The key to using social media successfully for your organization in 2016 is to have a detailed plan that drives all of your marketing efforts.
This article will outline how to create a comprehensive six-step integrated social media strategy that takes into account business goals and objectives, and that focuses on the needs and interests of your customers.
1. Tie social media to marketing goals
If we are going to approach social media strategically, in a way that relates to your overall marketing goals and objectives, it helps to know the strengths of social.
In my experience, social shines in five areas: building brand awareness, assisting with generating demand for your product or service, fostering word-of-mouth, increasing customer loyalty and promoting customer advocacy.
Think of ways that social media could help your organization, given these strengths (and any weaknesses you can think of). Come up with two or three goals and supporting objectives from this perspective, to start.
2. Know your audience
How well you know your audience—their interests, demographic makeup, behavior patterns, motivations and goals—will determine how you engage them using social media.
One of the best ways to know your audience is to listen to them. Fortunately, there are plenty of platforms you can use for that purpose: Meltwater Buzz, Brandwatch, Mention and Sysomos, to name a few. Free tools exist, too, such as Social Mention, Hootsuite, and even Twitter (advanced search).
Also, you must first define your target audience before you can begin engaging with its members. Segment your customers into individual groups called buyer personas and understand who they are, how they think, and what they want from your brand.
3. Create a content plan
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