I’m super stoked to bring you this guest post by Kayleigh Alexandra from Micro Startups! Read it and learn from it!
If you’re going to start a business these days, you’re going to have to get your head around social media marketing. Leaving social media out of your business strategy is a big no-no — you’re cutting off a huge chunk of potential customers just because you can’t be bothered to talk to them! Just to put into perspective how big this chunk is — 26% of the world’s population use Facebook…
So you need to start using social media marketing. And — importantly — you need to come up with an awesome social media strategy to ensure that you’re doing social right. (There’s no point in doing FB or Insta badly — you’ll just be talking to thin air. And thin air won’t buy your products).
I‘ve come up with a list of six key features that every killer social strategy has — use these as a guideline to streamline your social strategy and boost those sales.
Check it out below.
1. Matching your social strategy goals with your overall business goals
Okay, so it’s not the sexiest feature of a social strategy… But it’s true!
Your business goals and social strategy need to be aligned: what do you want to gain from your social strategy? What are the commercial goals here?
To have a killer social strategy, you need a killer plan. What is this aim of your social media output? There are a few key reasons for using social media:
- Improving brand awareness
- Lead generation
- Driving traffic
- Customer relationships
Set clear goals and targets for your social strategy. These need to be measurable, specific and achievable, and you need to track them on a regular basis.
You may find that your social strategy is actually about achieving multiple goals at once. You may be looking for brand awareness and social sales, but also using social media for customer relationships and customer service. Within your one killer social media strategy, you may have multiple strands…
2. Nailing the right networks
Researching which social platforms are right for you is the best way to be effective with your social strategy. There’s absolutely no point in churning out loads of posts on one platform if you’re not getting any clicks and you’re not generating any leads.
Target relevant networks. You need to think about:
- Where your target demographic hangs out
- Which platforms would best suit your social strategy
If you want to nurture existing relationships with customers and engage verbally with new ones, head to Twitter. Around 80% of Twitter users access the platform via their phones, so make your Twitter engagement phone-friendly.
On the other end of the spectrum, Instagram is obviously a super visual platform, used a lot by millennials in particular. 500 million people use Instagram daily so if you’ve got a product that would benefit from an image-focused social platform, get over there pronto.
People do tend to spend most of their time on one social media platform or another, so find out which one it is. Think about age, gender and so on.
Obviously, this doesn’t mean you should only stick to one channel: focus on three social platforms that you think would be most suitable for you. You don’t want to spread yourself too thin and waste time and money creating content for social media that is not aligned with your brand.
3. Finding an epic social media analytics tool and USING IT
Want to be a pro with your social strategy? Then meet your new BFF: the social media analytics tool.
A great social media analytics tool will help you to track reach, engagement, and conversions. Having these metrics on show in a clearly comprehensible way will help you understand how your social strategy is going, and what you need to change to make it better. And the beauty of tracking your performance is that you can adjust it.
(Don’t worry about making changes to your social strategy — you should be doing this! Analyze how your interactions and campaigns have failed or succeeded, and allow this to steer you in the right direction. Be as flexible as an Olympic gymnast.)
Tools like Sprout Social help you to monitor keywords or hashtags, and track interactions. There are plenty out there — check out this Forbes article for a quick top 5 list of some of the best tools around.
4. Classy content creation
Don’t be spammy. No one likes spam.
Instead, produce relevant, interesting content that your audience will value and engage with.
So how do you do this? Establish your unique tone of voice and personality. This needs to fit in with the rest of your brand, but also has to be engaging so that people on social will want to follow/retweet/reply to you.
Choose what you want to be known for. Do you want to be adorkable like innocent? Produce powerful content like Nike? Or dish out sassy and rapid comebacks like Wendy’s? (There are entire blog posts dedicated to Wendy’s Twitter roasts.)
Image credit: Bored Panda
Unfortunately, this may be harder for some brands than others, especially on more visual platforms like Instagram where you can’t rely on sassiness to get you by. Not everyone’s going to have a beautiful Instagram-able product or be able to use gorgeous travel photos or striking models to sell their stuff. Making social media interesting for brands within the gadgets and electronics niche, for example, requires a bit more creativity. That said, it can be done — check out Dollar Shave Club on social. They’ve managed to turn shaving — something relatively boring (no offense, guys) — into something interesting on social, by posting funny and engaging content.
This is one of their older adverts. It’s gold:
5. Monitoring mentions and responses
So you want to be social strategy royalty? Sure, but don’t forget about the rest of the kingdom. Social media is all about the engagement. You need to create a community of loyal brand followers who love you and love your product. Social proof is one of the best ways to get other people onboard. Your customers shouting about how good your products are is waaay better than you shouting about them.
Aim to respond to mentions within the hour. (We never said this was easy).
Top tip: Do NOT delete negative comments. This is a sneaky thing to do, and really won’t look great to your followers.
Yes, there are going to be times when you or your company receive nasty bitchy comments about the products or customer service, but honestly? It’s just the nature of the beast. You need to get over those comments — and don’t hide or delete them because that is laaame. Remember, nobody’s perfect and that’s okay.
Use neggy comments as a way to show your customers that your customer service skills are top notch and that you’re willing to go that extra mile to confront feedback head-on and fix any issues that you can. Rise above.
6. A killer social media posting schedule
Sharing content on social is all well and good, but it’s wasted if you’re not making the maximum impact you can by having a strategic sharing and promo schedule. 99% of businesses don’t share their content (well) enough — a tragic mismanagement of budgets.
Find out when your audience is most active, and therefore when the best time to post on social media is — but be beware, this is different on each platform. Posting at an optimized time is one sure-fire way to be killer with your social strategy, so make sure you definitely do this.
Create a social media content calendar with a posting schedule to help you organize when you should be posting and what you should be posting.
There are various scheduling or bulk scheduling tools you can use such as Hootsuite or Loomly. This basically means you can prepare your posts in advance and then choose when to send them out. This is way more efficient than having to post continuously throughout the day which, frankly, is exhausting and time-consuming.
So there you have it: My six features of a killer social strategy.
In sum: hit up the right networks at the right time, target that audience, engage with them with slammin’ content and use social media analytics tools to stay ahead of the game. Follow this advice, and your social strategy will be rad AF. Enjoy.
KAYLEIGH ALEXANDRA is a content writer for Micro Startups — a site dedicated to spreading the word about startups and small businesses of all shapes and sizes. Visit our blog for the latest marketing advice, inspiring entrepreneurial stories, and insights from top experts. Follow us on Twitter @getmicrostarted.