Before you start using social media to advance your business, you need to create a well-rounded strategy. Without a strategy to build engagement, you will not receive the kind of impact you are hoping for. Social media is a great tool, but it needs to be used effectively. You cannot post random content every now and again and expect it to take off. Each post needs to be well thought out and relate to the overall structure. It is through careful thought and consideration that you build interest and a following. Social media is all about engagement, so you need to go back to the drawing board and develop a plan.
Develop Your Brand
If you haven’t developed your brand yet, before you start posting on social media, you need to begin here. Your brand is your company identity. It is how you want to be perceived in the world. It incorporates your logo, company colors, core values, company ethos and philosophy, and your entire company culture. As you can see, it takes a lot of time to develop these things, but once you have it, it acts as core, or skeleton all your marketing material, including your social media content and hag off of and relate to. This is about the issues you hold dear or the problem your product or service is trying to resolve in the world – Think about your key customer too and their concerns. Think about your main driver, is it helping people or sustainability, for example? Once you know what you stand for and the beliefs you hold dear, you can begin to construct a brand narrative. Perhaps you have a fantastic starter journey that needs to be shared. All this needs to be incorporated first into the minds of yourself and your staff, then you need it then highlighted on your website. All marketing material points back to the website, so this has to be consistent with the key, hard-hitting, and emotive messages you are advertising. Everything you do behind the scenes helps you build trust and loyalty in your brand. Your branding issues need to be ubiquitous, and content needs continuity.
Once you have a background and philosophy behind all your marketing content, you need to create objectives for your social media posts. These are measurable metrics, or KPI (key performance indicators) so you can discover whether or not a particular post has been successful in the way it was intended. Are you more concerned with enhancing brand awareness, or receiving traffic to your online shop? Whatever your major concern, it is far easier to develop targeted content with a specific purpose in mind. You can then set up all the key metrics on your analytical software so that you can measure the success of every post.
Conducting some research into the competition is always an advisable course of action. Take a look at their social media posts and develop an understanding of how they position themselves in reference to branding. How do they use a mix of content types, e.g., the written word, images, video? Are there competitions, polls, or even a virtual event? Polls can be a great way to help a company determine the direction of travel for a new product. It may be worth downloading some competitive analysis tolls, which can enable you to see which posts are working for them and which are not. Additionally, monitor the line of engagement they receive, read comments and their replies. How do they position themselves, how do they turn positive into negatives, how do they deal with complaints? You can gain so many insights by doing this. It may also be worth your while taking a look at how some of the best companies create social media content. This will help you develop your ideas even further.
Social Media Audit
If you have already got your own social media account. The next thing to do is a social media audit where you monitor your own previous posts and analyze them. Most social media sites have their own analytic software installed or insights to make use of these. Figure out what has previously worked for you and what failed. This will help you develop a quasi-plan for your content going forward.
Planning your Content
Now that you have a thorough background and have conducted some research into the competition, you can begin planning your own content. Using all the data you have gathered is creating a draft of ideas that thread together in a storyboard fashion. Think about the language you should use, its tone, and emotions. Thin also about images and video you can embed onto the feeds. You need to develop different content types for all the platforms. Instagram, for instance, needs to be more image orientated. But the images have to be high-quality and able to connect with your audience. You have a lot of competition after all. Facebook and LinkedIn can be more text-heavy, but you need to be able to capture the imagination of your audience in the first line. You can either use it to link back to a story on your website or post the entire story on the post. It is up to you. Twitter is partially good for snippets of stories from your blog or something.
When planning your content delivery, you should be using the 80 to 20 method. That is where 80% of the content you post is more about informing, educating, entertaining, and ultimately trying to engage with your target audience. The other 20% can be devoted to promoting your brand as well as advertising your products and services.
A social media content calendar is an essential step as well to ensuring you deliver your posts in a timely and effective manner. Avoid overabundance of posts. Think two or three high-quality posts delivered at key times. A calendar will also help you when it comes to analyzing the results as it will inform you what past was sent just before you saw a spike in whatever metric you hold dear.