SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGIES FOR SUCCESS
Many small business owners feel they can start a basic Social Media Strategy and be successful at it, however, after working with several clients of different sizes, I’ve found many who start without a plan and fail.
I understand that many companies simply don’t have the budget to hire a Social Media Manager such as myself and that is fine, however, there are a few basic steps that need to be developed before they start in order to be successful.
Set Your Goals
First of all, you need to think about your marketing and communication goals. Social media is an essential marketing tool for growth, but it must be part of something bigger. You need to think about your long and short-term goals that will help to increase your market presence, visibility, sales or even launch your business. Knowing your goals will help to communicate to the right target, with the right message on the right channel.
Determine How Are You Going to Use Social Media
There are so many social media options out there with new features being introduced literally everyday, i.e. IGTV. Oftentimes, it’s confusing to understand which one will help your marketing strategy. When thinking about how you are going to use social media, be careful and don’t think that all platforms are the same. If you start to posting the same content in the same way across all channels that could be a mistake as the audiences on each are different.
Also, understand that social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are where people go to socialize and not to be “sold to”. Exchange information and engage with your followers don’t simply post to push your product, brand or service.
Check Out What Your Competitors Are Doing
Remember, “success leaves a trail” – follow it. Take a look at your competitors’ channels and try to understand what your consumer would think about it, how they would be interacting and use that as a reference to formulate your plan.
The bigger brands will most likely have the best content and engagement; so look at them as a starting point, however, you don’t want to directly compare yourself to them. Find the competitors that are relatively the same size with the same target audience to learn from them.
Remember, learn, but don’t directly copy your competitor! Use the information that is unique for you and your target market audience.
Know Your Target Market Audience
Many companies feel that a large number of followers guarantees success, however, that simply isn’t true. Think about this, having millions of followers doesn’t equate they are your true target. For example if you asked each of your followers to make one purchase for one dollar you would probably be very successful, however, that is not going to happen.
Having fewer followers who are actively engaged are probably already invested in your product/brand or service and most likely are on the journey to buy your product/service when introduced.
They are more likely than not to share your content with their circle of followers many of which may be decision makers, influencers, partners, and in some cases, your employees.
What Are You Offering Your Audience
Why should someone follow your brand? Not because the brand is trying to sell you something it’s because the brand is providing something educational, entertaining or solving a problem with expert advice the 3 E’s.
Make sure you are offering something to solve their problem or ease a pain point, something to educate them, and definitely something entertaining! Make sure to listen and engage and be consistent with your content.
Create or Curate the Right Content
Using your client personas will help to create your content and explore all possibilities. Write blog posts and social media content for each persona, and use a lot of visuals, videos, GIFS, meme and infographics to attract more attention to your message. Videos are now more popular and it is estimated that by the year 2019, 80% of internet traffic will come from videos.
On Facebook you can be more informal, on Instagram you need to be visual, and on LinkedIn, you need to show your expertise. Be very careful with the message tone, invite the reader to engage and interact with the message. It will show that you want to learn with them too. Use hashtags to increase engagement and to find more content to share especially on Twitter and Instagram.
Have a Conversation with Your Clients
Remember, social media is where people go to socialize – it’s the new “White Picket Fence or Town Hall”. Respond to comments and reviews, good, bad and ugly. Be like the Aflec Duck and let the naysayers comments roll off your back, but don’t neglect to respond in a positive manner – never get into a Facebook Fight or Twitter War.
You can keep thinks positive yet professional with contests, polls, and other ways in order to keep the conversation going.
Track and Measure Your Results
All platforms offer analytics tools to track your traffic and results. Use them to identify where your website traffic is being generated from and when your readers are most active and which posts are most popular. This will keep you from wasting valuable time and give you the baseline for future content creation.
Remember, with online social media communication you can create, analyze and adjust what is working and what needs to be improved. With time and patience you will discover what platform is generating the best results then concentrate your efforts there to be successful with your Social Media Strategies.
If however, you find it’s too complicated and you need more help with your social media marketing plan, complete the form below and I will send you an exclusive infographic about social media engagement and my future newsletters.