Emily Maupai Zinberg - 02/21/2020
Identify your business' goals and objectives from the start to keep your social media strategy and tactics on-target this year.
Do you have a social media marketing strategy for 2020? Many brand managers, marketing directors, and CMOs have their plan, budgets and allocations by the start of the year. We know that’s not the case for everyone, though.
By the time you’ve wrapped up all your end-of-year reports, there isn’t much time to breathe, let alone prepare a plan for next year. We get it.
That doesn’t mean you should let your social media strategy fall to the wayside. Nor is it too late to create one. For any program to be successful, there should be clear goals and objectives set from the start to ensure that each tactic is working to accomplish them.
If you are unclear about the difference between goals, objectives, and tactics (like many are), this Forbes article offers a pretty clear explanation.
Give Each Tactic Purpose
Over the years, we’ve encountered brands that are, for lack of a better phrase, “flying by the seat of their pants.” Even though social media has been around for quite some time, it’s still a moderately new marcom tool that may seem difficult to harness.
Testing different marketing tactics without any goal or objective will bring poor results and waste precious dollars. The last thing we would ever recommend is using a marketing tool or vehicle just because it’s new or trendy. That’s right, I’ll say it – Snapchat is not a fit for every business!
To avoid this scenario, select one or two objectives that will help your business reach its overall marketing goal. Once you’ve done this, you can look to social media to implement specific tactics on the appropriate platforms that work towards your objectives.
For example, if one objective is to increase foot traffic in a retail store or visitors to my website, one tactic could be to launch a social media promotion that offers a coupon for in-store or online purchases.
This tactic clearly works toward the objective, and its success can be clearly measured. Speaking of measurement…
How To Measure Success
KPIs? CTR? ROI? We understand the flurry of marketing jibber jabber can overwhelm, but they are key parts to an important conversation. We promise. So, let’s take it one step at a time.
KPIs – When someone asks what your key performance indicators (KPIs), there’s no need to sweat. They are inquiring how you measure success, which depends on how your business defines it, aka your goals and objectives.
CTR – For example, the objective you’ve been tasked with might be growing engagement on your social media pages. Or perhaps increasing the click-through-rate (CTR) on your social media ads. In these cases, your KPIs for success would be engagement and click-through-rate, and if they go up – your strategy is working!
ROI – In many industries lead generation is a popular objective, and the number of leads captured often determines whether or not a tactic was successful. The results can power future tactics beyond social media. In some cases, it can be tracked to customer acquisition, which is your return on investment (ROI).
Actually Know If It’s Working
As I said, setting up a social media strategy takes time and can get complicated, but all that hard work is rewarded with answers!
Depending on how involved your overall marketing strategy is, it may be difficult to attribute success to each tactic. This is where tracking tools come into play. For example, if you are hosting a product giveaway on your website, on social media, and in your storefront, you’ll want to make sure you can track where each entry came from.
Among the tools available to track online marcom activities are Google Analytics, customer relationship management (CRM) software, social media monitoring and measurement software, and more. An easy way to track your social media traffic is to use urchin tracking modules (UTM) codes. In simple terms, these are codes that can be added to the end of your website URLs to help determine referral traffic. Find a more detailed explanation here.
For example, when running an offer on Facebook, you should share/post a URL with a UTM code. It can identify where the URL was shared (Facebook), the promoted item (influencer e-guide), or specific campaign (blog). It would look something like this below.
The tools used to add these UTM codes to your website URLs are free, and when you look at your website analytics, you will clearly see what tactics are driving the most traffic/results for you.
If you are looking to track the success of offline marketing tactics, feel free to email me at email@example.com to discuss how you can effectively do that.
Leave Room for Changes
3E PR does not believe in “set it and forget it.” From large scale campaigns to on-going daily promotions, we monitor each tactic closely to ensure it’s actually contributing to your business objective.
This may be hard to accept, but even if you put together a proper social media strategy, you may need to alter it along the way. Even with data driving the decision, there is no guarantee that it will work. That’s okay, as long as you are prepared to pivot.
Scenario: you’ve launched a new product with social media ads running on Facebook and Instagram. You’re getting a lot of impressions, but no one is clicking through to your website. This is upsetting, but it is a clear signal that an adjustment needs to made.
Try using different creative or copy in your ads. There is no “one size fits all” for social media advertising; it might take a couple tries to develop content that resonates with your target audience and spurs them to take action.
Pro Tip: when testing different creative or copy in your ads, be sure to use unique URLs for each with UTM code so you can track which performs the best.
Find detailed tips on how to properly prepare your social media advertising strategy here.
Make Informed Decisions
When you’re in the thick of implementing your social media strategy, you may be feeling mentally exhausted. But when 2020 comes to a close and it’s time to prepare your performance reports, you will be armed with the data you need to make your 2021 plan. Hey, maybe you’ll even have a plan before the ball drops.
As “they” say, knowledge is power. Harness the insights you earned through all your hard planning to make informed decisions and media spends in the future.
Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to discuss your business’ social media marketing strategy.