Social media, for a couple of years now, has become a key component for business success. It has become the norm for every new entrepreneur to create Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter accounts when thinking about starting a new venture. Existing businesses are not the exception too. Twenty (20) years old companies found themselves now, including social media expenses in their annual budget.
But is success in social media just limited to creating accounts and posting content?
How could both new and existing businesses design a social media strategy that adds value to their companies and produce excellent results?
These are four (4) steps that any business can use to design an active social media strategy.
- Set social media marketing goals
- Identify your target audience
- Perform an in-depth social media audit and competition analysis
- Decide on the right platform and the correct type of content
1.Set social media marketing goals
Anything destined to succeed needs bold but realistic goals. This also applies to social media marketing goals. These goals must align with the core of your marketing strategy. For clarity and ease, use the S.M.A.R.T goal-setting framework (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timely).
This framework calls out the need to define measurable metrics for success, which can be followers, mentions, clicks, etc.
This is an illustration of how marketing goals can align with social media marketing goals and be measured by clear metrics.
2. Identify your target audience
Most marketing components, even before the arrival of social media marketing, involve the concept of the target audience. Defining your target audience when designing your social media strategy is essential. It means first building persona on your ideal customer, and having all possible data about the people that constitute your target audience.
Creating an audience persona involves knowing age, location, occupation, average income, types of habits about your target customer.
When this is done, time needs to be spent on collecting as much information on this audience. You must know where they spend more time online, their favorite type of content, how long they spend connected every day.
Knowing these sets, you ready for an analysis of your social media presence.
3.Perform an in-depth social media audit and competition analysis
If you have already set up your social media accounts as a business, take some time and step back to retrospect. Look at all your posts and accounts or at least a considerable number of them, and ask yourself what has been working, what should we stop doing as a business, is it our post timing that has not to help us, do we need a social media calendar? Who are the people engaging us? Which platforms have been producing the most results?
This can seem like an exhausting task, but it will single-handedly change the face of your social media marketing if well performed.
Regarding your competition, it is worth spending some time on your competitors’ social media accounts to know what they are up to and, most importantly, what is expected in terms of social media content from your industry. This is not to copycat what they are doing. It is possible to be in the same industry and having different social media strategies. So be innovative and develop your voice for your social media presence.
4. Decide on the right platform and the correct type of content
Now that you have a significant understanding of your target audience, also know where you stand in your social media presence, and well aware of what your competition is up to, you can now define what will be the right platform and the right content for your business.
Social media manager, Angela Purcaro, said: “For our makeup tutorials … we’re all about Snapchat and Instagram Stories. Twitter, on the other hand, is designated for customer service.” You need to understand the context of every platform and know the type of content that gets attention there. LinkedIn, for example, is seen as a more professional platform, so posting quite lengthy articles there with in-depth knowledge will be a good thing. While doing the same thing on Instagram will not get as much attention, as Instagram is more preferred for quality pictures and videos, with short captions.
In regards to content, testing different tones or formats of content will help massively as well as creating polls for your audience so that they tell you what they need and expect from you. That way, you are sure not to waste time and delivery on the right platform in the right way to the right people.
Tip: Be consistent with the colors you choose for all your social media post as it helps clear the noise around your brand identity and makes you stand out in the masses.
Now that you have a social media strategy designed for your business, follow it carefully, and take some time every week or two to see how you are performing in the grand scheme.