Just a few years ago many people thought of social media as a hangup. In 2018, it is one of the most crucial instruments for boosting quality traffic, customer engagement and eventually sales.
Today, social media is number one daily activity among Americans. 75% of users spend 20 minutes or more on Facebook every day. And 92% of marketers consider that it is significant to use social media platforms for their businesses.
What's the point?
The social media networks keep growing year after year. So, developing an effective social media strategy nowadays is simply a must. Otherwise, you will lose customers that can affect your final outcome.
Let’s take a peek at some tips on how to build a strong social media strategy.
#1. Build a Winning Game Plan
The Content Marketing Institute revealed that in 2017 37% of marketers with a documented marketing strategy were more successful with their content marketing than those who did not have it.
This calls for an action.
Set smart social media goals for your business and define the strategy needed to get them to the curb. Make a strategic plan with deadlines that helps you understand where you want to be and review it every month.
For example, you can schedule a number of pins per day you want to make. Even a small number such as 3-4 pins per day can push you closer to reaching your goals.
Try to automate as much of the activity as possible. For example, schedule your social media updates ahead of the time. Use social media scheduling tools like SocialPilot to auto-post your updates to all your social accounts then evaluate the results with the analytics they provide.
Tip: Do you want to pull ahead of your competition? Always know what they are doing. It’s smart to use a competitor research tool like SE Ranking SEO Software to see how their ads look like and perform, what keywords they are using and so forth.
#2. Set Up Social Media Content Calendar
There is a saying - failing to plan is planning to fail.
It’s very true...
No matter what you do - without planning you are going to fail in social media marketing! So use social media content calendars which help organize and publish all your content in the timely and efficient manner. They also help to distribute resources effectively, improve team collaboration and give a more in-depth understanding of what works and what doesn’t work.
As orthodox as they are, Google Spreadsheets is a great place to start with content planning. Just create and update the publishing calendar once a week, build team sections and distribute the file to co-workers to get their comments before posting.
Here are also the things you should turn attention to while building a social media calendar:
- Find and investigate your ideal audience.
- Understand what type of content drive the most reach engagement.
- Cover primary events, holidays, features, campaigns, etc.
- Determine the frequency of your posts to every social network, who will curate this task and what the mix of content you are going to share.
- Audit your existing content.
- Plan and schedule upcoming posts ahead of time.
Tip: Plan, create and schedule posts on your content calendar. Easy in theory, difficult in practice. Though, they allow your marketing teams be more productive and make evergreen content at set time.
#3. Research Your Target Customers
Every marketer knows how important it is to know and understand your target audience. For social media, your target audience can be the key to a lot of your decision making.
As you all know,
Different audience uses different social networks at different times of the day. To connect with them, you need to know not only what type or content is interesting to them, but also who purchases your services or products and what age group is more accessible to sell.
Try to understand who your “boffo fans” are and speak to them in a way that sparks their interest.
It is important to define their questions, their concerns and their problems. For most of businesses, one of the biggest challenges is to connect with the right audience. To find your ideal audience, you need to figure out who your target demographic is and what social networks they use.
Tip: Measure the impact of your social media marketing efforts and use social media analytics tools that can uncover a lot about your audience and how they interact with your business. The Facebook ad tools can help kickstart your content promotion and boost the number of target customers.
#3. Use Storytelling
"No one ever made a decision because of a number. They need a story,” once told Dan Kahneman. Stories always matter, especially for social media. People find them interactive and persuasive. They inspire ideas and allow people interact with each other.
Everyone has a great story to tell.
But not everyone knows how to do that. Here are some ideas on how to tell a great story on social media:
1. Showcase the human side of your brand. Remember that people want to connect with people, not only brands. For example, you can share your plans on Friday, what you are doing together, what you are learning etc. Take a look at the way SE Ranking does it on their Facebook page:
2. Share successive post to relate the whole story from the beginning to the end. The blow-by-blow arouses excitement that is great to make your story compelling. Here is an example of consistent tweet-after-tweet posts:
okay, blog post will probably be up monday. but it is coming!— Hannah Queen (@honeyandjam) August 30, 2013
i think i might actually have a blog post ready in about an hour. for the first time in months. hope people are still around to read it, ha.— Hannah Queen (@honeyandjam) August 30, 2013
3. Create stories that attract local customers’ attention. A lot of small businesses conduct its activities in different regions and don’t have such power like Coca-Cola or McDonald’s to build up extensive marketing campaigns. But they can spread stories about local events. Just like Jason DeRusha's below given tweet story.
It's National Cheesecake Day. How do you get a "day" anyway? Good Question at 10. (Anyone have power to declare DeRusha Day?)— Jason DeRusha (@DeRushaJ) July 30, 2009
4. Make your core values clear and visible. Remember that brand stories are not ads and sales pitches, they help the audience unravel what and why they need to buy your product or service. This is what builds a brand experience by demonstrating your core values.
5. Embrace your mistakes. We are all humans, and we make mistakes. This is especially true for the fast-growing world of social media. Instead of avoiding these mishaps, play them into your hands.
If you’ve made a grammar mistake or missed a comma, don’t delete the post. Probably, people liked your post, and they will notice your continuous re-posting.
What concerns big mistakes?
For example, a product error or accidentally charging a customer’s credit card twice, you should immediately respond apologetically, and publish a post from your social media accounts telling how you’ve handled the error and customers will understand it.
For instance, I like how Pamela Vaughan from HubSpot regulated her baby bump error. Instead of her personal Twitter account, she accidentally published a picture of her growing pregnant belly on HubSpot’s Twitter account that had over 340,000 followers. She wasn’t lost and knew the way to jump. She created an excellent blog post about her 15 minutes of shame on Twitter that got a lot of shares and comments.
6. Optimize your posting frequency. How often should you post per day? What type of a content should you post? What is the ideal number of posts per day? There are common questions that any social media experts try to answer.
To tell the truth,
There is no ideal answer. Your answers come along with your own analysis, experience and tests of what works for you or what doesn’t work.
Anyway, timing is essential for your social media marketing strategy. It is important not only to publish high-quality content, and find the ideal posting frequency for integrating a successful marketing strategy.
I’ve found a lot of scientific studies and each one shows their own social media timing with the recommended number of posts for each network. For example, SocialPilot suggests the following best practices:
As for me, you can publish as often as you think your content is engaging and useful to share. Here are some ranging marks that work best for my projects:
Remember that people love sharing engaging and interesting content on social media. Do not repost your content as it annoys your readers.
Tip: Pay attention not only to the quality of the content, and the social media timing. Try to find your best time based on your analysis and tests.
#7. Cut Back the Number of Hashtags
Hashtags are great if you want to organize your social media posts. You can click on a specific hashtag, and all the content for a certain event become visible. Hashtags are identifiers of your brand that enable to curate conversations and engage your followers.
But you know what?
The more hashtags you use, the less engagement you get. The following chart from LINCHPINSEO gathers up the acquired data:
Tip: Using too many hashtags make people annoyed and can scale back your engagement rate. To avoid that, use 2 or 3 targeted hashtags per one post on your social media channels.
#8. Treat Each Social Channel Uniquely
Many people believe that social media is a useful distribution tool and use the same message on each channel.
But it is not right.
If you want to succeed in social, you should treat each social platform uniquely and take into considerations its functionalities and features.
I like how Gary Vaynerchuk gave single-eyed explanations for his most used social channel differently. Facebook is a great communication tool for his entire community to promote books, web shows and ask a lot of questions. Twitter is perfect for real-time news and offers one-on-one interactions. Youtube embraces his latest videos.
If you subscribe to his Instagram account, you will see a bunch of real and impressive images about his travels and daily living. This platform is a great place to share high-quality visuals.
When it comes to LinkedIn, it includes a more business-oriented audience that is searching for insightful and informative content.
Tip: If you want to grow a loyal fanbase, use a creative strategy for each social channel. Take into consideration your follower demographic and share content that appeals most to them.
#9. Share Quality Visual Content
Do you leverage visual content when sharing blogs posts on your social media platforms?
I guess, yes.
Visual content will be an absolute must to boost your social media engagement.
The Wyzowl study showed that we remember only 20% of what we read and 80% of what we see. The research from Software Advice and Adobe revealed that photos and images are the most powerful social media strategy.
People are more likely to share visual content on social networks. They find visuals attractive as they offer values that assist in generating more traffic, increasing sales and taking you to the top. Using visuals should be a main ingredient for your social media marketing strategy.
Tip: Create high-quality and unique images and photos. The graphic-design tool like Canva helps you make masterpieces in just a few minutes.
#10. Deep Dive into Social Media Analytics
Without the chance to recap from social media insights, you couldn’t make accurate sales forecasts and perfect your products. You can effectively use the social media data to drive performance. Review the analytics, give attention to the stats like follower growth, page views, number of posts, likes, shares, impressions, clicks, etc.
Tip: The social media analytic tools like SocialPilot help you keep track of your social media analytics. Use your results and organize monthly meetings with your marketing team to discuss the analytics, reevaluate your strategy, if needed, and make plans for the future.
An effective social media marketing strategy is an essential part of your overall marketing plan, and using unconventional ways to interact with your audience is what will allow you to improve your outreach.
Let us know how these useful these tips have been for you. If you enjoyed reading this, please share your experiences and insights through comments.