How To Create, Monitor And Optimise Your Social Media Strategy
Social media might be something everyone does, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. This is especially the case for business owners. Locking down a solid social media strategy takes time, effort and plenty of research.
But if you’re reading this then you obviously want to get it right, right? Read on to find out how to make every post, every comment and every interaction with a customer count.
Did you know that 95% of adults aged 18 to 34 follow at least one brand on social media? That’s a huge market of potential customers to get your business on top of the competition. But figures are one thing – actually converting those eyes into dollars takes a smart strategy, and not everyone is doing it right.
In fact, most businesses aren’t doing social media right. Research from Smart Insights found that 80% of businesses reckon they are delivering an exceptional customer service experience on social media, when in fact only 8% – that’s right, just 8%!– of customers agree.
We’ve put together six key steps to creating a social media strategy that works for both you and your customers.
Make your goals SMART
You’re no doubt a business veteran who’s worked for a number of companies in your life, so you’ve probably come across the SMART acronym before. But do you know what it’s all about? And, more importantly, can you apply it to your goals?
Sit down and write out your goals. Having a visual description of what you want is always better than ideas just floating around in your head. Now it’s time to analyse them. Are they:
Specific (well-defined and easy to understand)
Measurable (including descriptive criteria)
Achievable (within the realms of possibility)
Realistic (relevant to your social media and brand), and
Timely (including a clearly defined target deadline)?
If not, it’s time to investigate how to build SMART social media goals and then get back to the drawing board.
Narrow your channel focus
Do you feel like there’s never enough time to tend to all your social media duties? Does the mere thought of publishing an update across all platforms tear you apart inside? It could be because you’re trying to do all things for everybody.
But a sound social media strategy shouldn’t take a scattergun approach. Instead, you need to narrow your focus and dedicate your social media time to a few select platforms. Is the best way to advertise your business through visuals? Then Instagram is where you will get the most traction. Are your clients and competitors in the professional space? Publishing thought-leadership pieces on LinkedIn could be a solid bet.
Too many social media accounts can actually damage your brand, so focus on what works and make those one or two platforms really shine.
Really, truly understand your audience
Do you think you know your customers? Maybe your regular interactions (either in-person or online) make you feel like a master of knowing exactly what they want from you. But if your social media isn’t giving you the returns you expect, it could be because you’ve misread their desires.
Your audience on social media will likely be very different to what they are like in real life. This is because their feeds are already so busy that they will only engage with content that speaks to them. Get their direct feedback and start rebuilding your social brand around that. Furthermore, by truly understanding your audience you are able to generate greater ROI from your paid social campaigns too. By creating social ads that are relevant to your target audience you increase you chance to lower CPA costs and reach more people within the same budget.
Monitor the competition
You should always be watching what your competitors are doing. In terms of social media, if they are on a particular platform and finding success, you need to be there as well.
Also use your general sleuthing senses to find out what they are publishing. Are their blogs getting huge hits, subsequently sending traffic to their online store? Are people commenting on their photos and generating organic conversations? There’s no shame in copying the competition if what they are doing is working!
You might find that you simply don’t have enough time in the day to focus on all your social media efforts – let alone build a complete social media strategy for your business.
A social media audit is a must for any business owner who wants to leverage the power of social. So if you can’t handle it on your own, it’s well worth investing in a social media expert who can audit your platforms and advise you on the best approach for your business moving forward.
Additionally auditing your paid social campaigns is also beneficial to tweak and adjust your campaigns to increase resonance and in turn improve CPA.
Monitor, analyse, rectify… repeat
The final step is to actually make use of the data you’ve accumulated. By this stage you’ll have loads of information on what channels you’re using, their success (or failure) metrics, as well as what your competition is up to. Use those analytics to find out where you need to change for the better.
This is especially true when you have paid campaigns running. It is important to monitor them to ensure they are performing as expected and if they are not, take the time to analyse what is going wrong and tweak the campaign settings to rectify the problem.
And don’t stop there.
Every six to 12 months, take some time to revise your social media strategy and adjust wherever necessary.
Want a comprehensive social media strategy but don’t have the time to do it yourself? Contact us to find out how we can match the perfect social strategy to your brand.
You can also read more about content, social media and all things marketing at The Beat.