You’re probably already very aware of social media’s role in your digital marketing strategy, but is it something you’ve given enough attention to, and what more could you be doing to use your channels to drive new leads, build audiences and promote your brand?
Firstly, let’s quickly re-cap the benefits of an effective social media strategy…
1. Brand Awareness & Affinity
Social media channels allow you to present your brand in so many innovative ways – from images and short videos to regular written posts, polls, competitions and more, you’re able to focus on specific aspects of your business, whether it’s products, services, your ethical approach, your staff and more.
Your channels give you the chance to engage with your customers in conversations that help them get answers to questions, resolve any issues they may have, give feedback and more. It does require you to be alert to incoming messages and be ready to deal with questions in a timely and appropriate manner, but there are few things that can earn you respect in market than good, honest conversation!
3. Conversational insights
By engaging with audiences on your own channels and by watching the conversations they’re having on your competitor’s channels you’ll be able to gauge the market far more intuitively – what topics matter to your customers? How are your competitors responding? Are you responding appropriately, or could you do better? Could you differentiate your response in some way? Are you matching the language of your customers to build affinity?
4. Audience data
Your social channels will all bring you highly useful data through their internal analytics tools, and also send data to your analytical tools like Google Analytics to help you develop your marketing strategies going forward.
5. Referral traffic
The more engaging your social media channels, the more likely you’ll be able to include links to your website to encourage followers to convert to customers.
There are other residual benefits such as improved customer loyalty, audience growth through sharing, SEO improvements, improved customer services ratings and more.
You’re also able to integrate your social media with paid digital marketing campaigns that both target potential customers, and re-target visitors who have already shown an interest in your product or service.
How are you able to ensure that your social media strategy gives you these benefits?
That’s where we’re really headed with this article – as we asked at the beginning, does your current strategy align with these potential benefits, or should you be considering a few changes to kick-start things properly?
Firstly, you’ll need to make sure you’re up to speed on the key points of our 2021 Digital Strategy article .
It’s important to have goals, know your audience, have tracking in place and so forth…
But in terms of the day-to-day, what would we recommend? Well, from our perspective there are three key themes to focus on, as follows:
Simply put, doing posts or creating content in fits and spurts is really a big no-no. A quick check of the most successful brands on social media will show you that they have a regular stream of content on their various channels.
Hubspot suggests that one post per day is optimal, with a maximum of two posts. It does depend, of course, on the type of business – some businesses may need to post far more regularly, for example a news or information-orientated business.
This is one of the challenging aspects of consistent social media – finding enough relevant topics, creating enough relevant and engaging content, and ensuring a mix of formats such as images, written posts and videos can be a daunting task, and time consuming at that!
But with good planning and engaging with your staff and customers, you should be able to figure out some good themes to follow, and then break these down into content ideas that you can tease out over a short or longer period of time.
You’ll need to work out how best to create that content – is it an internal staff member? Should you hire a social media manager? Or should you outsource the task to a professional digital agency? Each of these options has benefits and challenges so it’s worth exploring them all.
3. Honesty and High Standards
The best social media content is content that is open, honest, helpful and transparent, and that focuses on real value and answers real questions that your customers may have.
It can be responsive i.e. a comment or post on a recent event, or it can be a brand content post, but be aware of sensitivities and make sure you don’t try and capitalize on an event that has negatively affected other people. A good example here is Covid-19 – there are many ways to let your customers know you’re there for them or have products or services that could help them but it’s all about how you present these on your social media channels.
Your content also needs to be inspiring, unique if possible and created to the highest standards. Pay attention to spelling, use images that have been well-taken, well-edited and honestly reflect the item you’re promoting.
Research good hashtags and present your posts neatly. Use enough paragraph breaks, for example, and stack your hashtags and @ tags neatly to help followers identify the different parts of your post easily.
Take the next steps to make social media an integral part of your business strategy
If you stick to the above principles and apply them to your content strategy that includes ongoing analytics and measurement, you’ll soon be able to see the benefits of your social media channels and how they help you to build new customer bases, affinity and brand awareness.
For help with all aspects of your social media strategy get in touch with us today on 01223 550800 or firstname.lastname@example.org.