Social media marketing and social networking have become integral to manufacturers’ digital marketing and lead generation. If your business wants to utilize these dynamic marketing channels in your online marketing blueprint but is uncertain where or how to begin, learning how to design a social media marketing strategy is the first step.
Social Media Marketing Strategy Development & Where to Start
Identify Business Goals.
What are your organization’s goals? Do you want to build your brand and increase the number of targeted website visitors? Improve communication among customers, employees and other stakeholders? Or strengthen your relationships and increase profitability?
Determining exactly what you want to accomplish before creating a social media strategy will ensure business priorities are clear, streamlining project action items.
Define Marketing Initiatives
How can you use social media marketing and social networking to improve how a particular function is performed or how the entire organization performs? Brainstorm and list appropriate programs, initiatives and projects that rely on social media and social networking. Afterward, identify how these items relate to your organization’s goals.
Implement & Evaluate
Once your social media marketing strategy has clear direction and intent, your digital marketing team and/or agency can evaluate how it meets organizational goals. Interaction and engagement are key elements of building brand trustworthiness. The beauty of social media marketing is the opportunity for constant B2B interaction and engagement.
Major Platforms for a Strong Social Media Strategy for Manufacturers
- In 2007, LinkedIn experienced a growth rate of a little over 270%. At the time, LinkedIn had more than 18 million users with more than one million new members joining every month.
- Now a social media superpower for any-age professionals, LinkedIn has become a household name. In 2013, LinkedIn experienced a growth of more than two members every second.1 According to Business Insider, in 2017, LinkedIn now has over 500,000,000 members across 200 countries and was acquired by Microsoft in December of 2016 for a whopping $26 billion, infusing new monetary and technological capital into the company.
- Twitter debuted its online presence in 2006. Since then, it has revolutionized how the world researches interests of any kind. At the close of Q3 in 2018, there were approximately 67 million active Twitter users in the United States (27% of American adults use the platform!) and 336 million active international users.2
- According to Twitter's most recent update, every day, 500 million tweets are shared on the Twitterverse, with 46% of users tweeting at least once per day.3
- With 80% of active members using Twitter via a mobile device, the social media giant continues to grow every day, and 42%of users actually sing the app every day.4
- For a B2B social media strategy, Twitter is a great way to share quick hits, as users tend to use the platform on the go. It is also a great method for expanding brand reach, as a popular way of sharing on this platform is the “retweet” – tweet something that people identify with, and you might just see that tweet get retweeted time and time again.
- In 2007, Facebook had an estimated 65 million users, a 120% increase over the previous year. It was the seventh most visited site worldwide with an average of 250,000 new registrations per day. More than half of active users return daily for at least 20 minutes per visit, racking up 65 billion page views per month.
- According to Statista, Facebook had roughly 2.23 billion active users in Q3 of 2018. Now the largest social media network in the world, 1.47 billion global Facebook users access the site every day, with the social media superpower netting over $13.2 billion in advertising revenue in Q2 of 2018.5
- Facebook is a great option to include in your social media strategy playbook, as it offers a wide variety of opportunities. With both organic and paid options, you can ensure target audiences see your content and encourage them to interact through engaging stories. Additionally, Facebook rolled out a Facebook Messenger as a separate app on smartphones and tablets in 2011 and quickly became one of the most popular messaging apps. As of October 2018, the app has 1.3 billion users and offers business automated chat opportunities to interact with potential customers and clients.
- In 2007, more than 100 million YouTube videos were played every day and approximately 100,000 new videos were added during the year. YouTube was the second most visited site in the world at the time.
- As of 2015, 400 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute, and the platform has approximately 152.8 million unique viewers, as of September, 2018. We’ve all heard that video content is great for keeping users engaged, and YouTube outranks Facebook for engaging users on video content by about 47%.2
- YouTube can be a great addition to your B2B social media marketing toolkit. Video content is so engaging, as it allows people to get to know you a little deeper than just text will allow. You can use this tool to show the culture of your company, showcase your people, methods or brand identity. Video content can be fun and creative because the ultimate goal is to have your target audience engage and take that next step!
Monitoring Activity as Part of Your Social Media Marketing Strategy
When it comes to social media strategy monitoring, surveillance of existing and potential customers’ activity is key. Web analytics data and regular involvement in key social media activities will help your digital marketing team collect quantitative and qualitative information. In turn, this can illustrate more granular consumer goals and better facilitate strategy adjustment approval.
Understanding what target clients “like” and engage with will help you to create more of the same content, driving more genuine engagement with your brand on social media. More engagement, in most cases, will mean more eyes on your content from the right people
These suggestions assume a "top down" social media marketing strategy model where, as a marketing influencer, you and your team implement and lead the adoption of blogs, wikis and social networking systems. However, you may implement a "bottom up" adoption model, where your employees spontaneously engage in social networking, creating an organizational initiative. In this case, a collaborative social media marketing strategy process that engages employees can provide tremendous insight into ways your organizations can use these tools and techniques to reach business goals.
1 LinkedIn Corporation
2 Statista, Inc.
3 Mediabistro, Inc.
4 Twitter, Inc.
5 The Guardian (Guardian News and Media Limited)