Over the past 20 years the way we communicate has been revolutionised.
Social media has brought a new way of connecting with people globally and has given businesses exciting opportunities to engage with their audience multiple times a day, attract new business, reach potential customers all over the world, and monitor competitors like never before.
As a social media manager, the key parts of my role are to create social media campaigns for clients, monitor these campaigns, make recommendations and changes to improve future ones, analyse social media insights and engage with relevant influencers.
It’s a fast-moving and varied role, and there’s never a dull moment!
For professional business purposes a strong social media marketing strategy can:
- Heighten brand awareness
- Accurately target audiences
- Strengthen your community and relationship with your stakeholders
- Increase customer satisfaction and positive brand perception
- Attract new customers worldwide
Developing a successful social media strategy can put you miles ahead of your peers, but it can also appear very overwhelming when starting out as there are so many platforms and ways to create content.
There are several informed decisions you must make before you step into the world of social media - because there are risks that need to be sensibly managed too.
Choose your social media platforms
It is a common misconception that every brand should be on every social media platform.
By doing this you will stretch yourself too thin, not pay enough attention to where you can perform best, and the result can be lack of direction and consistency.
To determine what social media platforms your business belongs on, first identify your audience. For example, if you are a B2B company focus on Linkedin or Twitter, if you are an up-and-coming brand targeting Gen Z focus on TikTok, if you are a visually reliant brand, such as art or fashion, focus on Instagram or YouTube.
There are obviously exceptions to this general guidance, and some organisations can absolutely smash their goals with the right type of content on any given platform, but an agency or experienced social media manager will be able to identify the best opportunities early and help you grow an audience fast while helping you avoid missteps.
Define your social media objectives
As with all campaigns and new strategies it is important to decide what your goals will be before you start.
This makes it easier to monitor its success and make necessary adjustments. They hold you accountable, determine your budget and can help determine the direction of future campaigns.
There are no “right” social media objectives, it is entirely dependent on your business and what its unique goals are.
Start with a broad objective, that covers the overall picture of what you want to achieve through social media. This can be anything from attracting more customers to launching a new range of products.
After this has been decided, look at each of your social insights, eg post reach, post engagement etc, and how much you want to increase them.
Targets can be set monthly and yearly allowing you to monitor them closely, see how well they are performing and fine tune your strategy if needed.
Be on brand
Branding is an essential part of helping your company stand out in the market, and this must carry through to your social media presence.
If you absolutely nail your social media branding it can make it much easier to achieve the objectives you have set out.
Everything from brand colours, tone of voice and logos must be consistent across your profile and tie into your brand ethos.
Social media is a primarily visual tool, so aligning your branding with the visuals increases brand recognition and customer loyalty.
If you are an established business it is likely that you already have defined your brand identity, but remember it may need tailored to suit the look and feel of social media so some degree of flexibility is required.
Consistency does not only apply to branding, but also across posting content on your chosen social media platform.
It is easy to get lost on a follower’s feed as you are battling against your competitors for space in front of the reader.
Consistent posting keeps you at the forefront of your followers’ minds so when they make a purchase decision, they are more likely to choose you.
The more your followers directly engage with your content the more it will be shown to them as the algorithm begins to understand what they are interested in seeing.
Every time you post it gives you an opportunity to increase your organic reach, however too much and you’ll spam your followers with content which can be irritating and potentially cause them to unfollow. Balance is key.
Experiment with content
Social media marketing does not often have a steady upward trajectory.
It comes with peaks and dips and valuable lessons.
There will be content that lands well with your followers, earning elevated levels of engagement and impressions, and there will be some that does not.
Do not be scared to experiment with the types of content you are posting until you have a clear idea of what your followers engage with best.
It is also important to not get into a routine of posting the same content over and over just because it has performed well, ‘rinse and repeat’ rarely works and it’s important to remember most social media users are there looking for something genuinely interesting to read, watch or listen to in their leisure time.
Allow for a wide variety that highlights different sides of your company, eg history of the brand, behind-the-scenes, staff showcases, development of a product after its launch or call to action special offer posts.
Followers will enjoy seeing various aspects of organisations they follow, and this increases trust and visibility. It is important to find the balance of content to keep interest piqued.
So on World Social Media Day 2022 my advice is don’t try to post everything everywhere all at once – give yourself the best chance of success by staying focused initially then building out on to other channels in a strategic way when you’ve found your sweet spot.
And of course if you need a helping hand with social media marketing from an award-winning team, get in touch via any of our social channels!