The 7 Ps of a Social Media Marketing Strategy
Updated in January 2020
There was a time when the more time you spent networking in a trade circle, the better it was for the business. It was tough for the newcomers as they faced challenges such as hefty amounts of finances for an office, hiring many employees, paying the bills etc. etc.
Social media took all that hassle away and staged the whole world as a market on our mobile screens. Traditional marketing strategies are of limited use when it comes to the online world. Therefore, to use this opportunity to its full potential, we must learn how to navigate through it, especially on the marketing front.
Marketing has always been amongst us, so have the 7 Ps of how to do it, even before the social media scene burst into action. The 7 Ps are the golden rules to lead your business on to a path of success and sustainable ROI. With Social media establishing itself as the next-gen frontier for marketing effectively, 7 Ps have also evolved to a whole new level of business strategy planning.
Let’s be honest, every business prioritizes to ensure a bigger, better name of its brand. Brand value has been a major player in saving many businesses from going bust in the last few decades.
In the world of social media, your online platform is the face of your business, whether it is a website, Instagram, or Facebook page. Any or all of these represent your business ideology and product; therefore, they must depict relevance to your desired clientele, and continuously evolve to add value to the business.
The trick to a successful social media marketing strategy is, to perfectly align your digital promotional strategies with the marketing norms of the present. Doing so will not only enable your business to stand the test of times but also help you develop a successful brand awareness campaign for sustainable growth.
So, if you are about to start a new business or build a brand name for your product, then make sure you have applied the following 7 Ps of social media marketing.
To plan your business is like playing a game of chess; it requires focus, a strategy, and the right move at the right time. Your marketing strategy is integral to your growth. Therefore, you must adapt to the latest trends in promotion provided by social media. To do so, make sure your long-term goals are in line with your short-term goals.
You will be amazed to find out that according to experts, social media marketing has a flawless lead-to-close rate at 100%, and over 80% of businesses prefer to use one the online platforms or the other. If you play your cards right, this will set a momentum for you and your business towards success.
For you to come up with a plan that suits your brand or product, you have to ask yourself some very basic questions, the first of which is whether your business needs more awareness or publicity. If yes, then
- Which platforms are suitable for your needs?
- Is there a time-constraint on how soon you want to achieve your goals?
- Have you utilized your current marketing resources in place, before you move to social media?
- Are you planning to promote your business or product in a market you already exist in or are you expanding into a new market?
- Where your brand stands in the market right now?
Let’s face it; evading social media presence is not an option – You want to target audience, you have to go get them where they are, and it’s ‘online.’ However, easier said than done, as the statistics show that it’s a make or break in a split of a second when it comes to online visitors establishing an opinion of your brand. Therefore, you have to be smart about how to make your online presence look appealing, reliable, and legit for the targeted audience.
There are many online tools such as RiteTag or hashtagify.me available for you to find out what topics and hashtags are trending in your arena. It will help you to engage with your targeted audience, but also keep up with the ever-evolving trends in the online world.
It is imperative that you steer clear of anything remotely negative that might affect your brand’s perception amongst the consumers. Having an online presence is not enough. Therefore, choose wisely, where you promote your business.
Perception or People
Third in line but probably the most important P of them all – Yes “People” your targeted audience. Always remember consumers put brands on the map, not companies. I cannot emphasize enough how vital it is for you to base and build a reputation and persona of your product around your clientele. Positive perception is only achievable if you strive to meet the expectations of your consumers.
To build an effective and appealing persona, you must consider some areas of focus.
- Are you marketing a specific age group?
- Are you marketing a gender-specific product?
- Are you marketing internationally?
It is advisable to use the 80/20 rule, also known as the ‘Pareto Principle.’ In social media marketing terms, you must use 80% of your interaction with the customer, i.e., conversations, content and activities, to that useful and relatable to them. You can utilize the remaining 20% for promotional purposes. Sharing trustworthy content with your audience, backed up with well-thought marketing claims, will establish your authority with trust amongst the masses.
Technological advancements have facilitated this to a great extent, as all major players in the market now have chatbots to cater to the users in a personalized manner. Similarly, social media offers a variety of options for you to provide a more personal service to each client, such as private messaging, business pages, live broadcasts, and chats. It’s a proven phenomenon time and time again that customers feel content when they receive a positive and personalized service; this compels them to repeat business.
Ever wondered what your audience thinks of the product you offer? And will they be willing to pay a premium price for it? Or do you have a miracle idea to turn your business into a star-brand?
The entire answer to the above is, it all depends on how well you know your product and its distinctiveness. If you are aware of the strong-suite your brand offers over others, it will be easier for you to identify, prioritize and showcase what your audience sees as featured services as they browse through your social media platform.
Do not forget to mention what a consumer can expect in the packaging you offer. We all get confused between guarantees and warranties, so be extra careful to state the right information as this can make or break your trust in your niche. Bragging a bit about the benefits and features never harmed a business, so ensure you customer knows that they are getting value for money. After all, you want a brand name that resonates with your patrons.
You and I witness one of the most recent and far-reaching strategies on YouTube. Companies are paying popular YouTubers to create unboxing content for their products, creating awareness amongst millions on a global scale. Similar strategies are in place by other social media platforms such as Instagram influencers marketing products via paid content.
Prominence or Placement
Those days were history when you needed a gimmicky website, a fancy outlet, or a corporate office to establish a brand name in the market. Social media can combine all of that in one and deliver your product to the mobile or laptop screens of every household globally. However, this incredible opportunity comes with a set of its complications – One of the most important ones in which social medium you must choose to showcase your brand. Will a FaceBook page suffice, or is Instagram a viable platform for you? Snapchat is trending or a simple tweet will make your product the next best thing? Maybe you should use all of them or should you? Decisions, decisions.
I would strongly suggest for you to address some factors while formulating your ideal social media placement strategy. You must know where your audience hangs out the most. There are several ways to find this out, such as ask yourself which social media you would visit if you were to buy a product similar to yours? Or a more direct approach is to email your customers for opinion.
You must also consider other factors like what type of feedback you are expecting from your consumers. And are you marketing a product or a service?
You have to ensure that you choose the social media platform that will best suit your business or product. You wouldn’t go to buy a bike at a meat shop, would you? So to be in the right place has never been more important for that strategic product placement online.
Power or Performance
To be able to succeed and evolve in the world of social media as a trendsetter, you must establish a viable framework of KPI in line with the industry’s standard benchmarks. A regular audit on how compliant you have been with your defined parameters.
To gauge your social media marketing performance, you must strive for expansion byways to attract a new audience. Ability to correctly predict the response from the masses can do wonders, as you will always be one step ahead of the supply and demand cycle. Higher a creative team of individuals to come up with content that can go viral, and last but not the least always monitor the traffic on your website or social media platform; as hikes or dips in hits to your page can tell a great deal, whether you are going in the right direction or not?
In layman’s term, it’s the mechanism that is responsible for delivering your brand to the consumer, but when it comes to social media marketing, it’s all about how it promotes your brand to the niche.
Not long ago, Primark, UK, faced a backlash from its consumers when it came to light that their outsourced factories in Bangladesh were breaking child-labor laws. Although Primark claimed they may or may not be aware of it, I bet they now keep a close tab on what goes on in their factories now.
Once you create a guideline that defines every step in your process, not only will you be clear about what each step is responsible for and the best resources to enhance it, but also how integral are they to your bigger marketing strategy individually?
As a starter, you may consider the following steps to define your social media marketing plan.
Create trustworthy content
Ensure the uniform distribution of your content throughout all your social media platforms for consistency. It will help avoid any confusion and doubts amongst your audience.
Stay on top of your social media management; many successful players in the market hire a team to do so.
Assign a budget for your paid content on social media platforms, as I mentioned a few scenarios earlier about YouTube and Instagram.
Come up with creative and appealing content, increasing its chances to go viral. You and I both know it; all it takes is one viral trend to make a product into a global phenomenon. Remember ALSA (The Ice Bucket Challenge)?
If possible, try to organize or participate in events to show your presence both online and offline.
It is safe to say that if you create somewhat similar steps, then you will have a process for your social media marketing. But do not stop, there is always room for improvement.
Now that you and I both know the 7 Ps of Social Media Marketing; I would like to reiterate that, although all of them are important to create a successful marketing strategy, some of them might be more integral than others depending on the nature of your business, services or the product.
There is no standard formula for success when it comes to social media marketing. Think critical and smart, identify your strengths, and apply the 7 Ps as they suit your brand.