With over 4.3 billion active users, social media has quickly become an important advertising and marketing space allowing businesses to reach a greater portion of their target audience than ever before.
Social media has created a space for faster, more cost-effective and targeted marketing, meaning businesses have excellent opportunities to increase brand awareness, build customer relationships and make direct sales on a range of platforms.
If you are running an online shop then at some point you will need to market your products on social media platforms to drive plenty of sales to your shop. However, to ensure the campaign is a success a well thought out plan and strategy must be created and implemented.
Planning a social media marketing campaign involves several key elements vital to its success, so if you are considering how to market your shop on social media, here are some useful pieces of advice and tips.
Choose a Product Information Management System
To reach as many customers as possible in their market, many businesses decide to market their products across a variety of platforms and sales channels which if managed separately can lead to a fragmented, disorganized and poorly directed marketing campaign. The product information management (PIM) specialists at Akeneo development recommend that businesses following a multichannel marketing strategy should use a PIM system to provide a central point where product data can be collected, managed and developed. In addition, a PIM system facilitates the creation and distribution of product information to a range of sales channels including e-commerce websites, online marketplaces and social media platforms.
PIM systems are often used by businesses that have;
- A wide range of products lines
- Regular changes in product characteristics
- Electronic ordering
- Online sales through an increasing number of channels
- Various sources of information and data formats
- Products targeting different locales and audiences
For businesses marketing over numerous sales channels and social media platforms, PIM systems are a suitable solution for managing product information in a centralized place rather than being fragmented and difficult for a marketing team to find and use.
Make a Solid Campaign Plan
In addition to selecting a PIM system, one of the first things a business should do before starting a social media marketing campaign is to make a plan that should document and set a clear road map to successfully implement a campaign. Several parts are generally accepted as vital in a social media marketing plan which you can read more about next.
Set Campaign Goals
Marketing goals should be SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound), for example, if you are aiming to increase brand awareness then the goal needs to specify how it will be measured which could be through hitting a target for website visits or new followers. You should also consider your expectations when writing goals to ensure they are achievable within the planned time frame.
Create Target Customer Personas
A key part of every marketing plan is deciding on the target audience for your content and then detailing important traits of an ideal customer such as their age, gender, hobbies, income, interests, likes and dislikes, location and preferred social media platforms.
Understanding the persona of your ideal customer will allow you to craft compelling and relevant messages throughout your content which is vital to developing trust with potential customers. Most social media platforms have tools for analyzing specific audiences, this information can then be used to target advertising whether it is paid or posted in relevant social groups.
Learn From the Competition
You can save yourself a lot of time by researching your competition and completing a competitive analysis to identify what has worked well for them and the problems they faced. Try to find successful businesses and take inspiration from their marketing campaigns so you can employ similar strategies and tactics that are already proven rather than spending valuable time testing different marketing strategies.
Make a Social Media Calendar
Creating a social media calendar is also an important part of a marketing plan as it can help you to schedule posts that deliver the most relevant content to the right social media platforms at times users are most active. Ideally, your marketing plan should detail your content mix, it is recommended to employ the 80-20 rule where eighty percent of your content educates, entertains or informs viewers whilst the remaining 20% of your content focuses on brand promotion and calls to action to encourage sales.
Develop Customer Relationships
One of social media’s greatest benefits over other marketing channels is businesses of any size can directly and quickly communicate with their audience and customers so they can gradually build relationships with prospective and existing customers over some time rather than pushing for a fast sale through constant advertising.
Many social media users research brands and products before buying so when they choose to engage a business must engage back as it develops trust and loyalty.
Engaging with your audience increases the chance of them reacting to and sharing your content, which in turn results in your brand being ranked higher by social media algorithms. Also, as your followers interact more with your content, the more likely they are to view your posts in the future.
Choose the Right Tools
Implementing a plan for social media marketing requires various tools at different stages of a campaign to ensure it is a success, these include tools to assist with;
- Designing and writing content relevant to your target audience
- Content curation
- Social media management; scheduling posts, sharing updates and responding to messages
- Analyzing customer engagement and reaction data to measure the progress of a campaign
Regularly Share High-Quality Visual Content
It is well-known that people are much better at remembering and connecting with images rather than text, therefore when planning what content to post you should focus more on your visual content to ensure a good level of engagement. An audience is more likely to engage with a brand that uses attractive visual elements and images in its social media posts.
Creating and implementing a marketing campaign for your shop on social media involves lots of time and effort, however, there are several useful tips you can follow to make your life easier including writing down a firm plan, developing customer relationships, using the right tools and focusing on visually attractive content.