Social media is a powerful tool you can use for free to build brand awareness, reach new audiences, inform consumers, drive traffic to your site, solidify brand loyalty, and more. If you’re not on social media, you should be ASAP, because the number of people on social media is growing rapidly.
However, it can seem confusing at first. With so many options, where do you even start? The answer lies in your social media strategy, where you plan out what you hope to achieve and how. Create your own by following the steps below.
Determine Your Goals
Who are you and what do you want social media to accomplish? Figuring this out will determine what kinds of content you put out, and which metrics you measure success with. With a clear focus, your social media presence will make more sense and draw in the right people.
Some common goals include:
Growing the brand, where the target objective is brand awareness. This is measured by the number of followers you gain (and keep) and the number of impressions your posts receive.
Building brand loyalty by making existing customers even more excited about your company/organization. Engagement is key, and this can be measured by the number of likes/reactions, comments, shares, and tagged content you receive.
Driving leads and sales, where the focus is on conversions. Clicks to your website, email signups, and purchases from the platform all count towards this goal.
Of course, feel free to mix and match, or to have different goals on different platforms. Your goals may also evolve as your business evolves, so adjust accordingly.
Research Your Target Audience
Find out who’s buying your products/services (or who would be interested in your products/services) and cater to them. If you try to reach everyone, no one is going to pay attention, so find the people who resonate with your brand and make sure they feel your love.
Useful data to know about your target market include
Salary/Spending Power and Patterns
Why They (Should) Care About Your Brand
Social Media Use/Habits
Most of this information can be found using Google Analytics and analytics on social media sites. Use it to determine what you’re going to convey and how. Which platforms are you going to focus on? When should you post? How can your brand fit into the lives of your target market and make it better, and how will you convey this? Pretend you are your target market and figure out what will click with them. You can also use different social media platforms to reach slightly different audiences.
See What Your Competitors Are Up To
Look at the social media of brands that offer similar products/services and see what they’re doing. Just do a quick Google search of your product/service, and competitors and top keywords will pop right up. Then find their social media platforms and note what works and what doesn’t so you don’t make the same mistakes, and take inspiration from what you like. You can also notice what they’re lacking in, and double up your efforts in those areas. Additionally, dig into conversations people have about brands/products in the industry and discover what people like, dislike, and want to see. These insights can help you create the next best thing. Note relevant keywords/hashtags and emerging trends as well.
Create Social Content
Now that you’ve figured out what you want to post, and where, it’s time to actually create content. Know the strengths and weaknesses of the platforms you’re posting on, and the types of content that work best on them. Take advantage of the different types of content you can release on each platform as well for some welcomed variety. Also, keep in mind character limits (if any) and photo/video dimensions. We’ve listed some resources here to make creating social media content fast and effective.
We also recommend scheduling posts ahead of time. It will save you a lot of time and energy later on (and prevent social media from being neglected if you end up unexpectedly busy). This also makes it easy to develop cohesive themes, should you want to follow one. Of course, feel free to share or create posts spontaneously, but planning posts out will guarantee that you’ll have something for your followers on a regular basis. Also, make sure to react and respond to comments and any relevant shares/tags. Bond with your followers, and make sure they know you care about them.
Congrats! You now have a social media presence! Now look at the performance metrics and see how successful different types of content were. Based on what you learned, adjust how you use social media in the future. This will be a never-ending process, as nothing stays the same, but it will be worth it, for you will have maximized your efforts. Great job, and keep it up!