Most businesses are on social media – including 97 percent of all Fortune 500 enterprises – and almost all of them have one thing in common – an impressive social media strategy.
Why Have a Social Media Strategy?
The power of social media cannot be neglected but… you can’t get real results without a proper strategy.
Unfortunately, most marketers and businesses make the mistake of joining social media and creating posts yet… they get nothing out of it.
It doesn’t have to be that way. Which is why you need to create a killer social media strategy.
Your Customers Are on Social Media
More than 3.96 billion people use social media. Most log into their social media every day to check reviews, learn more about products, and get in touch with customer service.
Some of these users are your target audience. Your social media strategy should be prepared according to them.
There’s no point reaching someone who is not interested in what you have to offer. With a proper strategy, you will be able to reach your targeted demographic and enjoy better results.
Build Your Brand
A social media strategy benefits your brand as it answers some very important questions such as what needs to be done to get what you want.
You have to define what you are interested in – more views, more likes, etc. This will allow you to craft a strategy that hits the right target.
Important to Have a High ROI
Companies spend significant budget on social media marketing. They hire managers, pay for fancy graphics, and invest in ads. All this money goes to waste without the right strategy in place.
The aim of every marketer should be to maximize every dollar spent on marketing. This can be done only by having a clear plan that explains what you need and how you plan on achieving it
Allows You To Be Creative
Social media is all about being creative and having fun. With a strategy in place, you will be able to ruffle your creative feathers and come up with something interesting.
Gillette’s “The Best Men Can Be” campaign is a perfect example of a brand being creative. Inspired by the controversial #MeToo movement, the campaign involved several popular role models. It resulted in more than 30 million views helping the company reach over 150 million people.
How to Create a Killer Social Media Strategy: A Step-By-Step Guide
Now that we know the importance of having a winning social media strategy, let’s have a look at this step-by-step guide on how to create one:
Choose Your Target Audience
While most every demographic is on social media, you need to define the demographics you wish to target.
At a high level, a few basic factors to include are:
In addition to this, you can also define demographics based on interests, income, etc.
Select the Right Platform
Once you have defined your target audience, it is time to choose a platform. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Snapchat, and YouTube are some of the most popular choices.
You need to pick a platform where you will find most of your target audience. LinkedIn, for example, can be a great pick for businesses that wish to target executives.
Similarly, Pinterest can be an excellent choice for businesses interested in targeting women as 70 percent of all Pinterest users are female. However, that’s not the only factor to consider.
You must also think about the kind of content you wish to produce. Twitter, for example, is popular among celebs and media houses. On the other hand, Instagram is usually the go-to option for fashion designers and food businesses.
Know What to Post
When creating your social media strategy, be clear about what kind of content you wish to produce and how you intend to procure it.
Businesses create content in a variety of ways. Some curate it from different sources, some hire an in-house team, some work with freelancers, etc.
All this comes at a cost. When creating your social media strategy, consider your budget as content creation can be both costly and complicated.
So what do you post? Videos? Images? Blog articles?
Videos appear to be most popular. After all, YouTube, a video-sharing platform, is now the second largest search engine.
You can upload videos on almost all platforms; however, there may be some limitations. Instagram, for example, only lets you upload short videos. Similarly, some tools such as Instagram and Snapchat come with cool filters and some platforms like Facebook and YouTube seem to be more in favor of longer videos.
Videos can be a great way to increase engagement as they generate 1,200 percent more shares than image and text content combined. Moreover, they can be great for your brand as we tend to remember more of what we see and hear.
This is why your social media strategy should include video content. It can be an ad, BTS video, interviews, etc.
Think of what you want to post based on your target audience and make sure to upload high quality content. You can also include subtitles to reach a wider audience.
Double your social media engagement by uploading high quality photos. The best thing about images is that they can be sourced for free by using royalty-free sources. Just remember to make sure they’re high quality and relevant.
A great way to get more shares is to upload infographics. About 65 percent of marketers use infographics as they can be used to share more information in less words. They also generate more shares and can be used to improve conversion.
Images can be added with blogs on platforms like LinkedIn. Plus, they play an important role in videos since you will need high quality images to create thumbnails. It is believed that more than 50 percent of people look at the thumbnail alone when deciding whether to watch or skip a video!
Blogs don’t belong on social media, yet you will find a lot of pages with detailed written content. Most people upload blogs on platforms like LinkedIn; however, they can also be shared on Facebook and Instagram in the form of captions.
About 66 percent of marketers use blogs in their social media content. However, be very careful when posting blogs since 59 percent of users share an article before reading it first.
The best thing about blogs is that they can be published on your site and promoted through social media. About 95.9 percent of bloggers use this strategy and it has proven to be very useful.
It might be a good idea to try different strategies and see what works. Videos, for example, may work well on one platform but not so well on another. Instead of sticking to a single type of content, use a nice mix and see what offers the best returns.
Figure Out the Right Time and Day to Post
The best time to post on social media depends on a number of factors including the location of your target audience, the platform, etc.
Here’s a small breakdown:
- Facebook: Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays are said to be the best for posting on Facebook. Most experts suggest posting between 9AM and 1PM since most Facebook users are active during these hours. On the other hand, Saturday is said to be a bad day for Facebook since few of its users are active on Saturdays.
- Instagram: Tuesdays are said to be the best for posting on Instagram. Most experts suggest posting between 11AM and 2PM. It is believed that Instagram isn’t usually the first platform people check after they wake up, hence it is okay to post a little late. For best results, Sundays should be avoided as engagement on Sundays is pretty low on the platform.
- Twitter: Wednedays are said to be the best for posting on Twitter. Since it is many social media users’ first source of information, they often check it first in the morning, which makes 9AM-3PM a good time to post on the platform. Just like Facebook, Saturdays are slow.
- LinkedIn: Since LinkedIn is used by business people, it works well on workdays mainly Tuesdays and Wednesdays. The best time is said to be between 9AM to noon. The weekend is said to be a bad time to post on LinkedIn as most of its users don’t check the platform on Saturdays and Sundays.
While the information above can help you decide when to post, remember that it changes from person to person and it is important that you figure out your best time.
Look for Reliable Social Media Tools
Don’t make the mistake of using social media without utilizing social media marketing tools.
You will find a variety of tools out there serving different purposes. Apps like Canva make it easy to create graphics. Buffer makes it easy to handle different accounts by allowing you to automate posts and do more. Hootsuite is another social media tool that does a similar job.
In addition to this, there are platform-specific social media tools like KeywordTool that allow you to find suitable hashtags for Twitter.
While some of these tools are free, some will cost you money. Go through these options and pick what works for you.
Pay Attention to the Numbers
Most social media platforms have built-in analytics that provide valuable data including views, reach, clicks, etc.
You can use this information to make adjust your social media strategy. If this isn’t enough, then use a third-party tool to keep an eye on the numbers.
If you work with a social media management company then make sure to ask for regular reports that provide they key metrics you need to gauge how your campaigns and profiles are doing.
Remember that analytics are not only important for paid campaigns but your overall profile as well.
Creating a Killer Social Media Strategy
The key to all of this lies in knowing what you need and who you must target.
Come up with quality content and upload it at the right time. Use different social media tools to make things easier.
Remember that your social media strategy shouldn’t be too rigid. Keep some space for changes based on performance. And… don’t forget the time lag. It can take some time for results to show. Be consistent and keep moving towards your goal.
Who’s Your Peer Advisory Group?
Who do you bounce ideas off with, get expert insights from, and share resources with?
Ready to connect with like minded Business Owners, Founders, and Entrepreneurs who’ve “been there, done that” ?