A good Social Media strategy… where to start?

Like it or loathe it, Social Media isn’t going away anytime soon and there’s no denying the brilliant opportunity it offers businesses to connect with customers.  It can get a little ‘noisy’ out there though, can’t it?! There are now over 70 million businesses with Facebook pages1, and with 2.23 billion monthly active personal users2 on the platform, it can be hard to get the attention you’d like for your business! The same goes for Instagram (1 billion users), Twitter (330 million users), LinkedIn (560 million) and the other popular social media channels… It’s exhausting just thinking about the figures, let alone working out how to get your voice heard!

So how do you get noticed and see real results? The answer is a carefully planned and expertly executed social strategy, but for many business owners the prospect of sitting down and putting their social media vision to paper can be quite daunting! To help, I’ve put together four key starting points that are absolutely essential considerations for any and every business owner who wants to make a positive impact online… are you ready?

Who are you talking to?

This might seem like an obvious question, as the typical physical ‘end user’ for your products/services may be clear, but that doesn’t mean that your followers on your various social media platforms are all the same! It could be that your followers on Instagram are younger than your Facebook fans, and therefore a slight shift in tone and content from one platform to another could help to boost engagement by appealing directly to each individual audience. Audience insights from Facebook’s native statistics platform and Google Analytics could help you learn a little more about your online audience (for example, when are they online and therefore most likely to see your posts? How old are they? etc.)

What do you want to achieve with your Social Media?

When I ask business owners this question, the response I normally get is ‘more sales!’, but is that a realistic goal? If you are selling high-ticket products or services, how likely is it that someone is going to buy from you straight from a Social Media post? If you have got an online shop with relatively low-cost items for sale, it could be that ‘more sales!’ really is an appropriate goal.  Just think about how you are going to measure those sales, and whether a newsfeed full of ‘BUY THIS NOW!’ is going to work with your particular audience.

What is your brand voice?

Are you a youthful, exciting and vibrant brand? Are you an experienced and professional ‘knowledge leader’? What language should you use to articulate your brand? Informal or formal? Funny or serious? How will your audience respond to different kinds of posts – are they looking for informative and thought-provoking pieces, or do they want to see funny, shareable content? Once you’ve identified your customers on each platform, this question should be a little easier!

What are your competitors doing?

Your direct competitors are a great source of learning and inspiration! Take a look at how many followers they have, and whether they get a lot of likes, comments and shares/re-tweets from the content that they post. If they’re targeting the same audience as you, why not review their content (imagery, wording and videos) to get an idea of the kind of content that is working well, and the content that definitely isn’t!

Once you’ve asked yourself these four questions (and written down some answers), you’ll be in a far better place to start thinking about the kind of content that you’ll need to create and share in order to reach your social media marketing goals! Take some time to consider these points, and don’t forget that if you need any help, get in touch!

[1] https://s21.q4cdn.com/399680738/files/doc_financials/2017/Q1-’17-Earnings-transcript.pdf
[2] www.statista.com/statistics/264810/number-of-monthly-active-facebook-users-worldwide/