As we move towards 2020, it is more evident than ever that social media is paramount to business growth. Every brand needs a custom social media strategy based on its current social media standing, business goals, and resources available to them.
To leverage social media in your favor, it is necessary to have core building blocks in place to ensure your business gets the most out of its social media initiatives. In this article, I will review seven elements that make a social media strategy successful:
1. Define your Social Media Goals
Only having social media accounts for your business and posting content on them is not enough. It is crucial to have well-thought-out goals so your team knows precisely which areas to focus on, how to track progress, and where efforts are falling short and need to be enhanced.
For instance, you may choose to dedicate your business’ Twitter profile primarily to engage with your audience and answering questions. To fulfill that goal, you may thus set goals about the number of Tweets to send out per day, the average response time to maintain for audience questions, the kinds of queries to be prioritized, and so on.
2. Choose the Right Platforms
It is crucial to remember that every social media platform may not be appropriate for every business. For instance, an orthotics business is likely to have its customer base primarily from among the above-40 population.
For them, Facebook is thus a better social media platform to connect with customers than Instagram or Snapchat. Again, a brand that focuses mainly on video-related content such as how-to videos or customer success stories will find YouTube or Vine more appropriate channels than, say, Pinterest.
Therefore, sit down with your marketing team to create buyer personas. Define your target audience in terms of age, occupation, pain points, interests, and more. The more specific you are in identifying your target audience, the higher the conversions will be.
3. Curate a Content Bank and Calendar
While much of social media interaction is about quick responses and spontaneous posts, having a content bank in place is crucial. A content bank should include a mix of different types of content, including text, images, audio, or video, depending on the platform in question, and cover a variety of topics so as not to become monotonous.
This should be supplemented by an editorial calendar for at least one month in advance, including posts and reposts for all social media platforms where your business is active.
A calendar will not only make it easier for your team to coordinate any social media activity among each other but also free them up to spend more time engaging with the audience or conducting social listening tests.
4. Select Appropriate Tools
There are a plethora of useful social media tools available today, and you should use the right ones to enhance your content, automate your posts, and be timely about responses. For instance, the Live video option on Instagram or Facebook allows businesses to give their customers a quick, behind-the-scenes look at a product launch or any other event.
Agorapulse is a useful tool to schedule content on different platforms, while Mention helps brands track mentions on social media and analyze any trends in such ‘mentions.’
5. Conduct Proper Social Media Audits
The success of any social media strategy hinges on keeping the big picture in mind. You must conduct regular audits on their social media channels to review benchmarks, evaluate the success or failure of campaigns, catch inconsistencies, and set a new goal wherever necessary.
All the major social media platforms have their analytics tools that can be useful in tracking the number and frequency of likes, follows, profile page visits, and so on. Besides, tools such as Keyhole allow brands to track influencers who are using their hashtags or keywords and thus reach out to them for potential collaborations.
6. Study your Competition
Start with analyzing the social media strategy of three to five competitors. Check the types of posts they make, their posting frequency, and the number of followers.
Focus on their engagement level. For example: on Facebook, take 20-30 updates of your competitors. Calculate the total number of engagement activities for those posts such as likes, comments, shares, and divide the number with the page’s total number of followers.
You can apply the same formula on Twitter (likes, retweets, and replies) and Instagram (likes and comments) to see how engaging are the competitors’ posts. The idea is to integrate interesting social media tactics of your competitors into your strategy.
7. Assign Roles to your Social Media Team
Social media is not a one-person army. It is vital to have a team to look into various aspects of social media. Be it social content writing, running campaigns, or looking for the right images to go with the posts, every person should have a set role. Knowing who is responsible for what helps in churning out more quality work in a lesser timeframe.
Over to You
Social media is continuously evolving. From changing algorithms and personalized feeds to increasing popularity of visual content – we have seen it all. For businesses across industries, social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest offer an incredible opportunity to engage consumers and convert them into loyal customers. How is your 2020 social media strategy looking?