If you have tried to create a social media strategy, and found it difficult to stay focussed or to clearly define your social media goals, you’re not alone.
Marketing experts are drilling it into our brains: Every Brand Needs a Social Media Strategy.
But how are you to proceed if you’re not sure about what you’re trying to accomplish, how you’re going to measure that accomplishment, or the best tactics for growing your brand, as a whole?
Whew! It really can seem daunting…
Unless you have some simple, targeted advice for moving forward in the social media realm—with real, quantifiable results.
That’s what I’m delivering to you today.
Developing a Social Media Strategy that Works
Too often, marketers and brand builders look at social media goals as stand-alone propositions. What do we wish to accomplish with social media? When, in fact, what they should be asking is this: What are our business goals? Because, after all, our social media strategies don’t exist just to improve our social media presences, but to benefit our brands. “Social media is just rented land,” as we’ve been reminded of by Jude Hill in a recent Ask the Experts sessions in the How to Build a Brand Facebook group.
What we accomplish on social media has to be for a larger purpose, and it has to be taken offline, to accomplish goals beyond feeding our egos with a record number of likes, comments and shares.
- STEP ONE: Define Your Brand Goals. As mentioned above, your social media business pages exist to build your brand, not to build themselves. So let’s forget about the social media strategy for a moment, and just get organic in the naming of goals. Do you want to build more brand awareness, because not enough of the right people know about your brand? Do you need to increase engagement, because people don’t feel involved or emotionally engrossed by your brand? Do you need to increase traffic to your website, to improve rankings and movement through your sales funnel? Do you need to increase profits, in order to fund the hiring of more team members or to ramp up R&D for a new product? Do you wish to increase the number of sales leads coming into your business? Are you hoping for an upsurge in event participation? Do you need to conduct more market research, to get a better handle on what your ideal customer wants and needs? No matter your brand’s specific goals, record them, focus on them and adopt them into your daily thoughts. When you’re clear on what those goals are, and why your brand needs to accomplish them, ensure that all team members understand the objectives and their importance.
- STEP TWO: Name Your Social Media Goals. Now that you understand what you need to accomplish, as far as the big picture, it’s time to decide what level of engagement you’ll need through social media in order to realise those business goals. It’s important that you get specific with your social media goals. Considering your current social media engagement stats, how many more followers, likes, comments and/or shares will you need to reach your business goals? If you want to raise website traffic by 50%, set a goal to increase your website content sharing by at least 50% (for example). Monitor and adjust until your business goal is reached.
- STEP THREE: Plan your Social Media Tactics. On that same note, you must start somewhere with individual social media tactics, and you can make an educated guess as to what will work best (and adjust from there). If you need more traffic to your website, use social media posts (e.g. content sharing) to alert people to what’s going on at your website; give them a taste of the content—a teaser—and invite them back to your site for the rest of the story. If you need to mentally and emotionally engage more people, so they’ll show more brand loyalty and talk about your business to others, consider live streaming social media video in which you welcome questions, a contest they can submit to in the comments, or increased exchanges that ask followers for their opinions and put their needs first. If you’re hoping to get maximum attention for a product you’re about to release, create an unveiling event on social media or launch a social-media-based free-giveaway campaign that your ideal customers won’t be able to resist. Take note of what your audience responds to most heavily—and do more of that. Proceed in this way, and your social media strategy will not only be more effective, it will be more focussed—so you’re not wasting time posting what won’t work. Continually measure and adjust. Consumer trends will change. Your ideal customer’s needs will change. The market and your industry will change. Be the first to predict and respond, and you will win.
If you haven’t yet created a social media strategy, I trust this will help to get you started. If you already have one, and feel that it could be working more efficiently and effectively, I urge you to implement the above advice and then let me know how you’re getting on.
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