Social media has close to 3 billion active users. In 2017, more consumers are leveraging these networks to connect and engage with their favourite brands online. We can agree that having a strong presence on social media is vital to reaching today’s consumers as well as generating new ones.
Many brands struggle in crafting a working social media strategy that creates results. Although 92% of marketers say that social media is important to their businesses, only 42% declare that they’re able to measure any results from their efforts (Source: Hubspot).
An effective social plan is one that is clear on its goals, fosters engagement, and aligns with your ultimate business goals.
Here are five key steps to creating your social media strategy to drive results in your marketing. Click To Tweet
5 Actionable Steps
#1 Gain Clarity on Your Audience and Business Goals
It’s important to gain a clear understanding of your target audience before you set sail in your digital marketing strategy. You see, your entire content revolves around catching the interest and speaking to your desired market. The more clarity you have of who you’re aiming to reach, the more effective you’ll be in attracting your exact customer.
Your business goals will guide you in your social media marketing. If you’re looking to boost brand visibility, knowing this upfront allows you to strategically publish posts that seek to bring more awareness to your company (i.e. the use of hashtags, capitalizing on trending topics, etc.).
How to Gain Clarity?
Developing buyer personas is the best way to completely knowing your audience. In this process, you’ll detail who your ideal customer is and the pains, problems, challenges, and concerns they experience. It also helps you get a clear picture of their typical day, their role in the buying process, and their goals. Armed with this data, you can now brainstorm social media content that will appeal to their interests.
Also, know what you want your social media strategy to produce in your business. Whether it’s to increase brand awareness, boost lead generation, or drive traffic to your site, being clear helps you tailor your content to achieving these goals.
Buyer persona example (Source: HubSpot)
#2 Choose the Right Social Platforms
You want to show up where your audience is present on social media. Although you essentially want to establish a presence on all the major social media networks, it’s crucial to hone in on the platforms where your target market is most active.
When publishing your content, there are a few things to note to ensure you’re appropriately communicating with your audience on that specific social network. Your tonality and message will change depending on the social site you’re posting to.
Write for Your Audience
For example, LinkedIn is a professional site that especially caters to B2B brands. How you share your content here should be different than how you would on Facebook, which is more friends and family oriented.
Each network has an expectation of how messages are conveyed. Social media marketing is not a “one size fits all” approach. You want to write your social media message in a way that is suitable for its followers to be effective on that network.
Maximize on Content Types
This also relates to various content types. Different content actually works better on certain networks. Visuals like images and videos perform well on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter while infographics generate tons of engagement on Pinterest. Planning to share your blog articles? Facebook and Twitter are superb outlets for sending new visitors to your blog site.
Use a Social Tool
A final key point to mention is leveraging a social media management tool to help boost productivity in your social strategy. From one dashboard, you can manage all of your accounts to schedule your content in advance, communicate with followers, and measure your results using built-in analytics.
#3 Post Engaging Content
At the heart of inbound marketing is sharing valuable content that offers solutions, solve problems, educates and inspires. Social media is the perfect opportunity to extend your expertise in a creative, engaging way that positions you as an authority while feeding amazing content to your audience.
Solely promoting your business will make your page boring and spammy. People logon to their accounts to stay informed, connect and interact. You want to produce content that serves this purpose.
Here are a few tips to publishing winning content on social media:
- As mentioned, images ROCK on social media! Use visuals to promote your blog content, post behind-the-scenes photos of office shenanigans, share infographics, and highlight company events
- Social videos generate 1200% more shares than text and images combined. They also extend your organic reach. Use them to your advantage for increased visibility
- People are spending 3 times longer watching live video than ones prerecorded (Source: Social media Today). Facebook Live, Periscope, and Instagram Stories are exceptional tools to grow your brand quickly and actively connect with followers in real-time
- Share more of what your audience wants based on analytical data from testing
- Schedule content to post during the times your followers are most active
Facebook video statistics infographic (Source: Social Media Today)
#4 Foster Relationships with Your Followers
Social media is about being… well, social! It’s a chance to connect with your customers, showcase your brand’s personality, and interact with prospects. By being social, you will humanize your brand, making your company relatable and personable. People will engage in your content simply because you’re responsive and show an interest in their feedback.
Refrain from simply publishing content and hoping it drives engagement. Reach out to your fans by commenting, sharing and liking their content. Reply quickly to those who leave comments on your page to encourage more engagement. Personally inbox customers thanking them for a recent order or for sharing user-generated content that you can leverage in your marketing.
There are so many simple ways to build relationships with your followers. You’ll be amazed at how these authentic touches can foster brand loyalty and separate you from the competition.
#5 Test, Measure, & Analyze Your Results
As with any content marketing strategy, testing and measuring your efforts is key to discovering which tactics are generating results, and the ones that need to be modified for improvement. Not analyzing or reviewing important data can leave you doing the wrong thing for a long time.
You want to focus on finding out what your audience wants so you can give them more of it. Consider these key pointers as a guide in your measurement:
- Keywords – what phrases are people using to locate your content when searching on social media
- Shares – which of your content type creates the most shares?
- Engagement – what posts generate likes, shares, and comments?
- Most Read – which topics and content types are people reading more of?
- Leads – how many did you generate? How can you improve this?
Honing your social media strategy will create amazing returns in your marketing like increased brand visibility, more visitors to your website, stronger relationships with prospects and customers, and improved lead and sales conversions. Create your plan today using this blueprint as your guide to success.
Are you ready to amplify your social media marketing in 2017? We are equipped to help get you in front of your audience and drive engagement. Reach out to us here and let’s chat!