Having an effective Social Media strategy is an important marketing tool for any business or organisation wanting to boost awareness in their brand as well as maintain relevance in the fast moving digital world. Social Media is also integral to any digital marketing strategy as you need to reach people wherever they are searching online. Whether it be through through conversations with their customers on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn or using these channels to market your brand.
Many businesses want to maintain an active social media profile but are unsure of how to proceed and on what platform to reach the biggest audience. But its not about the platform – its about who your customers are, which social channels they are engaging with, how social media supports your other digital marketing tactics and your available time and budget to engage as well as connect with prospects and customers.
That means unless your social media efforts are integrated into your overall marketing strategy and planned/scheduled frequently your efforts may be wasted it also may even cost you money. Haphazard attempts at setting up a social media account, the occasional post or no followers will have a negative impact on a small business as it won’t reflect the superior quality of the business or service.
When building a social media strategy these 9 steps will help guide you:
- Create a List. List out all all the platforms that you think would suit your business. Heres a good place to start if:
– your Business sell to Consumers or
– your business sells to other businesses?
- Ask Customers. call or send 20 of your customers a personalised email, list out the options and ask them which platforms they use (don’t ask which platforms they user for business – just which platforms they use). This is where you should start.
- Limit your Platforms. Unless you have a large social media team, start with one or two social channels at a time. So long as you have done steps 1 and 2 – it doesn’t matter whether its Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest, Snapchat or the myriad of other options. Focusing on getting engaged followers for one or two channels will get better results for your time and $ efforts rather than spreading your resources “thinly” over 5 or 6 channels.
- Be consistent online. Design all your social media accounts with all the same look, feel and “tone” as your website
- Be consistent offline as well. Compare your printed marketing material with your social media profiles as well and make sure they look the same.
- Allow Time and Money. Put aside time and/or budget to Make sure there is a consistent flow of great content and comment in these selected channels to make sure your social media efforts create engagement and interest.
- Create a Schedule. Make sure you have a weekly and monthly timetable of what channels and content topics you are going to post about
- Focus on Links to your website. Make sure your social media content links back to your website. That doesn’t mean you don’t share comments without links or don’t share link to other sites, but make sure at last 75% of your posts are going back to great content on your website
- Measure and Refine. Make sure you have systems in place to measure your social media engagement and response to see what times are best for posting, what kinds of updates receive the most traffic and to see what platforms your product/organisation has the best feedback.