January 18, 2018

Introduction. You need to manage SMM

For whom this article is: your business is present in the Web, you post a particular content on your website, you have traffic which brings you leads, and you’re on the fence regarding developing the company’s pages in social networks. Yes, we all have been there, and we all have our reasons to go to the social networks. Whatever goals are, at first companies have doubts about whether it’s worth it or not.

This process - social media marketing (SMM) - can be less painful to implement with our approach. Back then we had a lack of marketing human resources and a lack of time. Having been experimenting for more than a year and a half, we have built the SMM processes the way they take as little time and money as possible. After reading, you’ll understand how to kick off your SMM processes fast.

In the part 1 we will consider content creation and its management, in part 2 we will come over content promotion.

SMM starter pack

How to manage SMM if you are tight on budget and time

Define the main aspects

Important note: don’t forget to align your SMM strategy with an overall marketing strategy for your business.

Answer all your “whys”, “whats”, wheres”. Why go for SMM - what are your goals? To drive traffic, to get leads, to raise awareness about oneself? How will you measure the results?

Remember that each goal must be adjusted to our beloved S.M.A.R.T. goal setting model.

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Relevant
  • Time-bound

For example, my goal is to drive traffic from Twitter to my website. In one year, I want to get N thousand sessions from Twitter. I have enough resources to reach this goal on time.

Address the table 1 at the end of this block and fill in the gaps: a platform, its goal and its KPI.

What audiences will you target to reach your goals?

If you already know whom you have to target on social media - awesome. If not - it’s not a big deal, we are here to help you.

First at all, look at your current customer base and detach the common characteristics. That will help you comprehend who’s already interested in your product/service.

Secondly, have a look at your competitors and examine whom they serve. It’s crucial to comprehend the simple fact: your competitors are not only those who sell the same goods/services. But it’s also the services and goods that satisfy the same need or desire.

For example, such a desire as to have fun can be satisfied by many means: one can drop by a cinema, visit a cafe, have a stroll around a park. Feel the difference of means? Do you feel that a goal is the same though?

Once you understand that, you can discover other groups of potential customers. That is how you find new target audiences. Read more about 3 types of noncustomers at the Blue Ocean Strategy book.

Thirdly, determine your buyer persona. Consider at least the following characteristics:

  • Gender
  • Salary
  • Education
  • Location
  • Age
  • Pain points
  • Goals
  • What types of content/promotion they like/dislike
  • Fears/motivations
  • Common objections during the sales processes
  • What platform you expect them to find at
  • Job title (if applicable)
  • Company size and industry (if applicable)
  • Title/ details of role (if applicable)

Bear in mind that those characteristics listed in no particular order, some can be omitted at all depending on your service/product.

How to check that you chose a relevant audience? Here are a few check-questions:

  • Can I reach this audience?
  • Will they really benefit from my service/product?
  • Am I able to deliver my message properly?
  • Can they afford it?

If you answered “no” to any of the questions, reevaluate the audience characteristics.

Traffic sources: where does your target audience dwell?

List the social networks and other channels where you think your audience might be. If you have tried promoting in the networks before, refer to your website analytics. Don’t worry: if these sources don’t perform well, we’ll review our tactics and platforms of presence.

For example, during the last year, we got 12% of our audience from the social networks. If we dig deeper into Google Analytics, we will find out from what sources we got these people.

The traffic from social networksL a pie chart

The channels of traffic, 2017

Important: you should put a possibility to reach a particular audience first. Think of it: you may know what to offer but you won’t be able to find/reach those who need it. The book “Blue Ocean Strategy” may be of a great help if you struggle finding your audience or selling a current product/service to existing audiences. But this time we’ll omit it.

Content distributed: what content will make your target audience do what you need on the platforms of your presence?

If you have worked in social networks before - cool, you have better or worse statistics to start with. If you don’t have anything, inspect your competitors profiles: what topics do they cover? How often? What types of content do they use?

Bear in mind, that one type of content can be totally fine and totally inappropriate in two different networks. Say, it’s fine to post short videos and GIFs on Twitter and Facebook, but don’t you dare doing it on LinkedIn.

Detach several topics that seem to drive engagement and visible result: these are the ones that gain likes, comments, shares. Remember: you never know what really works for your competitors before you test hypotheses yourself.

Fill out the rest of the gaps in the table 1.

Content management: a KPI table

Table 1: answering the main questions

Schedule it

The next step is to make a content plan basing on all the above: this time you have to schedule all the topics within a week and set up the best time. Use the statistics about the best time for posting: it’s better than nothing and later you’ll adjust the time. We suggest referring to HubSpot statistics first.

HootSuite can be used for delayed posting; internal analytics of social networks will give you valuable insights on your content performance in terms of time, clicks, likes, engagement. Bonus: audiense.com can help you to get insights on your Twitter audience. A trial period is available!

Are we done yet? Cool. Fill in the gaps in the table 2 and receive our congratulations: you’ve just created your first content plan. Let’s proceed to the next step.

Content management: a draft of a content plan

Table 2: a draft of a content plan

Define how you’ll address a target audience

If you have done everything listed above, now you understand:

  • What profit the presence in social networks will bring you
  • Who these people who will help you achieve your goals are
  • Where they dwell
  • What content they react on

We are all set to start writing..or not? Of course, we are not. The thing that many of us tend to forget or just let it slip through fingers is a tone of voice.

The tone of voice is a way you address your target audience and tell them about your company’s values. It defines:

  • Vocabulary. Yes, we are deadly serious: you must define the complexity of your tone depending on the audience of interest. It’s clear as a day that you would speak to teenagers in a different manner than you’d speak to university professors. Any special terms usage? Any trendy and catchy words?
  • A mood of your content (serious, playful, sarcastic, etc). Align it with the vocabulary.
  • Visuals. All content of yours must be recognizable and designed in the same style. In the beginning of the article, you can see the example of visuals that we use on our website. The pic below is used across social media networks: LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook (each has its own size). We use free stock photos and slightly change them with the addition of a content title, an address of a company profile, and our logo.

A tone of voice: visuals for social networks

A tone of voice: visuals for the social networks

Cheap, fast, and consistent. Currently, we’re in the transition to a new website’s style, so the graphic pics will be the history soon.

  • Call-to-action features. Get back to your goals - how does your content make people do what you want? Implement CTAs into your posts in social nets: it can be a link to your website, for example.
  • Specifics: does the platform have special features you may like to use? Twitter uses hashtags actively, LinkedIn sponsored posts allows to insert the “Follow” button into content, the same applies to Facebook. List all such things.

Another reason why a tone of voice is useful is that it helps you control content creation: once it is defined and all the parts of a good post are articulated, you may delegate this process almost to anybody in your marketing team.

Let’s observe what we’ve done so far.

  • We defined the goals of presence in social networks
  • We understood who are these people who will help achieve the goals
  • We learned where they dwell
  • We discovered what content they react on
  • We came up with a draft of a content plan
  • We defined the tone of voice and set how posts at social networks should sound and look like

The SMM starter pack is ready. You got rid of chaos and can start posting.

Give your content plan a try, collect data on its performance (remember, we were talking about internal admin dashboards of social networks and Google Analytics). Once you completed this task, get back to our website and read the part 2: content promotion.

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