A few years ago, you could have got away with just having a presence on Social Media but it's 2018 and with more than 3 billion active social media users you have to be fully invested and focussed on engagement with your customers for the growth of your business.
Developing a strong social media strategy not only boost brand awareness but increase followers and inflow of traffic to your website so if you are a small business it will act as an inexpensive mode of broadening your reach to your customers and creating long-lasting relationships.
So what is a Social Media Strategy?
A Social media strategy is about planning, executing and measuring all your social media activities and platforms you are going to use to achieve this.
Now that you know what exactly it is, let’s discuss some tips to develop a plan which will help you in effectively market your business on social media platforms:
Create your Social Media Objectives
The first step in any strategy is to decide, what do you want from your efforts. Defining clear objectives plays a significant role in measuring your return on investment. While deciding on your goals and objectives always go for S.M.A.R.T criteria, it stands for;
Specific: Set real numbers you want to achieve
Measurable: Make sure it’s trackable
Attainable: It should be possible to attain
Relevant: You should be capable of achieving it
Time-bound: Give it a deadline
It’s an important way to make sure that your goals lead you to business results. But try not to overcrowd your objectives, simplicity can take you far.
Identify your Target Audiences
Knowing your target audiences is a prerequisite in social media strategy creation. It’s important to know where they hang out, what kind of content they engage with, what they like and share. For each audience group, you can create a Buyer Persona defining clearly who your followers are and you can tailor your social media strategy to engage with all of your target audiences.
Choose Social media platforms where your buyer personas spend more time. You can take help from the social media analytics which gives you valuable information about your followers, like where they live, their language, the technology they use etc.
Each Social media platforms have pros and cons, like more than 80% of adults use facebook but it’s getting less popular for organic content, but facebook and twitter are good for sharing blogs, articles, and links. If your business is more about sharing pictures then you should focus on Instagram as Instagram photos are more likely to be shared than facebook. LinkedIn is more business oriented and used for sharing to the point information and interesting data.
Work on Fresh, Relevant and Engaging Content
Sharing great content is essential as a lifeline for you to engage with your audiences. Try to create a healthy balance between the kind of content you want to use to educate, entertain or show your expertise and the other kind to promote your brand. Strive for creating fresh and organic content as that will not only prove your credibility but also get your Search Engine Rankings. Some of the best practices in content creation are:
- Creating organic videos to promote your brand, talk about a topic or share some insights.
- Sharing High-quality images, quotes, GIFs and infographics relevant to your brand has proven to be very engaging.
- Blogging is the best way to prove your expertise and keep your audiences engaged.
- Creating posts on social media to lead audiences to your blog posts, try to include visuals to make it appealing.
Establish your Social Media Metrics
You can get excited with the number of likes and followers on your social media platforms as they are fun and easy to track - it’s called Vanity Metrics but they do not prove to be of any value for your business. So you should evaluate the Actual social media metrics which provides the data and statistics that give you a real insight into your social media performance, some of them are:
Reach: Post reach is the number of unique people who have seen your post when it reaches their feed or ads or if shared by their friend.
Clicks: It is the count of clicks on your content or company name. The clicks on your links or during any campaign help you understand how people react.
Profile views: Total number of times your profile was viewed.
Engagement: The total number of social interactions your content has received divided by the total no. of impressions.
Impressions: The total number of time your content is displayed in the news feed of anyone, any number of times no matter if it was clicked or not.
Organic and Paid likes: Organic likes are people liking your page without an ad campaign and Paid likes are as a result of an ad campaign. Getting organic attention on Facebook is very difficult but it is easier on Instagram.
Analyze your Efforts and Improve
You have defined your goals, identified your audiences, build your content and established the test metrics but do you know if you made the right decisions? Without constantly tracking and analyzing your efforts you will never know how your campaign did or was you able to generate any revenues from those attempts. Take help from the inbuilt analytics of each social media platform and also use the Google analytics to determine the success of all your efforts. With the help of these tools, you can track the behavior of your users as they move through your website and how they engage with your content. Try to understand what worked and what not to reshape your strategy.
There is much to consider and work upon while working on Social media Strategy for your business, with multiple communication channels and such variety of content it can get very tricky. Using the right tone and voice, and deciding which platforms to use plays an important role in your success or failure.
Out and out it’s not something that can be measured on a binary scale. With trends coming and going and more and more people joining social media every day, their needs are changing and so the sentiments, it's necessary to build well-formulated strategies and analyze them time to time and improve.