Before you start any social media activity, you need a well-planned strategy to hit your targets. Otherwise you might just as well be chucking darts with a blindfold on.
As a business owner or marketing manager, you can’t afford for the hours you spend on social media marketing to be unsuccessful. Time is money, right? So make the most of your time – invest a bit of it up front to get a strategy and some goals lined up.
Of course, you could and probably should outsource this to an expert (ahem) but if you’re writing your own social media strategy, here’s five tips to get you going, on us.
1. Be clear on your goals
What is it that you want to achieve on social media? Do you want to raise brand awareness and encourage word of mouth or drive website traffic? Are you launching a new business, product or service? Do you want to attract new customers and increase sales, or simply be visible and accessible to your customers? Maybe you want to reward their loyalty with special offers, keep them committed.
Whatever your objective, don’t lose sight of it as you write your strategy.
At every step, ask yourself whether this is something that will help you to achieve that goal
Your goal needs to be realistic – there’s no point focusing on sales, newsletter sign-ups and link clicks if there are only 20 people following your page and they include your mum, Auntie Flo and the guy next door.
At every step, ask yourself whether this is something that will help you to achieve that goal. Also, bear in mind that your overall goals will change over time. When you have built an engaged community for example, you will want to start looking to sales or signups as an objective and at this point your strategy will need adjusting.
2. Know your customers
If you take one piece of advice from us, make it this. If you don’t understand your customer, you don’t have Insightology.
…before you tell us that ‘everyone is a potential customer’, let us stop you right there
You need to know the people you want to reach, or you’ll fall at the first hurdle, and before you tell us that ‘everyone is a potential customer’, let us stop you right there. We hear this all the time, it’s a really common mistake because actually, if you talk to everyone, you talk to no-one.
You need to develop robust user personas based on your understanding of your target audience and identify specific pain points and interests that your content needs to answer in order to add value. Why else would they continue to follow you?
3. Look at your existing marketing activity
How does social media fit into your overarching marketing strategy and support your existing activity? The more touchpoints your target audience has, the more likely they are to buy from you, so ideally you shouldn’t rely solely on social media. But if you know this and you have other irons in the fire, you need to make sure it all joins up.
If you have an email list, how could you use social media as a list builder? Do you produce your own video content or write blogs? Do you have a PR campaign running? When you write your strategy, you will need to tie all of these things together as well as ensuring that your branding and tone are consistent.
…you need to make sure it all joins up
If your goal is to drive traffic to your website, be sure of a positive user experience when they get there. There is no point sending people to a site which is slow to load and full of broken links or difficult to navigate. Smarten up!
4. Do your research
Before you get started, do your research. We’ve already talked about creating user personas for your target audience; now it’s a good idea to look at what your competitors are up to.
Which platforms are they using? What are they getting right, and what could you do better? If your target audience is following them, what are they reacting to and which other brands and businesses are they following? This will all help you to decide which platforms to focus your efforts on and will start to shape your content plan.
5. Have a hook
We are all bombarded daily with marketing messages, so your hook needs to be memorable and grab attention for your business and its message. Hooks need to;
- Surprise or entertain
- Launch a new product or service
- Promise a benefit or solution to a pain point
Popular online hooks include voucher codes, competitions and free downloads, webinars or ebooks. Once you catch one of your followers with one of these hooks, you greatly increase the probability of converting them to a paying customer.
>> Bonus tip! <<
Social media is forever changing, and the smart money knows it’s about constantly testing, measuring, and refining your content marketing. React to patterns in the data available; if something isn’t working for you then look at what is, and adjust your strategy accordingly.
This list is by no means exhaustive, but these tips will give you a really good starting point. If it all sounds a bit more than you bargained for and you understand the importance of getting it right but would like some help, then talk to us. We offer varying degrees of support; such as training to a dedicated team member, or we can take it all off your hands, and leave you to do the stuff you’re good at. Like developing your business.