Friday April 27, 2018
We talk a lot about social media strategy. That's because we believe it's the most important part of your social marketing. Without a good strategy, you won't be able to reach your goals on social. So we want you to have all the tools you need to form and execute a good strategy. Here are 7 essential elements that power a successful social media strategy:
Social Media Audit
When you create content for your profiles, you need to have a purpose behind every post. But you also need to see how those posts are fitting together to form the bigger picture. A social media audit will help you do that.
Every quarter or more, you should conduct an audit of your channels to assess the overall feel of your brand online. Look for inconsistencies in design and style, both in pictures and text. See if you're representing your brand accurately, and notice content that was especially successful or unsuccessful.
Then, look at your competitors' channels to see how they compare. Are they using content in a better way than you? How are they inviting their audience to engage? How consistent are they? Based on what you find on your profiles and on theirs, you can set new goals and adjust your content to be more effective. Social Media Today has an excellent article with more details about conducting a social media audit.
Before you can get what you want on social, you have to know what you want. But figuring that out takes more time and research than you may think.
First, you need to research your market to find how you want to grow and how to measure growth. Then, look at data from your business to see what areas need to grow. Based on this information, write out your goals in detail. Write what you'll be focusing on - for example, brand awareness, sales prospecting, customer outreach, or community development. Put down how you intend to get there, as well as what you will count as success. That way, you can measure your success and know when you've reached the goal.
Clear goals help you concentrate your energy into the right places, help you serve your customers and audience better, and help you see the progress you're making. It may take a little more time to research and detail your goals, but it's worth it in the end.
An Understanding of your Audience
Like knowing your goals, you must know your audience before you can reach them effectively. Your audience informs everything you post on your channels. It helps you create goals and target your energy in the right place.
So how do you get to know your audience? Of course, research is key. Read about the demographic you're reaching and how they interact on social. Follow audience members, industry leaders, and relevant hashtags on your channels to get ideas for content. You can also ask questions directly of your audience. Ask them what works for them, what makes them interested in a company, what kind of value they'd like to see. Then use the information you've gathered to inform your goals and content creation.
Tailoring to your audience will not only turn into more sales, but it will build rapport with your audience and establish you as a trusted brand.
After you have your goals defined, you need a plan to execute the goals. Two things that are extremely helpful are content banks and schedules. A content schedule tells you what you're going to post, what platform you're posting it on, and when you're posting it. It's a day-by-day outline of your content. Schedule at least a month in advance so you can plan cohesive content that matches your strategy. Check out our blog about creating a social content schedule.
A content bank allows you to organize your visual content based on what it's used for and when it's used. You'll want to create a system where you know what's already been shared so you don't duplicate images. When you fill your content bank, look at your schedule and gather enough media for a large chunk of time, not just a few days. That'll save you time when you go to actually schedule the posts. For more details, check out Social Media Today's article about creating a content bank.
Measurement and Analysis
Clearly defining goals is the first part of achieving success on social. Measuring and analyzing results is the most important part of knowing whether you've achieved success. Although the task of measuring engagement on all your channels may seem daunting, there are a plethora of tools to help you out. You just have to choose the ones that work best for you.
Some tools we use for management and measurement are Sendible for management and report building, ManyChat for handling your Chatbots, and HotJar for tracking website engagement. Check out our blog on tools we use for more resources.
One major feature of Sendible is report building. You can set up reports with the metrics you want to track and have those reports sent out monthly. Take time to look at the reports and see if you're getting the results you wanted. Based on that, you can adjust your content.
Hotjar is another tool that's especially helpful for determining what's working on your website. It has tons of features, but the best may be the heat maps to show where customers go on your page and what page they're converting from.
Time for Engagement
The core of any strategy is getting your followers to engage with you, and the best way to do that is organically engaging with them. But that takes time.
You should schedule time every day to like and comment posts, read through posts with hashtags you follow, and find new users to follow. It may seem tedious and overzealous, but it really is a great way to build your following and show you are truly engaged with your audience.
Whether you're the social media manager who's executing the strategy, or the executive who's creating the strategy, we hope this blog has motivated you to up your social media game. Have more questions about how to get the most our of your social presence? Get in touch with us via Messenger, email, or our Facebook group. We can't wait to hear from you!