Social media marketing isn’t just the future – it’s a necessary component of any successful marketing strategy today. If your business has any interest in attracting a younger demographic, creating an effective social media marketing campaign is essential.
It’s the best place to expand your brand’s visibility, as most Internet users spend about one-third of their time on social media sites. More importantly, 55% of consumers learn about new brands via social media.
Whether you’re trying to grow your current audience or establish a stronger connection with your existing one, social media is the way to go.
Let’s dive into why having a social media presence is important, especially for the millennial and Gen Z generations, and look at how you can develop an effective strategy to connect with your followers.
Why Social Media Matters
People from just about every living generation are on social media today. However, it’s clear that younger audiences are the most active. Now that millennials and Gen Z hold the most buying power across the globe, it’s important to market to them on platforms they’re familiar with.
Simply put, billboards and radio commercials aren’t going to connect with them the way they did with previous generations.
With that in mind, younger generations don’t just want to look at advertisements. They want engagement. They want to feel a connection with the brands they trust, and they want that engagement to be a two-way street.
There’s no better way to do that than through social media. Nowadays, consumers have come to expect transparency, honesty, and personality from business social media accounts. Those are characteristics you should prioritize as you try to tap into the buying power of these generations and connect with them on a variety of platforms.
Planning Your Strategy
Once you have a better idea of your target audience, it’s time to develop your social media strategy. That includes short-term campaigns and long-term goals. If you’re not sure how to get started, consider the following steps:
- Learn what you can about your audience
- Check out your competition
- Do a social media audit
- Set up the right accounts
- Optimize your profiles
- Create a content calendar
- Develop relevant and compelling content
- Track your performance using analytics
You’ll need to map out everything from posting schedules to engagement strategies. The last thing you want is to have to hire someone to monitor your social media 24/7. While it’s important to respond to questions and comments as quickly as possible, making decisions on timelines can help with keeping everyone in the loop and ensuring your audience stays engaged without your marketing team getting burnt out. Creating a decision tree can help you make these arrangements and adjust them as needed.
Perhaps the most important part of your strategy is the content you publish. Do you want to share a lot of videos and photos? Your top platform might be Instagram or TikTok. Do you have a lot of important information to share? You might consider Facebook. Decide what makes the most sense for your audience and followers, and post relevant content on the right platforms. Consumers will know when brands are being genuine and trying to foster real engagement. If you’re not posting content that means something to your business (including things that humanize your brand), you’re not going to get far.
Try different strategies to see what works, and don’t forget to check out your analytics as often as possible to determine the most effective and engaging types of content.
Staying On Top of Trends
Whether it’s a TikTok dance, a viral challenge, or something completely different, social media trends can come and go in an instant. Staying abreast of those trends can help to boost your brand and make you more relevant, especially to a younger audience. That will greatly impact the efficacy of your campaigns.
It’s also important to stay up-to-date on what’s going on with tech trends. Algorithms and platforms change all the time based on these trends. Getting ahead of the game to know what your consumers will come to expect from technology will help your brand in the long run. Some of the current top digital trends include:
- Managed services
- Enhanced customer experiences
- Digitally-enabled products
- Creating a streamlined experience rather than focusing on products and services
Use some discretion when it comes to which trends you want to follow. Consider your audience and what they might be into, or whether that trend will still be viable by the time you’re able to use it in a campaign. Again, being as genuine and “human” as possible in your social media efforts are what will make the biggest difference.
Are you noticing a pattern here? At the end of the day, it’s important to have a strong strategy in place for your social media team. However, it’s even more important to let your brand’s personality shine through within that strategy. Social media is supposed to be just that – social! Have fun with your campaigns and your followers are likely to engage and respond positively, which will make it easier to find long-term success on all of your social platforms.
Author: Adrian Johansen
Adrian Johansen is a writer and marketer in the Pacific Northwest. She sees life as an opportunity for learning, and loves to share knowledge with others. You can find more of her work here.