6 Steps to a Successful Social Media Strategy
Let's face it, people – social media is here to stay! Gone are the days of sitting at your desktop hyperventilating at the sound of a new AOL instant message notification from sportzdude503. A few of us dinosaurs remember pre-Facebook civilization, long before the days of Snapchat and Instagram. Others have never experienced a day without these social media platforms present in their lives.
Social media is necessary in today's business world if you want to outsmart your competition. While most individuals and businesses understand the need to be active on social media to attract and grow an engaged audience, I am often asked by overwhelmed, multiple-hats-wearing business women how to make it work. And let me just say – you are not alone!
Whether you run a business’s social media, are part of a marketing team, or a professional who is just trying to figure it out, below are a few steps to consider when crafting a successful social media strategy.
6 STEPS TO A SUCCESSFUL SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGY
1. Know your Audience
Knowing your audience is the best place to start in any communication effort. Understand who you are talking to and how they like to consume information. This is fundamental to the steps that follow, and ultimately,to your social media success.
2. Choose Proper Channels
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, Snapchat… the list goes on. Choosing a platform goes back to knowing your audience and where they spend time online. Each social platform can be utilized in various ways, but don’t try to master them all. Stick to the mix that works for your company. At the same time, don’t be afraid to test a new platform – if it makes sense for your business.
3. Define Your Goals & Objectives
Think S.M.A.R.T. Make sure your objectives are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-Oriented. One example of SMART objective implementation is to grow Facebook “likes” by 25 percent by the end of the third quarter.
4. Create Content
Begin by identifying your “content assets.”Make a list of the things you can leverage to help share your message. Regardless of your industry, seasons and holidays are an easy starting point. Once you’ve created an exhaustive list of content assets, begin creating posts based on those subjects and filling them into a content calendar. Hubspot has an easy-to-customize Excel template you can download here.
5. Identify Tactics
Tactics should be based on your audience, vary depending on the social platform, help achieve your goals and showcase your content. If you own a store, you could collaborate with similar stores on a giveaway or partner with an influencer. If you work for a company, you could utilize social advertising to increase awareness, use hashtags to help with organic growth or live tweet from a trade show.
6. Monitor and Adjust Accordingly
Once you set your social media strategy into motion, monitor the results and adjust accordingly. Trial and error is the name of the game. Be flexible and allow change based on the results you find.
Social media is fast-paced and ever-changing, so much so that staying up-to-speed seems daunting at times. Don’t give up! One of the best things you can do is educate yourself. Read industry reports. Follow marketing blogs. And don’t forget to have fun! Play around, test different things out and see what works best for your workplace. You will be a social media master in no time.
Post by guest blogger:
Mary Hampton Nicholas
Strategic Communications & Public Affairs
Capitol Resources, LLC