In the fast emerging world of digital, mobile and social media marketing, companies are constantly trying new methods to optimize results as there is no “one size fits all” approach. As more users sign up for Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and other networks, companies have now decided to integrate social media into their marketing strategy.
So, do you have a social media strategy for your business? If you don’t, you could be losing part of your audience. According to the Social Media Marketing Industry statistics, around 85% of marketers experienced increased traffic with just six hours a week invested in social media.
Here are some important steps that you should follow to ensure your social media strategy fulfils its potential.
1. Know what the goal is?
Before you admit the fact that social media has failed to deliver the desired results, be specific. Have you defined your goals and objectives? Are you trying to generate more traffic, create a huge fan base, greater engagement with your followers or generate sales? Your strategy will depend on your end objective so if you are expecting a larger following, you must be active on all platforms. If you want more comments, high visibility and engagement, make sure your content is informative that promotes engagement.
2. Evaluate your Capacity
Before you start your social media strategy, evaluate the resources currently available in your organisation. Factors to consider include: employees’ skills and experience with different tools as well as other special skills or previous work experience. If you are thinking about collaboration or partnership, you need to evaluate the strength of related organizations as well. Lastly, check what your competitors have already done.
3. Identify your Audience
Spending a little time on where your audiences are key too. Find out on what platforms they are active- Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest and Instagram seem to be the most popular at the moment but chances are different clients will be on different networks so identify them and follow them too.
Once you have found them, use this opportunity to interact with your fans and generate engagement to gain leads. Create content that they are interested in or discuss about and then listen to their opinions. Get into their minds and find out their interests and lifestyles. This will help you to decide where you can expand.
4. Check your Competitors
Watch what your competitors are doing. It’s a good idea to find out which social media channels they are using, which of them have proved to be successful and which are not necessarily. Are you investing the same time on these networks as them, do they have more engagement? Make sure you are aware of the latest news on the sites that are working for you so that you don’t get left behind, but keep looking for new channels that seem to be successful for your competitors too.
5. Join the Conversation to Develop Relationships
Now it’s time to start using your research work. Start commenting on blogs and forums, provide solutions to readers’ problems on Yahoo! and LinkedIn, join groups related to your niche and participate in Twitter Chats. Start building relationships by following. Don’t just follow people with thousands of followers, you‘ll be surprised to know that someone with only a handful of followers can provide you great values.
6. Measure your Results
All your efforts go to waste if you don’t find a way to measure your results. Use tools like Google Analytics or Hootsuite to track your site visitors for free. For example, you can find out how visitors came to your site? Were they from LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+ or Facebook? For beginners, Klout is an effective tool for measuring how successful your social media efforts are, with a number and tips for improvement on week-to- week basis.
HootSuite is the perfect tool for handling multiple social media channels. For example, you can find out how many people hit your Facebook page and out of them how many visited your website and also how many made a purchase Adobe’s Social Analytics is another effective tool that allows monitoring of different social channels in one dashboard without the need to produce complex reports for simple inquiries.
7. Bring your Posts to life
Adding info graphics and hash tags make your posts more interesting. Info graphics are appealing as they present boring text in a visually attractive way that is easy to understand and remember. Using hash tags increase your engagement in social conversations. Engage in real time social conversations so that you will get to know people’s opinion about your brand.