If you’re reading this, you probably already know that your company should be on social media. Let’s face it, whether you like it or not, it’s hard to ignore the great power of social media. This digital world became a part of our everyday lives and if you use it to your advantage it can transform your business.
With a little budget you can reach your clients through casual and fun advertising that doesn’t feel like advertising. The problem is, that all your competitors are also online. How can you stand out among them? What should you be doing differently? I bet not everyone has a social media strategy – a plan that can raise your brand awareness and increase sales.
Where do you start?
Set your goals.
The first step in creating a social media strategy is to set your goals. Ask yourself why do need social media in the first place. Is it for brand awareness? Higher sales? Improved customer service? What do you want to achieve?
Answering all those questions will help you with creating your strategic plan. Make sure your goals are realistic and you take into account all the potential limitations. Social Media is a great marketing tool however you need to bear in mind that it takes a while to see the results.
Get to know your clients.
I think this is the most important step in your social media strategy. You need to know and understand your target audience. How can you impress them if you don’t know everything about them? The best thing you can do is to create a profile of your ideal client. Ask yourself, what their name is, the age, where do they work, what they find interesting, funny and boring. Find out about every aspect of their life. Do they have children? Do they work a lot? What makes them tick?
This way you will know not only what to post online but also where and when. Not everyone is on every single social media platform. Don’t stress about being everywhere, just make your company’s profile is wherever your clients are. Knowing their habits will also indicate when to publish your content.
If your clients work 9-5, try to post before they start work, during the lunch time or in the evening. This is very important aspect of your social media strategy. If you put yourself in their shoes, you’ll be able to find out what they would like to see online. This is simply the secret of getting more followers, likes and even going viral.
Understanding your audience is like becoming someone’s friend. It’s not going to happen overnight. You need to get to know them and build the trust before they become your loyal followers. Bear in mind that social media is not another advertising platform.
The rule is that only 20% of your published content should be promotional. People don’t like adverts so don’t bombard them every day with pictures of your product. Try to engage them in discussion, make them laugh and you’ll win them over. There is no secret that people tend to buy from brands they like and follow online.
Once you put your plan in place it’s very important that you analyse your results. How else will you be able to tell what works and what doesn’t? Social media is a platform where it’s important to experiment with your content. Try different things (articles, videos, graphics and photos) and then measure whether they work or not. It’s very important that you analyse every single post to see which one gains the highest reach and engagement. This will also help to determine at what time you should schedule your posts.
I also advise you to plan carefully your strategy and research your competition. There is a high chance they will inspire your own strategy. Pick a few competitors and watch how they manage their social media. This is a great way to learn from their successes and mistakes.
Implementing effective social media strategy can be sometimes a bit overwhelming however after a while you’ll notice the difference. The number of likes will increase, you’ll reach bigger audiences and your brand will become more recognizable. Eventually, your followers will turn into potential clients and bigger sales. This all takes time and energy, but you should remember that consistency is a key in successful marketing strategy. You can either do it yourself or get a professional help. Whichever you choose you’ll soon realize that effective social media strategy can transform your business.
Guest Author: Sara Tomaszewska – CEO and managing director of Little Media Bureau, a social media agency based in Birmingham, UK, that gives small businesses a chance to succeed and stand out among their competitors.