There’s no doubt that social media can be a powerful tool for businesses of all sorts. But the fact is that it’s only worthwhile when one goes about it wisely. What does that mean? Being smart about social media strategy encompasses several things. Consider just a handful of the many ways you can make the most of social media for your business.
Not every platform will be a good fit for your business. Instead of wasting valuable time and resources trying to make things work on those platforms, it’s best to focus on the social networks that you can use most effectively. In other words, you need to concentrate your efforts. How can you do this?
Starting out with just one platform can allow you to get comfortable with a variety of available features. The more familiar you are with how things work, the easier it will be to figure out what works and what doesn’t as you experiment with different methods.
You also have the opportunity to observe your audience, the way they typically use that particular platform, as well as how they interact with you. By observing, experimenting, analyzing results and optimizing, you’ll eventually become well-versed in the platform of your choice.
On the other hand, you could also focus your attention on the handful of social networks that make the most sense for your business. This might be a good idea if you really want to get the word out about your business. You’ll increase your visibility by being active in several places.
Of course, your strategy won’t be flawless right off the bat. The same process of observing, testing and tweaking would still take place behind-the-scenes. But if you feel that taking it one platform at a time wouldn’t be the best route, you can take on more.
Just be sure that you don’t spread yourself or your team too thin. You want to be active on each platform you choose and aim for maximum results. That requires maximum focus and effort, which you won’t have if you’ve got too much to worry about.
Without a social media marketing plan, you have no idea what you’re working towards of how to get there. As a result, you waste precious time and resources, which ultimately costs you money. What exactly does planning involve?
First off, you need to set goals. In order to do this, though, you need to know the state of things currently. Sit down and examine your current social media situation. Are you active on your chosen platforms? How many followers do you have? Are your followers engaging with you and vice versa? How many leads do your accounts generate?
Once you identify the areas where you can and should improve, set reasonable goals. Don’t forget to set a date by which you aim to reach your goals. It will help to keep you on track.
What metrics are most important will depend on what goals you’ve set. Before you set your social media marketing campaigns in motion, determine the key metrics that you’ll need to keep in mind. Already knowing what they are will make it easier to track your progress as you go along.
Goals are the “what” portion of your strategy. Metrics are the “where (am I?)” portion. What’s left? The “how”. How will you reach the goals you’ve set?
Not every action will get you closer to a specific target. That’s why you need to figure out the actions that will get you where you want to be. Once you nail this down, you’re ready to start implementing your plan.
The built-in analytics tools that most platforms provide today, such as with Facebook Insights, are invaluable. Not only should you be keeping tabs on these metrics, but you should also be figuring out how to use what you find. Your success shouldn’t be left to chance; your strategy shouldn’t be a compilation of uneducated guesses as to what will work. Act based on evidence, aka analytics.
A good place to start your examination is with your top-performing posts. Do you notice a common thread or threads as far as the type of language you used? If so, you’ve gained some valuable insight into what appeals to your audience.
Next, take a look at posts that included links to your blog posts. Which ones got the most likes? Which ones were shared the most? The answers can give you an idea of what content you could use for boosted posts and other forms of paid advertising.
Mentioned above are some of the key ways you can set yourself up for success on social media. Yet, there are many other things you can and should do. Like what?
• Competitor research can be helpful in determining which channels and tactics are working best for the competition.
• Hashtags can bring more traffic to your accounts. You can then direct that traffic along to your website.
• Reposting content periodically can ensure that your content gets the widest distribution possible.
The list goes on and on, really. But if you start out with the core fundamentals discussed in this post, you’ll have a solid foundation to build on.