Social media has completely revolutionized the way brands interact with their consumers. Nowadays, if a company isn’t present on some form of social media, they might as well begin closing up shop to make way for competitors who have put in the time and effort to craft a killer online presence. Creating a winning social media strategy isn’t one-size-fits-all: It takes research, patience, organization, creativity, analytics, and the willingness to learn from failure in order to get it just right.
While there is no simple formula to follow for social media success, there are a few strategies businesses can employ to ensure they stay on the right track. By making a few key changes from the start, companies can maximize their brand exposure, engage with target consumers, and increase conversions for improved business performance.
Identify Social Media Platforms Worth Using
One of the biggest mistakes brands make when getting started is assuming that every social media platform is worth pursuing. Wrong! Just because a platform exists doesn’t mean it’s a viable option for reaching your target audience (except for Facebook; you need Facebook). The best way to determine whether or not a social media platform is right for you is by answering the following questions:
- Are you a B2B or B2C business?
- Who is your target audience?
- What are your social media objectives?
Let’s practice, shall we? I’m a farming company selling tractor supplies for small-scale operations. Most of my customers are males aged 40 – 65, earning an average income between $30,000 and $75,000. Since YouTube has the highest instance of rural users (59%), is largely used by men (75%) aged 30 – 65 (85%), and the average user earns between $30,000 and $75,000 (78%), that makes it an excellent option for my social media strategy.
By contrast, Twitter would not be a good option for my company to pursue: According to the percentage of U.S. adults who use Twitter, only 23% of active users are male, 17% come from rural regions, and 40% of active users are aged 18 – 29. Simply by taking the time to research these key statistics, I saved my company a lot of time and money developing content that would ultimately fall flat on an audience that doesn’t really care about my products and services.
Be Creative & Calendarize Content
84% of consumers expect brands to create their own content. Stock photos and videos do very little to drive audience engagement and generate conversions. In order to make the biggest impact on social media, you need to cultivate your creativity and develop original content that resonates with your target audience. Video and live video components are especially crucial for a successful social strategy. A whopping 90% of internet users watch an online video at least once per month with 64% of consumers making a purchase after watching branded video content. Long story short: If you’re not creating videos for your social media channels, you’re missing the mark with your strategy!
In addition to creating your own content, it’s important to stay organized and plan ahead. From social media “holidays” and employee recognition to company news and giveaways, it’s important to stay ahead of the game by developing a calendar to help you stay on track of the messages you most want to communicate and when. This also helps ensure you’re hitting on timely conversations and planning for advertising and marketing opportunities to support your business objectives beyond gathering a social following.
Use Analytics Tools to Research Social Media Audiences & Performance
Analytics and research tools are the lifeblood for social media success. You can find out almost anything about your target audience, including what platforms they use most, where they’re located, how old they are, and even what life stage they’re at. Social platforms have grown even more sophisticated in their targeting capabilities bordering on the Orwellian by identifying audience interests, recent search queries, and their behavior cues when interacting with brands online.
These tools can also be used to inform your content planning strategy. Platforms like Audiense, Sprout Social, and Later can easily tell you when your audience appears online, what topics they’re most interested in, and even which hashtags to use. Some of these tools can be a bit pricey, but it’s completely worth it to optimize your strategy and get the strongest return on your social media investment.
Word Nerd for Your Social Media Management & Marketing Needs
At Word Nerd, our team has the social media expertise to help drive business success. Whether you’re looking to increase awareness or improve conversions and sales, we can develop the social media strategy necessary for helping you achieve your goals. Contact us today to receive a free quote for your social media management and marketing needs.