Over the last two decades, numerous other platforms have emerged and evolved: Twitter (2006), Instagram (2010), Pinterest (2010) and TikTok (2016) just to name a few. Some have hundreds of millions of monthly users while a few top the scales at over a billion users.
The digital marketplace has transformed the way that companies communicate their products and branding to a vast audience.
Outdoor brands are no different. They are looking to social media to engage with customers while not only entertaining and educating their audience but also having an end game to ultimately make more sales.
Here are six steps to creating an effective social media marketing strategy that can elevate your brand while effectively reaching and engaging your audience.
1. Start With A Plan
Whether you’re selling fishing gear, kayaks, sunglasses or hunting apparel, having a social media marketing plan is just as essential as any other aspect of your business model.
2. Start Small By Focusing On A Few Channels
Regardless of whether you are a startup or an established business, it can be a daunting undertaking to create and maintain a social media presence on too many channels at once.
Think quality over quantity.
Spend some time looking at which platforms target your primary audience. Find out which channels your customers are spending their time on and then focus on creating, developing and maintaining your community.
Then and only then, you can consider expanding your reach through a new channel.
3. Set Realistic Goals
Some of the most popular goals for social media marketing include increasing engagement across your community and obviously, brand awareness.
As mentioned above in the Start Small heading, having realistic goals for your social media strategy can mean the difference between success and frustration.
Having a large audience is only effective if you are engaging your followers. Asking for input from your audience is a great way to create engagement. If, for example, you’re a hiking brand, ask a question about “what’s your favorite trail for fall foliage viewing?”
As for brand awareness, all brands desire more name recognition within their respective market. Increase your brand awareness through a strategic plan that focuses on providing content that entertains and educates your followers versus just promoting the brand.
4. Publish Unique Content
Look at what your competitors are doing and not doing. Are they leaving a void that you can fill? Don’t just replicate what others are doing. Be unique, just like your product and brand.
If tents are a product that you are looking to promote, then create content that your competitors aren’t producing while also providing the basics. This can be educational for those who might be new to camping but also entertaining to veteran outdoors people.
And consider creating a unique hashtag for your branded content. This, in addition to more common hashtags, will allow you to potentially reach a larger audience while the unique hashtag will allow you to more easily track engagement.
5. Optimize Your Routine
Posting on a regular basis is not only effective in reaching your audience, but it can also reduce your frustration with random posting when you remember to do so.
The best way to do this is to create a social media calendar and utilize a scheduling software platform to maximize your efficiency while reducing missed opportunities. If your customers are used to you publishing content daily at a certain time, stick to that schedule and spend less time spinning your wheels and more time on creative content.
6. Go Live
If you’re a climbing shoe brand and one of your ambassadors is climbing nearby, livestream that interview for your audience. At the conclusion of that interview, consider hosting a period of Q&A where those watching can ask questions.
Track Your Performance
After you have done all of the above items, follow up by analyzing your performance. Look at which topics created the most buzz and which ones fell short. Analyzing your data on a regular basis will allow you to improve over time while keeping any momentum attained from your efforts.
Are you looking to improve the ROI on your brand’s social media marketing strategy? As a fully integrated marketing firm, TBA Outdoors can cover these bases — and lots more — for your brand. Reach out to our team of marketing professionals today to see how we can help your outdoor brand with its marketing campaigns and more.