Social media marketing is a great way to generate brand awareness and build a dialogue with your customers.
It can also drive more inbound traffic to your website and creates opportunities for people to share and link to your content, all of which can benefit your SEO.
Although many businesses have an active presence on social platforms, they may be unaware if their activity follows best practice guidelines or whether their tactics are in any way effective. This post aims to reduce the confusion and optimise your efforts to get the most out of your social media marketing.
Any good business strategy starts with clearly defined goals and your social media marketing plan is no different. After all, without a plan, how do you know what you want to achieve and measure whether you got there?
Use the SMART goal setting strategy to define objectives that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely. Select goals that will have a positive effect on your business such as increased customers or conversions rather than vanity metrics such as accumulating likes or follows which are unlikely to have an impact on your bottom line.
Sometimes it can be tempting to promote your business on every social platform for fear of excluding key customer groups. The issue with such a comprehensive approach is that it can become overwhelming to manage your activity on multiple platforms. It is also be time consuming to find unique and engaging content to promote on each platform.
Consider your business needs and objectives to help you focus your efforts. For example, is your goal to generate B2B leads and engage with other companies? LinkedIn could be the option for you. Is your product highly visual and aimed at a younger audience? Use the power of Instagram to engage with your customers. Or, if your objective is to build community and promote local events, Facebook might perform best for you. Check out Social Media Today’s useful infographic for a summary of key stats and insights across all the major networks.
Think carefully about who you need to engage and connect with on your social channels. As well as the obvious segments to target such as your customers and prospects, you should also consider affiliate businesses, industry thought leaders, journalists, bloggers or other accounts that offer game-changing opinions or new thinking on topical issues.
Use monitoring tools to track who is talking about keywords associated with your business such as Social Mention, SumAll or Mentiomapp. This will help you identify influential accounts to follow whose content you can learn from and share.
Consider your commercial objectives and buyer personas to create targeted content that will resonate most with your target audience. This is particularly important if you have a diverse customer base that requires a bespoke approach to your messaging.
Having a schedule of planned activity over the coming months will focus your efforts and enable team members to get involved in the delivery of messages. Follow these steps to help you cultivate a schedule of activity:
Keep your audience engaged with a variety of content types. According to Cisco, 82% of all consumer traffic will be from video content by 2021 so it definitely makes sense for video to feature dominantly in your social strategy. Likewise, infographics are a fantastic way to summarise longer pieces of content and are one of the most widely shared formats. By presenting a variety of posts and content types you will address the needs of your followers and keep your messages engaging.
Don’t be afraid to repost messages as not everyone will have seen them the first time they were published. Just remember to feature a different image or tweak the message slightly so the content doesn’t appear repetitive.
Social media management is not a one-way street so you should thank followers for sharing your content, comment on others’ content and respond to messages and brand mentions.
You should continually seek to measure the effectiveness of your activity to help guide future plans. For example, does your video content get more engagement than your infographics? Does your content perform better across one platform over another? Is there a particular day of week or time of day where posts get more attention? Monitor these actions to hone your efforts and make your strategy a success.
Paid tools such as Hootsuite and Hubspot provide excellent insight into follower engagement. However if you don’t have the budget for a subscription, the native analytics that come free with each platform also provide basic data to help you get started.
Put these steps into action to maximise the effectiveness of your social media efforts. If you need a helping hand with your social strategy, contact one of our experts to start generating more engagement and traffic today.
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