Social media marketing strategies: 8 must-have tactics

According to the annual report The Global State of Digital in 2019 created by Hootsuite y We Are Social52% of the world’s population uses social networks. This huge global audience using these channels represents a vast market opportunity for any business, regardless of size. An opportunity to create the marketing strategies that will allow the reach of your business to extend into the digital world.

However, in order for your social media marketing efforts to pay off, the first thing you need to have is an strategy. Here are the basic concepts that you should take into account when planning your marketing strategy.

Index

Strategies for positioning on social networks.

To start planning your social media marketing strategy, you first need to figure out what your objectives are. Whatever the specifics of your objectives, it is important to have a differentiating element to position yourself as a referent in the minds of your consumers. If you don’t have pointed objectives, it will be very difficult for you to measure your success and ROI in your reporting. Ask yourself questions like:

Do I want to generate awareness of my brand and increase its perception?

Do I want to manage the reputation of my business?

My purpose is to increase sales?

To provide customer service?

Increase traffic to my website?

Do market research to learn more about my audience?

Be a leader in my niche?

Once you have your objectives delimited, these will be a guide to know what type of content you need to provide to your audience, in what format and what are the best practices for your brand when it comes to investing in ads. Facebook Ads is a great tool to simplify and optimize this part, as the platform offers a variety of customizable options according to your objectives.

For example, let’s say the goal of one of your campaigns is brand recognition. These types of ads present the perfect opportunity to showcase the behind-the-scenes culture of your business and the team that makes it happen. However, if your goal is to increase traffic to your website, then your campaign ads will look very different and have elements such as a CTA. The content creation is up to you, but through advanced targeting options and tracking the performance of your ads, Facebook makes sure that your ad performs as well as possible, reaches the right people and becomes memorable in the minds of your customers.

Social media targeting strategies.

As mentioned above, in order for your marketing strategies to meet their objectives, you need to make sure your content is reaching the right audience. This is where segmentation strategies come in, a vital tool for your content to reach the people who may be most interested in your services or products.

Buyer Persona

The first step is to know your audience, and the creation of a buyer persona is a great tactic for doing so. A buyer persona is a semi-fictional character that represents your ideal customer. In order to create this customer prototype and profile, you need to conduct audience analysis to uncover patterns in your customers’ demographics and interests. Use social media analytics tools to extract the data needed to create these profiles. Platforms such as Facebook, Instagram y Twitteramong others, offer a free report with valuable information about the people who interact with your brand online, even if they are not yet your customers.

Think about the buyer persona as a real customer will help you make informed decisions when crafting the right content for the right consumers. For example, Netflix is a global company that targets a wide age range of audiences. On its platform, you can find content aimed at all kinds of niches, from cartoons for kids, documentaries about planet earth, award-winning international dramas and soap operas, among many, many others. However, its social media content, particularly on Instagram, has a clear focus on a youth audience. coincidence? Although we don’t know the marketing secrets of this streaming giant, this is probably not a random decision and is most likely the result of market research where they extracted the demographics and interests of their Instagram followers and realized the age range and behavioral patterns of their followers.

Facebook Insights is a great targeting tool to maximize your ad efforts (and budget). Thanks to its targeting features, you can target different types of audiences according to their age, gender, location, language, internet connections and interests. Facebook offers three types of targeted audiences:

  • Primary target audience.: thanks to algorithms and data collected by Facebook, with this feature you can target audiences that have the highest potential to buy your products.
  • Custom audiences: target your ads to people you already know or have already interacted with using the information you already have available.
  • Similar audiences: new audiences by combining custom audiences with Facebook targeted ads.

Check out our complete guide on. Facebook advertising and become an expert in the world of Facebook Ads. Get the most out of your ad budget with. Hootsuite AdEspresso a powerful tool that facilitates the creation, management and optimization of your marketing strategies.

The new era of marketing

Every marketer will be familiar with the marketing mix strategy (marketing mix) and the four variables that compose it, the famous «4 P’s of Marketing».: product, price, point of sale and promotion. But are these concepts still applicable to a social media marketing strategy? Of course! They just need to be adapted to the online world.

Whether it’s a physical item, a service or an experience, the product is a key part of your campaign. Before the digital age, customers relied on a sensory experience to determine the quality and viability of the product. Today, your product itself is your content and the format in which you choose to present it. For this reason, the quality of your content is vital and a great challenge. However, it is also a great opportunity, since within social networks there is an incredible variety of formats to present your product and highlight all its features. We explore this point in depth in the last «P»: promotion.

Another element that has changed considerably thanks to the connectivity of the Internet is that customers can access opinions and reviews of your product immediately and thus inform their purchase opinion. A tool that can help you to keep informed in real time of the opinions and sentiment that your brand or a specific product is generating is the social listening. Social listening is the practice of monitoring all your social networks to discover all the mentions of your brand, your products and your competitors. Through a single dashboard, Hootsuite makes it easy to monitor these keywords and conversations on social networks. With social listening, you can make sure your product always looks good and join the conversations happening around it. Hootsuite Insights is a great ally in this part, as they allow you to monitor over 100 million data sources and even track sentiment by location, language and gender.

For many consumers, price is the deciding element that results in a purchase or not. The accessibility that the internet gives us to market our products has reduced operating costs for many businesses. Also, this has increased competition, no matter how small your niche is. In addition, users can compare your prices with those of your competitors immediately to inform their purchasing decision. For this reason, setting a price that is both attractive to your customers and profitable for you is one of the most time-consuming and sensitive tasks of the digital marketer. Help yourself in this part with tools such as Brandwatch to always keep you updated on what’s going on in your niche and with your competitors.

The point of sale is the place where you decide to sell your product. Thanks to the rise of E-commerce (electronic commerce) and in particular of M-Commerce (where users can make purchases from their mobile devices) any company can sell its products online, which has transformed and simplified the purchasing process significantly. For this part, you need to do market research to find out where in the digital universe your consumers congregate. In this way, you will be able to decide, for example, whether or not the direct purchases on Instagram Are they viable for your business or if Facebook Marketplace is more suited to your profile. This is not as complicated as it sounds. As we mentioned earlier, the most popular social networks offer a free statistical report-such as Instagram or Twitter Analytics or Facebook Insights-on your company’s performance on these channels.

Of the four «P’s», this is the point that has changed the most in marketing strategies in the digital era. Often also referred to as «Advertising,» this point refers to the format in which you decide to present your product. According to the annual report The Global State of Digital in 2019 created by Hootsuite y We Are Social, Facebook has an advertising reach (the number of users they can reach with their ads). 82 million globally. Of course, this reach offered by social networks has changed the transmission and content of our messages completely.

To choose the best channel to present your product and meet your objectives, ask yourself questions like:

Where do my customers congregate?

What type of content do I get the most interactions with: images, videos, Stories, etc.?

What role do ads play in my content promotion marketing strategy?

Again, the answers to these questions are found in your social media metrics, and. Hootsuite Analytics can help you with this.

Here are 5 timely tactics based on this information that you can implement in your social media marketing strategies.

Eight marketing strategies you can’t miss.

1) Present your content in new formats

We all know that images and videos get more interactions than a post with text. We also know that Stories are conquering users on social networks. Now, it’s time to take a step further, get out of the comfort zone and use new types of media such as 360º videos, Live photos, virtual reality y IGTV. HBO is one of the companies that have used some of these new immersive formats to their advantage, as they did in their various campaigns for the hit TV series Game of Thrones.

360º Videos

VR

IGTV

One of the greatest enticements of the digital age is the ability to leverage technological advances to your advantage.

2) Use similar audiences in your marketing strategies.

The similar audiences tool is a great ally to find new customers. The platform is based on the characteristics of your target audience (the customers you have already interacted with) to find new prospects, integrate them into your sales funnel and thus improve the performance of your ads.

Similar audiences on Facebook, for example, are based on different target audiences (or seed audiences) depending on the goal you want to achieve. For example, if your goal is to increase your sales, Facebook will target the customers who have visited your website the most.

To extract valuable information from this practice, you need to test with different audiences and measure their performance. Which one works best for you? Find out how to build a loyal audience with the Facebook Ads Manager.

3) A/B testing to optimize your content and marketing strategies.

A/B testing is a super valuable research tool for testing small variations in your advertising content to determine which is the most effective for your target audience. For example: you’re about to launch a new product and you’re planning the campaign. However, you’re not sure whether a video ad or a photo ad is best for your audience, or you have two copy to go with your image and don’t know which one to use. An A/B test allows you to test the two different types of ads and measure the results across different variables to find out which format drives more interactions with your customers. Look at this example from Booking.com, same message, different images:

Social media a/b testing
(Source: Facebook Booking.com)
Over time, you will be able to gain insights that will help you tailor your content for each social network and for each specific audience, which will help you refine your social media marketing strategy.

4) Test the performance of your marketing strategy.

It’s time to create your monthly report: how do you check that your marketing strategies are paying off? These two tools will be of great help:

Facebook Pixel

The Facebook pixel is a snippet of code that you can install on your website to track the actions users took on your page after viewing an ad on Facebook.

Thanks to cookies that track interactions with your customers, the Facebook pixel helps you ensure that your ads are seen by the people who are most likely to take the action you want. The big advantage of this is that it allows you to improve your ad conversion rate (i.e. whether your ads are actually getting the customer to take an action) and get a better ROI. This code also works to optimize your ads and build audiences.

In the Facebook for Business blogthe platform recorded the success story of Columbia Central University located in Puerto Ric when it launched a conversion campaign focused on generating more new student subscriptions with the help of the pixel. The campaign consisted of videos and images displayed on Facebook that reflected school life within the university and the Facebook Pixel helped them segment the audience to reach new customers and measure conversions on the institution’s website to then re-promote their ads to similar audiences.

Check the performance of your Facbook marketing strategy.
(Source: Facebook for Business)
These were the figures they achieved:

  • 71% increase in prospect acquisition.
  • 80% increase in website traffic
  • 12X return on investment

Check out our complete guide to the Facebook Pixel and start using it today.

Hootsuite Analytics

With Hootsuite Analytics, you can view detailed reports with tangible and quantifiable data. With this analytics tool, you can measure the success of your marketing campaigns and strategies in real time without having to review each social network’s Analytics report separately. With easy-to-use dashboards and the option to create an unlimited number of reports, you can analyze metrics such as posts, followers, interactions and traffic from platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram in one place. This way, you’ll know what’s working, what you need to improve and where to focus your budget.

5) Stay creative and up-to-date

The world of digital marketing and social media is a constantly evolving space, so it’s essential to stay on top of everything that’s happening in this microcosm.

To learn about the most relevant news in the advertising industry in your day-to-day life, set up a RSS reader as Feedly o Hootsuite Syndicator Pro to monitor in real time the latest posts from sites such as, Merca 2.0, Adweek and, of course, the Hootsuite blog. This will save you a lot of time, as you won’t have to visit each web page individually and check its content.

Also, it is important to continue your education. At our list of community manager courses online, you can find everything from options to stimulate your creativity, to improve your content editing and to become an expert in Facebook ads and branding.

6) Promote your content on all your platforms (Cross promotion).

One of the easiest marketing strategies to implement is cross promotion. Imagine you are trying to grow your YouTube channel, but you are not having much success at the moment and you decide to post a link to your video on Facebook. Posting that link is the first step of your cross promotion. However, there is a lot more to do and some practices you need to follow to improve the performance of this strategy.

Cross promotion depends on two elements, «hero» content and supporting content. Hero content is that piece of content that you have invested the most time in and is the content where you want your marketing strategy to focus its results. Supporting content are the publications that will promote your hero content on other platforms.

Going back to the YouTube example, your hero content would be your video and your supporting content would be the Instagram stories, facebook posts, etc., that are going to support the promotion of your video.

Create posts specific to the each social platform to promote your hero content.

Cross-promotion isn’t about posting the same message on every platform hoping that will drive traffic to your hero content. It’s about tailoring the message to contribute to the conversation on that network. Take these donut Media posts as an example.

Create platform-specific content
(Source: DonutMedia Instagram)
Both reference their hero content on YouTube. However, they do so with content native to Instagram and following the platform’s best practices. In the first one, we can observe a traditional publication, without calls to action or other text that might distract from the content of the image. It’s not until the description, where you talk about the hero content, and invite your audience to watch the video. This is very different from posting the thumbnail of the hero video on Instagram and expecting it to drive traffic to your website. Unfortunately, it’s a practice I’ve seen with many youtubers.

Why should you create content specific to Instagram … or any other network.

Interaction rates on Instagram drop drastically when the image has text overlaid on it, so a post specific to this platform is going to get better interaction and drive more people to your hero content.

Similarly, Instagram stories are a key tool in your social media marketing strategy.

Marketing strategies for Instagram
(Source: DonutMedia Instagram)
In this example of Donut Mediais using stories to promote a video from their YouTube channel. Either way, they are accomplishing this by creating a video native to the platform, with the right proportions, time limits and other considerations.

7) Optimize your content on each platform.

If you want your content to have a wider reach, you are going to have to optimize it using the best practices of the social platform where you want to publish it. For example, I mean if you publish a video on YouTube make sure you add the most relevant tags to your content, use no more than 70 characters in your title to catch the attention of your followers (this is the maximum limit visible in mobile searches), etc.

If you want to learn how to optimize your content on social networks I recommend you to watch this list of video tutorials to optimize your content on each social network.

Each social network has optimization rules and «best practices». I put the practices in quotes because if you don’t follow them your organic reach will be affected; therefore, they are not so much recommendations as requirements.

Another example of this is the rule of 20% Facebookwith which images covered in text in 20% of their total area or more will be negatively affected by Facebook’s algorithm, their organic distribution will be reduced and they will not be able to be promoted.

Images on Facebook with 20%.
(Source: Facebook)
In the following case Facebook determined that the text corresponded to less than 20% of the image, so it will be possible to promote it, however, its performance will be lower because the text occupies a larger percentage than Facebook would consider optimal for its platform. Our recommendation: keep text to a minimum.
Facebook's 20% rule
(Source: Facebook)

Create a community of super fans and brand ambassadors.

Finally, the most important step in your social media marketing strategy is going to be to create a community of super fans or brand ambassadors. These are people who follow your content, interact with it on a regular basis and are interested in representing your brand, channel or fan community on social media.

Building a community of ambassadors will allow you to strengthen your marketing strategy for organic distribution of your content. If every time you post a new video, photo or any other type of content, you are ensuring that it will be shared organically with social circles outside your area of influence, circles that you will try to acquire.

Remember that this is a reciprocal relationship and you’re going to have to offer greater value to this community than to the rest of your followers. One way to show your appreciation could be by sending them small gifts, mentioning them in your posts or even a direct and personal message can have a lot of value.

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