In a pandemic world where online sales have rocketed and people are consuming more content online than ever, having a strong social media presence is key to building any business but when it comes to social media marketing, the worst plan is not to have one.
Adobe’s latest figures show online sales have rocketed by 76% as the pandemic pushes on while people are consuming more media online than ever to try to stay connected with others, as social distancing continues.
This growth in online consumer behaviour means having a strong social media presence has never been more important to a business. It’s the opportunity to connect and engage with today’s customers. But getting it right is much more than just setting up a social media account on a platform – it requires a well-constructed strategy with the following elements: –
Define within your strategy what you want to achieve. Perhaps it’s to grow your customers or to build your brand or both. And consider the possible challenges you could face. Think about who you want to reach and how you can reach them, and how to measure success.
When planning social media campaigns, business owners or marketers find they must wear multiple hats from caretaker, SEO expert, data analyst, strategist to comedian. Maybe all on the same day.
Ask yourself, do you have enough staff to do this, and do they have the skills necessary to follow through on a well-executed social media strategy?
It’s important that they can create content that’s of value to your audience and know how to ‘listen’ and engage in return. Do they know how to use data analytics to spot trends and challenges?
Assess what you’re already doing and determine whether it works or needs improvement. What social media platforms do you have up and running already? Who is connecting with you on Twitter and Instagram? How much engagement does your Facebook page have? Do you see many leads?
A social media audit will provide you with answers to the above questions, examine what people are saying about your brand, and give insight on what your competition is doing – all valuable to establish a deeper strategy for growing your social media presence.
Know your audience
Now that you know what your brand is doing in the virtual world, check if you’re effective at reaching your target market by looking at the personas you’ve created.
Consider where your audience hangs out online, what platforms they’re on, what they like to talk about, read and watch, and what they dislike?
Only share 20% self-promotional material. The rest should be a mix of content that addresses your audience’s pain points, supresses their boredom, aligns with their interests, and shows them that you’re there to support.
And if time and resource is an issue, it’s better to have a valuable presence on a couple of platforms, rather than spreading yourself thin across many.
Setting up your social profiles
Once you know where your audience is, ensure to dedicate time to setting up each platform properly which includes completing all details and that your message is clear. Use powerful visuals that reflect the brand and check any contact information is easily accessible or instantly visible to your audience.
Be a good listener
In a social media context, this means searching for conversations or mentions about your brand. But social listening is often misunderstood and mistaken for some form of monitoring.
While checking for singular mentions and notifications is important, don’t get swept away with sorting individual issues rather than attacking the source of the problem on a larger scale. And listen to good mentions too, because then you know if the content you are creating is working.
Think about your content and schedule
Content can be anything you want from videos, photos, tips, competitions, games, guides, articles, short tweets, blog posts, white papers, infographics, stories, adverts, lists, charts….the list is endless but take into account what you’ve created before. What are your analytics tools saying has worked well in the past?
Consider what’s most relevant to what’s occurring within your industry, and what customers are talking about; their pain points? Customers might not specifically mention your brand, but they might be talking about things you can help with.
Then make a schedule of how often to post, from which platforms and at what time of day is best – which should show from your data analytics. You can always test and tweak this schedule, including checking which hashtags resonate best with your audience.
Twitter has scheduled chats that your brand can be a part of if it’s relevant. Humorous posts are also great if they are done well and fits with you brand personality. Finally, the most important thing is ensuring that the content is relevant to your business goals and aligns with your plan.
If you use your social media strategy as a ‘check’ point each time, and update whenever changes occur to the business, then you won’t go far wrong in building a powerful and impactful social media presence that will grasp you customer’s attention.
About the author
Faye Eldridge is the founder and MD of FYAMI Growth Consultancy. FYAMI specialises in Sales, Marketing and Technology consulting and helps businesses achieve their marketing goals, through new business development, brand awareness, sales and lead generation.
Are you an entrepreneur or looking to start your own business? We’ve got hundreds of articles on learning entrepreneurial skills, how to become your own boss, marketing your products and managing your own team. You can find more of our entrepreneurial articles here.