When working with social networks, as well as with all other promotion channels, you must follow a certain strategy. Everyone who started promoting their own business on the Internet is convinced of this: after a series of chaotic attempts, a waste of money and time, the mandatory presence of a strategy becomes obvious. To avoid repeating the sad fate of these entrepreneurs, develop a solid foundation from the start for your future social media activities. An SMM promotion strategy should be thought out even before a product launch.
How does the development of an SMM promotion strategy begin?
An SMM strategy is an integral part of a company’s marketing activities and is not developed in a day or two. Sometimes its formation takes months, and implementation must be done during the entire planned period. Each new campaign is a new SMM strategy for promoting a product (brand, etc.) in social networks, which should harmoniously fit into the global strategy.
Any planning is created in order to outline further ways of business development and its promotion in the market, and proceeds from the goals and objectives set. Each SMM strategy should contain answers to five questions:
- about potential buyers;
- about the product (service) being sold;
- methods of effective sales;
- about the time and place of promotion of goods (services);
- about the characteristics of the product (service) that need to be developed.
Most often, the development of a promotion strategy begins with setting a goal. However, the most important thing is to determine where the company is at the moment, since the goals may be unrealistic. Let’s say it is planned to collect 100 thousand subscribers, having already 80 thousand. This is too small a goal. Or, for example, a company hopes to increase sales by leveraging social media, and the product it offers is very expensive. In this case, making a purchase decision takes time, so there can be no question of any quick sales through the group. This goal is divorced from reality.
To analyze your current situation, collect data on:
- The company, namely: the products it sells, brands, global development strategy, marketing plan. For this, a briefing is organized with the participation of all interested employees of the organization.
- Target audience: its socio-demographic profile, location, problems and expectations, reasons for choosing your product. This is done through surveys, questionnaires, focus groups, and analysis of search queries.
- Experience: measures taken, current actions and their results, KPIs achieved, instructions and SMM guides adopted. This information can be obtained through online services of web analytics, statistics collection, monitoring of SMM campaigns, as well as by interviewing the company’s employees: editors and managers for SMM, PR, advertising.
- Competitors: the main opponents in the market niche (their presence and activity on various platforms, results). It is necessary to compile a summary table of competitors, where each indicator is assessed in points, and then the rating of companies is calculated (data can be obtained from monitoring services or by auditing competitive pages on social networks).
In addition to the table for each of the competitors, at this stage of developing an SMM promotion strategy, a summary table of the activity of the key three to five competitors is compiled with a description of their actions, indicating the dates and number of participants.
- Trends: current trends in SMM promotion, popular and promising channels, techniques. This information is available on specialized professional portals and in the media. It is also useful to attend industry conferences on SMM.
Keep in mind that starting a corporate public and publishing in it hundreds of funny posts with cats every day is not an SMM promotion strategy yet, but just a set of chaotic actions. Creating and implementing a strategy in SMM is something more complex and extremely important. It is better to entrust this activity to a professional, and not to a schoolboy who somehow learned to rivet memes and select funny pictures (which, however, is also a valuable skill).
It is desirable that an SMM specialist with the necessary qualifications control each step or group of steps within the strategy: the target audience would be recruited by a community manager, published posts (and automated this process) – by a content manager. In this case, work on each stage of the strategy will be carried out quickly, smoothly and productively. However, some promotion steps require the collective participation of the entire team and even brainstorming (in particular, setting goals and objectives).
Choosing the goal of an SMM promotion strategy
An SMM strategy is developed based on the main and additional goals of the brand (product, service, etc.).
The promotion plan is designed to fulfill the main goal of the company’s presence in various social networks. Why do you even need to promote your business on the Internet? To keep up with fashion? Or to win the competition for a customer? These questions must be answered honestly. After all, if the managers themselves do not understand why they need to promote the company in social networks, then what will they broadcast to the target audience?
- Direct sale
- This is one of the most popular goals that businessmen around the world strive for. Direct selling is the simplest option, which does not involve multiple moves and complex manipulations. Whatever option you choose to promote on social networks (community, public, personal page), it must be clearly and obviously commercial: the promotion strategy will be aimed at getting people to buy from you.
Direct selling is the main goal for large stores with an extensive product range. Among the products sold, there is always something that will hook and delight customers (who expect this and come to buy something useful and valuable, and not just admire pictures or read smart articles in the public).Traffic
- In this case, SMM specialists put all their efforts into attracting potential clients to the official platform of the company (website, group, etc.). There is no goal here to urgently sell as many goods as possible (although some part of the attracted public will become customers), it is only supposed to arouse interest, keep users.Increasing brand loyalty
Increasing brand awareness (product, brand, company) is necessary when it needs trust and a positive attitude from the target audience. There is no question of sales, this is a preparatory stage of promotion: people must make sure of the high quality of the product and the reliability of the company.
- Communication with the target audience
- If the customer base has already been accumulated, and potential buyers (for example, a store) are about to become real, you need to actively interact with the target audience. What can an SMM promotion specialist do for this? Organize sweepstakes and other interactions, answer questions from the target audience and regular customers, use any informational reasons to remind about the brand.Working with negative
Not all companies have a crystal-clear reputation. If you have haters, then on social networks they will do everything possible to ruin the image of your business. Therefore, work with negative feedback, while not being the main task of the SMM promotion strategy, must nevertheless be carried out competently and constantly. When the reputation is restored, you can return to the normal sales mode.
Having correlated the current goals of the enterprise with the goals of SMM activities, it is time to move on to drawing up plans and determining specific steps to promote the company.
So, if a company seeks to capture a new market niche and chooses an SMM promotion strategy for this, which consists in establishing relationships with opinion leaders and well-known brands on the market, then the procedure for actions in social networks can be something like this:
- Compiling a list of hundreds of the most influential people in the target niche who can be interested in a partnership.
- Writing a letter to each of them with an offer to sponsor posts.
- Creation of the posts themselves for the blogger (brand), which will be paid by your company on a monthly basis.
The choice of one or another promotion tactic will depend on the goals, clientele, product characteristics, market conditions and other factors.