Creating a dominant social media presence is not an easy task. Anyone who has ever done it knows just how challenging it can be. You are competing against dozens of other brands for a slice of the attention span of the same audience. So, it calls for some really creative social media strategy in order to succeed.
But, what if I told you there was a formula...a road map to social media success that the gurus have been using with great success? It matters not your industry or niche, by following these ten steps, you will develop a social media strategy that has a real impact on your brand value and ultimately, your bottom line.
1. Begin with a review of your social media
This is the first step to success. You need to examine how you are currently using social media. Which networks are working for you and which aren’t? Is it worth your time and effort to work on some networks? But, and most importantly, which network does your target audience spend most of their time? The best way to get this information is to ask your audience! Do this by making use of polls, email or freebies in exchange for completing a short survey.
What kind of content do you often create/share?
Social networks are vastly different, the kind of content that would do well on Facebook, would probably not do so well on Twitter. Twitter is a micro blogging platform excellent for short blurbs of useful information, sound bytes and little nuggets of information. Facebook does better with longer form content, images and even video while YouTube is great for videos. So, you need to look at your content carefully and decide the best platform. As a guide:
· Use YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook Live and Periscope for video content.
· Use Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest for visual content.
· Use Twitter for short content blurbs.
· Use LinkedIn for business focused content.
Which platform is best for your industry?
The next thing you need to do is ask yourself whether your chosen platform is a good fit for your industry. As a an example, a gym would probably use YouTube to post workouts.
Align your goals with your audience
Any marketing communication that goes out must be carefully aligned with your audience. Be clear on what you want to achieve and whom you want to connect with then share your value in a manner that resonates with your target.
Understand your customer’s buying process
How do customers arrive at your “doorstep”? You need to map this entire process in order to create a strategy that appeals to your target audience.
The next step is to optimize your social networks. Never use one-size-fits-all strategy. Ensure your messages are customized for each social network as follows:
· Identify what your audience seeks.
· Personalize the message by segmenting the audience by demographics, psychographics, behavior or by geographic location depending on your needs. This will help you create better conversations.
· Finally, optimize each social network to attain a custom experience.
Next, test your content on each network and come with a way to get actionable data.
3. Create Specific Goals
Next, create specific goals that you want to achieve. When creating goals, follow the SMART method of creating goals. Every goal must be SPECIFIC, MEASURABLE, ASSIGNABLE, REALISTIC AND TIME RELATED. And, once you have established what you want to achieve in clear terms, you need to actually start doing it.
4. Design a content strategy
The first rule of content it to create great content. If you are going to make a half-hearted attempt, don’t even start. If you can’t create the content yourself, hire an expert to do it. You can hire social media content experts at some of the big freelancing sites. Next, make sure your content has visual elements; everyone loves eye candy. And, don’t forget video. In fact all existing research indicates that millennials prefer video content.
Next, put your social media plan into motion. The best way to get this done is to have a content calendar with a separate column for every social network showing an example of the type of media you intend to share. You should also make use of any one of the many social media tools that come with a calendar to make forward planning easy. With automation, you can also schedule your content to post automatically.
6. Make sure the team has the same mindset
Many people often forget that success comes about when the entire team in the organization understands the desired end result, the plans put in place and their role in the plan. Make sure the team shares the same vision.
7. Monitor, Measure and Make Changes
Once your plan is motion, track your progress and see what is working for you. For this, you will need a social media monitoring tool. There are a number of great tools. Some are free while some have a free starter plan with an option to upgrade to a pro account.
8. Rinse and Repeat
Once you identify what works for you, replicate success by going back to step one through to six every so often.
Success begins with an honest situation analysis – your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. You also need to take due cognizance of the fact that the social media landscape is changing rapidly, you must therefore have your finger on the pulse of your audience at all times to remain successful.
Disclosure: This is a guest post.