A Step by Step guide to building an effective .nz Social Media Strategy

Social media has quickly grown to become an integral part of the internet. It has evolved from a platform for connecting people to become an important business tool that helps businesses reach millions of customers all over the world. Almost every business has a social media presence but, having a social media presence and not engaging in social media marketing means that you are using a very small percentage of the potential of social media.

This guide will help you build an effective .nz social media strategy that will boost your brand recognition and improve conversions.

What is a social media marketing strategy?

Social media marketing strategy is the action you plan to take on social media to help increase your brand awareness, engage your customers and boost conversions. With the right strategy, every post, comment, reply and the like will serve the purpose of helping your business achieve its overall marketing goals.

Your social media strategy is expected to align with your business objectives. If your business objective is to improve sales, your entire social media marketing efforts should be targeted towards achieving that goal. The first step is setting up your social media strategy to define your goals and objectives. It is these goals that will help you measure your social media marketing ROI.

Why a social media marketing strategy is important for your brand

Social media marketing makes it easy for businesses to meet their goals and objectives faster. The following points are just a few ways social media marketing can help your New Zealand business.

Social media posts drive targeted traffic

Properly crafted social media posts can help drive targeted traffic to your brand’s website. Social media has the tools you need to reach the people that matter to your business, all you have to do is first identify the platform where your target audience spends the most time. For example, you will find more business people and career professionals on LinkedIn while the young and media savvy will likely spend more time on Instagram. You can go even further by refining who exactly sees your posts by using the demographic and segmentation tools available on major social media platforms.

Using social media for business boosts your site’s SEO

Social media plays a huge role in the visibility of your business online. While social media may not exactly help you rank higher in search engine result pages, your social media activities can boost the organic traffic that arrives at your website from search engines. If you take some time to study the websites that hold strong ranking positions in Google, you will realize that they have many things in common.  This is strong social signals. When you post the right content consistently, it enhances the Google indexing of your business. Additionally, social media helps in building your site’s authority. The rate and relevance of your company’s social media posts will help people decide if your business can be trusted, and this will play a huge role in how search engines see your brand.

Social media marketing helps you understand your audience

You will find it hard to engage your customers properly if you don’t understand them. This can be solved with proper social media marketing. Social media provides one of the best ways to study buyer personas. It helps you understand what is going on in the minds of your target audience based on their social media activities and you can use this insight to create more effective engagements.

Before making any social media update, take a look at the reactions to your previous posts, since the easiest way to get your customers to take the actions you have defined for them is to create content that resonates with them.

An active social media presence builds relationships with your audience

While emails, newsletters and text messages have their place in the grand scheme of digital marketing, social media provides a better way to keep in constant touch with your audience. This will help in building a successful relationship with your customers which can serve as the foundation for brand loyalty.

Your customers, both old and new, spend a large part of their day on social media. In fact, reports have it that the average social media user spends as much as nine hours on social media every day. This is a huge opportunity for you to meet the people who matter to your business.

Social media ads allow targeting and retargeting

Businesses all over the world spend billions on social media advertising every year in an effort to reach the right set of customers. Experts suggest that the amount of money spent on social media advertising may exceed $17 billion in 2019. One of the reasons why businesses do not hesitate to spend this amount of money on social media advertising is because with social media, they get full control over who sees the adverts. This is known as Ads Targeting. Social media will give your business full leverage when it comes to deciding audience targeting, making it easier for the right people to see your message and thus increase conversions.

In order to show your messages to the right people on social media, you will first need to create what is known as Audience Personas. This defines the type of people your business is meant for. The next step is to decide the platform where your audience spends most of their time.

Social media can help you earn media coverage at events

Planning a new product launch? Social media can provide the needed hype. Planning to attend a trade fair or exhibition? You can use your social media account to keep your audience in the know. Social media can provide your brand with the needed media coverage for any kind of event.

Social media has an array of tools that can make any event a dazzling success – from raising awareness with attendees, stimulating engagement and after-event activities. The rise of the hashtag has made it easier to raise the needed awareness for your event and even make your plans go viral. All you need to do is use the right hashtag, create great promotional media materials and encourage your social media followers to share. Utilizing the power of social media can go beyond enhancing live and remote attendee experience to making sure that your brand and event reach a global audience.

Social media is key to customer service

Everyone knows that effective customer service is a key component of business growth. Customer loyalty is not as a result of your wonderful products and great service (even though these also play a role), customer retention and loyalty are based more on how you make them feel after transacting with you. A good customer service will result into more sales and give you a huge margin over the competition.

Social media is the best tool for managing the customer service of your .nz business. There is no better place to create customer satisfaction than on the platform where potential customers spend most of their time.

The result of Harvard research showed that customers who received a reply to your social media query don’t just become customers, they spend more and even recommend your brand to others.

A strong social media presence builds brand loyalty

When you have customers who would rather buy from you even when your prices are higher than the competition, or when you don’t exactly meet their expectations, you know you have built a brand to which customers feel loyalty. Customer loyalty is not something that can be achieved in a day. It takes a lot of hard work and investment to make it happen. On social media, a loyal customer is that person who will always like, comment on and share your posts and updates. This type of behaviour extends the reach of your brand beyond social media.

To build brand loyalty using social media, you must have a very active social media presence. In addition to that, your social media activities should be targeted at showing your brand in the best possible light. This means posting quality content, making profitable connections and being constantly available to answer questions and queries from your audience.

Your competition is already social.

If you feel that going social is not essential to the growth of your .nz business, think again. A social media marketing strategy should be a part of your overall marketing plan, whether digital or conventional. The statistics tell the story.  There are more than 50 million businesses on Facebook with about 10% of that number paying for Facebook ads. While this may seem like a small number, your competitors are either on Facebook, or on any of the many other social media platforms. If you are not using social media, you are effectively shortchanging yourself and your business.

The social media marketing arena is a (fairly) level playing field

There are not many areas that a small business can compete with the big names in the industry. Big businesses have the money, resources and experience that small businesses don’t have, thankfully, social media marketing evens the playing field considerably.

It may be difficult for you to put your business on TV or advertise on billboards, but a social media marketing plan will give your business the exposure it needs.

There are more than 2 billion active social media users, with one million active mobile users signing up every day.  This is a pretty wide sky for big and small birds (businesses) to fly comfortably. So even if you cannot represent your business in some of these media, social media can give you the customers you need, as long as you can maintain an active presence and meet the expectations of your audience.

When it comes to news jacking, social media is king

News jacking is a concept coined by David Meerman Scot and means taking a popular topic and using it to attract attention to your business. There are many examples of brands that successfully used news jacking as a way to create better awareness for example with PokemonGo.

News jacking is a powerful tool that can either throw off your competitor or further your own agenda, so if you are looking for a game changer for your business, news jacking is it.

If you can legitimately associate your brand with a hot story or breaking news and can quickly react in real-time by elaborating on it in the form of additional content on your social media profiles, either in the form of a video posted on YouTube, a new blog post, a tweet or a Facebook update, search engines will take your post and drive traffic of people interested in the breaking news.

Social media marketing will get you more sales

Social media is a great way to improve consumer confidence in your brand. People tend to buy from brands they trust and believe in, and with social media, you can market your brand and boost sales without spending a lot of money. Ensure that you have the content that reaches the right audience and engages them. The content will increase the confidence people have in your brand. It makes them see your brand as an authority in the industry. If you are looking at meeting your sales projections, pay more attention to your social media marketing strategy.

You can directly find potential customers who don’t know your brand

Social media marketing affords businesses the opportunity to find potential customers who may not know about their brand. There are unique tools in each social media platform that make this possible. For example, if you own a local car repair business in Auckland, type the phrase “people that drive Toyota Prius in Auckland” into Facebook’s search box and you will see a large number of Facebook users in your area who drive that type of car. You can even filter the results further by gender, age and additional interest. You can then create targeted ads for this set of people. Twitter has an advanced search tool that can be used to find potential customers based on the content of their tweets or where they are. In fact, every social media platform has a tool that you can use to locate and attract people to your business.

Social media marketing establishes you as an authority

Do you want to be seen an as authority in the industry? Post the right content. Trust plays a huge role in influencing buying decisions. When people believe that you know what you are talking about, they will also trust that you can deliver products and services that will meet their needs. Don’t forget that your level of authority in the industry will also aid your SEO efforts, which will in turn lead to more traffic, more conversions and more sales.

The ROI on social media ads is unbeatable

If you are running any form of paid ads for your business, the aim is to attract customers and increase sales. It is not good business if you keep putting money into an ad system that does not show commensurate returns. That is why social media ads are such a good idea.

Research has shown that social media ads have the potential to bring back a high level of returns. You can get as much as 200% ROI in a short time. This is such a great deal considering that social media marketing is quite cost effective. The beauty of the medium is that you can specify exactly how much you intend to spend on your social media ads and still expect impressive results while retaining the right to scale up or down your expenses as you see fit.

Social media marketing is fun!

Besides all the benefits above, social media marketing is fun. You get the opportunity to play with a lot of tools, meet exciting people, make profitable connections and learn new things. With social media marketing, growing your .nz business is more fun than work. And you get to see your business grow and your sales increase in the process without bankrupting your business.

The Right Social Media Marketing Strategy Can Help You Slay the Competition

Understand that the Internet is a dynamic environment with constantly changing variables. Social media marketing has a number of effective strategies but the key to surviving is to constantly keep abreast of the changing trends and implementing them before the competition wakes up. This would put your brand comfortably in the lead or even completely decimate the competition. For example, 2019 is looking like a good year for live videos to take a strong hold on social media users, your business can get ahead of the competition in this regard by being the first to make this a major part of your social media marketing strategy and get a huge chunk of the 85% of internet traffic that videos will account for in 2019.

Tips for Creating Your .nz Social Media Marketing Strategy

The following are the steps you can take to build a social media marketing strategy for your .nz business.

Start by defining your brand

One of the reasons people buy from businesses is because they trust the name. Trust plays a vital role in building customer loyalty and boosting sales, therefore your first assignment when creating a social media marketing strategy should be to define and build your brand.

Your social media brand should reflect your offline brand and be consistent across all platforms. People love consistency, and they are not willing to engage with businesses that are not consistent across all media channels. In fact, a report showed that about 60% of consumers expect consistent experience when dealing with businesses both online and offline. So when defining your brand (name, slogan, catchphrase, message, business offerings, logo etc), make sure it is consistent wherever people can find you.

When building your brand, think of it as a person

It doesn’t matter if you are running a small scale business or a large organization; people would feel better doing business with you if your brand has a personality that resonates with them. This underscores the importance of giving your brand a friendly face.

People want to know that there is a person behind the business, and that they share mutual interests with the person. Craft your social media brand persona around what customers should expect from your business, using a person to person style.

Consider what is driving your business

What is driving your business? What are your business goals and objectives? The answer to these questions should form the basis of your social media marketing strategy. If the overall objective of your marketing strategy is customer retention, then every aspect of your social media campaign should focus on it.

The goals and objectives of your business should not be different from that of your social media marketing. Take time to discover and understand what drives your business and you will be in a better place to create a social media marketing plan that works.

Aim to build long-term relationships with your customers

Your social media marketing strategy should include a mechanism for keeping your customers happy with your business. Don’t just make posts or create ads and sit back waiting for traffic to flood in, be available to answer questions, make suggestions, acknowledge feedback and even appreciate criticisms.

No matter how great your business offerings are, the relationship you have with your customers is integral to the growth of your .nz business.

Speak to your customers with a consistent tone of voice

Customers appreciate consistency. It can be quite misleading for a customer to find one message on your Facebook profile only to find a different one on your Twitter account. Another key element to a successful social media presence is to ensure that your message is consistent across all platforms.

At the initial stage, you may want to consider hiring a professional to help you manage your social media reputation. Not only will they accurately deliver your message in a consistent tone across all platforms, they will also make sure that the conversation revolves around your brand.

Don’t repeat the same message in the same way over and over again

Even though you want to be consistent, it is not a good idea to repeat the same message over and over again. While the message of your value proposition should remain the same, the way in which the message is crafted should change at regular intervals. Customers are always on the lookout for variety and your message will become boring if you don’t find a way to make it unique each time they see it.

A good idea is to take a look at the social media activities of the competition and gain ideas from how they manage their platforms.

Don’t try to mimic the look of chains or big brands

A common mistake businesses make when running a social media campaign is trying to mimic big brands.  This can be counterproductive to your brand.

Whether online or on social media, your brand identity should be unique; of course, you can visit the pages of big businesses or the competition to see how they run their business, but this should be for research purposes only.

Customers want to identify with a brand that is unique, and copying the look of big brands will make you lose your uniqueness.

Be innovative, bold and daring – stand for something you believe in

Social media is one place where you can get away with almost anything. This is the place where you can experiment with ideas, and new concepts and measure the reactions of people to know whether or not you are on the right track.

When building your social media system, don’t be afraid to stand out. Make your persona larger than life. It will attract people who want to see what all the fuss is about, and you may attract a sizable number of followers that way.

Always consider your branding when communicating with customers

Your reputation matters a lot if you are to succeed in the competitive business environment of New Zealand. This is why you should make sure that every aspect of your communication with your customers reflects your brand and core values.

Whether you are responding to a query, answering a question, making a new post or correcting a wrong assumption, find a way to do it so that your customers don’t get the wrong message. Communicating properly with the people that matter to your business, especially on social media is the fastest way to win new customers and keep old ones.

The old way of stamping your logo on everything won’t cut it

In the past, you could design your logo in any way you wished without problems, but for social media, the old way just won’t cut it. For one thing, a higher number of social media users are smartphone owners and they do a large percentage of their social media activities on mobile devices. This poses a huge problem for brands that have large logos meant for desktop computers. Because your logo is a vital part of your brand, it is vital that you use something that people will not have a problem relating to. This means designing a logo that is simplified and will look great across all devices.

Pick the platform(s) that work best for you and your brand

Social media is a huge place and there are dozens of platforms where you can meet the people that matter to your business. However, not every platform will give you the results you need. For your social media marketing plan to succeed, you need to identify the platforms where your potential customers spend the most time and channel your efforts there. For example, if your target customers are young people, Instagram may be the ideal platform to meet them as 90% of Instagram users are less than 35 years old.

Don’t overlook visual branding

According to Hubspot, visual contents will enjoy more exposure than any other form of content. This underscores the importance of visual branding in your social media strategy. The human brain is more attuned to visual stimulus and is able to remember an image or video for far longer than it can plain texts, therefore ensure that your social media efforts contain a lot of visuals as this will help you connect better.

Craft your profiles

Your social media profile will determine how people see your brand. A slight mistake in your profile can create the wrong impression in the minds of people, and this will take a lot of hard work to correct. Therefore when creating a social media strategy for your .nz business, pay particular attention to the content of your profile, including the words and images you use and the associations you choose to display.

Share with your audience

Customers are always interested in knowing what happens behind the scenes of their favourite brands. That is why the ‘about’ page is one of the most important pages on a website. The ‘about’ page tells the story of the brand, gives the business a human face and creates a connection with the readers. You can create this type of connection on your social media channels by keeping your audience updated with certain interesting aspects of your organization. You must have heard the phrase “sharing is caring”, so when you share with your audience, you show that they are important to you.

Post consistently

When people visit your social media page, it is because they want to see fresh content. It passes the wrong message when people come to your page and see stale content. It shows that you are not serious about your online business or do not have anything important to share. Both reasons are bad enough to affect your reputation in the industry. If you want to keep and attract more followers, ensure that you have fresh stuff on your pages as often as possible. Create a social media posting timeline and stick to it. Doing so will significantly improve your brand reputation.

Automate but retain the human touch

There are dozens of tools you can use to automate your social media activities. These tools make it easier to keep in touch with your followers and customers. However, inasmuch as you want to automate your social media activities, don’t overlook the importance of a human touch. Automate, but make it so that your customers and followers can still see the man behind the brand.

Offer incentives for sharing your posts

Your reach expands as more people see your content. However, reaching a global audience can be a herculean task even with deep pockets unless you are willing to leverage on the influence of your network.

Your social media strategy should be designed in such a way that your followers will be willing to recommend your brand to friends and family by sharing your posts. There are several ways you can achieve this but the most effective is by offering incentives. Let people know that they stand to gain something when they share your posts. It mustn’t be anything huge, even a mention on your page is enough for some people.

Respond to engagement

You stand a better chance of growing your New Zealand business when you respond promptly to social media engagements. According to one study, 71% of consumers are likely to recommend a brand if they enjoy a positive experience on social media. From this information, you can see that it is easy to double your customer base by simply responding to your customers on social media. Therefore, make sure to use your social media channels as a customer service tool to increase your brand engagement and win over more customers.

Listen to the Conversations

The social media chatter can be so overwhelming that you are tempted to just turn a deaf ear. You need to understand that it is only when you pay close attention to what your customers are saying that you will be able to give them the satisfaction they demand. The idea for the big break you need may come from these so called distractions.

Set a Goal for Your Social Media Strategy

When building a social media marketing strategy, don’t just jump into it immediately. First decide what your social media goals are and make sure they align with the overall marketing goals of your business. A typical social media goal should be formed with the SMART principle in mind.

Once you have defined your goals, you will be able to come up with the best strategy to achieve this goal.

Find Influencers and Communities

Influencer marketing is a huge part of social media marketing. In 2017 alone, more than 80% of digital marketers used at least one brand influencer to achieve their marketing goals. You too can make use of this trend to grow your New Zealand business via social media. Identify with a public figure, such as a celebrity or sports person who wields some influence in your target demography. Another good idea is to join communities on social media that share the same interest with you. This way, you can reach a wider audience who need the products and services you provide.

Plan the Content for Your Social Media Strategy

Planning ahead is always a good thing. When you plan your shopping list or the week’s to-do list, you realize that you have very little room to make mistakes. This same system can be applied to your social media strategy. When you plan your social media content ahead of time, it is easier to keep up with your posting schedule. When you have a social media content plan, there is flexibility for real-time updates. You can fine-tune your posts and change things as you see fit.

Use analytics to measure successes (and failures)

As with any marketing system, there will be successes and failures. You need a way to measure the success (and failure) of your social media efforts so as to know where to add more effort and where to dial down. There are dozens of tools you can use to analyse your campaign performance in order to determine which one works best for you. A simple method is to check your fan growth on social media. Of course, the more engagements you have, the more likelihood of success. However, using a metric system to analyze raw data will provide better insight into how your social media marketing campaign is faring.

Monitor your brand name

People are out there talking about your business and it is important that you are part of the conversation. When you are part of the conversation, you can move it in the direction that best suits your business. But how can you tell when people are talking about you? Monitor your mentions.

On Facebook, you can create an alert that lets you know when someone mentions your brand name in a post or comment, and the same thing applies in almost all social media platforms. You can also use third party monitoring tools to keep an ear out for when people use your brand name on social media so that you can quickly control the information and make sure that only what favours your brand gets out there.

Ways to Use Social Media to Build Stunning Brands

The following points will help you build a social media brand for your New Zealand business that stands out:

  • Pick the right social media platform
  • Have an active presence on social media
  • Engage as much as possible
  • Diversify your online content
  • Be 100% visual and use media content that would skyrocket your exposure
  • Be consistent

How to Use Social Media to Build Brand Trust

Building trust and loyalty is an essential ingredient for business success, and social media provides a great platform to do so. Social media is the new word of mouth and brand trust is built when the right information is spread about you.

So how can you use social media to build brand trust?

  • Be an industry authority.
  • Post appropriate content.
  • Be involved in conversations about your brand.
  • Encourage user generated content and reviews.
  • Respond quickly to customer engagements.
  • 80% of your content should provide value to your customers, while 20% can be left for your direct sales pitch.
  • Be transparent in doing business.

How to Grow a Social Following from Nothing

If you are starting your social media from scratch, growing your social following can be difficult, except with proper directions. A proper social media following is made up of a diverse set of people who pursue the same interest and work towards a common goal. Establishing these criteria will help you determine the people who should be a part of your community.

To build your following from scratch:

  • Follow first in order to be followed in return—find people and businesses that are relevant to your business on the social media platform of your choice and follow them first.
  • Always be willing to say and share what you know – this is the quickest way to get established as an industry authority (which is a magnet for a lot of people).
  • Be very active on your social media channels.
  • Post frequently, but post quality and helpful content.
  • Use hashtags to spread the reach of your post, activities and brand to a global audience.
  • Join communities and engage in partnerships with people who share the same business interests as you.
  • Encourage users to share your content.

How to optimize your brand’s social media profiles

You should know by now that having a social media presence for your business is the norm and not the exception. But where a lot of businesses make mistake is in failing to optimize their social media profiles. A proper profile for a business should include all of the following information:

  • Business name
  • Username
  • Profile photo and cover photo
  • Website link
  • Corporate bio
  • Business address and contact information

When choosing a username for your social media profiles, ensure that the same name can be used across all your channels. It wouldn’t do for a user to find you with one username on Facebook and a different one on Twitter. The same applies to your profile photo and business information. Also, when selecting a username, make it brandable so that people can associate it with your business offline.

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A Step by Step guide to building an effective .nz Social Media Strategy
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A Step by Step guide to building an effective .nz Social Media Strategy
Read this article to find out how to build an effective Social Media Strategy in New Zealand.
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