Updated: Feb 20
Creating an effective Social Media Strategy on your own can be difficult, especially for businesses that are unfamiliar to the Social Media environment.
Although the environment of Social Media can be difficult to navigate it is essential for any business looking to: reach its audience, increase brand awareness, obtain more website traffic, or simply introduce themselves to the Social Media space.
As such your business must develop an effective Social Media Strategy to make sure that your Social Media efforts whatever they may be, yield the results that you are looking for. If you want to learn how to develop an effective Social Media strategy continue reading the article to find out how.
Know The Value
When we say know the value we aren’t talking about the value of your business (although that is an important topic) we are talking about the value of each platform for your business. Each Social Media platform has a higher or lower level of value for your strategy depending on the type of business that you are putting on the platform.
If you are a photographer or someone whose business focuses on the more visual aspects of business you would be better off focusing on a platform such as Instagram, where the visual component of the platform is the entire point of its usage.
Whereas if your business focuses on a side of the business world that might be less visual such as a Consultancy or Law Firm, you would be better off focusing on platforms that are geared more toward engagement, connection, and demonstrating knowledge such as Facebook, Linkedin, or Twitter.
No matter what type of business you have the reality remains that certain platforms might yield more value for you in terms of your goals and purpose for using Social Media in the first place.
(Note: Your Social Media channels should always have a purpose ESPECIALLY as a business, being on Social Media for the sake of being on it because you run the risk of confusing your audience, damaging your reputation, and take away from precious time that could be spent on your business)
“Social media is not just an activity; it is an investment of valuable time and resources. Surround yourself with people who not just support you and stay with you, but inform your thinking about ways to WOW your online presence” – Sean Gardner
Social Media Audit
Now that you’ve determined the best platform for your business it is time to perform a Social Media Audit. A Social Media audit should tell you many things but when creating a strategy you want to be sure that you know
What accounts are being used and are they useful
What your current demographic is and if it aligns with your ideal audience
What is the best time to post according to post-performance
What Types of posts do best and receive the most engagement or align with KPI’s
What posts are receiving the least amount of attention
Are you receiving a ROI
Your Social Media Audit needs to give you insight into most if not all of these concepts because they play an important role in defining your Social Media strategy. Performing a Social Media Audit will force you to take a cold hard look at how your Social Media efforts thus far have impacted your business. If you have Key Performance Indicators in place already using those to measure the progress of your Social Media is a must.
Create an Avatar For Your Platform
After the audit has been completed and the entirety of the data gathered has been compiled into one place, it is time to create an avatar for your Social Media. Avatars are representations of your ideal client or audience and they can vary from platform to platform.
For example, while your avatar for a platform such as Linkedin might be a corporate professional with years of experience in their field, your avatar for Instagram might be someone young and fresh out of college. Each Social Media platform attracts a certain age range and that is important to keep in mind when developing a Social Media Strategy.
Questions to ask yourself about your avatar could include:
What Problems Do They Have
What Are Their Interests
Worries and Concerns
What Platforms They Use
All of these questions are important to answer because they help inform the way that you go about creating messaging on Social Media someone who is 20 might not respond to a query about needing life insurance as someone who is 45. When you know your audience it is that much easier to understand what they might respond to, and how your business can leverage this information to create meaningful and long-lasting relationships with people who support your business.
Furthermore, when you create messaging that is specific to your audience it makes them feel seen and understood which can help you create Brand Loyalty on the Social Media Platform as well. Be thoughtful about your messaging but don’t let it restrict you from putting out content on the information you are passionate about or think could be helpful. People have many different interests so you never know what might hit home with them when it is least expected.
Research Similar Brands
Now that you’ve gotten more familiar with your Social Media you must become aware of what businesses similar to yours are doing on Social Media. If you are starting from scratch with no prior information to go on this can be especially helpful, because it can show you what type of content does best, what elements are appealing to viewers, and how you might be able to implement some of the strategies others use into your own.
Things to look for could be: Content Ideas, Design Inspiration, and Engagement Strategies
While getting inspiration from others is encouraged, plagiarism is never okay. If you see something that you like, take it and make it your own, on today’s Social Media platforms users value authenticity and quality more than anything else. Find a content idea that you are good at and become the best at it, Social Media is all about consistency and quality so make sure to use that to your advantage.
When you create quality, helpful, original content that benefits people on a daily basis they will engage with your content more than if you were copying someone else.
Set Key Performance Indicators
The only way that you can know if your Social Media strategy is effective is if you set key performance indicators for what that looks like in terms of your business. No one business is the same and that fact extends even to the realm of Social Media content and strategy. When setting your key performance indicators they must work in accordance with the goals of the business.
If you want people to create better brand awareness key performance indicators might be things such as:
Increased Brand Mentions
Increased Social Media Shares
Higher Post Engagement
If your goal is to get more people interested in purchasing from your business or using a service key performance indicators could be.
Increased Website Traffic
Increased likes on posts about your service
Increased form submission
And so on. No matter what your goal may be it is important when putting together any Social Media strategy to have Key Performance Indicators, otherwise, you have no way of knowing whether you are seeing a valuable return on investment.
Post Consistently and Keep Content Dynamic
Now that you’ve completed all the preliminary work for your it is time to begin posting the actual content on your Social Media. The content that you have created for your Social Media should be informed by your preliminary audience research, the assessment of your avatar, the information that you received from your social media audit, and the research that you did on like-minded brands and businesses of Social Media.
During this time you want to push the posts that you have seen as being the most effective on the page. This should help boost engagement and will help you finetune content towards the interests of your audience. Keeping this in mind it is important to note that just because something has worked before does not mean you should be scared of trying out new content, keeping your content fresh and original is one of the best ways to ensure that your audience stays engaged for the long term.
Keeping the content dynamic will also allow you to refine the look and feel of your page as time goes on allowing you to continue to create the most valuable and engaging information possible for your audience.
Now it’s time to increase your engagement on Social Media and we aren’t talking about the engagement of your audience. To flourish on Social Media as a business it is important to monitor the impact of your content in real-time. Determining how many people are reacting to the content within the hour, what makes people feel as though they need to comment, and how you can interact more meaningfully with your audience are all key to perfecting and improving your Social Media Strategy.
For this to happen you will have to increase the way that you, someone on your team, or someone you’ve hired for assistance will have to engage more with Social Media. Being cognizant of where your business is being mentioned on the platform and taking time out each day to interact with similar brands is a key part of developing a Social Media strategy.
“Humility, gentleness, and helpfulness go so much further and open doors you cannot imagine. Think from a higher level and try to see beyond today. Some hard work and insight will bring you to paths that will reward you so highly, it’ll make the little inconvenience you incurred so worth it.” –Ann Tran
Check Analytics and Adjust Accordingly
One or Two months into the efforts of your Social Media Adjustments it is now time to begin looking at your analytics. With your list of Key Performance Indicators evaluate how your Social Media strategy has been working for your business.
Have you gained more followers?
Have you seen increased engagement?
Are you receiving higher amounts of website clicks?
Whatever your KPI’s are you need to make those your method of measuring your success. If you are largely achieving most of the goals that you have set for yourself then there may be little to no need to alter the strategy for the time being.
However, if your strategy is not working you need to analyze why, while there are several reasons that your content might not be performing as well as you’d like some the main culprit may be that your content simply is not resonating with your audience, this will be apparent if you have a high number of people reached but low numbers of likes and engagement with the content. If this is the case then it is time to take a look at your avatar and see if your messaging is working per the values of that audience or not
“You can buy attention (advertising). You can beg for attention from the media (PR). You can bug people one at a time to get attention (sales). Or you can earn attention by creating something interesting and valuable and then publishing it online for free.” – David Meerman Scott
Look For Help When You Need It.
Social Media can be an overwhelming task to deal with, especially when you are also attempting to run a business. So hiring a Social Media Manager can be a worthwhile investment for any business looking to make a space for themselves on Social Media. Rosemint Media offers an array of Social Media Management and Consultation Services to anyone looking to distinguish themselves on Social Media, so make sure to contact us today by clicking this link if you are looking to see higher growth and engagement on Social Media.
A solid Social Media Strategy can help clear up the confusion that comes with being a business on Social Media. By defining your audience, setting key performance indicators, and continuing to adjust based on your results, you can help your business see REAL growth on Social Media. This helps you generate new leads and create loyal customers in the long run.