Social media marketing strategy requires an investment in time and energy. If you want to stand out from the crowd, you need to think creatively and be innovative. Unfortunately, there is no quick fix to social media. It takes time to establish relationships and build engagement and trust with your followers.
Think of it like joining a business networking group: how long does it take till you start getting business referrals and for business to come your way? It takes time! On average it can take about 4 months, according to most people I have spoken to, to start generating business referrals through networking.
So why should social media be any different?
In fact, it can be even harder to get business referrals and lead generation through social media. You need to build trust with your audience and nurture relationships consistently over time. You can’t abandon the social networks when you feel like it, or take a week to respond to a comment or mention.
You need to give your audience what they want and what you think they will share with their audience and establish yourself as a thought leader. You also need to show the real you over a virtual space and try and convey your offline personality and personal branding to the online world. This is no easy task!
Thus, while the easiest way to handle social media for business is to hire an experienced social media agency, if you want to know how to do it yourself, then are some actionable tips that will help you to create an effective social media marketing strategy.
How to Create a Social Media Strategy – 21+ Tips
1. Research Your Target Audience
Knowing who your target audience is can go a long way in picking the right social media channels. It can also help with content creation, ensuring that you develop content which resonates with your target group. As such, when creating a social media strategy for business, researching your target audience is the first step.
2. Choose Relevant Social Platforms
To get the maximum returns from your social media campaigns, businesses need to choose relevant social platforms. This again is a challenge as there is a wide range of available options to chose from such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and more. As such, like mentioned above, by knowing who your target audience is – teenagers, business professionals, etc – you would be able to channelize your time, money, and effort on the right platform, which will help boosts brand awareness and generate more leads.
3. Have a Consistent Brand Identity Across All Platforms
To boosts your brand’s recall value, having a consistent brand identity across all social media marketing platforms is important. This includes the logo, about us description, cover image, etc. Consistent brand identity makes your brand look professional and enables you to establish your brand’s voice & tone. It also helps strengthen the relationship with your audience, thereby improving engagement.
4. Conduct Competitor Analysis
An important part that helps boosts your social media marketing campaign, competitor analysis helps you to understand what social media marketing techniques your competitors are using to increase their social media followers, likes and shares. Once you get this data, you would be able to strategize and create a successful social media plan for your business. Read this guide to know how to conduct competitor analysis for social media.
5. Set Social Media Marketing Goals
What do you want to achieve through social media? Do you want to increase brand awareness? Do you want to generate leads? Do you want to sell a product/service? These are important questions that you need to answer, which will help you to set social media marketing goals. And when you know what your goals are, it becomes easier to create a social media strategy that will help you to achieve it.
6. Use Social Media Management Platforms
Here’s a fact; social media management and marketing is a time-consuming task. From posting, checking & replying comments to measuring social media metrics, there is a lot that you need to do for each social platform. Thus, to save time and to speed up the process, you can make use of a variety of social media management platforms like Hootsuite, Sprout Social, and Buffer. This will help you to manage, monitor and optimise your social media marketing campaigns.
7. Create a Social Content Calendar
An essential part of a social media marketing plan, by creating a social content calendar you are ensuring that content is being posted on your social handles consistently. When you plan ahead, you can post thoughtful and interesting content that resonates with your target audience. You can keep-up with holidays, latest trends and important events. It will also help you to avoid last-minute deadlines. In short, a content calendar helps you to manage time and boosts efficiency, enabling you to build a relationship with your audience through consistent posting.
8. Create Interesting and Informative Content
A lot of social media planning centres around creating interesting and informative content that is shareable. Posting high-quality content is the key to acing the social platform. Here, visual-based content tends to work best than text-based content. Likewise, live-streaming and videos can help you to improve your reach and engagement. Thus, find out what type of social media content works best for your business and create & share it to boost likes, followers, and to generate leads.
9. Engaging Images Are a Must
In social media content strategy, engaging images play a major part as it helps businesses to get more likes and shares. There are a few websites that offer free images that can be used for social media like Pixabay. However, to improve reach and to connect with your audience, customized and real-life images work best. Also, it is important to optimise your social sharing images before you post them, as the recommended image size for each social platform is different.
10. Leverage the Power of Videos
According to statistics, videos on social media generates 1200% more shares than text and images combined. More and more businesses are leveraging the power of videos to increase brand awareness. Also, a customer would rather watch a ‘How-to’ video, then read a text-based guide on the same. Thus, if you want to strengthen your social media marketing campaign, then creating video content is the way forward.
11. Optimise Existing Social Profiles
An optimise social media profile helps create a positive impact on the mind of the customers. To optimise, you can begin with filling in every field in your profile and providing as much information about your business as you can. Identify the right keywords and use those in your description. Also, test your website’s link. Next, create branded cover photos and background images. This helps create a good first impression. Plus, don’t forget to cross-promote by linking to your other social media profiles. For example, you can add your Twitter account to your LinkedIn profile.
12. Run a Social Media Contest
One of the best ways to boosts engagement is to run a social media contest. This can be as simple as ‘like, comment and share this post with your 3 friends to win a freebie.’ Or caption a photo or tag a friend or retweet this post. Social media contest is an inexpensive way through which you can increase followers/subscribers, boosts brand visibility and increase sales. Just ensure that the contest is fun and the rewards exciting, which will motivate your followers to participate.
13. Reply ASAP to All Comments and Queries
Social media is a two-way communication channel. Your customers appreciate it when you reply to their comments and queries as it shows that you care about them, which helps build trust. It also shows you have strong customer support in place to deal with issues. Thus, be it a positive comment, a negative feedback or a query, ensure that you reply immediately.
14. Respond to All Shout-outs
When someone mentions you or tags your brand on their social profile or ask their followers to check out your page or product/services, it is called a shoutout. It is a gesture that you should acknowledge and reciprocate (if relevant to your niche). This is a great way to build a network and to increase your social followers through referral.
15. Keep Up With the Latest Trends
Another effective social media marketing tip, keeping up with the latest trend is essential to boosts your social media campaign. Be it the #Kikichallenge or the #10yearchallenge, by creating a post around it you can better engage with your followers. This can help increase likes & retweets, and in some cases, your post can even go viral, which can help with brand visibility.
16. Create Facebook and Instagram Stories
Apart from image-based posts, videos and live streaming, Facebook and Instagram stories give you another opportunity to engage with your customers. Not many businesses are using this social media feature to its full potential. Thus, you can turn this into your advantage and personalised the stories you are sharing by using hashtags and geotags, which will help you to increase reach and attract more users. Read here to know more.
17. Know About the Best Time to Post on Social Media
When developing a social media strategy for your business, it pays to know what the best time to post on social media is. Based on various studies, some days and times seem to work best for certain social platforms, especially where social engagement is concerned. Also, the ideal posting time would differ based on your target group, their geographic location, among others. Thus, check out this guide to know the best time to post on different social platforms.
18. Ideal Posting Frequency
Most businesses are not sure what the ideal social media posting frequency should be. Should you post daily or alternate days or twice in a week? The simple answer is it depends on your social media goals and the social platform. The key here is to remember that consistent posting is much more important than posting frequency. Also, a high volume of posts does not equate with high-quality content. As such, how often should you post is what you, as a business, should decide. Here, creating a social content calendar can help make smart decisions.
19. Make Use of Social Media Tools
Mention and Hashtagify are popular social media tools. The Mention app helps you to monitor the web so that you can be informed when someone mentions your brand name or use target keywords. The Hashtagify tool, on the other hand, is a great platform that offers you the best hashtag suggestion for your next tweet and post. Apart from these, here are a few other free social media tools that you can use.
20. Track and Measure Social Media Metrics
Evaluating the performance of your current social media activities is important for the success of your future campaigns. When you track and measure essential social media metrics, you have access to valuable data which will help you to improve your social media marketing strategy. Plus, it will help you to avoid mistakes, thereby ensuring that you get better returns on your investment.
21. Leverage Social Ads
For social media promotion, businesses can leverage the power of social ads. From increasing followers to improving brand visibility to generating leads for your product/services, social ads is a cost-effective way that can help boosts conversion. Also, through social ads, you can reach a wider audience.
22. Network With Influencers
To increase reach and boost visibility, networking with influencers is also important. You need to begin by identifying the right influencers in your niche market. Next, follow their social page and like, comment and share their posts. You can also join relevant groups and engage with them. Once you build a relationship with the influencer, you can pitch them for guest posts, join-ventures, live events, etc. Thus, building a mutually beneficial partnership.
23. Conduct Social Media Audit
To assess what’s working and what’s not, conducting a social media audit is important. This will ensure that your time, money and efforts are not being wasted on wrong campaigns that don’t drive any conversion. A social media audit will also help you to tweak and make the necessary changes and fix issues, enabling you to get your social media strategy right back on track. Here’s an interesting read on how to conduct a social media audit.
24. Be Up-to-date With the Latest Changes on Social Channels
To be ahead of the competition, you need to be up-to-date with the latest changes on social channels. The world of social media is evolving at a rapid pace and businesses need to adapt to the changes quickly to make an impact. So, keep up with the current updates and changes, as this will help you to strengthen your social media strategy.
#Hire a Social Media Agency
All the above tips may seem like an arduous task, which honestly it is. Thus, if you don’t have the time, but have the budget to outsource it, then do hire a social media agency. With their experience and expertise, they’ll help you to manage, monitor and measure the success of your marketing campaigns and recommend changes accordingly. This will help you to build your online presence. And with smart strategizing, you’d be able to garner new leads while effectively retaining your existing customers.
Get in touch to know how Mamba Media can help you with social media marketing!