It’s difficult to foresee what the future holds for social media marketing. With fast-evolving technology, short trend lifecycles and regular algorithm changes, brands have to constantly find new ways to adapt to social media channels that are in a constant state of flux.
Brands and marketing professionals have to keep pace not only with the nuances of social media platforms but also with shifting consumer preferences. And with a plethora of new content being pushed out, how can one stick out of the clutter?
In truth, there is no surefire way to future-proof your social media content strategy. The next best thing is to create a sound social media management plan that’s agile enough to scale with the growing and changing digital landscape while meeting the demands of your brand.
Below is a guide to help you and your brand be more prepared for the future of social media marketing.
Get to know your audience
The first step to any marketing plan is to identify the target audience. Create a profile of your market including basic demographic information including age, gender, nationality, and economic bracket.
From there, you can create a more in-depth profile in relation to your brand through research. This may include their interests, professions, habits, lifestyle choices, what social media platforms they usually use and the brands they associate with.
The more insight you have into your target market’s behavior and values, the more relevant you can craft your marketing campaign as well as targeting them more accurately through paid placements.
Establish your objectives and plan how to reach them
Once you’ve created a profile of your ideal audience, you have to establish what you want them to get out of their interaction with you on social media. Do you want them to gain awareness of your brand? Do you want their interactions to translate to sales? Are you promoting an event or new product that you want them to know about?
Based on your objectives, you need to plan out your next steps in order to achieve them. Your strategy should include what social media platforms you’ll use and how you approach each of them.
Plot your content calendar
Your general plan of action is all set! You can now plot out a day-to-day content calendar. Create a master document that contains all communications you plan to execute throughout the month or quarter, so it’s easier to implement and coordinate with your team.
Constantly monitor your channels
A social media manager’s job does not end with sending job orders to the graphic design team and scheduling posts. You must constantly monitor your pages for any mentions of your brand, and regularly engage your followers and mitigate negative sentiment if there is any.
Social media has made the public’s interactions with brands more personal. It is important for them to have a constant presence if they want to build that brand association and trust.
Measure your plan’s effectiveness
Based on the objectives that you have set, you must also establish the metrics that you will use to measure the performance of your content strategy. While your page’s reach is important in raising awareness, it is nothing without engagement. A high engagement rate is usually what drives real world interactions with your brand.
Other metrics you could look into are website clicks, response rate, profile views or visits and video views.
Check what everyone else is doing
Benchmarking should not stop internally—your competitors’ social media activity offers further insight into what does and does not work in terms of communicating your brand’s unique selling points. It’s also useful to take a look at successful social media strategies from unrelated industries to get content inspiration and examples of best practices.
Evaluate and plan your next steps
Evaluation is a necessity if you want your brand to stay competent and relevant. Do weekly, monthly, quarterly and year-end evaluations of your social media strategy to assess your strong and weak points and adjust accordingly moving forward.
It’s good to have a proactive mindset when approaching your social media strategy. Evolving with the market and its platforms does not mean outpacing change, but having the agility and readiness to accept and progress with it.
The best preparation strategy for the next decade of social media marketing is having the historical insight and be able to relate it to your future plans. “Experience is the best teacher,” as the popular saying goes.
With decades of experience working with brands to tell their stories to the world, Ambidextr offers end-to-end marketing and PR services all over the world. Our technical expertise spans different industries, with a focused specialization on tech-enabled companies.
We’d love to tell your brand’s story. Email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know how we can help you.