Your social media presence is a critical element of your overall online existence. Your Social Media Marketing Strategy is your game plan to building brand awareness, as well as growing your social following and building your online community.
A social media strategy includes your marketing goals, choosing the right platforms for your business and continuously measuring your desired outcomes.
A strategic approach to social media ensures that it has a positive impact on your business, while a haphazard one could have the opposite effect. Even if it does demand resources, the former is the approach of choice if you truly want to achieve results while enhancing your brand image, rather than tarnishing it.
A social audience can be a fiercely loyal base if you have an approach that centres around that base, rather than one that places them on the fringes. Achieving your marketing goals is the ultimate result, but those results won’t be realised if you don’t encompass your following in every step of your strategy.
Providing value is more important than ever before. It gives you the power to capitalise on that loyalty to build a lasting brand, over achieving short-terms sales objectives.
There are specific elements to developing an effective strategy, which many businesses tend to overlook.
Here are the top 10 elements for a successful Social Media Marketing Strategy:
10. Keep Your End Goals In Sight
The shifting nature of social media can be a blessing or a curse depending on how your organisation operates. The ever-evolving dynamic that social media presents is one that nimble organisations can take full advantage of, while the not so agile may find challenging.
Being nimble is a characteristic that’s hugely advantageous, and almost essential in today’s fast paced economic environment. But it also has a downside that can crop up, if not correctly managed. End goals can often be unintentionally overlooked in order to keep up with these rapid changes.
If this fits within the strategic plan, then absolutely shift those goal posts. But if you’re missing the posts all together then this is when “trying to keep up with the cool kids” can become a problem. Stay true to your end game if that’s where you really need to be headed.
9. Regularly Review Your Channels
When you initially embarked on your social media journey, you most likely assessed each social platform to determine which ones were best suited to your business.
The good news is that you took the right approach. The bad news is that, just like other forms of marketing, social media isn’t set and forget. What was working for your business back then, may no longer be working now.
Each channel is constantly changing the way they engage with their audience and they way they let you engage with your audience, which means you can’t remain stagnant.
You need to keep up with current trends, algorithm changes, user data etc. to ensure that the channels you’ve chosen are still relevant for your business, your goals and your audience.
8. Keep An Eye On The Competition
The daily demands of operating a business can draw your focus inwards. Concentrating on your business operations is key to ensuring operational success, however it’s always good to stop and take a breath every now and then.
Keeping an eye on what others in your industry are doing ensures that you’re clear about where you stand.
Drawing from the success, or failure, of others will add to your competitive edge. You can leverage their success and add your unique twist, as well as avoid their failures without having to deal with the consequences.
If there are larger players in your industry, they’ll most likely have bigger marketing budgets than you do. They’ll have the resources to rigorously research and test strategies that you may not have the ability to do.
7. Keep To The Calendar
Your social media content calendar should be your holy grail when it comes to your Social Media Marketing Strategy. You created it for a reason so stick to it.
Not unalike from your end goals, your social media content calendar can morph into a slapdash, disorganised mess if not correctly guided. When you initially set out your desired social goals, you would have solidified those chosen results in the form of a social media content calendar.
Your social media content calendar consists of the actions required for you to achieve your social goals.
While this calendar needs to be somewhat flexible as you test and adjust, it can’t go so far off track that it becomes undirected. A content calendar is a thought through guide to implementing your plans strategically. It’s the actionable way your business communicates with an audience in a way that’s in line with your brand identity.
6. Don’t Get Complacent
If you’ve been lucky enough to experience initial social success, then you’ve been fortunate. Building a loyal and engaged audience can take years to achieve. If you’ve been working hard for years, and have finally achieved that success, then don’t stop chipping away.
Achieving social success doesn’t mean that you should become smug. The ever-changing, dynamic landscape that social media presents means that you need to keep up. Don’t ever get lazy and think that you can cruise along; social success today, doesn’t guarantee social success tomorrow.
Your audience is constantly evolving, and therefore your social media strategy should be too.
Being an industry leader doesn’t come with sitting back and watching others succeed, it requires innovation and creative thinking. So, if you want to be seen as a trusted thought leader by your audience, then you’ll need to continually come up with creative, innovative ways to provide value to your audience.
Don’t get complacent, continually work hard and you’ll see those goals eventually come to fruition.
5. Focus On Quality Content
It’s easy to get caught in the content trap. We all feel the pressure of having to constantly communicate with our audience in order to keep them engaged, even if it’s not exactly how we want to.
If you weren’t aware, quality trumps quantity when it comes to social media content.
Your content is the final piece of the strategic puzzle that will ensure your social goals are achieved, if it’s given the attention it deserves.
There’s nothing like telling your audience that they’re unimportant, then by posting generic content that takes minimal/no effort to create. This tells them that they’re not worth the effort and will ultimately affect your audiences’ loyalty.
Stock images, fluffy content and sales messaging are all social media content no-nos.
The key to building a devoted following is creating content that talks directly to them. You need to provide value, solve their problems and teach them something in order to initially grab their attention, and keep them coming back for more.
If you have limited resources, don’t just churn out uninteresting content for the sake of it. Rather use your limited resources in a smart way to create content that’s meaningful.
Your audience will feel appreciated, and remain loyal to your business.
4. Constantly Analyse
The fantastic thing about social media is that you can access real-time, detailed data with the click of a button.
Tools like Facebook Analytics and Facebook Insights allow marketers to explore user’s interactions with their social media ads and business pages. From reach and engagement to views and everything in between, these tools offer current performance data. They’re also free and fairly easy to use.
Having the opportunity to identify what’s working now, gives you the power to capitalise on these wins immediately. It also gives you the ability to change your approach for those actions that aren’t giving you the desired results.
You need to consistently analyse your social media performance so you know exactly where you stand. The more you do it, the easier it will be to identify trends and make adjustments accordingly.
3. Join Forces
Many organisations view their competition as a threat, rather than an opportunity.
Joining forces with others in your industry can be a great way to reach your full social media potential. Leveraging other’s audiences can take your social media presence to the next level.
If they’re perceived as an industry leader or trusted brand, then their support for your business will only be seen as a positive thing by your audience, and theirs. It opens you up to a fresh audience in an unobtrusive way, which gives you greater credibility.
It’s not only your social media presence that will benefit, you may learn a thing or two in the process too.
2. Acknowledge Your Audience
An easy way to encourage further engagement is by positively reinforcing actions. If a follower takes the time out of their busy schedule to comment on a post, acknowledge their comment with a response. This shows them that you value their input and appreciate their effort, which will make them more likely to continue interacting with your posts.
How would you feel if your favourite pop star/brand replied to one of your comments? Fantastic probably! Responding to followers will give them a feeling of acknowledgement which can only be a good thing.
Another way of acknowledging your audience is by showing them that you value their input. Asking questions, creating surveys and posting polls, requesting their feedback, shows your audience that you value what they have to say.
Getting their input is a great way to make them feel like they’re included in your brand journey. They’ll have a vested interest in your brand if they feel involved.
It’s also a fantastic way to gauge interest in future products or services. You can get direct feedback from your actual customers as to whether they would purchase that specific product, or not.
We can’t all be experts at everything we do.
If your Social Media Marketing Strategy isn’t producing the results you’ve been hoping for, it might be time to bring in the big guns. While all of these elements will add to your social media success, you may not have the time or resources to give them your full attention.
That’s when the professionals come in to play. Social Media Companies in Melbourne have the skills, expertise and knowledge you may need to take your social media presence to a higher level.
They’ll be keeping up to date with algorithm updates, current trends and industry influencers, as well as have access to the tricks of the trade, all of which you may not.
Social media marketing can be demanding. If you can’t keep up with those demands then find someone who has the expertise to do so. A poorly implemented strategy can have detrimental effects on your business, so don’t risk it.
While your end goal is most likely sales, your approach to social media needs to be different from more traditional marketing channels. Social media is exactly that, a place where people go to be social.
Having an overtly sales type messaging will quickly put your audience off. They’re there to connect, so that’s exactly what you should be doing. Connecting with your audience is key to social media success; if you don’t connect then you won’t thrive.
Don’t let the changeable nature of the social media world influence your core goals. Keep focused so you don’t deviate too much from your strategic path. If you constantly remind yourself of where you want to be, you’ll make sure that every step you take is in line with that destination.
On the same token, be prepared to find a balance between keeping your goals top of mind, and adjusting your strategy as you go. Being agile is key to social media success. Don’t be too rigid when it comes to your strategy, you’ll need to tweak things along the way.
You may be surprised with what works and what doesn’t, so you’ll need to make changes quickly in order to ride the wave of success.