I’ve got two words for you – social media. A mere mention of these simple words has dominated every space, conversation and strategy. This phenomenon has revolutionized our way of communication and has transformed conducts of traditional media into modern, virtual forms connecting individuals, communities & organizations. It’s a mode of socializing that spans across different generations (With the downside of receiving chain texts from mothers on WhatsApp, of course) and classes; making it easy to have an extensive, immediate reach.
Recognizing the power of social media, businesses started adapting to it and moved to introduce strategic operations that embraced its advantages. A social media marketing strategy done right can have some of the following benefits for organizations:
- Increased website traffic
- Increased brand awareness
- Lead generation
- Better, more intimate connection and understanding of your audience
- More sales
- Financial growth
These statistics alone show that social media should be a critical part of your overall marketing strategy. So, why wait? If you’re ready to start, let’s explore social media tips that definitely will solidify your presence online and build a better relationship with your audience.
Tip #1 – Have a plan
We’ve touched on this before. Like anything in life, every great strategy has goals and objectives as a foundation. A plan with these outlined is crucial for your social media marketing strategy.
- Set social media goals – When defining your goals, use the SMART principle which states that your goals should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-based. With this element, focus on generated leads, conversion rates, referrals to your website and more that you would like to put up as KPIs.
- Conduct a social media audit – Analyze who you’re already connected to on social media along with which networks you’re on. Is your audience there? Don’t forget to also check how your own social media presence fairs to the competition.
- Set up new accounts & complete existing ones – Decide which social networks are best and then set up an account on each of those platforms. With existing ones, complete outstanding information on your profiles and make certain that all the basics are there.
- Get inspiration – What are your competitors or industry leaders doing? Conduct an overview and gain insight on how to reach out to potential customers. Find out what big corporations are getting right and see if you can’t customize this into your own tactics.
Tip #2 – Research your target group
With an exceptional social media strategy comes identifying the age of your target market. That also includes gender, location, average income, etc. To find out all of this, you need to:
- Conduct surveys and carry out focus groups for a better understanding of their pain points.
- Look at their demographics through analytics tools.
- Participate in conversations on forums that have your target audience.
- Respond to comments on your blog and comment on other blogs that have the same target audience.
- Collect feedback using user feedback tools.
Analyze all this data for trends and then use the information you gather to create ideal customers complete with a name, job title and career paths. This is where customer avatars come in.
Download our Free Consumer Avatar Template we’ve created for you that you can use for your business.
Tip #3 – Determine which platforms suit your business
Earlier we mentioned setting up new accounts after figuring out which networks are best. Let’s help you decide. Now that you know who your audience is along with their needs and wants, pain points and more; the next step is to be on the platform they are most likely to be present on. Here’s an overview list presented by Hootsuite that should help guide you in what’s suitable for your business and set goals.
- Facebook – This is the world’s most popular social media network and has more than 2 billion users. It has the most regular users that are at most family orientated and are looking to connect with loved ones.
- Instagram – Instagram has more of a visual approach and its successful marketing has a lot to do with appealing to aesthetics of the shared content. The network has the highest engagement level.
- LinkedIn – This social media channel boasts of more than 476 million users and is the world’s largest careers network.
- Twitter – Twitter has a limit of 280 characters per tweet and is known for concise messaging. It is great for catching onto current news as they happen and is impeccable when it comes to immediate feedback.
- Snapchat – This is ideal for users that document their everyday life, with videos that disappear after a certain period of time – a feature that users find appealing (Not forgetting the oh so popular Snapchat filters).
- YouTube – The biggest online video platform that would be perfect for a company with resources to target their audiences with video marketing.
- Pinterest – Pinterest is best for inspiration purposes. This makes it perfect if your target audience is going to be active. For example, when buying something or visiting your website.
Tip #4 – Share quality content
Quality always beats quantity. Granted, you have to publish content consistently – however, it also has to be valuable. Quality content is content that is relevant to your audience, helpful and entertaining.
To ensure that you are always supplying quality content that is relevant and current, stay up to date with what is trending in your industry and know what questions your audience is asking. One way to do this is to create a list of sites in your niche that are known to publish high-quality content. Afterwards, then add them to an RSS reader that’ll provide you with a dashboard full of the latest posts from sites you trust.
Another major component of content is using the right words on your social media. How you get your message across will vary and will depend on the social network you’re using. Here are suggestions you can use when aiming to write captivating copy on social media:
- Use copywriting techniques such as having a compelling headline that sounds useful, unique, urgent and specific.
- Address your audience directly.
- Start your social media posts with witty & intriguing hooks.
- Use different content types such as blog posts, videos, infographics, questions, etc.
- Always write a description on every link you post.
(Expert Tip – Always remember to keep it less “salesy”. Intrusive marketing is outdated and will more often than not, put your audience off)
Tip #5 – Post consistently
Posting often on your social media channels increases the chances of engagement and impressions. There needs to be a routine posting schedule that will ensure that you are consistent in your communication. In your social media plan you need to outline
- How often you will be posting on each social media platform.
- What type of content you’ll be publishing.
- The dates & platforms you’ll be publishing on.
- Social media outreach publishing schedule (reaching out to influencers via social media)
Having such a plan in case will hold you accountable to consistent posting. Also keep in mind that your followers are most likely following a lot of accounts. This means that when you’re not publishing new content, it’s easy to fall into the background.
Tip #6 – Use a Social Media Management Tool
Using native publishing forms for Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn lowers productivity and wastes time. This means that posting on actual social media networks limits what you can do to maximize use of the channels. Using social media management tools makes it a lot easier to:
- Publish content across multiple platforms.
- Collaborate with your team.
- Have a high-level view of all your social media feeds from a single dashboard.
- Track and measure your results.
Casual users may be able to continuously manage the platforms from their phones. However, as a business, it makes sense to make use of a tool that will integrate and manage all of your social media channels in one place. This allows you to plan ahead, be more efficient and strategic.
Tip #7 – Increase use of visuals
These statistics solidify the importance of using visuals in your social media posts so this should be top priority when planning your strategy. There are several tools you can use such as Canva, Bannersnack or Picmonkey that create alluring images to interest your audience. The other option would be to outsource, which many businesses make use of.
You’ll need to create graphics for:
- Facebook and Twitter posts.
- Instagram images.
- Pinterest graphics.
- Cover photos for each social media platform you have.
- Images for your opt-in freebies.
- Content that contains statistics, facts, trends, etc.
Do your research to make sure you have the right dimensions for your social media images. Remember to also create graphics that align with your brand image.
Tip #8 – Measure and analyze
In all that you do, there needs to be analysis and measurement of results. The aim of this tip is to check on your progress and to see whether you’re meeting your KPIs or not. When measuring your efforts, analyze the following metrics:
- Followers – Tally up the number of new followers each social media channel has received and compare this to the goal you set. Interesting social media platforms consistently gain new followers.
- Likes, shares & comments – Measure the amount of engagement the audience has with the posts. You’re well on your way if you receive a high number of retweets, shares, comments and likes. Sidebar: Always have a look at which type of content gets the biggest response.
- Clicks – This metric reveals how your social media efforts did in terms of sales. Were there many clicks to your blog post or website? Did followers take the next step you set? The success of social media marketing depends on your ability to draw more visitors into the sales funnel.
- Downloads – If your audience responded to your posts by going to your landing pages or downloading resources such as eBooks and white papers, then your social media marketing efforts were a success.
- Leads – And last but definitely not least, the funnel all filters down to leads. Successful social media marketing increases the number of qualified leads for the business. This is the metric that tells you the most about your strategy. The mistake people do here is to get impatient with the leads turnout. It takes quite some time to nurture potential consumers into leads even with quality content and consistent posting. However, eventually, all efforts will pay off.
There are a lot of social media strategies to implement for success but these serve as the cream of the crop. With such essentials in tow, we guarantee you a solid online brand presence that will build meaningful relationships with your audience and have you achieving your KPIs in record time.
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