10 Steps to Creating a Winning Social Media Strategy
Social media has changed the way businesses market themselves online.
It has forever altered how they interact, responds and meet customer needs.
If you are in business, whether you are a large or small company, social networking is your online connection to customers and potential clients.
It’s an opportunity to turn your fans, followers, readers and subscribers into raving fans and ultimately, marketing evangelists. Social media offers visibility, unlike any other marketing medium.
Given the power of social media, wouldn’t you agree that it is critically important for businesses to not only get social, but implement strategies and processes that support sociability, efficiency, and successful social engagement?
I would say YES!
1. Know Your Target Market
Social media usage varies from one demographic to the next. Take the time to research and understand exactly how, when and why your target audience is using social media.
It is also vital to identify a target demographics’ preferred social media platform so that your strategy can be focused and direct.
2. Take the Time to Craft Your Content
Before diving in and creating content online, carefully think through the message and goal of each post.
Whether it is a Facebook post or a blog article, every word you write should support your end goal.
Is your goal to drive traffic towards your latest product? Maybe you have a service that you are spotlighting this month. Whatever the case, do not lose sight of the end result you are working towards.
Hint: A content calendar is the key to a consistent strategy!
3. Create a Cross-Platform Strategy
The most successful companies leveraging social media are expanding their influence to several platforms.
Apart from being on Facebook and Twitter, they’re enriching their brand with Instagram, Pinterest, Google+ Tumblr, blogs, and LinkedIn.
4. Keep Your Branding Consistent
When setting up accounts on different social media networks, make sure your logo, colour scheme, fonts and graphics are consistent.
You want to ensure that no matter where people connect with you, your personal brand is easily identifiable.
5. Mix it Up
Don’t just stick with the same old “picture with a caption” format.
The best social media strategies mix up tactics when it comes to posting, whether the content is a link, image or text only.
Try changing things up and incorporating graphics, quotes from your latest post or answers to questions. The objective here is to generate content that people will interact with by clicking on it, commenting, or sharing it with their friends.
6. Engage Your Audience
Once you begin to catch the attention of your audience, make sure they feel special.
Respond to comments, soothe concerns and answer questions. It is important that you stay consistent in your messaging and maintain a professional demeanour.
7. Follow the 70-30 rules
The 70-30 rule follows this strategy: maintain seventy per cent engaging content and thirty per cent promotional.
The seventy per cent should be fun, interesting and useful to the online user. Let your audience get involved in the conversation, rather than feeling as if they are being “sold” every time you post.
This keeps your audience interactive and engaged, so that way when you do promote, they are far more likely to value whatever information comes their way.
8. Check Your Analytics
Research should be the backbone of any social media strategy.
Google Analytics offers a rich database of statistics and analytics that can (and should) guide your posting and strategy decisions.
Leverage this information to learn as much as possible about which content is making the biggest impact on your community. Evaluate how and why some content works and some fall short.
9. Keep Up with Industry Trends
Maintaining a finger on the pulse of trending topics and stories relevant to your target market should always be at the top of your to-do list.
Keeping your posts timely is a sure way to improve the organic reach of any post.
10. Reassess, Revise, and Rework
Take the information you cull from your analytics and adjust your strategy. Social media is fluid. This means your strategy must remain agile and flexible.
Don’t be afraid to change things!