Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash

We’ve said time and time again, effective marketing strategies begin with meeting consumers where they are. And in today’s ultra-connected world, our consumers are in the digital ecosystem. When we look to create an effective social media marketing strategy, we need to look beyond where our consumers are to a marriage of objectives and customer journeys.

Journeys Lead to Objectives

Broadly speaking, social media marketing campaign objectives should fall into one of three categories: Awareness, Consideration, and Conversions. Each of these general categories breaks out into more specific metrics that you can use to measure progress towards the objective, such as Reach or Impressions for Awareness or Engagement Rates for Consideration.

You’ll notice that each of these objectives categories actually corresponds to the three stages of a basic consumer journey or customer funnel. Tying social media marketing efforts to objectives that are themselves tied to your consumer’s journey provides you with a path towards impactful and efficient strategies.

Understanding that our strategies should have specific and measurable objectives tied to our target’s journey, each individual strategy should begin by evaluating where our target is on their journey. This evaluation should lead us to the appropriate objective which in turn will help us make critical decisions about what our strategy will look like, including:

  1. The channels we choose to use (Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, etc.)
  2. The kind of content we create
  3. The way we analyze the results of our strategy

Next, we’ll take a look at how international, local, large, and small brands execute effective social media strategies.

Effective Strategies in the Wild

Awareness: The Botanist Islay Dry Gin

The Botanist is a craft gin distilled with botanicals foraged on the Scottish island of Islay. As part of their social media marketing strategy, they collaborated with a key industry influencer, Andrew Rea of Binging with Babish.

Screenshot of Binging with Babish’s Feature of The Botanist

By working with Binging with Babish, the brand was able to tap into the channel’s vast reach. Take note of the channel’s 7.71MM subscribers on YouTube plus its ability to rack up over 1.6MM views in just the first 72 hours after publishing.

In this case, not only did the brand succeed in reaching the influencer’s audience, they effectively identified and activated a key influencer because they:

  • Identified a trusted voice
  • Chose a natural fit (Rea frequently features spirits in his videos)
  • Empowered the influencer to speak with their organic authority (Rea was able to incorporate the brand in ways he already has in the past without sponsorship)

These elements all combined to allow The Botanist to make epicurean consumers aware of their brand.

Consideration: Eating House

This time, let’s look at a local brand, Eating House, a restaurant in Coral Gables, Florida. Social media strategies don’t have to be elaborate or expensive to be impactful. With their Instagram account, Eating House creates appetizing content which it publishes at key times throughout the day. In this case, they publish a photo of one of their burgers while pushing their lunch hours in an attempt to answer the question, what’s for lunch?

Eating House’s decadent Frita Burger

While the post itself may have only generated an estimated engagement rate of 1.3%, Eating House has continued to successfully maintain restaurant traffic during a difficult period in part because of its effective social media strategy.

Conversions: airbnb

Lastly, let’s take a look at an international brand’s attempt to generate website clicks with Airbnb.

airbnb’s Popular Instagram Profile

airbnb’s social media content strategy effectively drives consumers to their website for a number of reasons. Let’s breakdown this post to see how they do it:

  • The post features a property that customers can actually book
  • The image highlights both the location as well as the property itself
  • Both of these elements work together to give followers ideas for potential vacations
  • The caption features a call-to-action that invites followers to visit the Airbnb website

Instagram is a strong match for an airbnb social media strategy because it prominently and compellingly features its product to consumers and meets them at various points in their vacation planning process.

Wrapping Up

Ultimately, tapping into the rich world of social media marketing is all about delivering the right content at the right time to the right consumer. We can work this logic backward to create effective social media strategies by identifying our target consumer, evaluating at what point in their buyer journey we want to hit them, and crafting the right content to serve them.

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