You need to plan carefully if you want to use social media to meaningfully connect with your niche audience.
Here’s how you do it.
Social media can be a useful tool in boosting your niche business. That’s especially true if you do it right. However, you need careful planning to succeed. You can’t just go half-cocked and think you can just do things on the fly. That’s the road to disaster.
Your social media campaign must be geared towards your target audience, and that audience can be different depending on the niche you’re in. Each strategy will be different depending on what you sell and who your target audience members are.
However, the basic steps of forming a proper social media strategy are the same regardless of the niche you’re involved in. Here are the steps you need to take:
Know Exactly Who Your Targets Are
You have to identify your audience so that you can take into consideration their particular needs and preferences. You can’t just put together a generic social media campaign centered on the benefits your services and products provide.
Basically, you’re offering a solution to a problem, and different demographics can have different ideas on what constitutes the ideal solution. Fail to acknowledge this, and you’ll just waste time, effort, and money into a social media campaign that’s not going anywhere.
These are some tasks you need to do to create a customer profile that best represents your target audience:
- Think about your previous experience with your customers, and form basic generalizations about them. Are they mostly male or female? Are they young or old? Do they come from a particular region, or are they mostly members of a particular culture?
- Once you have these assumptions about your target audience, do some market research that can prove or disprove these assumptions.
- Try to interview or survey your best customers to discover what they care about most when they make a purchasing decision regarding the type of products you sell.
- Use all the data you generate with your market research and surveys to come up with a more accurate view of your real target audience.
Pick the Most Suitable Social Media Channels
Now that you have a clearer picture of whom you’re selling to, you can now choose the best social media channels to reach your target audience. Basically, you go where your buyers are, just like businesses which buy TV advertising spots pick TV shows that their target customers watched.
Facebook is ultra-popular among all age groups and genders. But Instagram may be a better option for your business if you’re targeting teens because of 59% of people between 18 to 29 years old use Instagram. It’s not a great platform to reach senior citizens since only 8% of the over-65 age group uses this platform.
Both Instagram and Pinterest are great options if you’re trying to reach women, as 58% of women use Instagram and 60% use Pinterest. If you’re trying to reach Fortune 500 CEOs, you better go with LinkedIn.
Determine Your Goals
Exactly what do you want to accomplish? You need to set concrete goals, and not something as amorphous as “improve the business”. You need specific objectives that align with your overall marketing goals and business aims, and these objectives will then determine what tactics you will use.
Some of the more common goals include generating new leads or maybe increasing the percentage of leads that turn into sales. You may want to use social media to get more people to visit your website or to promote a particular product. You may also want to reach more people to boost awareness of your brand.
Your goals must be SMART. This means they have to be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.
Come Up with the Suitable Promotional Measures for Each Social Channel
Once you’ve picked the social channels you want to use and you have your specific goals, you should now be able to determine the right tactics to use to achieve those goals for each social channel.
Your options can include using recorded videos, lives video streaming, the unique features of the social channels, and also paid to advertise.
Come Up with Your Content Calendar
Your content is one of the most crucial weapons you have to use. It’s what the audience will see first, and the quality and nature of your content will determine whether or not your target audience will engage with your brand.
Some types of content you should consider include:
- Videos. These can be very entertaining, and they’re extremely useful in showing procedures that are hard to describe through the written word. For example, describing how to do a proper pushup is hard with words, but easy enough to show in a video.
- Blogs. The posts on your blog can feature solutions for problems your audience may be dealing with. But they’re also great on showcasing reviews for your services and products.
- Images. These can highlight the great looks of your products, while you can also provide interesting infographics that are often popular among many audience members.
- Ebooks. These are terrific for providing the audience with detailed information that they can really use. Often, ebooks can be used to entice people to sign up for your mailing list.
- Text posts. Even a short text post can start an interesting conversation, and it can also be an effective call to action.
- Landing pages. This is a crucial type of content when your goal is to increase the number of visitors to your website.
Since you’re creating a calendar, this means you need to schedule your content to appear in particular days. You should make your calendar accessible to everyone on your marketing team, so everyone knows when a particular blog post or article has already been posted. You can also note which content you’re planning to release are your highest priorities.
Create Your Content
Now that you have your schedule and you know when your planned content materials are due, it’s time to create the content. You should assign particular content assignments separately, so that team members aren’t duplicating each other’s efforts. You may also decide to outsource your content creation, as long as you give specific direction regarding the subject matter and the schedule.
As you build your content library, here are some principles to keep in mind:
- Maintain the same brand identity. Just because you’re using text, images, and videos doesn’t mean your content can vary widely in tone and character. For example, if you’re selling fashion items to teens, then you can’t use videos, images, and words that appeal more to senior citizens.
- Put in an effective call to action in line with your objectives.
- Vary the methods you use. You can’t just put out posts that promote your products all the time. Sometimes you can put out helpful “how to” posts, while at other times you can publish posts that encourage greater engagement.
Obviously, you need to make sure your content is original and of high quality. For textual posts, avoid misspellings and grammatical errors. Produce videos that look professional and not something a 6-year old could have recorded.
Optimize Your Post Schedule
You should follow your content calendar, but be flexible enough to acknowledge the optimal times for particular social media platforms. For this, you will need to do some research so that you know when to send out social media posts that will generate the most engagement.
For example, on Facebook, it’s been found that posts on weekends have the least amount of engagement. Sunday is also bad for Instagram. For Twitter, you can get great engagement during the morning, especially on Fridays.
Track and Respond to Resulting Engagement
You can’t just launch posts and forget about the results. You’ll need to monitor the responses, and read the messages and comments. You should also engage and respond to what people are saying.
Of course, you can’t expect to respond to all comments if there are too many of them. But some may be asking questions you’ve never covered on your FAQ page, so you should answer the questions. Others may bring up interesting points and perspectives you’ve never considered before, and your engagement can enlighten many other followers.
Your social media strategy is much like a war strategy. Sometimes plans change depending on the resulting circumstances. For example, at first, you may have planned to concentrate on both written articles and videos. But then later you find out that your videos are generating lots of views and comments, while your articles aren’t getting any comments at all. That may mean you should do more videos.
Whether you succeed or not in completing all your goals for your social media campaign, you should generate enough data you can study more closely. What were your successes, and why did you succeed? What were your failures and why did you fall short?
The analysis of the data can then help you create more effective social media campaigns in the future.
Also, check out these 3 Simple Hacks For Marketing To Generation Z
Photo credit: Campaign Creators