
  • Response levels to paid campaigns
  • Insight into demographics of visitors
  • Higher engagement time
  • The number of times content is ‘liked’

Don’t ignore your competitors:

Any audit should also include keeping tabs on what your competitors are doing. This should include:

  • Their social network activity
  • Content offered
  • Their strategic thinking
  • Published results
  • What elements of their online presence are working well

This positive monitoring will allow you to understand competitor strengths and weaknesses and it will allow effective business decisions relating to your ongoing social media presence to be implemented. This approach should afford you a positive business advantage.

Industry influencers in your sector of business should also be monitored closely. These can have a huge impact on where, why and how customers make their choice in terms of product or service.

Short, sharp survey’s:

This is another tool that can help you understand exactly what your customer is looking for. Provide a short, concise survey asking key questions that can be answered easily. The results will help you understand your customers’ needs far more intimately.

Content strategy is crucial:

Without a clear, correct and effective social media content strategy a company is dead in the water.

The correct content strategy for your company will be far easier to implement once you have an understanding of competitor strategy, and you have knowledge of what it is your target audience want.

Match these factors with pre-set goals mentioned above and plan your strategy to include such things as:

  • Steps to take for customer engagement
  • Establish and set target audience needs for the different content assets you will provide
  • Sharing frequency
  • Major focus on content promotion
  • Useful, varied concise content planning
Ironing out your strategy

Content available:

This is far more important than many companies currently believe. Content available should be effective in terms of promoting your product and engaging the customer. Such resources should include:

  • eBooks
  • Cheat sheets
  • Presentations
  • Infographics
  • Videos
  • Blogs
  • Case studies
  • Whitepapers

Understanding content impact:

This is another key business driver. The type of content offered will vary dependent upon your business objectives and those pre-defined goals, but it will give invaluable insight as to what interest’s customers and what does not.

Create a content calendar, schedule posts in advance and then analyse what impact the different content has and how many hours it engages the customer. Once these results are understood this will help you provide more of the same that is effective on a continual basis.

Keep tracking your success:

Analysing your social media presence cannot be seen as a one-off or sporadic exercise. It must be regular, results must be acted on, and content as well as advertising approach changed accordingly.

Using web analytic tools that match data will make this process far easier and much more successful.