Build A Social Media Strategy In Three Easy Steps
Social media can appear overwhelming. There are countless networks to choose from (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pintrest, Instagram, and Snapchat, just to name a few). However, social media doesn’t have to be overwhelming. All you need is knowledge, a little time, and a plan. Whether you’ve already been using social media and want to review the basics or you are new to the social media game, use these steps to create a social media plan and make social media less daunting.
Determine and write down your social media goals and objectives.
Make sure your goals are on par with your business goals and ensure objectives can be measured and have an end date.
Business goal: You want to increase awareness for your brand.
Social media goal: Increase awareness on customer preferred social media platforms.
Social Media objective: Gain 300 new followers Jan 1, 2017.
If you have been using social media platforms for a time, re-examine them. Make sure they are still aligned with your business goals. If they are not aligned with your business goals, it’s now time to correct this.
Understand your audience.
Who is your ideal customer and what social media platforms do they use?
Who is your ideal customer?
Know the demographics and psychographics of your customer. Demographics include things like age, location, gender, occupation and education. Psychographics include things like values, attitudes, personality, lifestyles, and behavior.
Demographic: 23-years-old, Resides in Memphis, TN, Bachelor’s Degree, American, and Hispanic
Behavioral: Loves movies, buys impulsively, and reads news online
What social channels do they use?
How can you find your ideal customers without spending a lot of money on research? Here are a few methods to find customers on 2 of the biggest social media platforms.
Twitter: Search twitter hashtags with relevant keywords about your industry or business and then put the people who have used those in Twitter lists to refer back later. Twitter ads can also be used see if your customers are using Twitter. Location, keywords interests, and behaviors, are some of the things that can be targeted to discover how many of your customers or potential customers use Twitter.
You can select an audience profile comprised of people located in the United States, who are male, speak English, are interested in surfing and own a dog. Twitter will, then, calculate a potential audience size from that information. If the audience is a decent size, your customers are using Twitter, and you should be too. Note: You do not have to purchase an ad campaign to do this.
One last method to discover if your customers are on Twitter is using influencers. If your industry or brand influencers seem to have a large amount of followers, Twitter is a social media platform you want to use in your social media plan.
Facebook: Use Ads Manager on Facebook. Using Ads Manager, you can see the potential amount of people your business could reach, with your ideal customer’s characteristics. An audience can be created based on location, age, gender, language-spoken, and interests. You can also pick an audience, excluding people who like your page, are friends of people who like your page, and are people who like your page. If the audience reach is a decent size, Facebook is a platform you should use. Note: As with Twitter ads, you do not have to purchase an ad campaign to do this.
You can also find customers by searching hashtags and Facebook pages relevant to your industry and business. In addition, look at the amount of friends influencers have. Like with Twitter, if influencers have a large amount of friends, Facebook is a good platform for you.
Determine your tactics.
Look to your business and social media goals, as well as your customer’s demographics and psychographics, to assist you with knowing what to post. Ensure that the content you are putting out is 80% educational and 20% sales-oriented.
Example: If you have a goal of raising your brand awareness, use ads on the platforms your ideal customers are on.
Example: Through researching the demographics and psychographics of your customer, you will get an idea of how to add value to their lives and how your product(s) and service(s) can assist them with problems they are having. Content can be tailored then from the information you find.
Each social media platform is different, so, fit your content to the style of the platform.
Example: Instagram is picture heavy, so, stay away from a large amount of words and show your ideas visually, through relevant photos.
LinkedIn has more of a professional/business tone, so, content you post on LinkedIn, should be more professional. On the other hand, Facebook has a casual, friendly tone and you want your posts to reflect that to engage your customers and potential customers.
Knowing when to post and how many times to post is important. You can do an audit of your social media, keeping note of when people are engaging with your posts the most and testing out different frequencies of posting over a few months to see what number seems to have the most reach. You could also use the different social media platform’s analytics (like Twitter’s analytics and Facebook’s Insights) to track when posting worked the best.
Your ideal customers may be on multiple platforms, of which you have already identified, and this means you are going to need relevant content for all those platforms. How do you keep of all of that content organized: a content calendar. By placing your ideas on a calendar and mapping out when and how many times you want to feature your ideas, your work will be easier to manage.
ATS Digital Communications Specialist