With over 3.196 billion active social media users, its no surprise that social media is one of the best ways to reach your target audience online. However, many companies find it difficult to build a cohesive social media strategy, and all too often, proceed without a plan. Unfortunately, this ad hoc approach tends to result in poor engagement and a waste of valuable time.
It’s one thing to create a page on Facebook or Twitter, but it’s another to consistently engage your audience. Yet with a little bit of preparation you can greatly increase your chances of building your online presence in your industry. We’ve come up with six ways you can improve your social media strategy to help build your brand.
1. Define your social media goals
Before you do anything, you need to outline a plan. From the moment you start posting content you should have clear goals in mind. Whether your looking for lead generation, engagement, sales awareness or web traffic, you need to be tailoring your approach to this end.
For example, if your goal is to increase engagement then you need to develop a social media strategy tailored to achieving this. In order to achieve this goal you would need to post content that provides value to the reader and provokes conversation. Providing value in this way would get people commenting on your posts, and actively engaging with your brand.
2. Choose the right channel
There are many different social media channels but some of the most popular include Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn. However, not all social media channels are the same so you need a different approach for each channel. What works on one channel may not work on another because they may be comprised of different demographics or geared towards a particular type of content.
For example, Twitter is notorious for the 280-character tweet limit, which means that you have to be very direct with any content you post. In terms of audience, LinkedIn is more suited to the business-to-business (B2B) market whereas Pinterest is more consumer-focused. Every platform has different strengths, so tailor your social media strategy to each channel!
3. Create a killer profile
Your online profile is the centre of your social media account, yet many businesses neglect their profile pages in favour of pushing out content. This is a mistake. When you create your page the first thing you want to do is to add some great images, flesh it out with some engaging and professional copy and optimise it for keywords. Although it might seem like a simple profile page, it is often the first point of contact for potential customers so it should reflect your best brand.
You should also be encouraging your audience to click through to your website. Using basic call-to-actions (CTA’s) such as “click here for more information” is a good way to start driving traffic to your site. By taking the time to tweak your profile you’ll provide a good brand impression and be able to guide your prospects down your sales funnel when they come to your page.
4. Post quality content consistently
When it comes to content on social media, posting consistently is key. Every post, whether it’s a short sentence with a CTA, a picture or blog post, should offer something in terms of entertainment or informative value. In your social media strategy, you should be aiming for 80% quality engaging content and 20% promotion.
By providing quality content, you keep your audience coming back for more, and it also helps you differentiate yourself from your competitors. Producing content that prioritises value over promotion serves your customers much better and makes them want to do business with your brand.
5. Start conversations
One of the keys to social media is starting conversations. Your social media page is not just a marketing platform but also a direct point of contact between you and your customers. As such, customers are going to be coming to you with their questions. Answering their questions and engaging them in conversation is a great way to build a relationship.
It’s also a good idea to connect with other businesses in order to maximise your reach and increase your contacts in the industry. By positioning yourself amongst the competition you get yourself on more people’s radar.
6. Revisit and refine your social media goals
No matter what your social media strategy is, it’s important to regularly revisit and refine your goals. If you set a goal, periodically reassess your progress and consider how your strategy could be refined. For example if your goal is increasing engagement, consider how you’re measuring that goal. You should be looking at reactions such as likes, comments and shares.
If you aren’t getting the reactions you want, you need to refine your strategy. Changing the format and style of your content will help to improve your connection with your audience.
Preparation is key
To effectively use social media, preparation is vital. Developing a plan for your social media will provide a much better result. Without a clear social media strategy and well-defined goals, your progress will be poorly targeted and slow. Even if your plan is basic, it acts as a starting point that you can add to, or take away from over time.
Social media is constantly evolving, so if your strategy starts falling flat and your content fails to engage be ready to change it up! If you test out enough content you’ll find a strategy that sticks. Ultimately, so long as you commit to understanding your audience and providing value, you will always find a way to engage them.
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