Understanding how to use social media for personal use is one thing, using it for business is whole ‘nother ball-game. The peculiarities of how some elements are to be approached differently can only be learnt over time, and with the experience that comes from use.
If you are a start-up or business on a tight budget and have decided to handle your social media management internally, there are a number of things you should get accustomed to, to ensure that your business’ online presence is solid and will work as a marketing tool for your business.
Your social media profiles are basically like branches of your business. Where customers walk in (visit your page), view what you have to offer, and if you have done things correctly, they will buy what you are selling.
The fundamental basis of Digital/Online Marketing, is… Marketing. Marketing, as old as it is, found a new partner in a lil’ something you might have heard of called the “Internet”. With marketing and the internet combined, businesses can reach customers in different localities, and for them to interact with their customers like never before.
Having said all that, what are the key elements in setting up a solid foundation in setting up your online presence? There are three key words that come into play; Online Marketing Strategy. Within your Online Marketing Strategy, you will have a section for Social Media, and it is within this section, that this article is helping you look at.
Here are the main points that are meant to be covered and articulated to your whole marketing team
Not to be mistaken for your proprietary vision, this is a vision of how you would like to see your business on the internet.
This could be:
– XYZ Electronics having an E-Commerce Website with an active blog, 3 Social media profiles, and generating at least 40% of total sales
There is no right or wrong way to perceive how you’d want your online presence to look. However, be realistic, keeping in mind the timeframe and resources you have given your team.
Short & Long Term Your objectives should naturally flow from your Vision, they should break your Vision into miniature roadmaps that should guide your team to enable them to achieve the Vision.
The goals you set should be SMART, just as you would in your business plan. Except that this time you want to put goals to each platform you are going to be active. This would look something like: “Facebook: Increase Page Likes from 450 to 900 by the end of the August.” You should then repeat this for every goal you want to set covering each relevant Facebook Metric. From there, you will go on to do the same for each social media network you are present.
KPIs allow you to ascertain whether a platform and your chosen strategy is working. They can run against the Goals you would have set and measure online activity, OR could include how your online marketing efforts are translating to your sales in the “real world”
A KPI could be:
– A sales increase of 30% from leads generated from our Facebook page.
In order for you to do this, there are 4 main questions you should ask:
Are you reaching the right people?
Are you engaging with the right people?
How many page fans are enquiring about your product or service?
How many of them actually become customers?
And you achieve this by looking at 4 key metrics (areas):
Engagement: How many people are Liking, Sharing, Commenting on your posted content
Reach: How many people has all your content reached in the past month (if that’s the timeframe you want to look at)
Leads: Apart from people who like your page and engage in your content, how many of them where actually interested in purchasing from you?
Conversions: How many page fans and other people on the social network have been converted into customers through your content and advertising efforts
When it comes to defining your Target Audience, thing for you to keep in mind, is that wanting to sell to everyone will NOT work. You need to be very specific as to who it is that you are targeting. Even if you sell a product that is consumed by nearly everyone, e.g. bread, not everyone will be your target market.
Here are 3 key things to remember:
You need to define your target audience for each product/service you provide
You cannot apply a one-size-fits-all approach in defining your target audience.
Your target audience in this strategy is not necessarily the same as your business’ target market.
For example, “XYZ Fashions” is a clothing store that sells kid’s, women’s and men’s clothing. They have three distinct target markets. However their target audience online may very likely only be limited to two, this is because it would be a parent who would buy clothes for their child, thereby eliminating “kids” as a target audience. Very well so, as children will not be present online on social media and making purchasing decisions.
So XYZ Fashions is left with Men and Women as target audiences. Men for their men’s clothing, and Women for their women’s clothing. However, this can be interchanged when running promotions for special occasions, where members of the opposite sex buy items for their significant others.
Drilling down into your target audience can get to very minute levels, but for the purposes of this article, we thought we’d illustrate how you should look deeper and define the different levels you should go.
Different from your target market, detailing THE MARKET in which you exist allows your team to understand what to look out for and make on-the-fly decisions. In your market, there are Direct Competitors (other companies providing the same services or products as you do), and Indirect Competitors (companies that compete with you for market share by providing an alternative to what you offer). The former is easy to pin-point as it’s what we ordinarily look out for, but Indirect competitors could be harder to spot.
Consider how WhatsApp is not telecommunications company, just an app, but is an indirect competitor to telecom companies in almost every country. And even further down the rabbit hole, where managers used to travel to another city for a business meeting, and now they just use Skype. In essence, Skype has taken away business from Airlines.
So, How can you beat your competitors?
Two easy ways to do this, by selling the same product for less, OR, by differentiating your offer from your competitors. This can be achieved by offering free add-ons, longer-term support and so on. This as we mentioned earlier, hasn’t changed from traditional marketing. You will be using your “key benefits” as selling points over your competitors as hope to gain more customers.
Think of how you can utilize differentiation to aid in your online marketing efforts. You could offer an online-only offer that includes a free download, that customers can’t get if they bought directly from the store.
Put in a less imposing way, “Monitoring & Evaluation”. It doesn’t matter how much you sell or build your brand online, if you don’t know who is buying from you, where they are, and what in your overall strategy is working or not. A lot of businesses pour money and effort into social networks that are actually not working in their favour. You can only know this by diving deep into each platforms dedicated section that will output this data for you.
When it comes to your audience and customers, what you might have thought is your target market (e.g. age and gender) could be off. If you had been targeting 25-35 year old females, and Facebook’s Analytics is telling you that 35-40 year old males are engaging most with you content, then you need to shift your focus to this demographic.
The topic of Analytics is a vast one, and we will be posting an article that dives into the relevant things you should look out for, and lay it out for you in an easy-to-understand manner.
Social Media Konnect is a social media management and online marketing agency based in Harare, Zimbabwe.
We offer tailored online services to individuals, SME's, non-profits, institutions and corporates that wish to establish a better online presence and reach their target audiences. Through carefully planned and executed campaigns, we give our clients leverage to connect with customers, build brand loyalty, increase engagement, increase sales, and in-turn - grow their business.
© 2019 Social Media Konnect, All Rights Reserved. Social Media Konnect is a trading name for NODAYSOFF PBC registered in Harare, Zimbabwe.