Creating a social media marketing strategy can be daunting. With so many options and pathways to choose from, your business runs the risk of either stalling due to decision paralysis or launching scattered and confusing social media accounts.
We’ve run more than a few social media pages in our time as a social media agency in Dubai, so we’ve prepared this guide to the winning formula behind highly successful marketing programs.
1. Know Your Market
The UAE is a global leader in social media usage—data suggests that the average person has 10.5 accounts, if you can believe it.
With users in the Middle East so used to the internet’s various social platforms, businesses would be wise to note the preferences and habits of the people who will engage with their social media marketing strategies.
It pays to know your market, from their demographics (ex. ratio of men and women, age groups, locations), to their preferences (ex. what kinds of media they respond to) and habits (ex. what times they’re online, how likely they are to share posts).
A clear view of how your audience behaves is critical to developing a social media marketing strategy that works in practice—not just in theory.
2. Set Clear Goals
Many businesses rush into Facebook marketing or posting on Twitter with the sole intent of making more money. While marketing ROI is the end goal, you’ll have to be a bit more precise to reap the benefits of a smart campaign.
It helps to plan your social media marketing strategy around your customer journey. Do you want to:
- Make people more aware of your business?
- Inform people as they consider your solution vs. others?
- Direct or convince people to make a purchase?
- Promote repeat business and customer loyalty?
Note that while on social media, you can run a variety of campaigns to hit as many goals as you like. The secret to making it past this step is to set solid priorities. Find out what your business needs in the short- medium- and long-term and plan accordingly.
3. Give Your Brand a Voice
Of all the things your brand can be on social media, the last thing you should aim for is boring. People don’t use social media to shop—they’re there to connect, stay informed, and have fun.
Decide on a clear brand voice and use it consistently across your platforms. It helps to choose an angle (ex. exciting, humorous, elite) and workshop it with people who aren’t involved in the decision-making process.
Choose a voice that fits naturally with your services, and more importantly, make it one that reflects how you do business: whether your customer-facing teams are fun and upbeat or serious and professional, use what you have and amplify it.
4. Set Clear Visual Guidelines
Social media marketing strategies fail when they fall into inconsistency. As a business owner or marketer, you know that brand recall is an essential step to winning business: if people remember your solution the next time they face a relevant problem, business takes care of itself.
With so much content on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and even LinkedIn, your brand would do well to select visual guidelines that are unique to your business.
Play around with your brand colors, borders for your posts, and your logo to create a line of material that your audience will instantly associate with your brand.
5. Reward Engagement
When it comes to success on social media, engagement is king. Not only does it mean that your content resonates with your target market, it also boosts your page’s reputation through what the industry calls social proof: the same psychological effect that makes positive reviews a magnet for new business.
Your social media marketing strategy should include tactics designed to encourage users to share and engage with your posts (ex. contests, community discussions) or reward them for it (ex. leaving fun and helpful replies to comments).
One tactic we recommend for brands that can form communities around what they do is to set up Facebook groups or hashtags, and then spark discussions and foster networks among your target audience. A restaurant supply business, for instance, could create a group that brings together restaurateurs to discuss best practices and share tips.
6. Provide Value
This may be the most important point we’ve made yet: whatever you choose to do with your social media business accounts, do something that adds value to your audience’s feeds.
The internet is full of dull and boring brands, and most of them go unnoticed. If you want your business to stand out and benefit from your investment in social, aim to create content that informs or delights your audiences.
Value takes many different forms, so don’t feel pressured to offer discounts every other day—you can provide a unique take on common customer problems, provide industry-specific information that solves meaningful problems, or simply excel at cracking jokes. The trick is to get your market to associate you with something positive.
7. Track Your Results
If you aren’t good with numbers, we strongly recommend you brush up on your introductory statistics because tracking your metrics and KPIs will save you a lot of grief when planning (and executing) your social media marketing strategy.
Many brands tend to stumble around in the dark on social media because they fail to keep a firm grasp on the numbers that define their performance. If you pay attention to the different social media metrics, you’ll be much better equipped to create and adjust your strategies for maximum ROI.
The final secret to a successful social media marketing strategy is to plan with the intention to make new plans as you go.
It sounds complicated, but it’s really simple: your audience’s preferences, business situation, and level of expertise will all change over time. This means that iteration, or rebuilding your efforts on top of the things you’ve learned through success and failure, is an important part of working towards success.
As you market your business on social media, you’ll have your fair share of hits and misses—the important thing is to learn from both outcomes and keep your plans flexible to improvement and experimentation. Sticking to a plan is great, but adjusting your plans over time to do even better is how you get to the top.
Developing a social media marketing strategy isn’t rocket science, but we will admit it’s a lot more complicated than many people give it credit for. It’s as demanding as it is rewarding, which is why expert guidance is a must-have for businesses that need to stay competitive but lack the resources to invest in expensive training or devote hundreds of hours to self-study.
This is where we come in. Our teams at Igloo stay ahead of the latest social media marketing trends and best practices to give businesses across the Middle East an advantage in the digital space.
Contact us today to learn how our digital marketing experts can work with your brand experts to help your business make a splash on social media and win new customers like never before.