You may think that you don’t need a social media strategy, that it’s not important to have one.
But the truth is if you want your business to grow, then you absolutely do need a strategy, and here’s why: Social media isn’t just something that people use for fun or entertainment anymore – now, it’s an essential tool for any small business’ marketing arsenal.
So what does this mean? It means that if you’re not using social media as part of your marketing plan, then you’re leaving money on the table because there are so many benefits associated with having a strong social media presence.
For instance, studies show that those who engage in regular social networking activities are more likely to be employed full-time and earn higher wages than those who don’t.
But how do you use social media effectively? And what are the best steps for developing a strategy that gets results?
Step 1: Set Up Social Media Goals.
In order to create a successful social media strategy, you need to know what your goal is, so ask yourself this question: What do I want my business’ social media presence to achieve?
For instance, your goals might include getting more shares on Facebook or growing an email list of subscribers, but it’s important that all of these goals are SMART, meaning that your goals must be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based.
It’s also important to note that you cannot achieve a broader goal by developing more detailed ones. For instance, if your business’ goal is to increase revenue in the Northern region of the United States, but you’re only using social media in the Western region, then you’ll never meet that goal.
To help your business grow and develop specific goals, we recommend using the SMART model to set up realistic goals for each social media channel that you’re using. This will allow you to focus on relevant strategies and tactics that are focused on helping your business reach those larger goals.
Step 2: Identify Metrics You Need To Track.
Once you know what your goals are, then you need to identify the metrics that will help you gauge whether or not your social media strategy is successful. These metrics should be measurable and also relevant in terms of answering questions like:
· How many people did we reach with our content?
· How much engagement did the content receive?
· What trends are developing on the social media channels that we’re using?
Once you know these metrics, then you can pinpoint your best ways of achieving your goals. For instance, if you find that videos are getting a higher level of engagement than other content types, then this is something to take note of and build upon.
For example, using Facebook data, you can find out how many people are clicking on your links and which content types they’re interacting with the most.
To help you track these metrics, we recommend using Google Analytics. This tool is free to use, and it’s incredibly easy to set up.
Step 3: Create Buyer Personas.
You’ve set up your goals and identified the metrics that are most important to track, so now you’re going to need to create buyer personas. A buyer persona is a profile for a target customer or group of customers which outlines specific information like what they like and dislike about your products and services.
Although social media has become a popular form of marketing, many Industrial B2B organizations are not leveraging it to generate sales. Though this may be attributed in part to an uncertain economy where shrinking margins have many looking for any way they can cut costs, we should also look at the content strategy that’s being utilized and evaluate if it is appropriate across all.
Step 4: Follow Your Competitors’ Strategy.
You’ve set up your goals, and now you know what metrics to track, so it’s time to start creating content for social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
It’s also important to look at the strategy that your competitors are using. You might be surprised by the results!
For instance, there are over 800 million Facebook users, so if your competitors aren’t using Facebook to promote their products or services, then you should definitely consider it.
In addition to looking at the strategy of your competitors and your own goals, look for trends in social media content that could help you develop a better strategy and more successful content.
If you know what’s working best for your competitors or what content trends are happening on social media channels in general, then this can help you create a better strategy and more successful content because it will be tailored to those specific platforms.
Step 5: Create a Content Calendar.
Create a list of the content that you want to create, then schedule it accordingly. For instance, if you know right now that videos and images are getting more engagement than photos or links, then make sure to include this in your calendar.
Your content calendar can be made online using tools like Google Calendar, which will allow you to turn your social media strategy into a content marketing plan. Google Calendar is free to use, and it integrates with your other sites like Gmail, so if you’re already using it for your personal schedule or business, then there’s no reason not to start using it for social media too!
Step 6: Encourage Personal Branding.
One of the most important factors for creating a successful social media content strategy is encouraging your employees to be active on these platforms. This applies to all levels of leadership, from senior management to lower-level supervisors and managers in the field.
Encouraging personal branding will give you more opportunities for engagement with customers and prospects, as well as with other people in your industry.
Step 7: Be Consistent.
If you want your social media content strategy to succeed, then it is important to stick to it. Creating the best content won’t matter if no one sees it because you only post on social media once a month.
Make sure that you schedule several times throughout the week and month where people from different departments can share their content and engage with customers.
For instance, one week, your CEO can post an update on LinkedIn, and the next week it can be a sales manager, etc.
Social media is one of the most popular ways to get your message out, so you’ll want to make sure that it’s done in the proper way. With these 7 steps, you can learn how to create a successful social media content strategy that will help grow your brand and audience.