If you’re reading this, you probably already know your way around social media – as does everybody else who’s had internet access in the past 10 years. It’s a powerful (and necessary) tool for any business. So why do so many brands experience failure after failure on social media platforms, while others succeed?
The answer is in strategy
A good strategy can be the difference between a powerful social media presence that increases brand awareness and rockets your website up the search rankings, and an ineffective profile with a small following – even if the content is high quality. There is nothing as unappealing to a potential customer than a social media profile that’s outdated and unorganised. On the other end of the spectrum, a powerful social media presence that humanises the company and tells an authentic story is one of the fastest ways to endear a business to an audience of loyal customers that will come back time and time again.
Why you need to use social media and use it strategically
Even if you aren’t interested in using social media as a pivotal marketing tool for your brand (and you should be), having some kind of social media presence is still essential for brand authority, SEO ranking, and customer service.
Social media has a lot of potential that comes at a fraction of the cost of traditional media. As far as dollars per thousands of views go, social media the most cost-effective option, but it can also be a risky one. Social media marketing without a strategy can create as devastating an outcome as never being on the platform at all.
Prepare for the worst
Take Pepsi’s Kendall Jenner ad for example – after social media backlash, the company and Jenner herself apologised, and Pepsi maintained their 3% sales growth. Most importantly, they adjusted their content and didn’t make the same mistake again.
Compare this with Dove and Nivea: both have faced social media backlashes for advertisements deemed racist multiple times, each accusation worse than the last. Having a strategy that puts your social media content into context with previous reactions is critical to avoid these blunders.
It’s easier than ever in 2018 to misstep and suddenly find yourself Twitter public enemy #1 – but posting as little as you can to avoid this will only make your company seem amateur and out of touch. A good content strategy should maximize your marketing potential and have a plan to deal with crises.
Convert a base of loyal customers
Around 90% of a business’s customer base are likely to contact them on social media. Moreover, 70% of people who have a positive interaction on social media with a business are more likely to try their product or service because of that interaction. Having a personalised interaction with a business puts a friendly, human face on a brand while being ignored on social media often makes customers feel unwanted. Here’s the deal: It usually takes businesses around 10 hours to reply to a customer. Customers are usually only willing to wait four hours – and if the reply comes too late, some will not
shy away from shaming a business on social media for ignoring their customers. The key is in fast replies, especially on Facebook. To help customers expectations, Facebook also gives customers an average reply time. The faster your average reply time, the more you will appear to be a friendly
face, willing to interact with customers.
Read More: Managing Your Social Media Community
Use your social media presence to boost your search ranking
Your social media presence and your search ranking have a symbiotic relationship. Improve one, and the other will improve also. Neglect one, and the other will suffer.
Social media presence improves credibility and brand authority while also generates natural backlinks to the parent website by creating an ongoing discussion surrounding the site which customers can contribute to.
Get to know your market with unchallenged customer insight
Who is your audience? What platforms do they prefer? How old are they? What times are they most often on social media? All of this should factor into your strategy – and a good strategy will help you find the best answers to those questions.
For instance, if your target demographic most often uses Instagram, you should be posting your content on Mondays and Thursdays, at any time other than 3-4 pm – but if they prefer Twitter, 3 pm is one of the best times to post. Videos are best posted in the dark: 9 pm to 8 am.
Random content posts are stabs in the dark. Still, a good social media strategy can help you learn from your analytics to find out when your target demographic is most likely to interact with your social media.
7 steps for your social media strategy
1) Define your goals. Make them reachable, measurable, and specific.
2) Research the best times to post on your chosen platforms.
3) Content, content, content.
4) Gauge the reaction to understand what customers like and don’t like about your content.
5) Adjust and optimise.
6) Measure your progress.
7) Meet your marketing goals.
The best way to create a stellar social media strategy
Social media marketing is an essential part of any online strategy. It requires an understanding of SEO strategy and your target demographics. A professional-looking social media presence that ties in your company’s right aesthetic and emotional heart with customer service, content production, and effective advertising is key to any marketing campaign. Start-ups have much to gain from professional help with their social media strategy.
Social media is teeming with examples of well-meaning businesses with high-quality content being failed by a poor social media strategy – or worse, no strategy at all.
It is often said that the highest price of social media is time. Social media is cheap to advertise on. However, setting up and implementing the right strategy for your social media marketing will drain time and energy away from the core of your business, especially when you’re not sure how to do it quickly and efficiently.
The best tip I can give? Let the professionals help you.
Book in a free 45-minute strategy session with one of our Ambitious Digital experts and see how you can improve your social media strategy today!