Social media has become a key part of the modern marketing strategy for any business. Social media allows you to reach customers in a direct and personalized way. However, it can be difficult to know where to start with social media marketing, especially if you’re new to the field. That’s why I wrote this guide: to help you build an effective social media strategy that will grow your brand and boost sales. Here are all the steps that I recommend taking when setting up your first social media campaign:
Why social media is important
Social media is one of the most cost-effective ways of reaching a wide audience, especially when you consider the amount of time and money it would take to reach that many people through traditional advertising.
Social media also provides great opportunities for building trust and rapport with your target audience, as well as gaining more exposure for your business. The more followers you have on social media, the greater reach you’ll have. However, we won’t focus on this right now—we’ll talk soon about how to gain followers!
How to create a social media strategy
Before you can create a strategy, you need to define your goals. What do you want to achieve through social media? Do you want to increase brand awareness, or to drive sales?
What’s the purpose of your business? Are you trying to attract new customers, retain existing ones, or build loyalty among current customers? How do people engage with your products and services today, and how do they expect them to be delivered in the future? What kind of relationship would customers like with an organization such as yours – one that is professional yet friendly, or one based on shared values and beliefs?
Who exactly are your potential customers on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter − men or women; young professionals or senior citizens; working couples who have children at home; or single millennials living on their own for the first time? You’ll also need information about where these people live − whether it’s rural Iowa (which may affect the platform(s) that will best suit them) or urban Paris (where there may be strong cultural differences).
Define the budget available for this project – how much can be spent each month/quarter/year on advertising efforts across all platforms combined (including both paid ads & organic posts)? Also, define the resources available within the organization (i.e., employees who can contribute content regularly) versus externally (i.e., outside companies hired specifically for content creation purposes).
How to measure the success of your social media strategy
There are several ways for you to measure the success of your social media strategy:
Social media analytics
Social monitoring tools (such as Google Alerts)
Tracking your performance using these tools and reporting on it. You can use this data to improve your strategy and make sure that it’s working as planned.
The various types of social media
As a business owner, you’ve no doubt heard the term ‘social media’ bandied about fairly frequently. But what exactly does this designation mean? Social media is a broad term encompassing many different platforms. Social media includes any website or app that allows users to create and share content with their friends and followers. These platforms can range from photo-sharing sites like Instagram, to messaging apps like WhatsApp or Messenger, to social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter—the list goes on.
The benefits of using social media for your business are undeniable:
Social media gives you access to a huge audience (and all their personal information) and allows you to create an engaging online presence in order to drive sales and increase brand awareness. However, there are certain strategies that must be followed if these benefits are going to be realized. In this article, we’ll discuss some of these strategies. We will also mention how social media sites can help improve both traffic flow through various channels, as well as conversions on landing pages/product pages et cetera.
How to use social media to achieve specific goals –
Social media is a great tool for displaying your brand and products to consumers. The use of social media sites can help you promote new products and services, gather feedback from customers, build relationships with current and potential customers, and more.
Here are some ways of applying social media to achieve specific business goals:
Build awareness of your brand. Create content that’s interesting to your target audience, so that they’ll pay attention when you post about promotions or events. You might also want to run ad campaigns targeting people who are already familiar with your brand—or who have shown interest in purchasing something similar to what you sell—so they see ads on Facebook or Instagram while browsing the web.
Gain customer feedback on existing products/services, or ideas for new ones (via surveys). Many people don’t know exactly what they want until they see it; if this is true for your product line as well as many others, paying close attention should help guide improvements based on real needs rather than guesses at what could work best within this particular niche segment.]
How to create content for social media
- Create content that is relevant to your audience.
- Use images and video.
- And use a variety of platforms.
- Think about the end user.
- Use a social media calendar to plan posts for each platform, or use social media tools like Tweetdeck or Hootsuite to help you create content at scheduled times throughout the week.
When to post on social media
In terms of timing, there are a few matters to keep in mind.
Your audience is going to be online at different times, so it’s important to post during peak hours. Posting on weekends can thus be effective (and maybe even more effective than on weekdays), with people being more likely to be browsing social media during the weekend.
However, you should also try posting first thing in the morning or late at night—these are times when your followers may not expect much from you, but may simply check to see what’s new!
How to engage with your audience on social media
Engaging with your audience on social media requires more than simply posting content. It means engaging with the people who are interested in what you have to say. Here are four ways you can start:
- Respond to comments that people leave behind when they engage with your content.
- Answer questions they ask, especially if they’re general enough to apply across a number of different posts, rather than one particular topic.
- Use hashtags that relate directly to your brand or industry. Make sure that there’s someone from the company monitoring them regularly. As soon as someone starts using it, they should jump in and respond quickly. Others could do too much damage by hijacking the hashtag for unrelated purposes. Sometimes an immediate response isn’t possible due to time constraints. However, try finding ways around this by hiring an intern. Or you could ask an employee with more free time during weekdays than weekends. Many businesses aren’t open until later on during lunch hours − most people eat lunch anyways (so no need for alarm bells going off!).
- Share other people’s content in order to give credit where credit is due. Show followers how much research has gone into making sure everything is 100% accurate before publishing anything online. We all know how important accuracy is these days when trying to avoid lawsuits!
How to grow your social media following
- Focus on quality, not quantity.
- Use social media to connect with people you know.
- And, use social media to find new leads and customers.
- Use social media to find new partners and employees.
Best practices for social media
Consistency is key
If you want to build an engaged following and have them coming back for more, you need to be consistent with your posting schedule.
Try to post at least once a day if possible, even if it’s just a quick update or link sharing.
Also, post at the same time every day
It’s important that followers know when they can expect new content from you. If they don’t see anything from you one day, they’ll assume that nothing happened that was worth posting about (even though something could have happened!).
Use images and videos
Visuals are proven to increase engagement rates by up to 94%! You can also use videos, which tend to garner even higher response rates than still photos. Most people like watching things in motion (it grabs their attention).
Plus, use hashtags strategically and appropriately.
People who search for related topics will find your account on social media platforms such as Twitter or Instagram; this will help expand the reach of what you share online. Others may become interested after finding keywords related directly to the topic(s) their query stemmed from originally. First-hand knowledge is always better than simply relying upon second-hand accounts.
With a smart strategy, you can use social media effectively for your business
Social media is a powerful tool. You can use it to build your business, connect with customers, and drive sales. However, the key to success is having an effective strategy. Your strategy should be focused on your goals, what you want to achieve, and how you plan to get there—and it should be flexible enough that you can adjust your approach as needed, as things change.
With an effective social media strategy in place, you’ll be able to create meaningful connections between people who care about what you have to offer, and those who might benefit from using your products or services.
Creating a social media strategy is the first step to making your business more visible and successful. A good social media strategy will help you reach your goals by growing your audience, and increasing engagement, while driving traffic and sales. However, it’s important not just from a short-term perspective, but also in terms of long-term growth. While it may take some time to get results from your social media efforts, in the end, you will be rewarded by attracting new customers or clients sufficiently interested in what you do to engage with you online—and maybe even offline as well!