In order to be successful with your social media marketing, you must first understand how and why to structure a social media strategy to guide campaign execution.

In this course, you will explore social media marketing platforms, publishers, tools, agencies, and the foundational elements of running a successful social media campaign.You will also examine what social media marketing is and how it is part of a brand-driven integrated marketing communications strategy. As the course progresses, you will evaluate the main social platforms used for digital marketing and practice aligning these platforms with your marketing goals and campaign strategy. You will also examine how marketers incorporate effective social media content generated by the brand, influencers, or users. Lastly, you will assess the role of social media agencies to help you decide if and when to outsource your campaigns.

Social media is best known by its platforms, especially the ones we use every day like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. But social platforms are not all alike, nor are they used by the same people and for the same purposes. Marketers need to know which platforms are appropriate to serve specific business goals and objectives. In this course, you will learn how to create a platform strategy by conducting an audience analysis to identify and describe the brand target markets. You will then perform a competitive audit to clarify the brand's social media presences relative to the competitive set and determine the social media marketing goals for the brand by applying the social media marketing funnel. Lastly, you will select the right social media platforms to deliver on specific marketing objectives across the social media marketing funnel.

Effective marketing communications inform and inspire consumers. It's messaging that creates product awareness and knowledge, and encourages positive brand attitudes and action. Traditional marketing, especially advertising, uses a “tell and sell” promotional approach that's unidirectional in presentation –– from brand to buyer –– and designed to persuade; it's hard marketing. Effective social media marketing is different. It's bidirectional conversation –– from brand to buyer and buyer to brand –– about the brand experience and designed to engage. This is soft marketing, the kind that target audiences seek as opposed to avoid. The key to social media marketing is connecting the customer with the brand through content that's informative, interesting, or entertaining; ideally, a combination of all three.

In this course, you will conduct a brand audit to identify the brand's pillars, tone, imagery, and personality. You will use these to create a clear brand voice for social media. You will then develop a content marketing social media strategy centered around a big idea and produce creative content that meets the business objectives of the organization as well as the needs and wants of the customer. Lastly, you will identify opportunities for user-generated content (UGC) that motivates the brand community and create a detailed content-posting cadence designed to meet the specific marketing goals.

Influencers are social media's celebrity spokespersons. Their followers provide a core audience of avid social media users, while the influencers themselves, through the endorsement of and engagement with brands, provide authenticity and trustworthiness. Teaming up and collaborating with the right influencers can help a company reach and expand target audiences, improve brand engagement, and inspire conversions. However, not all influencers are right for all brands; knowing when and how to use social influencers is an important element of social media strategy.

In this course, you will analyze the types and roles of social media influencers and identify specific influencers that will help drive your marketing efforts. You will apply the consumer purchasing funnel to devise strategies aimed at connecting the right influencer at the right time with the right customers. Additionally, you will evaluate the ethical and regulatory aspects of working with influencers, and examine how to measure influencer campaign success across the funnel. Lastly, you will craft an influencer program to achieve social media campaign objectives by integrating influencers into the content marketing strategy.

Understanding what past, present, and potential customers are saying, hearing, and seeing about your brand is an important part of brand management and social media presence. Monitoring brand mentions and conversations on social platforms can seem like a daunting, even impossible task. Fortunately, there are tools and solutions providers who can facilitate social listening and reputation management. What's important, then, is your understanding of why and how to manage social discourse about the brand to maintain and enhance your brand's credibility and overall reputation.

In this course, you will build a strategic, proactive social listening system that amplifies the efforts of social media marketing and creates close relationships between the brand and members of the brand community. You will also develop a systematic organizational approach to community management that is consistent with the brand and leverages best practices for different social media platforms.

What makes a social media marketing campaign successful? Is it growth in followers? More engagement on social channels? Greater positive sentiment about the brand? What about increases in sales leads or in sales revenue? Social media success might be reflected in all, some, or just one of these outcomes. Ultimately, however, success is a function of how well the campaign performed in meeting its marketing objectives. Measuring this performance used to be elusive for social media, but as the practice has evolved, so has the means to determine what worked and what did not.

In this course, you will identify the right metrics for measuring and benchmarking social media success across the marketing funnel. From measures of impressions to engagement, to conversion, and to advocacy, you'll examine how brands and agencies link campaign objectives — activity — and outcomes to assess, test, and optimize campaign results. Additionally, you'll explore how existing and emerging performance-reporting tools and dashboards help social media managers control dynamic campaigns to best ensure social media success.

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