Master Social Media in 10 Simple Steps
Having a social media presence is no longer a ‘nice-to-have’, it is expected.
Genuine success with social media starts with clearly defined objectives and a detailed understanding of your target audience. When you articulate your story in a way that shows your audience quite simply what your business represents, what you can do for them, and why they should be engaged, they will start to convey the story for you — social sharing will strengthen your message, which will enable you to reach a wider audience, achieve brand recognition and generate new customer leads.
Creating a social media marketing strategy is essential in order to achieve a successful campaign. Here are a few key pointers to help you get started:-
1. Know your target market
The behaviour of social media followers vary according to their demographics. Do your research — get to know your audience. It’s vital that you understand their needs and the problems your business can help them solve. Identify what platforms your audience is using, and when and why, so ultimately you can reach and engage with the right audience without wasting time, energy and money.
2. Mindfully craft your content
Strive to create compelling content, content that will appeal to your target audience. Be sure to carefully think through your message and the goal of each post. Don’t create content for the sake of it; be relevant, don’t repeat yourself and use media-rich images which will increase engagement. It’s also a good idea to monitor current trends and competitor activity.
3. Build an integrated social media strategy
There are hundreds of social media networks out there, but don’t be duped. Your business does not have to have a presence on every one; just pick those that will be most effective. However, keep in mind that the most profitable businesses implement a multi-platform strategy, to acquiring the greatest exposure and traction.
Let me ask you a question — “What does your business want to achieve?” Do you want to increase user engagement? Build brand recognition? Increase traffic to your website? Grow your revenue perhaps? Or maybe you want create an online buzz around the launch of a new product? You must know the answer to these questions, taking into consideration both your long-term and short-term objectives.
4. Know your brand
When a visitor lands on your social media platform, they should recognise your brand — logo, font, message, colours, graphics, and tone of voice. As you begin to set up a presence on different social media platforms, it is imperative that your brand remains recognisable and consistent, and in line with your website and marketing collateral.
5. Test content and measure outcomes
You aren’t one dimensional and neither is your audience. Repeatedly test content, images, links to features and video content. Also, consider days and times — when is the best time to catch your audience online? Find out when then schedule your tweets (I use Hootsuite).
Social media is a great place to get creative — and it’s easy to own — you just need to learn how!
6. Interact with your audience
Once your content begins to gain traction and as audience engagement increases, be sure to interact, respond, and stay involved in online conversations; real-time. Followers can be fickle, so it is important to make them feel valued otherwise you may lose them to your competitors.
7. Follow the 70/30 rule
The 70/30 rule depicts that a business should spend 70% of their time engaging in interactive and entertaining content. Whereas the other 30% should be spent promoting your business — do not bombard them with sales promotions.
8. Analyse your results
Analysis should be the backbone of any social media campaign.
Let me ask you another question — “Do you know what works on your social media platforms? Or even, what does not?” Analysing your results will prove what tactics (said in the loosest of terms) work and what do not; it can save you a lot of wasted time, energy and money — these are precious commodities in marketing.
Track your efforts today, to figure out the best formula for success for your business, tomorrow.
9. Monitor industry trends
Keep your finger on the pulse — identify key trends and competitor activity; this should be at the top of your daily to-do list. Share with your audience breaking news, trending topics, or relevant industry insights. It’s all about giving your audience the tools they need to make an informed decision to engage, whilst positioning your business as a credible and reliable source.
10. Review, revise, rework
Social media is fluid, which is why your integrated social media strategy must remain agile. Gather results from your campaigns, then compare and contrast — build a social media dashboard to keep track of your results. I guarantee that soon you will learn what won’t work for your audience and your business. And most importantly, what does.
To conclude. Unfortunately, there are no ‘one-size fits all’ solutions to mastering social media as digital platforms are continually evolving. However, it is vital to keep an open mind — never be afraid to test new concepts or even to stay with a concept that consistently produces great results. A/B testing, a model that compares the results of a new concept with the control (your most successful campaign) will help you make more informed decisions.
Lastly, test, TeSt, TEST!