A recent survey found that while most businesses that are on social media have some sort of plan, only 33% of social media marketers have a long-term one. This is even though many also agreed that the longer a business is active on social media, the more likely it is to be successful.
If you have a long-term business strategy, your social media channels should have one too. Yet – according to Facebook’s latest figures – over 40 million businesses are active on the social network, but only 2 million are active advertisers.
So why should you have one?
Having a social media strategy that is in line with your overall marketing strategy has many benefits. It takes time to see ROI through social media, but what you will begin to see is a build up of a loyal following that includes honest testimonials, a catalogue of user generated content and excellent ‘word of mouth’ marketing – much of which is free, or at least, acquired at a very low cost.
You understand the benefits, but how do you go about putting a strategy into action that will make your business stand out from the crowd? We suggest asking the following questions:
- Who will be responsible for managing your social media channels?
- Which platforms do you want your business to be present on?
- How many times will you post content each day?
- How much time will you spend on social media management?
- What is your business’ tone of voice?
- Who is your audience?
- What are your competitors doing on social media?
- What aspects of your business do you want to show off?
- Will you spend money on advertising and promoted posts?
- How will you incorporate upcoming events onto social media?
Remember, your goals for social media should align with your broader business goals. Scheduling platform Hootsuite recommends that you shouldn’t “approach your content thinking ‘how will this help me achieve X goal.’ You don’t want to stifle creativity. Instead, come up with great ideas for content, then see how you can tie them back to your content marketing goals.”
Focus on what you think your audience would want to see. Not every post should be a direct sales post. By having a long term strategy that represents your brand honestly, your sales will steadily improve with this approach.
Whilst it is great to have content planned long-term, you also need to keep your audience engaged. Remember to keep active on social media by asking questions, responding to comments and encouraging customers to post their own content related to your business. If you’re a hairdresser, this may be a picture of your new hair #inspo, or if you’re a personal trainer, it could be a progress picture.
As well as having your business tagged in customer posts, coming up with a unique hashtag is a great way of keeping track of this type of content. High street retailer River Island does this well with the hashtag #ImWearingRI visible in their changing rooms and used on their Instagram photos.
Don’t forget to be flexible – new things are being introduced into social media all the time. Take live video as an example. This time last year it was hardly a thing, and now it is set to be the biggest tool for 2017. Have your strategy in place but be prepared to adapt it to new trends and develops, so you don’t fall behind your competitors. Social media can be really beneficial to your business, so have fun and keep at it – it will pay off in the long run.
Had a go but still having trouble? Talk to us today about how we can help you build your digital roadmap to success.