Social media has proven itself to be one of the most powerful and useful methods to advertise for small businesses and corporations alike. Businesses from all around the globe are finding that they can generate better leads, create brand recognition, and increase their profits across a wide array of platforms. Yet, despite this, many businesses still have a hard time success for their businesses on social media. Why is that? The short answer is that many businesses fail to create a successful social media strategy before they start posting.
This can lead to sporadic posting that doesn’t really work towards a measurable goal– and with no goal in mind, every post is really just a shot in the dark. So how do we overcome this? Well, at K2 Analytics, we always start any social media campaign by laying out a game plan. We start with a goal in mind, create a roadmap to how we will reach those goals, and track our progress with analytics.
So how do you create a successful social media strategy? First things first, you need to have a game plan.
1. Define Your Content Mission
Defining your content mission is the first step is setting up your social media strategy. Essentially, why are you using social media as a business? Are you hoping to increase brand awareness? Would you like to promote your product or service through social media to drive sales? Start with finding out what your end game is, and then you can work backward to set milestones that work towards the finish line.
Each social media platform is different and rewards different kinds of content, so it’s important to have a content mission for each platform from Facebook and Instagram to Twitter and LinkedIn. Growing your business’ Instagram following for brand recognition will be different than your goals for Twitter simply because of the lifespan of content.
2. Explore social media management tools
My mom always says, “work smarter not harder.” I think she must be some kind of social media guru because with the right social media management tools, you definitely work smarter and not harder.
Using social media for small businesses can be time-consuming but it adds value. When you have a stellar social media team like K2 in your corner, you don’t have to worry about this. But for everyone else, the best thing that you can do is invest in a helpful social media management tool. With the right social media management tool, you will be able to automate a lot of the time-consuming posting.
Social media management tools like Hootsuite, to name one of many, allow you to schedule posts in advance so that you can focus on doing your job without missing the perfect opportunity to send themed posts that sync up with holidays, or posting over the weekend when you don’t want to work.
2.5 Keep a content calendar
Keeping a content calendar is point #2.5 because it goes hand in hand with using your social media management tools. A content calendar will help you plan out your posts ahead of time so that you never miss the perfect holiday post.
An effective content calendar will help you come up with more creative content ideas and themes that will really make a difference when it comes to the kind of content that you put out. Additionally, content calendars will help you keep track of who is posing and when so that you can avoid posting duplicate content.
3. Measure success
How do you know that you are on the right track if you don’t have metrics in place that you can check your progress against from day to day, week to week, or month to month? You can’t. In order to have a successful social media strategy, you will need to find which metrics will be the best measures for the outcome of your efforts.
If the goal is brand awareness, you could use follower counts (but that’s unreliable). You would have a more accurate idea of your brand’s reach by checking out the numbers that relate to shares, engagements, and reach.
4. Analyze those results and adjust your goals, efforts, or metrics accordingly.
Finally, make sure that you analyze your outcomes as you track your progress so that you can adjust your plan accordingly.
Your social media strategy should be treated like a living document that grows and changes with your business. This is generally good advice for any kind of goal that you have in life, but it is especially true when it comes to social media. Set a goal, measure your progress, analyze the results; did you come close to your goals? Did you surpass them? What is the next goal or how do you need to shift your goals to better serve your business?
You will find yourself going through this process over and over again and you will notice that as your audience grows, as you become more of an authority in your field, or as your profits from online sales skyrocket, that your social media strategy will need to change as well.