Getting your voice out there is a good first step
But you want to make sure that everything you are posting on social media is worth the effort
Align your goals
Focus on the networks that matter
Define how to measure success
Learn from the competition
Align Your Goals
Understanding the reasons behind what you post will quickly prove to you that a social media strategy is about more than just posting. You may push out a message or two per day, or per week, but are those messages actually contributing to your overall digital strategy? And do they align with your overall business strategy?
By mapping out your overall business goals and then matching them to your social media goals, you instantly increase your chances of success. For example, if your aim is to have more people know about your product or solution, then you will want to concentrate on brand awareness goals. In doing so, you will be able to apply direct tactics to get your message across in the most effective way.
But of course, in aligning your goals, we are assuming that you have thought out what these goals are. Here are some of the common social media goals to consider:
- Increase brand awareness.
- Higher quality of sales.
- Drive in-person sales.
- Improve Return On Investment.
- Create a loyal fan base.
- Have a better pulse on the industry.
Focus on the networks that matter.
There is a real fear among businesses that they need to be active on every single social media network. But what if your target audience isn’t active on LinkedIn or Snapchat? Your time is precious, so don’t waste it. Conduct initial research to find out where your market is. The impact of your social media strategy will be far greater if you focus on where your audience is most active — and that’s likely not every single network.
Research where your biggest influencers hang out. Are they mostly on Twitter? Which social groups do they belong to? Which groups are they most active on? Where does your research point to the highest level of engagement? Based on where your audience is, you’ll be able to decide where to invest your time. This scientific, evidence-based approach will mean that you are making your best decision based on the data you have collected and so therefore, should be finding exactly where your target audience is.
Define how to measure success.
This is true for every digital strategy, be it for a business, charity, or community group, but make sure that the efforts you are investing in social media, gives you the results that you need. This is where key performance metrics come into play. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) will keep you on track and focused on what you want to achieve.
Go back to your social media goals and set a KPI to each of them. If your goal is product brand awareness, then your KPI might be reaching 100 likes per month on Facebook, or 25 favorites per month on Twitter. Having an end goal applied to each achievement will help you craft the right message to get there.
Engagement metrics can often paint a better picture, because, building lasting relationships is what works best on any social media platform. Large audiences and likable content is all well and good, particularly if that is your goal, but here are some other metrics you might want to consider:
- Reach: Post reach is the number of unique users who saw your post. How far is your content spreading across social? Is it actually reaching your user’s timelines?
- Clicks: This is the amount of times a customer clicks on your content, company name or logo. Link clicks are critical toward understanding how users move through your marketing funnel. By tracking clicks per campaign allows you to have an essential understanding what drives an individuals’ curiosity or encourages them to buy.
- Engagement: This is the total number of social interactions divided by number of impressions. With engagement, it’s about seeing who interacted and if it was a good ratio out of your total reach. This helps you understand how well your audience perceives you and their willingness to interact with you and your content.
- Hashtag performance: What were your most used hashtags from your own posts? Which hashtags have been most associated with you or your brand? Or what hashtags generated the most engagement?
- Sentiment: This is the measurement of how users reacted to your content, brand or hashtag. Did customers find your recent campaign offensive? What type of sentiment are people associating with your campaign hashtag? It’s always better to dig deeper and find what people are saying.
- Organic and paid likes: These are more than just standard Likes, as these likes are differentiated from paid or organic content. For channels like Facebook, organic engagement is much harder to gain a market audience, which is why many brands turn to Facebook Ads. However, earning organic likes on Instagram isn’t quite as difficult.
Learn from the competition.
Before you start creating content, I would wholeheartedly endorse that you investigate your competitors. This should come before the content creation process because you will often find new ways to look at content by analysing what’s making your competitors successful.
Whether it’s a direct business competitor, or a community group with a similar mission or passion, having a strong understanding of what similar organisations are doing and saying on social media will be crucial towards helping you develop your own effective content.
Explore, review and survey the landscape. What has worked well for those identified competitors? Aim to learn as much as you can about how your common audience is responding to social content. While it’s important to keep yourself abreast of the latest trends, it will also save you time and reduce your own missteps in having to test everything yourself.
If nothing else, you will see what your competitors are doing: who, where, when, what and how they are marketing to their customers. This will give you an idea of what you need to be doing in order to identify your value proposition and what gives you a competitive edge against everyone else.
- Medium. 2018. 7 Step Social Media Marketing Strategy. [ONLINE] Available at: https://medium.com/@CustomerDevoted/7-step-social-media-marketing-strategy-for-2018-7bd50e808c23. [Accessed 13 February 2018].
Sprout Social. 2018. Sprout Social Media Marketing Guide 2018. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.scribd.com/document/396653288/Sprout-Social-Media-Marketing-Guide-2018. [Accessed 13 February 2018].
- Forbes. 2018. A Social Media Strategy Is About More Than Just Posting. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbescommunicationscouncil/2018/03/13/a-social-media-strategy-is-about-more-than-just-posting/#5fc3ed9b47ca. [Accessed 13 February 2018].