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Social media could be a goldmine for your business, but you first need to know how to tap into that potential. Some people and businesses might make social media look easy, but they’re not just posting whatever comes to mind, even if it might look that way.
Succeeding on social media for your business takes strategy and planning. You have to know which platforms work best for your brand and what kind of content your audience will interact with, and this takes some research.
If you’re ready to break into social media for your brand or are just looking for some tips to help you up your social media game, then read on for our social media marketing tips on building a strategy that actually works.
Creating your social media marketing strategy
A social media marketing strategy is essential for guiding all your activity on social media. It covers your goals on social media and what you’re going to do to achieve them. Following a strategy will ensure that every decision you make for your social media activity is done with your specific goals in mind.
Here are our top 3 tips for creating an effective social media marketing strategy…
1. Know what you want to achieve from social media
Why are you taking the step into social media marketing? Do you want to get more leads, increase brand awareness, drive more traffic to your website? Knowing what you want to achieve can affect where you post and what you post. Set two or three specific goals for your brand on social media so that you know what you’re working towards.
2. Understand your target audience
Deciding which social media platforms to be active on depends largely on the audience you’re targeting. If you created a business plan when starting out, you should already have a good understanding of who your ideal customer is. Do some research into them – which platforms do they use and what kind of content do they engage with?
For example, if you sell to businesses, then LinkedIn will probably be your best option. While Snapchat is a great choice for businesses targeting a younger audience.
3. Check out the competition
For more ideas on what content you should post, take a look at the social media profiles of your competitors.
Consider what they’re posting and how much engagement it’s receiving. This could give you some ideas on what to do and what not to do, which you can lay out in your social media strategy.
*Bonus tip* – If you already use social media but don’t have a strategy for it (or if you want to update your current strategy), then start by evaluating where you are now. How many followers you have, how much engagement you get, etc. Knowing where you’re at and where you want to be will help you work out the best way to get from point A to point B.
How to implement your strategy successfully
Your social media marketing strategy should give you a general overview of what you want to do and how you’re going to do it. To put this into practice, it helps to go into a little more detail. This is where a social media marketing plan comes in.
This document will be similar to your strategy, except it should be more specific about the actual actions you’ll take, including:
- Where you’ll post
- What you’ll post
- When you’ll post
- How often you’ll post
Hopefully, the research you conducted on the different platforms and your audience for your social media strategy should help to inform all of this.
Let’s look at the first steps you should take when implementing your social media marketing plan…
1. Create your profiles – Select the network or networks you want to start on and create your brand profile for them. Remember, you don’t need to be active on all platforms. It’s better to choose one or two and get it right rather than spreading yourself too thin. Here are some tips on getting your profile right.
2. Create a content calendar – On a calendar, mark down when you’ll post to each platform and what kind of content you’ll post. Here is a free template to help you create your content calendar. This will give you a schedule to follow when you start posting.
3. Get posting…and consider automation – It’s important to be consistent when posting to social media. This is how you’ll build up your following. To help you stick to your content calendar, you might want to employ automation software. This allows you to schedule posts in advance so you don’t always have to be online. In this article, we’ve selected some of the best tools for you
If you’re wondering how often you should post to social media, here are the guidelines that Buffer suggests for each platform:
How do you know if your social media strategy is working?
So, you’ve created a social media marketing plan and you’ve started to put it into action. But how do you know if it’s going well? Continuously monitoring and adjusting your social media strategy and activity is just as important as setting out that strategy in the first place.
Monitor your stats
Each social media platform allows you access to certain analytics about your profile and activity. Through these, you can monitor the number of people following you and engaging with each of your posts. Monitoring these analytics on a weekly or monthly basis will allow you to see what’s working and what isn’t.
Revisit your strategy
Your social media marketing strategy should be a work in progress. It’s almost impossible to get it perfect right out of the gate, so you should constantly be revisiting it to assess your progress toward achieving your goals and how you can refine it. You might want to revise the document every 6 or 12 months, for example, and share the changes with your team so that everyone is on the same page. You might also adjust your social media plan and content calendar to reflect the changes made to your strategy.
We hope these social media marketing tips have helped to put you on the right track for creating your strategy. If you’re looking for an all-in-one platform to help you plan, monitor, and automate your social media marketing, among other things, then you can click here to find out more about the Act! Growth Suite.