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Firstly, let’s take the fear out of creating a “strategy”, you know why your business is good, and you know who your ideal client is. At the heart of any good social media strategy is a solid business.
As I mentioned in the first part of this blog series, social media marketing can be such a huge investment of time and money that it’s fundamental to get it right. There are so many businesses that are not only wasting their time by doing it wrong, but they are actually hurting their brand.
Therefore, it is vital to the company’s success to formulate a smart and effective social media strategy.
Choosing the right platforms
If you decide that it’s time for your business to create a presence on social media, it’s important to choose the right platform to suit your clientele.
The reason social media gets confusing is because there is such a plethora of different channels. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest, the list goes on. So, which ones do you choose?
A channel is a direct route to your customer. So, when choosing which channel is right for your business, you need to think about who your audience is and how they communicate with the outside world. You may well have been told that you need to “be everywhere” otherwise your business may miss out on big opportunities, but why waste your company’s precious resources churning out content across all channels if your customers aren’t even hanging out there.
Knowing your audience
Think about your target audience, research which social media channels they frequently use, and go from there, building content and constantly analysing the response. Whether it’s by the number of clicks, direct leads to your website, or page views, this analysis will help you decipher which platforms to use and which to ignore.
Algorithms can show what your clients like, what they don’t like, and who they are. A skilled social media strategist will be able to analyse your client base and tailor your posts to be more relevant to them, but more on that later!
Can you learn Karate if you go to every class every day for a month and then stop going for the rest of the year?
Social media marketing is a marathon, not a sprint. The most vital part of your strategy is to keep your posts consistent. That way, even when social media sees a dip in the business world, you can still provide your loyal customers with interesting, up-to-date content and create more trusting relationships.
Many businesses will launch a social media campaign with great enthusiasm, only to find their frequency slipping. There is no point in saying “we will post three times a day, every day” and then getting bored after a number of weeks.
Be realistic about how much you intend to post, stick to it, and keep in mind that the quality of the content is far more important than the quantity.
Finding your voice
The businesses with a successful following are often the ones who have found their voice and have managed to communicate it across social media platforms while keeping their message and tone consistent throughout.
For instance, I have found that although many of the businesses I personally follow on social media don’t necessarily offer the most exciting products, but they post unique and interesting content, therefore I enjoy following them. Ultimately, social media is a world of leisure, and as a business it’s important to keep that in mind when creating content. If you are continually pushing your product via sales, people will quickly unfollow you.
This is by no means a suggestion that brands should take on a hyper-casual, immature voice to entertain their followers online. While social media is social, it can also there to pitch your services. It is all about finding a balance between showing off your brand, enticing clients to engage, and providing value for your customers.
Working with a professional
In the rapidly moving world of social media, it can be difficult to keep your finger on the pulse at all times. It’s hard to make it a priority along with customer sales, staff management, accounting and everything else that ties in to running a successful business.
In the third and final part of this series, I will discuss the benefits hiring a social media expert, whether or not you should out-source or hire in-house, and the risks a company runs if they should not choose to hire a professional.