Social media is a fantastic tool for your business to employ, when used in the right ways. Thankfully, these platforms have created simple, easy means to get connected and started in social media. However, just claiming a name and making a few posts is not likely the best means to drive your business forward.
To make social media the right tool for you, there are essential steps to take to ensure your company gets the most out of your social media efforts. Before investing in social media activity, it is imperative to conduct some external research and introspective study to align social media efforts with your company’s strengths and opportunities.
In this blog post, we will discuss some of the action steps and key decisions that will help you generate a successful social media strategy.
For social media to be effective, it must help you achieve your business goals. Accordingly, only those social media platforms that support your business goals should be pursued. Proper social media marketing requires significant time and energy, so be sure to maximize your efficiency by choosing only those platforms that make sense for your company.
Document your social media goals so you can track and evaluate your level of success. Defining the right goals can be tricky, and we at Hughes Media are here to help whenever needed. However these basic goals are worthy of consideration:
- Higher sales – whether online or in person, social media should help bring in more customers.
- Increased trust – through strong content, become a known expert in your specialty area and improve awareness of your brand as an industry leader.
- Customer engagement – social media should draw your customers closer to your business and build a relationship that lasts.
To reach your audience effectively, you first need to know who they are, what interests them, and what factors will drive them to your business for the answers they seek. It is often best to start with a small audience and establish success. Then it is easier to expand by attracting customers in related audiences.
You need to know also which social media platforms are preferred by your audience and how to engage them best in those outlets. By using their preferred media, your efforts will be embraced faster.
Through consistent and engaging interactions, you can become a friend to them and gain their trust and loyalty.
Spend some time researching your competition’s social media campaigns. See what seems to be working and build on that within your strategy. There’s no reason to “reinvent the wheel” when you can glean successful ideas from others.
Also, identify opportunities to connect with your audience that the competition is not using and exploit those to your advantage. Certainly, there are strengths you possess that can take advantage of a competitor’s omission.
Review the previous 3 steps and begin to put together plans for content that will meet your business goals while resonating with your audience. Be sure to include a healthy balance of value-added content with your promotional material. Too much self-promotion will push away followers, while too little will not achieve your goals.
Stay focused on your target audience, and don’t stray from your identified plan. Capture your first audience, and then grow to new areas of opportunity. Growing in this way will develop healthy and loyal relationships with customers to keep them coming back time and again.
As video content is growing in popularity, be sure to use this form of outreach when it makes sense with your strategy. Videos might include product overviews, expert advice, reviews, and even testimonials from happy customers.
The only way to know if your social media strategy is working is to consistently measure success and opportunities for improvement. Regularly monitor key metrics to assess what is working and what is not. Here are some target areas to watch:
- Is your audience growing? If so, what caused the growth? If not, why not?
- Are clicks increasing? If so, what led to the increase? If not, how can you improve?
- Have sales grown? If so, can you trace this to any particular effort? If not, evaluate why.
- What is the competition doing by comparison?
A strong social media strategy aligned with your business goals is crucial to your success. We hope these thoughts will get you on the right track to develop a winning strategy for your company. As we at Hughes Media can serve as a resource or a partner, we will look forward to guiding you through the process.
About the Author:
Deedra is a graduate of Ohio University with a Communications Marketing degree, is certified in both Google Adwords and Google Analytics, and has been trained in EOS (Entrepreneurial Operating System) for small to mid-size businesses. She is a member of Vistage, SEMPO, and the Atlanta Interactive Marketing Association. She is also the President of the Board of Directors for Cumberland Academy of Georgia. She has been featured as a key speaker on SEO and social media, as well as other various digital marketing topics...