9 Tips for Building & Implementing a Social Media Strategy
A social media strategy contributes to awareness, growth and a strong organic online presence. It’s a great way to stay organized and on track with your social media goals. Having a social media strategy will help you consistently curate and deliver the most relevant content to your audience. Consider these 9 tips when building and implementing a social media strategy.
1. Set Clear Goals and Intentions
Take time to understand your desired outcomes from each social media channel. What are you trying to gain from being on social media? Is it a reputation of customer service, more leads and connections, awareness, sales, web traffic, to inform your audience, or something else? Set SMART goals that are aligned with your intended outcomes. Having specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound goals will narrow the focus and purpose of your social media presence.
2. Know and Understand Your Target Audience
It’s critical to understand who your audience is and what they are interested in. Determining their demographic information is a good way to start. A primarily female audience aged 25-34 will most likely be interested in vastly different content than a male audience aged 45-54. Creating social media content that your specific audience will want to see, share, save, and like helps with growth. Get to know everything about your audience, their interests, and who they are. Many social media platforms make it easy for business accounts to access insights to this information about your followers. These insights also help narrow down what time of day is best for posting. You might find that posting in the middle of the day works better on one platform, while posting in the evening is better on another.
3. Conduct a Social Media Audit
Looking at a variety of social media metrics and analytics narrows your strategy. Things like social listening and social monitoring provide insight on feedback and mentions of your product, brand, or competitors. This social media analysis highlights opportunities for growth and a more targeted approach.
The goal of conducting a social media audit is to determine how each platform is working for your business. Which platforms & posts receive the most engagement? Who is engaging & when? What are the trends with engagement or brand mentions? An audit is a helpful tool in seeing what each platform does for your company. It can tell you what type of content to post on which platforms. Additionally, it gives insight into which channels are working best and where you might focus more attention.
4. Be Aware of Your Competition
Copying competitors is never a good idea, but keeping tabs on industry trends is. Conducting a competitive analysis can give you an idea of your competitors’ strong points and where they might be lacking. How does your social presence compare to that of competitors? What is expected of your industry on social media? What types of posts do your competitors get the most engagement from? Depending on the industry, you might try to reach customers on a platform that is less saturated with competition. Additionally, the type of content posted by companies varies widely between industries. For example, the approach Nike takes on Instagram is very different from Starbucks. They also have different purposes and goals on these platforms. It can be useful to see a competitors approach and decide if you want to take a similar route or try something more niche.
5. Determine the Right Content Mix
If you’re just getting started and unsure of what content to post, try the 80-20 rule. 80% of your posts on social media should inform, entertain, or educate your audience. These are useful posts that your audience is looking to for solutions, insights, or more knowledge and understanding. The remaining 20% can be used to promote your brand. You want to get your audience to listen to you before trying to sell them something. Too much promotion pushes away followers. The goal is to keep your audience interested and loyal to you and your brand.
6. Share Engaging Content & Encourage Action
Sharing content that your audience wants to see is a must. Getting them to complete an action of engagement is crucial. Adding calls to action to your Facebook page can increase the click through rate by 285% (Adroll). Including a CTA on each post is a great way to encourage followers to chime in and get involved. Easy ways to receive input and engagement include asking a question that followers can respond to in the comments, linking to a blog or more information, and having them enter a giveaway or subscription. For some great examples of social media calls to action, check out this Hootsuite blog on CTAs.
7. Be Social
The more you post, the more visibility you get. Posting once per day can be a general rule of thumb for many businesses. However, a few times per week is plenty on some platforms. Additionally, post quality is always going to be more important than quantity. Hubspot found that pages with small followings (under 10k) noticed a 50% drop in engagement per post if they posted more than one time per day.
The most important reason for being social is that interacting and responding to your audience builds connections. Getting to know your followers improves trust and reputability.
8. Be Consistent
Create a social media content calendar. This organizes what will be posted on which platforms and when. If you have a lot of content upfront, you can space it out by scheduling it. Your posts can be automatically uploaded on a specific time and date without even having to be online to click post. One tool for simplifying and improving the content publishing process is Hootsuite. Another option that I have found handy for Instagram planning (and has a free version) is Planoly. There are also tons of prebuilt templates online for creating simple content calendars for all platforms.
Sticking to a posting schedule helps keep your content relevant and focused. Your audience knows what to expect and will be looking forward to it. You can even decide to post a specific type of content on the same day each week. This pre planning helps to ensure that you always have a steady stream of quality content ready to be posted. Your social media channels will be much more organized and aesthetically pleasing with just a bit of pre planning.
9. Evaluate Your Results
Take note of your starting points on each platform. Be sure to measure your progress as you go. It is important to track social media metrics, analyze them, and make changes based on your findings. Remember, it will take time to build up an engaging following on social media. And a lot of it! So be patient. However, if part of your strategy doesn’t seem to be working, re-evaluate your goals and methodology and make changes. Here are some reasons you may need to make changes to your strategy: Has your audience changed? Has the competitive landscape changed? Are any major aspects of your business different? Did your engagement suddenly or dramatically change? Curious about which metrics matter most and how to track them? Check out this article from Sprout Social. Sprout Social is a platform to help with your analytics and engagement tracking. To learn about tracking metrics for yourself, read more here!
Who knew there could be so much to using social media as a business? Overall, having a well thought out social media strategy is going to help with your growth and success. Setting intentions and goals for each platform makes for a targeted approach that appeals to your audience. Be sure to let us know how these 9 tips helped boost your social media presence!