To the uninitiated, executing a top-notch social media strategy seems easy. After all, you only have to be informal, witty, and customer-centric, right? In reality, however, social media isn’t as easy as it might appear. Behind all that jazz is hard work, a continued effort to keep up with pop culture, and, above all else, the information that the company is trying to communicate with its customers.
Coming up with the winning social media formula isn’t simple, but it’s an endeavor well worth pursuing. Here are a few ways you can start taking your social media game to the next level.
Understand Your Company
Social media is all about encouraging your followers to take pride in what you do and in what makes you unique. But you can’t truly succeed on social media until you fully understand what separates you from the pack. In other words, if you don’t know your business inside and out, you can’t adequately communicate what makes your company special. Look inside and find the soul of your company — that which separates you from your competition. That could be the products you offer, the backgrounds of your employees, or the customer experience you provide — or, most likely, some combination of these factors.
Understand Your Customers
The goal of every business is to keep current customers happy while simultaneously attracting new customers. Social media can help you do just that, as long as you understand who you’re marketing to. Get to know your audience, their needs, and their wants. Learn the personality of your average customer and what that personality type wants from social media.
Figure out what forms of advertising your audience likes to consume. Look at customer paths to purchase and determine what influences them to buy. This level of research may seem a bit granular, but these are the building blocks of your social media strategy. The information you learn about your current audience will help you to present a compelling package to those unfamiliar with your brand.
Identify Your Ideal Medium
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to join every single social media platform in existence to have a strong social media strategy. In fact, it’s advisable to just stick to the one or two platforms that will work best for you, at least until you learn the ropes. For instance, if your business doesn’t deal with breaking news or distributing content, you don’t always need to place a great deal of emphasis on Twitter. And if your business doesn’t lend itself to images — if you run a printing press, for instance — you can likely skip Instagram for the time being.
Instead of spreading yourself too thin trying to do too much on social media, just pick the sites that work best for your business. If you produce video content, you’ll want to be on YouTube. If you want to appeal to the younger demographic, focus on Instagram and Snapchat. If you simply want to learn the ropes of social media as you go, start with Facebook and figure things out there. Start slow and build from the ground up.
Although it might not seem like it, no successful business just posts on social media without putting any thought into it. The best social media strategists see their posts as simply an extension of an overarching plan. If the company is having a sale, social media is a great way to let the right people know. If the company is launching a charitable initiative, use social media’s reach to spread the word. It’s as simple as that. And yet, it’s not that simple.
Everyone knows someone on social media that posts way too much and annoys their friends as a result. You don’t want to be that business. But if you don’t keep your posts organized, it’s very easy to become obnoxious, which obviously will inhibit your ability to garner a following. Keep your posts consistent and organized, and ensure that all of your posts have a purpose.
Posting links to informative blog content shouldn’t be done only for the sake of posting something — it should be done to build customer knowledge so that they’ll be motivated to buy when you launch a specific promotion.
React to the World Around You
While it’s important to stay organized, social media is where businesses and consumers alike can let their hair down and have a little fun, and your social media strategy should absolutely incorporate this sentiment. If the Super Bowl is coming up, create content that incorporates the game and solicits responses from your customers. If something big happened on Game of Thrones last night, refer to it in your first social media post after the show aired. The possibilities are endless, but always remember why you’re developing this social media strategy in the first place. Irreverent and timely content is great, but only if it serves your greater purpose of attracting interest and driving traffic to your website.
And that’s it. As hard as social media can seemingly be to master, it’s actually quite manageable if you have a plan and stick to it — and as long as that plan is based solely on understanding your business and your customers. If you nail these aspects of social media, you’ll find that a little investment in social media can pay off big-time, and if you need help getting started with social media, contact us today.