How to Develop an Effective Social Strategy in 5 Easy Steps
Is your social media presence like many businesses these days? Do you have a set it and forget it policy, posting content every once in awhile without thinking about a strategy?
It’s time to put that practice to an end!
A smart social strategy is essential in today’s crowded social media market. With more people posting pictures, videos, and updates, you need an effective strategy to help you rise above the noise and get heard.
Social Media Made Easy
Here are five steps to help you develop that strategy and start making money from your social media efforts.
1. Define Measurable Objectives
Before you begin any campaign, you need to know what you’re aiming to achieve. In social media marketing, defining your objectives is even more important than usual. That’s because the social media marketing channel has such a wide variety of possible outcomes. Knowing what you want to achieve is critical so that you can guide each post.
Some of the most common measurable objectives that marketers strive for include:
- Vanity metrics. This is the number of fans or followers you have on each platform. These numbers make you look good but aren’t strong enough to determine overall social success. That’s because even if you have thousands of followers, you might not have any engagement, which means your social strategy is a bust.
- Mentions. How many people are mentioning your brand? The more your company gets people talking, the wider your reach on social media.
- Traffic. When you post, how many people click through to your website to learn more about your company? These referrals show interest. Conversions from those referrals show the ROI of your social media investments.
Choose a variety of goals. For example, start by aiming for more fans or followers. That’ll show interest on social media, but your measurement shouldn’t stop there.
Continue to monitor how those fans and followers engage with your brand. The real value of your social media marketing is shown in the number of social media referrals that buy.
2. Develop a Plan
With your objectives in mind, it’s time to outline a plan. What specific steps will you take to generate awareness and drive engagement?
Here are some examples of actionable steps you might want to include in your plan:
- Which platforms will you use?
Before you decide what and when to post, consider your audience. Does your buyer resonate more with imagery? Then Pinterest or Instagram might be a better fit than LinkedIn. Look at how people use each social media platform and then decide where your business can add the most value. You don’t have to (and shouldn’t) choose to be active on all social media platforms.
- Who has the biggest influence on your buyers? Who are the biggest influencers on the social media platforms of your choice? Each industry has certain people who are trusted and well respected. Find those people and add their contact information to your social media Rolodex.
“Social influencers,” as they’re known, are social media users with a strong group of active, engaged followers. While many social influencers tend to have large followings, what’s more important than the number of followers is how many of them will mention, respond to or share an influencer’s posts. – Nicole Fallon, Business News Daily
- How will you build relationships? Once you’ve set up your profile, you need to join the conversation – but how? Decide what you need to do to strengthen your relationships with your fans and followers. Include specific, actionable steps for engaging with others.
- What are potential stumbling blocks? Just about every strategy leaves the opportunity for something to go wrong. Anticipating these stumbling blocks before they happen helps. For example, who will be managing your social media profiles? If they leave, what will happen? Have a backup plan so that turnover doesn’t effect your social media success.
Your plan is your business’s guide. Give it a healthy amount of thought before you start your marketing efforts.
3. Dive In
You have your plan; now it’s time to dive in. Put the wheels in motion and start implementing what you strategized.
Participate in the conversation daily. Engage with your fans and followers. They want to hear from you. The more you keep the conversation going, the more likely you are to see measurable results from social media.
4. Measure & Evaluate Results
Remember those goals you set up for your business in Step 1? It’s time to measure!
As your social strategy gets going, keep an eye on your analytics. Watch for:
- Brand awareness across all channels in the forms of mentions, an uptick in fans or followers, and engagement.
- A shift in overall sentiment about your brand. What people say is just as important as how often they say it. Make sure your social strategy is maintaining a positive feeling instead of inciting too much controversy.
- Traffic to your website. Are people visiting you? Are they buying from you? What type of traffic are you getting?
Monitor your analytics to determine what’s working and what’s falling short, and then…
5. Adapt & Improve
It’s not enough to guess what people want from your business. You need to listen to the market.
Based on your evaluation of what’s working and what isn’t, you can adapt your strategy. Social media is a fluid channel. Adapting and improving should be part of your strategy.
Look at the topics your customers like the most. What do they want to hear from you? Give them more of that and less of what they’re not interested in.
Ready to Begin?
Now it’s your turn. Follow these five steps to creating and continually evolving your social strategy. The more you pay attention to your analytics, and then adapt and improve based your findings, the more effective your social strategy will be.
Are you a retailer who wants more tips for social media success? Contact me today.