7 Essential Elements for an Effective Social Media Marketing Strategy

A proper and upgraded social media marketing strategy is essential for any organisation looking to thrive in a highly competitive business environment.

Digital marketing is in itself a buzzword for many organisations; a term that is thoroughly misunderstood by many. While the pitfalls of a proper social media strategy are many, it is possible to beat and overcome them, by abiding by certain guidelines.

Seven essentials of a social media strategy –

Know your audience:

The primary step to start a social media strategy is to know your audience, for which a lot of research is in order. At times, even the best minds in the industry can fail to identify which niche they are catering to. That can be a fatal mistake, however; you can end up distancing more traffic than you attract. Identifying your ideal niche is easy when you know what problems you are trying to solve and who your readers are likely to be. It is ideal to also check the demographic constituents of your audience.

Share common social media platforms with your audience:

Do most of your readers have a Facebook account? Well then, Facebook marketing should most definitively top your social media strategy. If, on the other hand, most of your readers are interested in Instagram, Pinterest or LinkedIn, you should tailor your strategy accordingly.

Identify your KPIs:

KPIs or Key Performance Indicators are the measures of progress on the various fronts of your business. KPIs are crucial in a digital marketing strategy as well, for they help identify which areas are doing well and which ones need more ideation. There are no two organisations which have perfectly identical KPIs, so you need to frame one which suits your company’s needs.

Let people know of your long-term strategies:

An organisation is only as good as its employees are. Are you sure your colleagues, peers or employees are aware of your social media marketing plans? If not, such miscommunication can lead to dangerous lacunae. All teams in a company must work in tandem with each other to achieve growth, and social media is a huge component of growth.

Prepare for each week:

Statistics and empirical data show how people’s search queries change over time, even in a span of weeks. If something extraordinary has happened recently, like a change in Google’s algorithms, search queries may change every day. Hence, smart managers must prepare for each week at a time, which will then become a blueprint for a long-term plan. Facebook marketing trends must be updated each week as well.

Post relevant and fresh content:

Nothing attracts more viewers and more clicks than fresh content. Search engines will not rank your website suitably if you do not update your site’s content from time to time. Everything you post must reflect your long-term plans and the tastes of your target audience.

Schedule monthly metrics analysis:

Leave aside some time each month to analyse site metrics and how well your social media marketing strategy worked. That will leave an impression on the areas which require further attention. Lastly, it will also enable all the parties and teams responsible for strategising further.

Social media strategies do not abide by cut and dried routines; they are dynamic. Hence, they should be handled with care, ideally by a professional agency which has extensive experience in SMM. While results may take some time coming, they will definitely bear fruit given enough windows of opportunity.

Beginner’s guide to Search Engine Optimization – Part II

In the first part of this 2 part series, we learnt –

What is SEO?

“The process of maximising visitors to a particular website by ensuring that the site appears high on the list of results returned by a search engine.”

How do search engines work?

By crawling and building an index, search engines go through the billions of interconnected documents on the web through HTML Links. So when a person performs an online search, the search engine goes through its database and shows results that are relevant. Getting featured on top of the results page provides both, traffic and also reinforces trust worthiness of the website.

How do people use search engines?

When users experience the need for an answer, solution, or information, they type in a set of words or phrases. After browsing through the results, the users either find a solution or perform a new search with alternative keywords. So while computer-generated algorithm tries different parts of the internet together, the searches are performed by humans. To maximise leads to your web page you must understand users first, and search engines optimization second.

The big question we’ll be addressing in the 2nd part of this series is

How can you optimise your web page?

Let’s consider the On-page and off-page factors that bring relevance and popularity to your website.

On-page factors

As a first step, it makes more sense to start with on-page SEO and get it right, rather than trying to convince search engines to give you better ranking with off page SEO. Ask yourself these questions to optimise your web content, architecture and HTML output.

Content – Is the content original and copy checked? Does the content have enough descriptive text? Is the content well researched with references? Do you have a clear publishing strategy?

Architecture– Can search engines easily “crawl” pages on site? Does your site work well for mobile devices? Does the site load quickly? Do URLs contain meaningful keywords to page topics?

HTML – Do HTML title tags contain keywords relevant to page topics? Are they unique for each page? Do all images have defined ALT tags? Are the image filenames descriptive? Is the text properly formatted and split into small paragraphs?

Off-page factors

One of the factors that determine the position a web page will appear in the results is the number of incoming links. Optimising such links is called Link Building. While incoming links are a signal of trust, depending upon where they are coming from, they can also affect your ranking position.Positively if the links are coming from well-known and trusted sites or negatively if they are paid links, article directories, link farms etc. When optimising off-page SEO, ask yourself these questions.

Trust –Will links and shares make my site a trusted authority? Has my site or its domain been around a long time, operating in the same way? Is my content ad-heavy? Do visitors spend time reading or “bounce” away quickly?

Links – Are these links from trusted, quality or respected web sites? Do links pointing at pages use words you hope they’ll be found for? Do many links point at your web pages? Have you created links by spamming blogs, forums or other places?

Social Do those respected on social networks share your content? Do many users share your content on social networks?

Once you have successfully answered these questions your website should have moved up in search engine ranking. To sustain the effort, keep the following pointers as a shared check-list between your web designer, developer and content creator.

  • Build your site with a clear hierarchy and text links.
  • While multiple text links to internal pages or external websites can add credibility to your site, overdoing it (with hundreds of links on a page)may result in not getting all of the links crawled and indexed.
  • A link earlier (higher up) on a page carries more weight than a link lower down on the page.
  • Leave no page orphaned, i.e., every page should be reachable from at least one static text link.
  • Create a useful, information-rich site, and write pages that clearly and accurately describe your content.
  • Your most important content should be in HTML text format. Images, Flash files and other non-text content are often ignored or devalued by a search engine.
  • Produce fresh content regularly.
  • A link earlier (higher up) on a page carries more weight than a link lower down on the page.

And always remember, search engines need to see content in order to list pages in their massive keyword-based indexes, but they need to see links in order to find the content in the first place.

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