Putting together an effective and multifaceted social media marketing strategy can be a complicated process and one that requires thorough research into your target audience.
Get it wrong and you can have a damaging impact on your brand. But get it right, and you can not only showcase your brand as an industry leader but become the top-of-mind organisation for potential customers leading to an increase in business growth.
What is social media marketing?
Social media marketing is your chance to showcase your brand to the digital world. Through the use of social networks, you can promote your organisation, engage with your audience and enhance lead generation.
What are the benefits of social media marketing?
There are close to 4 billion global social media users as of the start of 2020. This is an unrivalled potential audience pool for which your organisation can reach through your social media content.
The vast majority of social networks are free to join. You will need to invest in the expertise to create the content and distribute effectively, either organically or through paid social advertising. But if you get this right then the return on investment (ROI) can be excellent.
What does top-of-mind awareness (TOMA) mean?
For us as marketers, it literally means being the first organisation that a consumer within our target audience thinks of when they require the products and/or services that our industry provides.
For example, if you think about sports brands, chances are you will consider Nike, Adidas or Under Armour before Le Coq Sportif, Ellesse or Umbro.
Getting ‘top-of-mind’ with social media requires a consistent brand presence. You can achieve this by creating, posting and promoting social media content that helps your audience.
Social media marketing for the Science and Engineering industries
Marketing teams within science and engineering organisations are often managing highly-complex information and tasked with communicating it to your target audience.
Social media platforms provide you with various methods of doing this either via video, images, infographics, e-books and blogs.
Your marketing teams can take complex information and publish it to social media in a way that is easily consumable and highly engageable.
What social media channels are available?
First let’s look at 4 of the biggest social media platforms:
The world’s most widely used social network. Facebook has over 2 billion active users and can provide your organisation with a huge amount of insight into your target audience.
Although, organic reach on Facebook has continued to decline over the last few years, using closed groups can help you to build a following of like-minded individuals that you can start discussions and engage with.
Facebook advertising can help you to reach new audiences, raise awareness in your brand and drive leads and conversions.
The most prominent business-to-business (B2B) platform. If you want to share company news or industry specific content to a professional audience then LinkedIn is a great place to be.
It is also a fantastic platform to establish a brand for yourself and team members. If members within your organisation share and engage with high-level industry relevant content with their personal networks then the impact will be beneficial to both your company and individual brands.
YouTube is the world’s second biggest search engine (after Google) and has a huge number of regular users.
Using video as part of your social media marketing is a great way to communicate your organisation's key messages in an easy to consume format.
You can use video to create lots of different content including profiles of your staff, client testimonials, insider’s view into your office, talks given by members of your team and ‘how to guides’ of your work.
280 characters to make an impact! Twitter is a great platform for sharing short, sharp and regular updates with your network.
Use the platform to engage with fellow professionals, post links to your blog posts and share other industry news.
Twitter can also be used as a great customer service platform. By monitoring your social mentions using software like Hootsuite or Sprout Social you can respond in real time to any questions, complaints or concerns that your customers have.
Hootsuite and Sprout Social are also great for planning your social media content. Free versions are available and are extremely user-friendly. The video below highlights how to get started with Hootsuite.
How to decide the best social media channels for my organisation?
First step to ensuring you develop an effective social media strategy is to align your social media goals with your business objectives.
In the example below, we have used ‘increase in brand awareness’ as the business objective and social media marketing as the means for achieving it.
First, we establish a buyer persona(s). We can do this through research into our current audience, using social media insights / social listening and by conducting online surveys.
||Masters in Science, studying for PhD
||Managing experiments, inputting and analysing data
|Social Media Sites
||Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook, Instagram, Reddit
Our research will help us to develop the information such as what social media channel our buying personas are using, the type of media the consume and engage with and the purpose for which they use social media.
It is important at this stage to do a competitor analysis. Establish the type of social media content that your competitors are creating and examine what has and hasn’t been effective.
Create the content that is going to help your organisation stand out from your competitors. The media you use should match that of your buying persona. So, if video is the best option then that should be your focus.
Distribute on the social media channel or channels that match your buying persona(s). That is the key to choosing the best social media platform for your organisation. You can choose from the ones above, from the ones below or from others that are available but what works best for your audience is the key!
Use social media insights to measure and analyse your results. Focus on what has been effective and adjust your strategy accordingly.
Can using the other social channels also be effective?
Absolutely! There are hundreds of social media channels available. The ones mentioned above have the highest number of active users so for the purpose of brand awareness should be the best option.
Here is a list of a few other social media channels and what they are used for:
- Pinterest – Highlight information about your products
- Instagram – Great for posting amazing visuals and sharing stories
- WeChat – If you have customers in China then this is the platform for you
- Snapchat – Communicate quick video and image messages
- Reddit – Help solve customer problems
- Tumblr – Social blogging to a younger audience
- Tik Tok – Share short videos with a younger audience
There are hundreds of others. The key is to focus on the channel(s) that your target audience uses and create the content that they engage with and that helps you to meet your business objectives.
There are so many social media channels to choose from and often organisation make the mistake of trying to be on too many.
This will be bad for your audience and for your marketing teams.
The key is to learn where you current and target audience ‘hangs out’ on social media and to consistently create the content that they engage with.
A consistent presence is much easier if you focus on 2 or 3 social channels as opposed to 5+.
Choosing the right platform, consistency, high-quality content that is well promoted and being available to engage with your audience are the key aspects of effective social media marketing.
Get in touch with the team to arrange a free consultation about your organisations marketing.
Thanks for reading.